One of my favorite beauty looks at this year’s New York Fashion Week was the bold and unexpected eye makeup at the Nicholas K show. Black, jaggedly asymmetrical bangs and grungy street-style clothes stole most of the attention, and at first glance, the models’ makeup appeared to be minimal with heavily smudged under-the-eye eyeliner. Not exactly atypical.
A closer look, however, revealed that the models were actually sporting upside-down cat eyes, complete with thick, false lashes on their lower lids. It was insane, and I loved it.
I immediately knew I had to recreate this look for myself. Luckily it’s extremely easy to do. I rummaged around for a set of false eyelashes and also grabbed some foundation, bronzer and eyeliner.
The first step is to get a matte complexion. I used my Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup in Calming Alabaster.
Then it’s time for some subtle contouring. Just take some bronzer (I used my e.l.f. Contouring Blush & Bronzer set) or a foundation in a slightly darker shade, and buff it in towards your temple with a thick, fluffy brush. I used my e.l.f. kabuki brush. It helps to suck in your cheeks to see where to contour--or you could just face a light source and see where the shadows naturally lie on your face.
Normally, I try to avoid orange-tinted bronzer (which is hard for someone as pale as I am) but I noticed that in this case the models had an intentionally peachy-orange hue to their contouring. I didn’t have anything close to that shade, but if you have a bronzer or foundation that’s slightly orange, here’s your chance to use it!
Next is eyeliner. You could put a thin line of eyeliner along your upper lid if you want, but my lashes are already pretty dark so I didn’t bother with that.
I hate to say this, because it always makes my eyes tear up something bad, but it’s necessary to line your waterline for this--alllll the way to the inner corners of your eyes. I used Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner for my waterline because I find that the stubby marker makes it less likely that I'll stab myself in the eye. Then I used Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner to get a thin, straight cat eye.
Finally you’re ready to apply your lashes. I used J. Cat Eyelashes (the EL43 variety), which was perfect for this because it came with black glue instead of the usual white. The last thing I wanted was to have goops of white glue lining the bottom of my eyes.
First, I trimmed them quite a bit. You’ll probably have to do this no matter what kind you use, although it’s up to you how dramatic you want them to be. I also made sure to trim them so that some lashes were longer than others; you don’t want the lashes to be a uniform length.
Then I flipped them upside down (you don’t want the lashes to be curving up towards your eyeball!), practiced where I was going to place them, applied a thin line of glue, and stuck them onto my waterline on top of my natural lashes. Be careful not to get glue in your eyes!
For final touches, I did my best to flatten my bangs over one eye (they’re not quite long enough, sadly) and put on my Zara coat because it’s the only item in my closet that says “urban cool.”
I also tried to replicate their nude, slightly glossy lips. My lips are naturally very pink so I applied Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Complex to cancel out the pink tones. I added a little Vaseline on top for shine and I was good to go.
I love this look. I know it’s not practical for every day, but I feel like it could come in handy if you ever want to project a serious “don’t mess with me” vibe. It’s very A Clockwork Orange meets Lisbeth Salander. What do you guys think?