Sometimes nailing the perfect cateye can feel like walking on a tightrope. Although the consequences aren’t as severe, there is still intense pressure to avoid making mistakes. Even for those with years of experience and super-stable hands, even a slight bump or twitch could send your eyeliner pen or brush flying off course and force you back to square one. You might also have smaller or more restricted eyelids, which may limit your options.
Although the art of creating a cat eye is not the most difficult part of any makeup routine, there are some products and methods that can make it easier. It all boils down to using smooth formulas and being patient. Here are the top tips from makeup artists for creating a cat eye using eyeliner.
The perfect eyeliner can make all the difference
If your eyeliner tugs at the skin, it can be more difficult to draw a straight line. This could mean that your eyeliner is becoming dry or you may need to purchase a more smooth formula.
Stila’s All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner is for those who are more skilled and prefer to use a pencil. Tommy, a New York City makeup artist, says you won’t regret it if you’re that person. It’s also a favorite of Allure editors and winner of the Readers’ Choice Award. If you have a tight budget, he recommends Maybelline New York Hyper Easy eyeliner.
Katie Jane Hughes, a makeup artist, has a great guide for applying eyeliner to your eyes. She explains that you should use the most malleable formula, such as MAC Fix+ or Carbon eye shadow. This will give you a smoother glide than if you use a gel pencil.
A brush and potted gel liner are also options. Lavonne, a bicoastal makeup artist recommends Morphe Jet Gel Liner. To create straight, thin lines, ensure that the brush you are using has a pointed, stiff tip.
Your eye shape will determine the shape of your eyeliner
According to Lavonne, everyone’s eyelids are different in size and shape. This will play a big part in determining how large and what shape your eyeliner wings should be. This is Lavonne’s guide to determining your eye shape.
Round eyes: Your iris is visible when your eyes are closed and your eyes rest naturally. For this eye shape, she suggests that you draw from the outside and work your way inwards toward the outer corner of the eye. Apply the liner inwardly, stopping at the middle of your lid (where your pupil is) when you are looking straight ahead.
Monolids: A monolid is one that has no or minimal eye creases. Lavonne suggests that you create the thinnest possible line for this shape. Place the tip of your eyeliner at the pupil. Draw to the outer corner. Next, draw the line from the inner corner to the middle.
Almond-shaped eyes: These eyes have an almond shape. Lavonne suggests that you take advantage of the extra space in your lids. “Draw your eyeliner starting at the inner corner and moving along the lash line. Then, flick it out until you reach the point where your crease begins.
Hooded eyes: Does your crease seem to disappear as soon as you open your eyes. Hooded eyes are a sign that your eyes are hooded. Lavonne suggests that you create the outer wing flick at the point where your eyelids hood begins to ensure the liner does not disappear. Apply your liner slowly, working your way inward.
Create a outline
Lavonne states that curly cats are one of the most common mistakes in cat-eye care. The eyeliner wing curls up instead of sticking straight out. She explains that it will alter the shape of your eyes. It is a great way to avoid curly cats. Makeup artists have many ways to map your cat’s eye before you go.
Tommy’s method takes the guesswork out when it comes to choosing the right shape of eyeliner for you. After curling your eyelashes, he suggests visualizing a line that extends from your outer corner to your outer brow bone. It should be at the same angle as your outermost lash. Place a dot just behind the outer eyelash. He explains that this will be the tail’s end. It should lift the eyes and, most importantly widen and lengthen.
You can also make the shape of your cat eye using a fine brush and a lighter-colored eye shadow. Lavonne loves to use this method before applying eyeliner. This allows for more flexibility and allows you to see how the liner will match your eye shape before going with a waterproof, dark wing.
Refrain from closing your eyes or stretching your eyes
Many people stretch their eyelids by using their fingers when applying eyeliner wings. Although it may seem like a reflex, it can cause serious damage to a cat’s eye. Tommy says that stretching can cause the liner to lose its consistency and symmetry.
An eyeliner wing can be difficult to apply when the eye is closed completely. This is because the shape of your eye can change as it opens or closes. Hughes recommends that you apply eyeliner when the eye is open, especially for people with mature skin and hooded eyes.
Relax your eyes and put your head in the neutralest position possible. Then, get comfortable. This will ensure that your eye is relaxed. Then, gently place the liner over or in that area.
Lavonne suggests using a handheld mirror to avoid blinking. She advises beginners to place a mirror under their nose, to look at the mirror from the bottom, to rest the pencil, liner, or brush on their lash line and then to begin drawing short connected strokes. You will get a perfect line every single time, and you won’t blink.
Use makeup removal
Professionals always have makeup remover handy to fix or perfect their cat eyes. Lavonne explains, “To make it even crisper I use a very thin cotton swab and Bioderma micellar oil to sharpen the lines. Then I add a little concealer and blend it out until it forms a sharp wing.” It’s like painter’s tape. It gives crisp edges.
Don’t be discouraged if your wing shape isn’t perfect or you get bumped up along the way. Concealer and micellar water such as Lavonne can be used to fix small imperfections. In the worst case scenario, just try again. You’ll improve your skills no matter what, so practice!