How To: Perfect Cat's Eye Makeup

Sunday 29 July 2012

I had a realisation the other week when scanning the web for new make-up tips- I have down turned eyes. I haven't ever given it much thought before, but that and my dark, saggy under-eye area perfectly explain my obsession with winged liner and shadow, brow highlighting, and generally trying to make my eyes point a little more heavenwards.

So, I read up on creating the ultimate cats eye makeup, a la Angelina Jolie. I wore this look out to my works leaving do and really enjoyed the effect. I hope this helps you too if you have the same issues, or just enjoy the feline look ;)

Products I Used:

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Benefit High Brow
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette shades in 'Booty Call', 'Pistol' and 'Blackout'
  • Revlon ColourStay Quad in 'Sultry Smoke'
  • Benefit Bad Gal Pencil Liner and Waterproof Pen
  • Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in 'Zero'
  • Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Gel Liner
  • L'Oreal Lash Architect 4D mascara 'Carbon Black'
  • Active Glamour Lashes 'Attraction'
Phew. That's a lot of product for a 'no-colour' eye! But this look is just so brilliant because it's super-sexy, but not too overdone or heavy. This means it goes just as well with a bright lip as it does a neutral gloss, so you can play the rest of your look whichever way you like.

Step i) Lightly dot on and blend in an eye primer- this is an essential step, because this look is all about creating a shape to the eyes, and that won't work if your eyeliner goes all smudgy.

Step ii) Next, scribble on and blend in some of Benefit's High Brow pencil all across the lid and under the brows. This will lighten up the eye area and make it look more radiant. The line of the pencil under your brows has a great lifting effect as well.

Step iii) Then, using a fluff shadow brush, buff a matte, skin-tone shade (I used the shade 'Booty Call' from the Naked 2 palette) across your lids and up onto the brow bone. The point of this step is to make the eyelid skin look naturally perfect, like you don't have eyeshadow on. But as most people's lids are a bit discoloured and shiny, this works as a cheat!

Step iv) The next step- and the biggest- is all the liner and getting the shape nice and tight. For this step, I find it useful to use a few different eyeliner products. Start off by tightlining your upper eyelid rims. This helps to make your lashes look more lush and draw the focus upwards to counteract your down-tilted eye shape. To do this, use a finger to gently push your upper eyelid until it raises slightly and you can see the inner rim. Then use the softest, creamiest black eye pencil you can find (I used Benefit's Bad Gal pencil) to shade in the outer corners of this inside rim. This takes time and practice to do without violently blinking every two seconds, but it's worth it!

Step v) Now for the liner on the upper lids. You want to start off at the inner corners of your eye with quite a thin, precise line, and then fatten it up dramatically on the outer corners. Then, finish the whole thing off with an upwards flick towards your temples. The easiest way I've found of doing this, is to create the complete 'thin' line first, then just go over the line a few times on the outer edges to thicken it up. Here the multiple eyeliners come in handy!

I used the Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof Pen, which is so easy to draw precise, thin lines with, to do my initial line. Then, to fatten up the outer edges, I used Urban Decay Ink for Eyes. This is a gorgeous cream liner, but the best part about it is the amazing brush they include, which is slanted and perfect for creating a winged liner look. To make the 'flick', and balance out my downwards eyes, trace a line diagonally upwards towards your temples from the outer corner of your bottom lids, as if they continued upwards. This makes sure you get a good angle and an 'eye lift' effect.

I then went over the liner with a black powder shadow ('Blackout' from the Naked 2 palette) to set the liner. With a pointed blending brush, I softened and smoked out the shadow upwards onto the lid, so it blended well into the neutral shade and gave a softer effect.

Finally, on the inner corners, and under my bottom lashes, I added a slick of Collection 2000 Glam Crystal Gel Liner (a product I love). Its a black gel with silver glitters in that adds a bit of extra impact for night time.

Step vi) AFTER all the liner is in place- and this is important, because overdoing the shadow will kill this look stone cold dead- I went back in with a pointed brush and blended some of the grey shade from Revlon's ColourStay Quad in 'Sultry Smoke' into the very outer v of my lids. This helps to subtly enhance the cat's eye shape. But don't overdo it!

Step vii) Now you want to place some colour under the eye, or it won't look finished. However, it can't be too dark or it will visually drag the eye down and lose the uplifted effect we're trying for. A brilliant colour to use is a mid-tone, silvery grey, such as 'Pistol' from the Naked 2 palette. This is dark enough to show up, but still lets the eye look lifted. With a liner brush, take a thin line of this colour along the bottom lash line, but miss out the inner corners, as 'closing' the line all the way around the eyes can have the effect of making them look smaller- definitely not what we want!

Step viii) Curl the heck out of your lashes. Seriously, you cannot over-curl with downwards tilting eyes. Curl as if your life depended on it. Then curl some more! Add two coats of a thickening black mascara onto your upper lashes ONLY. I used L'Oreal's Lash Architect 4d Carbon Black for a glossy finish. Then, I added some flared strip lashes to really get an uplifted effect. But, because you want to emphasise the outer corners of your eyes, get your nail scissors out and chop off about one-third of the strip lashes from the inner corners (never the outer edge), so you have a shorter strip. Not only does this blend better with your real lashes and look much more natural than wearing a full strip, but concentrating the drama on the outer corners gives a much more feline look to the eyes. Align the outer edges of the strip lashes with your eye and carefully glue into place.

 Step ix)And finally, dot a highlighter along the brow bone and into the inner corners of your eyes to open them up and give them a real wow factor.

And there we have it- cat's eye makeup that will give your look a real lift!

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