It's gonna get sappy up in here.
What is it about the cat eye that instills a little bit of fear in us all?
Could it be that it reminds us of that one evil cat we all knew in childhood? The one who scratched or bit you without warning, for no discernible reason, and you’re still not over it?
It could be, but that’s a little too complicated for our purposes.
It likely has more to do with the fact that going at your face with a black substance that could, at best, look good but out of place in many situations, and at worst, leave you looking like an angry five-year-old came at you with a Sharpie.
How does one win when the stakes are so high?
That’s where I come in! I’m here to tell you that your fears are valid. That maybe you shouldn’t try a cat eye for the first time when you have to be out the door in 20 minutes. That maybe a full-out smoky cat eye doesn’t have a place in a job interview or on HD television.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid the cat eye because it’s risky and uncertain. Isn’t taking a chance on the risky and uncertain what life is all about? In fact, half of rocking a cat eye is the confidence you’ve gotta bring with it.
So here, I’m showing you my four favorite cat-eye styles. If you’re worried about what makeup to pair them with or what clothing to wear or how to act while you wear these fun, bold, and risky makeup looks, never fear. I have all that covered as well.
The Classic Cat Eye
This is probably my favorite cat-eye look, as it's a simple, versatile, sexy look. This is my go-to look for any dress-up occasion, like weddings or work galas or Friday nights in the apartment alone eating fancy cheese with boxed wine.
How to do it:
On the side of each eye, draw a small dot with liquid eyeliner where you want the cat eye to extend to. This is important to make sure that your cat eyes don’t end up lopsided or uneven.
Next, line your eye as you normally would, and then extend off your eye to your dot with a slight curve.
Then, fill in the cat eye so that it doesn’t just extend off your eye but also meets your bottom outer corner, too.
Remember: Start THIN. You can always thicken it up as you go. Clean up any smudges with a Q-tip and makeup remover.
The Bold Cat Eye
This is a bold, adventurous, and sexy gothic-Daria sort of look. All that darkness on the lid makes your eye color pop, too, so pretty much anyone you talk to will be put into a trance by your glorious eyeballs. I like to pair it with a loose-fitting outfit, to contrast the intensity of the makeup.
How to do it:
This is similar to the classic cat eye, except BIGGER!
Using whatever liner type you are comfortable with (I prefer liquid, as it gives the cleanest lines), draw the outline of the cat eye. I suggest that the tip of the cat eye come just shy of the imaginary point on your face where your eyebrow and the cat eye would meet up. The top outline should meet up with your crease and then go down to your inner corner.
After the outline is complete, simply fill it in totally black with your liner.
The Under-Eye Cat Eye
This is a fun -- dare I say unique? -- cat-eye look, an alternative to the traditional top-lid look. Perhaps you aren’t a fan of top-heavy makeup looks, or you’re just looking for something different. This is the look for you.
How to do it:
Give your top lid a heavy dose of something shimmery.
Then, using a pencil liner, fill in your bottom water line, and thicken the line under your bottom lash line.
Then, switching it over to liquid liner, slightly extend the line upward of your outer corner, and extend the line slightly downward of your inner corner.
The Smoky Cat Eye
By far the moodiest of the cat eyes, and another favorite of mine, this gradient-style smoky shadow with a cat eye offers more opportunity for dimension than the other styles.
How to do it:
Start with your shadow. A gradient smoky eye is a lot easier than it seems: just start with your lightest shadow on your inner corner, a middle-range shade in the center, and your darkest shade on your outer corner and outer crease. I went with a shimmer white, shimmer silver/gray and a black shadow for this look.
Once you apply and blend your shadow, apply your eyeliner. For this look, I did a thin black line on the upper lash line, and extended the cat eye from the black shadow of my smoky eye (using liquid black eyeliner to create a point).
Rather than filling the cat eye outline in with liner, grab your black eyeshadow to blend into the outline you create for the cat eye.
What's your favorite take on the cat eye? Show me in the comments!