How to do a cat eye – such a simple tiny little thing shouldn’t be difficult, right? It should be easy, but it’s not, and it’s not until you attempt one that you know how much room for error there is! So, we enlisted a few experts to dish the deets on how to get the most amazingly winged cat eye. Try their advice below, then get ready to perfect the feline flick.
Step 1: Choose the Right Liner
The one tool you need to create a solid cat eye is obviously a black liner, and while all pros tend to play favorites, MUA Elvins Thompson with Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa at The Royal Poinciana Plaza, swears by Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $22 (as do we): “Its felt tip makes it effortless to use and achieve a gorgeous wing, and I like to pair it with Surratt Beauty Relevée Mascara, $30, since it contains fibers that provide a voluminous touch,” he says.
Another thing Elvins is a stickler about is neglecting your bottom lashes, so he recommends going back in and tight lining with Surratt Beauty Smoky Eye Baton in Fumee Noir, $35. If you want to add some color, he also likes smoking out the eye with the same pencil in the burgundy shade Canons de Beaute. “This combination will give you sexy, alluring effect.”
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Step 2: Always Draw the Wing First
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According to Chanel Temple, global makeup artist for Hourglass Cosmetics, pulling off a flawless cat eye is dependent upon where you start it. “I always start with the wing by marking the outermost corner of your eye and drawing a thin line angled slightly upward,” she explains. “I also like to keep my eye open, so I can see which angle works best for my eye shape.” And if you’re still confused as to the order of other products post-wing, just keep her rule of thumb in your back pocket. “Always wait to apply mascara or shadow along the lower lashes until after you’ve done your wing, in case you need to clean it up after,” she says.
If you’re a complete newbie to winged liner than save yourself the hassle and get yourself the Quick Flick’s genius wing stamp, $26. It comes with a wing-shaped stamp that you simply press on, and then the other end has a normal liner for you to complete the rest of your look. It’s beyond easy to use, and the ink is super pigmented and long-lasting. It also comes in four sizes, so whether you like a subtle wing or a dramatic one, they’ve got you covered. Check out our review.
Step 3: Correct Any Mistakes Later
“If you make a mistake, LET IT DRY,” advises Glamsquad artistic director, Kelli J. Bartlett. And while you may think this is easier said than done and a dried line won’t budge, her top tip for foolproof cleanup is easy AF. “Saturate an angled brush in makeup remover (I love Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover, $30) and wipe away whatever you don’t want to see, making sure you clean the brush on a tissue in between strokes.”
Not only is this hack a great way to manipulate the shape or clean the lid, but it will save you the hassle of having to start your cat eye from scratch and risk being late to happy hour. Bartlett suggests curling your lashes before applying winged liner as well, as it will help you define the eye shape and you won’t have to touch up your liner if you crimp too close to the lash line.
Check out more makeup artist tips for killer winged eyeliner here.