cat eye liner

Me-ow. A strong or subtle cat eye is our favorite look for a night out – but getting it right is no easy feat. As simple and straightforward as it may seem, we end up balancing out mismatched lines and clearing up renegade smudges to no end. Not exactly our idea of a fun evening activity.

Celebrity green makeup artist, Katey Denno is coming to our rescue once again (her sheer smokey eye lesson is a game changer) with this step-by-step on how to master the cat eye look in a flash. Katey demonstrated a thicker version (great for adding a air of drama) on the beautiful Neighbors 2 actress, Beanie Feldstein, but these tips can be applied to any cat eye endeavor. Get the A to Z below…

I have great news: There’s no one way to do a cat eye. As a makeup artist, I know very well that the shape and angle of liner and wing needs to be altered to best flatter each unique pair of eyes. I encourage you to play around with the thickness of the line you draw, the precision vs. smudginess of it and how far you extend the tail. When it comes to the cat eye liner look, the only rule I ever follow is to make sure that there is no naked (unlined) skin visible between the liner and the lashes.

It’s also important to remember that your eyes may appear symmetrical every morning when you look in the mirror, but the minute you start experimenting with a cat eye liner, you’ll realize that the shape of your lids, and even the shape of your your eye balls differs – sometimes a lot! This is completely normal and just means that you’ll want to ensure that you only push the thickness and length of tail as far as both eyes can handle.

How To Master the Cat eye Look:

Sweep, blend, smudge: I begin by sweeping Magnetic from Kjaer Weis – a medium taupe shadow – along her crease and blending up and out. It’s 100% okay to skip this step, but I like the extra depth it adds to the overall look. For a little extra dimension, I like to swipe Magnetic underneath the lower lashes, followed by the lightest pressing of a soft shimmery gold – Leone, from Alima Pure – into the very center of her lash line, beneath her iris, and thoroughly blend and smudge it so there are no hard edges whatsoever.

Connect the dots: Using a freshly sharpened black liner from w3ll people, I begin drawing the line as close to the lashes as possible, starting along the outer corner. I dot the sharp liner tip along her lashes, following the lash line in to the inner corner. I stand back and assess the shape, evaluating just how thick I want to draw it, and then connect the dots to form a solid line. Using my finger, I drag the liner on her skin slightly up and out. There is no equation to determine your perfect angle. It’s about trial and error, and trial and voila! Once I’ve smudged the liner into a shape I like, I take the pencil and darken and thicken the smudge, and drag the tail into a sharp tip.

Press, curl, coat: Using a black eyeshadow from Jane Iredale, I use a flat liner brush and press the liner into her lash line and along the entirety of the liner for a deeper black payoff. I finish the look by curling her lashes at the root and adding a few coats of very black mascara.

When the time comes time to take off that cat eye, I like to start by using a makeup wipe – my current favorite being an unscented, moisturizing cloth from Biossance – and remove as much as I possibly can by gently sweeping the wipe along my lids. I follow up with a face wash that I can safely use around my eyes – either an oil-based wash, also from Biossance, or a foaming gentle gel cleanser from Epicuren.

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