Add More Meow Right Now to Your Cat Eyeliner Looks
Cat eyeliner. All day. Every day.
That’s one of my favorite makeup mottos, and not just because I’m a certified crazy cat lady (I even have a card).
I simply love the look. It’s a makeup classic! — bold enough to make a statement, and you can pretty much wear it with anything. Dressed up or down, you really can’t go wrong. A little cat eyeliner, also known as winged eyeliner, along my upper lash lines, and I’m a happy cosmetics camper.
To that end, here are five tried-and-true tricks to get a crisp, defined cat-eye look with gel or liquid liner.
One of the quickest, easiest ways I know to get a perfect wing is to cheat. With tape.
Yup, tape. Some people use regular Scotch brand, but I prefer medical tape, which you can usually find at the drugstore in that aisle with the bandages, because it sticks well but still comes off easily. I’ve been using $3 3M Nexcare Gentle Paper Tape.
Start with a one-inch-long piece (give or take), and stick it on the back of your hand; then pull it off. Do that a couple times to weaken the adhesive.
Next, place it at the outer corner of your eye at an angle, and do the opposite (but same) thing on your other eye.
Then, using the edge of the tape as a guide, draw your wing, and when your liner is dry, remove the tape.
Tada! A perfectly crisp wing.
2. It takes two to make a thing go right
Two brushes, that is. And there are probably hundreds of good ones out there for cat eyeliner looks, but I like to couple an angled brush with a pointed bent liner brush.
NARS brush on the left and Laura Mercier brush on the right
To draw the wings, I used the NARS brush first, loading it with gel liner and drawing along the angled edge of the tape.
(No, seriously, that’s it. It really is that easy.)
Then, I took Laura’s pointed eyeliner brush and drew a line from the tip of the wing on that side to the inner corner of my eye.
After that, still using Laura’s brush, I filled in the area on my lids to complete the look.
3. Clean it up
With cat liner, I think it really helps to start with clean brushes, because brushes with leftover bits of dried product on them from previous makeup escapades don’t glide along the skin. They scoot.
But if you don’t have time to rigorously clean your brushes, you can clean the heads fairly well with a Wet Ones wipe before blotting it with a dry paper towel.
Voila! You’re good to go.
4. Out with the excess
This is one of those little things that can make a HUGE difference.
When you’re working with gel liner, try to remove as much excess liner from the brush as possible before starting your look. After loading the brush, I’ll usually swipe the bristles back and forth on the back of my hand or on the inside of the cap that comes with the jar.
Unloading the excess product will make your lines that much better defined.
5. Make a fresh pot
I have definitely noticed that it’s always easier to get crisp lines with a fresh pot of gel liner. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it has to do with the freshness of the formula. Being new, it hasn’t started to dry yet.
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a new pot of liner, though. Just head to the drugstore, where there are lots of great options, like Maybelline’s $9.99 Eye Studio Liners and Essence’s $4 Gel Liner. Both are super affordable and stay put all day long.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,