Cat eyeliner, winged eyeliner...whatever you call it, the precise line that flicks up at the corner of each eye has long been a staple for stylish women around the globe. The look is iconic for the come-hither gaze it helps create. And it’s easy to do when you have the right tricks up your sleeve. Here are the dos and don’ts of drawing cat eyeliner, plus a DIY video with Montreal beauty influencer Lucie Rhéaume Gonzalez of @lucierheaume.
How to apply eyeliner based on eye shape
Cat eyeliner is flattering on every woman, but you can make small adjustments to customize it if your eyes aren’t the typical almond shape. For example, if you have wide-set eyes, keep your wing short to minimize the width. For close-set eyes, you can extend your line a little longer to draw the eyes outward. For hooded eyes, you’ll likely need to make the eyeliner on your top lashes a little thicker so it doesn’t disappear when you open your eyes. And if you have a monolid (meaning your eyelid doesn’t have a crease), keep your eyeliner thin and tight to your upper lash line and then draw a thick, elongated wing.
Common eyeliner mistakes―avoid these pitfalls:
If you’ve never tried cat eye makeup before, you’re probably going to make one or more of these mistakes. Here’s what not to do:
- Tug on your eye: Yes, you’re trying to draw a straight line, and it seems like smoothing out the skin by pulling it taut is the best way to do that. The problem? When you let the skin go, your eyeliner may look bumpy and the placement of the wing may be different from what you originally intended.
- Close your eyes: If you want the wing to look the same (meaning the same height, width and angle) on both eyes, you need to keep both eyes open while you’re drawing. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll be better able to gauge wing placement and thickness.
- Leave a gap between your liner and lashes: You want to push your eyeliner right into your lash line so there’s no skin visible around your lashes.
- Draw freehand: If you’re a pro, by all means eyeball it. But if you’re new to drawing cat-eye eyeliner, try using a straight edge (like a credit card) to guide your line. Alternatively, you can place a dot of eyeliner on your lid where you want the wing to end. The dot should be placed at about a 45-degree angle from the corner of your eye. To draw the wing, use eyeliner to connect the corner of your eye with the dot.
- Draw your liner in one stroke: Your hand probably isn’t steady enough to draw perfect eyeliner in one fell swoop. Instead, trace along your upper lash line with short, connected strokes.
- Use liquid liner on your lower lash line: Liquid is best for a graphic cat eye drawn along the upper lashes. If you want to trace your lower lashes, move to a product that’s a little softer, like a smudgy eyeliner pencil or dark eyeshadow.
The best eyeliner: What works well for a cat eye?
There are a few qualities you need to look for when it comes to choosing the right eyeliner for a winged eye. You want intense colour; you want a fine point so you can draw a precise line; and you want long wear that won’t smudge. Enter L’Oréal Paris Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner, the best liquid eyeliner on the market. The pure black shade is perfect for crafting that graphic cat eyeliner look, while the super-slim design with a 0.4 mm ultra-fine felt tip means you’ll be able to trace a precise wing every time. The liner has a continuous flow so the pigment will glide on smoothly and won’t skip or drag. It also has a quick-dry formula that’s smudgeproof and will last for up to 12 hours.
DIY cat eyeliner: A step-by-step guide
Step 1: Using L’Oréal Paris Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner in Black, draw a line from the outside corner of your eye toward the end of your eyebrow (but not all the way there, of course!). This will be the bottom of the wing.
Step 2: Create the top outline for the wing starting from your eyelid and working outward. Come to a point that meets at the end of the line you just created.
Expert tip: Work on both eyes at the same time to make sure they look the same, rather than perfecting one side and moving to the next.
Step 3: Once you’re satisfied with the look of the wing on both sides, start at the top outline of the wing and continue to trace along your lash line toward the inner corner of your eye. Repeat for your other eye.
Step 4: Completely fill in the shape you’ve traced with the same eyeliner, working right into the lashes so there are no bare spots.
You’re sultry. You’re sexy. And now with the ability to create perfect cat eyeliner, you can do anything. (Or, at the very least, you can draw some wicked wings.)