Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Alexa Chung – besides fame, what’s one other thing that they have in common? Perfect eyeliner application skills or at least having perfect artists, but their eyes looky perfect, nevertheless.
And if you think it’s only appropriate for the evening, you are wrong. Yes, there’s that dark, smoky, sultry, cat eye for the evening, but if done properly, it is appropriate for daytime and it can be one thing that makes you different. So, when I see a girl with perfectly lined eyes and perfectly winged eyeliner, that says girl power, a brave, adventurous spirit. Because be sure that, though anyone can put this look on, not everyone can pull it off.
On one hand, some people simply would not want to wear this look. On the other, those who do have to perfect it, get use to it, feel like it, and in the end they become addicted. But once you master the technique, it’s easy to get attached and cat eye is all you want. It takes the right product and some practice and patience, and definitely some great inspiration.
So, here are some instructions and tips for the beginners, some new tricks for the veterans, and some inspiration for all.
What You Need
Forget about that pencil that has been in your make up bag for ages, it won’t do. Pencils are usually too dry for this type of look and you won’t be able to get a precise line of the right color. You can find a softer pencil if you want, but they usually tend to smudge and leave a mark on the higher part of your eyelid when you open your eyes. You can use it for practice, but if you want best results try one of the following:
Gel eyeliner – this is the best choice for the beginners as it is easier to apply than the liquid eyeliner. You’ll also need a thin or an angled brush.
Liquid eyeliner – this type is the best for those who already have steadiness in their hand and some proficiency in applying eyeliner. It will give you a very precise graphic line. The usual colors are black or brown, but there is a wide range of color that you can choose from.
Q-tips and make up remover
How to Apply the Eyeliner
Applying eyeliner takes practice and a steady hand. Take some time when you are not in a hurry to get out of the house. It’s best if you put your mirror on a desk or someplace where you have enough space to rest your elbow on and make sure the light is right.
1. Make a few dots with eyeliner along your upper lash line. They should be as close to your lashes as possible. Start at the innermost corner of your eye and stop few millimeters before the outermost corner of the eye.
2. Carefully start connecting the dots trying to make the line as thin and precise as possible.
3. When you get to the last dot flick the line up at an angle of about 45 degrees. You can make it longer and then adjust the length with a Q-tip dipped in the make-up remover later.
4. Now, starting at about 1/3 of the outer part of the lash line, make the line gradually thicker and then, as you get closer to the tip of the wing, gradually thinner again.
5. This next step is optional. You can draw in the last third of the lower lash line, again as thin as possible, extending the line and connecting it with the winged part. Make sure to fill in any space between the lines.
As with eyebrows you won’t be able to make the lines on both eyes the same, as your eyes are naturally not the same shape. The aim is to make them as similar as possible. You can best achieve this by tilting your head back and looking at the mirror with your eyes almost closed. This will help you evaluate the length and the angle of the wing.
These are the basics. Practice and with time, as you get more confident, you will develop your own style and perfect a unique technique.
But if you still need a simpler explanation, you might want to try one of the following two tricks.
The Triangle Trick
1. Starting at the outer corner of your eye, draw the line that follows the angle of your lower lash line, like an extension of the lower lash line. Do it on both eyes so that the lines match.
2. Now starting at the tip of the wing line, draw the line back to your eyelid. Fill in the little triangle with eyeliner.
3. Finally, make the corner between the wing and the lash line rounder.
4. Once you have the winged part, line the whole lash line or just the outer third.
The Sticky Tape Trick
For this trick you will need sticky tape with which you will create a template. You’ll still need a steady hand but with this template you won’t need so much time for trying to match the lines on both eyes.
1. This is very important! Before you start, stick the tape to the back of your hands a few times so it loses some of the adhesive. That way it won’t stick so hard to your skin and it will be easier to peel off and won’t hurt the gentle skin around your eyes.
2. So, take one piece of tape and stick it from the inner corner of your eye over your upper lid.
3. Take the other smaller part of the tape and stick it from the outer corner of your eye upwards so that it follows your natural lower lash line. The two tapes should intersect at one point.
4. Now, fill in the little template that you’ve made and carefully remove the tape.
The only problem with this technique is that the line and the wing will be very thick, so if you want to make a more discreet cat eye look you should use the triangle trick.
Cat Eye Make Up For Different Eye Shapes
We are all different and unique, but we should all have two main goals when putting on the make up. The first is to have fun. And the second one is to play up our natural features. Now, here is some advice on how to get optimal look for your eye shape while playing with the cat eye make up.
Wide Set Eyes – the aim is to make your eyes look closer and you can achieve this by starting the line from the innermost corner of the eye. And also remember that dark colors make things appear closer so always choose darker eyeliners and eye shadows.
Close Set Eyes – to make eyes appear wider set you should only line the outer corner of your eyes, or make the line very thin at the inner corner and gradually thicker from the second third of the lash line.
Small eyes – if your eyes are small, it’s best to avoid very thick and heavy eyeliner. However, you can make them appear bigger by lining the waterlines (inner lash line) with a white pencil.
Almond shaped eyes – line only the upper lash line and, if you want to, you can line the lower water line.
Round eyes – line only the outer two thirds of the upper and lower lash line and your eyes will appear more oval. Also if you do not connect the lines at the outer corner it will leave your eye more open.
Asian eyes – for this shape you can follow the instructions for the almond shaped eyes.
Daytime and Nighttime Cat Eye Make Up
If you are hooked on this look and want to wear winged eye liner all day, every day, here’s an easy routine to follow for your daytime make up.
Daytime – If you want to wear the cat eye look during the day, it’s best to tone it down a little.
1. Start with your usual routine: primer, foundation, concealer. You will need some kind of primer on your eyelids before applying the liner to keep it from smudging and make it last longer.
2. Line your eyes using one of the techniques above. Keep your elbow on a steady surface, tilt your head back and try to make the lines as similar as possible.
3. It’s best if you leave the lower lash line bare to keep the look simpler.
4. Apply a creamy, light eyeshadow all over your eyelid.
5. Add a coat of mascara.
6. And finally add some blush and a light lipstick or lip gloss, or simply some lip balm.
This is a simple but effective daytime look. Cat eyes for day may sound a bit too much, but it’s not. You will look unique and interesting. With time you’ll be able to create your own make up routine. But the best thing about this look is that you can easily transform it into an effective nighttime look.
Nighttime – You can go from work straight to a party with a few little tweaks on your face, transforming your daytime look into an evening look.
1. First, extend the wing a little bit to add more drama.
2. Depending on the shape of your eyes, line the lower lash line and the waterlines to add more depth to your look.
3. Add some dark shimmery eyeshadow over the eyelids.
4. Fill in your eyebrows, but don’t make them too dark because that element is already in your eyeliner.
5. You can add some more blush and lip color, but be careful not to overdo it or your face will end up looking like a mask.
Although the point of the night time look is adding more make up, keep in mind that less is more.
Cat Eye Inspiration
And in the end whether you decide to do a subtle cat eye like Alex, or a bit sexier a la Brigette and Marylin, or that in-your-face look of Amy Winehouse, inspiration is all around you. You can find it in vintage pictures, movies of the 60s, or you can find more modern version on TV or the runways. Get inspired, then practice and finally create your own style. And whatever you do enjoy the process and share the fun with your friends.