3 Eyeliner Looks For The Cat-Eye Challenged

Or the cat-eye fatigued.
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Or the cat-eye fatigued.

Cat-eyes, flicks, wings, tails…whatever you want to call eyeliner that extends past the outside corner of your eye, the look is having A MOMENT. 

I can’t remember the last time I saw an eye makeup tutorial that didn’t include some kind of winged liner. I’m not knocking the look, it’s super cute and it looks great on just about everyone, but, personally, it’s not for me.

If you feel the same way or are having trouble mastering the perfect flick, here are some eyeliner looks to play with.

The Everyday

Winged liner has become fairly ubiquitous as a lot of people’s everyday liner, but this is my everyday look. It’s more about definition than a visible line, and I set it with black shadow to make it last all day.

black eye shadow and liner brushes

Here are all the things I use to make eyeliner that’s supposed to be invisible.

Use a smudge-proof eyeliner to tightline your lower lash line and the outer two-thirds of your upper lash line. I’m pretty into this Anastasia Beverly Hills Covet Waterproof Eyeliner in black, or dark brown if you’re super fair. 

tightlined lower lash line

Use the same liner to create the thinnest line possible along your upper lashes. Basically, if you think of the bottom edge of your eyelid as a 90 degree angle, you’re applying the liner to apex of this angle.

eyeliner applied on upper lash line

Next, use an angled brush to tap a matte shadow in the same color as your liner along the lines you’ve created to set the liner. I’m using Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Matte Finish in black. It’s basically the same concept as setting foundation with powder--longevity is the name of the game.

everyday eyeliner look

Why yes, my eyes are naturally rimmed with a black line!

Smudge City

My favorite way to do a smudgy liner is on top of a metallic base so it really pops. Because of my strong commitment to all things luxurious and opulent, I of course chose gold.

eye shadows and liner burshes

The road to pure luxury.

Use your pointer finger to tap your metallic cream shadow onto your lower lid. I’m using Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in Golden Copper, but I’ve also done this with the Maybelline Color Tattoos that Sable wrote about and it looked great. Next, use a clean middle finger to blend the shadow out so it fades into your crease.

gold eyeshadow applied on eyelids

This time you want a decidedly non smudge-proof black eyeliner. I’m pretty ride or die for the Lancome Le Crayon Khol in Black Ebony, so I see no reason to try something else. Use your pencil to aggressively line your entire eye: upper and lower lid, waterline, and outside of the lashes. Don’t worry about making it pretty, you’re gonna smudge it out in a sec.

black eyeliner applied

Now you’re gonna take a smudging brush (or a Q-tip) and load it up with more matte black shadow. Rub the brush along your messy liner to smudge up the line. You’re basically making the same motion you’d make with an eraser on the end of a pencil (remember those?). Next you want to go back in with a gel or cake liner and an angle brush to add some definition to the eye, as you’ll have lost most of it in the smudging process. I’m using the Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner in Black Ebony.

smudged eyeliner look

Sparkle Neely, sparkle!

Colorful Eyeliner

This is one of my go-to looks for maximum impact with minimal effort (a staple of any tomboy’s makeup arsenal). There are basically no rules when it comes to one's appearance on a film set so I’ve definitely been known to sport this look at work, but if your job isn’t electric blue eyeliner friendly, I recommend trying it with a dark green or plum.

blue eyeliner and liner brush

For reals, I wear this eyeliner to work.

Use your smudge-proof black liner to tightline your lower lid and the outer two-thirds of your upper lid. Use the same pencil to create a thin line along the upper lashes on the inner two-thirds of the eye.

liner applied on upper lash line

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil is the best colored eyeliner I’ve ever used. The colors are super pigmented and boy howdy do they stay put! I’m using Deep End, which is a delightful shimmery electric turquoise color. Use your colored pencil to line the outer one-third of the upper lid. Basically you’re finishing the line you started with the black pencil. Then line just outside the lower lash line all the way across the bottom lid, connecting the upper and lower lines at the corner of the eye.

blue eyeliner applied

Use your angle brush to blend the black liner on the inner two-thirds of the upper lid into the colored liner on the outer one-third. You don’t want to drag the black liner all the way over the colored liner or else it’ll get muted and muddy. You just want to create a bit of a gradient effect.

blue eyeliner look

Subtle, right?

So am I alone in my lack of love for the cat-eye, or are there other likeminded souls out there? Anybody got any other wing-less looks for me to try?