After much consideration, I've come to the conclusion that there is no occasion in which thick, pitch-black winged eyeliner is inappropriate. Work? Definitely! At the beach? Of course! Funerals? Just make sure it's waterproof!
I realize my opinion is not necessarily a popular one and that my job, city and general indifference give me leeway for experimentation and unconventionality. Some of you may love the look of a cat eye but feel it's too whimsical or dramatic to wear to the office or a little league game or whatever it is you do that surrounds you with uptight people who'd burn you at the stake if your eyeliner extended past the edge of your eye.
Maybe you like how it looks on other people but you're nervous about trying it yourself. Totally understandable--that was me once. But once I got the hang of it, it went from intimidating to I-feel-kinda-naked-without-it, hence my stance that cat eyeliner can and should be worn anywhere and everywhere.
Whatever your reasons for not wearing a chunky, black, retro cat eye, I'd like to recommend a compromise; something subtle enough for more conservative situations, and tame enough to ease beginners into the joys of winging it.
I present for your consideration: THE MEDIUM BROWN SEMI-OPAQUE CAT EYE.
The eyeliner I'm holding is On Your Mark Liquid Eye Liner in Brown by Flower, Drew Barrymore's adorable makeup line.
Before trying it, I was definitely like, "Psh, what's the point of brown liquid liner?" I want my liquid liner to be either black or a non-neutral color, like mint green, so it's unignorable, which isn't a word but should be. But brown liquid liner--specifically this one from Flower--allows you to create the flattering effect of a cat eye without the whole "statement" feeling.
On Your Mark is a fine-point felt tip pen, so you can use the very tippy-tip for details and the side for a thicker, faster application.
As you can see, it doesn't go on completely opaque after one pass. That's a key reason why this look is so subtle, plus it's also great for controlling and building the color.
Here's what I looked like before, wearing lipstick, blush, under-eye concealer, a taupe eyeshadow, and mascara (which I'd normally apply after eyeliner, but whatever).
To apply the liner along my lash line, I used the side of the pen, followed by the point in order to even it out and fill in any spots that needed more color.
This is what it looks like pre-wing:
To do the wing, I used the point to make a slight curve from the corner of my eye. I then extended the thickest part of the liner to meet end of the curve, and filled in the small space that was created.
Let's see my whole face, shall we?
Instead of being the focal point of my makeup, it's part of this balanced breakfast... er... makeup look.
What do you think? Do you think it works as a more daytime-friendly/gateway-wing option?