The Upside-Down Cat Eye: A Lower-Lid Version Of The Classic Look

I used to do this when I was a teen and hadn't figured out how to do a top-lid cat eye. Nowadays, I still like revisiting it for when I want the familiarity of a cat eye, but with a slightly moodier vibe.
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Publish date:
October 8, 2013
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eyeliners, How-To, mascaras, cat eyes, tony moly, kohl

I know, I know, I know. Your cup runneth over with cat-eye tutorials. But don’t swipe at me just yet, because I’m about to turn that cat-eye belly up.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have anything against the establishment of The Cat Eye. The look just about transcends any kind of persona, from alt punk to uptight socialite. Learning how to do the perfect cat eye on myself was like entering womanhood the way no Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera or Sweet 16 ever could. And considering I spent my adolescence with no such grand fiesta as a marker for my ladyhood, I chose the time my mom finally “let me” wear makeup outside as this marker.

In my fiendish adolescent cosmetic craze, I created something I can only call the upside-down cat eye in response to not being able to do it on my top lids just yet. (Could have something to do with my minor dyslexia, but don’t cry for me, Argentina--I totally can now). Nowadays, I still like revisiting those training wheels as a look for when I still want the cool familiarity of a cat-eye but in a slightly moodier--dare I say--“goth” version.

The best part is that it’s insanely simple. I almost don’t even have to tell you how to do it. I just have to tell you it exists and you can Nancy Drew it all over your face. But I will. Because I want you to do the things I say. It makes me feel purposeful.

Things you will need:

  • Eyeliner. Whatever color of your choosing (choose black; it’s cool).
  • Mascara
  • Eyes (essential)

I’m going to use two different eyeliners because I’m a diva, but you probably only need one.

First, I lined my bottom lid's water line, and the outer half of my upper lid’s water line. I’m using Stila’s Convertible Eye Color.

Then I took a flat, angular brush, dampened it, and dipped it in this kohl powder from Guerlain because--did I mention?--I’m a fancy diva. Seriously, this product has the best-looking and worst-functioning packaging.

The actual product is this amazing, smoky and subtly shimmery, dark, dense powder inside what appears to be a precious vial from The Temple of Doom. But then you twist open the top and there’s just this weird plastic stick inside that you’re somehow supposed to use to get at the powder. Some comes up on the stick but you can’t use it to apply directly onto your face or else the powder falls on your cheeks and suddenly you look like a chimney sweep.

For this, I wiped some of the kohl on the back of my hand using the stick, and then used my damp eyeliner brush to make it into a much-easier-to-apply liquid.

So you line your lower lash line and extend it slightly further and downward from your outer corner. I use the remaining stuff on the brush to sort of fill in and connect the upper and lower lids in that corner, the same way you might if you were cat-eyeing your upper lid.

When you’re satisfied with the shape and swoop, as it were, you can top your upper lashes with mascara. I’d shy away from mascara-ing your bottom lashes as well, since it will diminish the graphic look of your eyeliner with the baby fuzzes hanging out over it.

By the way, I’m using a very look-appropriate mascara, Tony Moly’s Cats Wink. I’m a sucker for cute packaging (see that whole paragraph about Guerlain’s stupid-sexy kohl powder), and this one delivers! The consistency is really silky and it’s super-lengthening (something many Asian girls like myself crave). Also, it barely smudges, and, I mean, it’s mascara in a cat tube. The End.

I didn’t put on blush and just used a self-made tinted lip balm to complete this look. Now put on a stripey top and do a frug!

Epilogue: This might sound a bit over the top, but every time I have graphic eye makeup on (more than the usual brown shadow liner and mascara that I usually wear every day) it kind of makes me wish I had bangs to bring attention to my eyes. If you are nodding your head in agreement, decent-looking clip-in bangs are only $5 away on eBay!