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‘60s-inspired cat eye make-up has been a sultry staple for decades—but this retro beauty trend is anything but dated. In fact, you’re sure to see it gracing the eyes of every influencer on your social media feed. Meticulously winged cat eye eyeliner is one of the tougher makeup skills to master, but it’s well worth learning how. And with the tips and tricks we’re sharing today, you’ll learn how to do a cat eye in no time. Click through to learn exactly how to do cat eye makeup!
If you have even-set, almond-shaped eyes, lucky you! You can easily rock just about any sort of eye makeup look, including the original cat eye shape, successfully. For all of the rest of us, it’s wise to take note of a few differences in how you’ll want to apply cat eye makeup before picking up your eyeliner.
Wide-set eyes: If your eyes are set far apart, you’ll want to draw your cat eye only on your eyelid—without extending the line too far past your eyes.
Close-set eyes: For those with eyes that are closer together, you’ll want to extend the length of your cat eye make-up and draw your flick further out.
Hooded eyes: Good news, you can rock a cat eye even if you have hooded eyes! To get the look, place a very thin line along your lash line and add a long wing at your outer corner.
Want more details on applying makeup for different eye shapes? Here’s The Best Eye Makeup For Your Eye Shape.
There isn’t a single holy grail eyeliner that’s best for a winged look—you have options. And the eyeliner you choose to create your wing can make all the difference in how your cat eye eyeliner turns out. Below, we share when it's best to use a pencil, liquid, and gel eyeliner.
Pencil eyeliner: Your first foray into eyeliner was likely with a pencil—and there’s good reason for that: Pencils are easy to use! So, if you’re a total beginner, reaching for a pencil like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner may be a good idea. A pencil can also be a prime pick if you’re interested in drawing a less severe line, as you won’t be able to form quite as sharp of a wing with its blunt tip.
Liquid eyeliner: Let’s be honest, liquid eyeliner takes talent to apply. But learning how can be well worth it, especially if you’re a fan of winged eyeliner. Liquid eyeliners are ideal for creating ultra-precise lines—as long as you have a steady hand. If that sounds like you, try the L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Liquid Dip Eyeliner, Waterproof.
Gel eyeliner: Want to achieve an effect that’s similar to liquid eyeliner—without struggling to apply it? Sounds like you might be interested in gel eyeliner. Dip a tiny brush into a pot of gel liner and you can get super skinny, clean lines without putting in excessive effort. For a glossy, lacquered look, use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lacquer Liner 24H, which comes with a flat brush to make application extra easy.
If you’ve practiced and practiced winged eyeliner without success, we have just the tip for you: Stop trying to freehand it! There’s no rule saying you have to do it all on your own, you can use a cat eye stencil to help. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner comes with a removable wing stencil that helps you get perfectly precise wings, every time. Position the open part of the stencil at the outer edge of your eye, laying it flat against your skin. Fill in the stencil to draw the wing, then remove the stencil to reveal your perfect flick! Continue the line across your eyelid to complete your cat eye, and that's it.
If you don’t have a stencil, you can use tape to help get your cat eye on. Place a piece of regular ol’ adhesive tape at the outer corner of your eye, going up toward the end of your eyebrow. Once the tape is securely in place, line your upper lash line as per usual. Thicken the line to your desired intensity, then wing it out. Drag the wing to where you want it, not worrying about keeping the bottom edge straight. After you’ve added the tiny triangle at the edge of your eye, you’re free to remove the tape—revealing a sharp line.
Another great trick that can help you achieve a cat eye successfully is to steady your hand before applying. Even if you don’t tend to have shaky hands, it’s smart to steady your hands before applying eyeliner onto your lid. Here’s how to do it: First, sit down—when you’re standing up, your hands tend to be less steady. Next, plant your elbow on a flat surface, like the countertop of your bathroom sink or your vanity. Lastly, place your pinky on your cheek as a sort of resting place, which will keep your hand from shaking as you line your eyes.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with hues other than black or brown. They may be just right for an everyday look, but when you need to spice things up, vivid shades of grey, emerald, navy, and maroon can add an unexpected pop of color to an otherwise classic look. For colorful eyeliner options, try the L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Liquid Dip Eyeliner, Waterproof in Blue and Burgundy.
Even the steadiest hands make mistakes from time to time. And that’s where micellar water comes in. If you aren’t completely pleased with your cat eye, all you need is a cotton swab dipped in micellar water. Saturate a swab with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, then use it to clean up the shape of your cat eye—it’s that easy.
Need to take your cat eye make-up to the next level? Look no further: Here's The Best Way to Update a Cat Eye.
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