10 Cat Eye Tips to Easily Add Impact To Your Look (Featuring the MAC Star Trek Collection)

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

mac star trek

Wearing products from the new MAC Star Trek collection: MAC Pressed Pigment in To Boldly Go on my Lids, MAC Lipstick in LLAP on my lips, Trip the Light Fantastic Powder in Highly Illogical on my cheeks and Nocturnal Liquid Liner to accent my cat eye flicks

Cat eyes.

Seems like they should be easy, right?

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Like, how hard can it be to draw a line along your upper lash line with a little flick at the end?

Um…yeah. I wish I was that girl — the one who can effortlessly draw flawless cat eye flicks in a single swoop, but that’s sooo not me.

mac star trek packaging

The MAC Star Trek collection is Starfleet approved

Still, I have figured out a few secret space squirrel tricks over the light years that really do help with your cat eye flicks, and here are 10 of them. I’m using a bunch of products, by the way, from the new 25-piece MAC Star Trek collection, because, as you know, I’m a sci-fi nerd. 🙂 The collection arrives this September.

“Star Trek is an iconic pop culture phenomena whose storylines pushed gender and racial boundaries. For its 50th anniversary, we celebrate each of Star Trek’s powerful women in a transcending, transformational makeup collection.”

— MAC Senior Vice President/Group Creative Director James Gager

1. For big, bright eyes, line just a portion of your upper lash line

Nowadays when doing cat eyes, rather than lining my entire lash line, which I think makes my eyes look smaller, I like to start lining from about a centimer in from the side closest to my nose. So I’m lining about three fourths of the entire length of the lash line, and then drawing the cat eye flick out at the end.

There’s just something about lining the entire lash line that makes the eye look a little smaller, so this way keeps the inner quarter of the lash line unlined.

three-fourths

2. Use different liner formulas together in layers

I’m a big fan of layering different liners together and sketching out the shape of my cat eye before committing to it.

I like to draw the basic shape of my cat eye with a pencil liner first, because they’re easiest to control, and if I make a mistake, pencil formulas are usually easy to correct.

First, I tightline my upper lash lines with the pencil. Then I draw a thin line along the upper lash line and build up the product a bit toward the outer end of the line out to where the flick will begin.

pencil-outline

Next, using an angled brush (because the angle fits the curve of the lid, and I think they’re easier to use than a pencil brush for this) to create the basic shape of my flick and set the angle, I drag the product out that I built up with the pencil in the outer side of my upper lash line in the previous step.

liquid-liner

Then I layer a liquid liner on top of the pencil liner to intensify it.

trace-with-angled-brush

After that, if there are any jagged areas along the edge of the line that need to be smoothed, I load my same angled brush with a gel liner (or a black eyeshadow, and then I spritz the brush with setting spray) and run it along the edge of the liner line, including the flick, to smooth the line.

3. Get thee a NARS 47

The holy grail of angled brushes, I swear! I can’t do a cat eye look without the NARS 47 brush.

It has stiff bristles, but it isn’t scratchy, and it draws perfect, precise lines that aren’t too thick or thin. I absolutely swear by the NARS 47 for cat eyes.

4. Try different line widths with your liner to find what works for you

There are all kinds of cat eyes, like dainty kitten eyes with thin lines and tiny flicks, or full-blown, dramatic cat eyes with thick lines, but you have to find what works best for you. Some people suggest always doing thick lines, but try a cat eye with a skinny line one day and a fatty-bo-batty thick line the next. Play with them, and you’ll figure out the most flattering shape for your eye.

I think thinner lines work best for me. I don’t have a ton of lid space on my eyes, so when I draw very thick liner lines, especially when I use black liner (because it’s so stark), it makes my eyes look smaller. The thinner I can get that liner along my upper lash line, the bigger my eyes seem, and I’m all about getting those BIG, bright eyes!

MAC Star Trek Collection

5. You don’t have to start your flick at the very end of your lash line

Have you ever noticed how some gals (and guys) line their upper lash line all the way to very outer corner? I tried it a few times, but it always made my eyes look sleepy.

With the shape of my eyes, it doesn’t work for me because my upper lash line curves down slightly below my lower lash line, so if I line all the way to the end, my eye looks a bit droopy.

I like to stop my liner line, and start my flick going up and out, a tad before it reaches end of my natural lash line because I think it gives a little lift to my cat eye look.

6. Play with the angles of your flick

One rule I’ve read time and time again for getting a purr-fect angle for your cat eye flicks is to visualize an invisible line that extends in the same direction up and out from the outer corner of your lower lash line, extending at the same natural curve.

I think that works for a lot of people, but it doesn’t work for everyone, and I know it definitely doesn’t work for me. It never looks quite right when I do it.

If you’re the same way, try varying the angle of your flick. I flatten mine out so they aren’t as steep (I lower the angle), which elongates my eyes and makes them look more feline, MRRROW!

The point here is to play. Experiment with different angles.

mac star trek

Lipglass in Khaaannnn!

7. Don’t forget to also clean up the tops of your flicks (not just the bottoms)

Speaking of flicks, if you’re playing with your flick and you don’t like where it’s going — like if it seems too long or too curved or too steep or isn’t steep enough — you can clean it up with a pointy Q-tip soaked in makeup remover. Don’t forget to fix both the top and the bottom of the flick, because some people suggest just fixing them from the bottom.

You’ll often see people clean up their flicks from the bottom to fix a wonky angle, but sometimes the top of the flick can look wonky, too. Sometimes mine turn out too thick or curved.

Yeah, when I started also correcting the tops of my flicks, it was a whole new world for me!

Oh! — you can also use a soaked pointy Q-tip to thin out your upper lash line liner if you accidentally make it too thick.

8. Liner first, eyeshadow second

Most of the time when I rock cat eyes I’ll do my liner before my eyeshadow because then I can use the liner as a guide to help me place my shadow exactly where I want it. And if some of your eyeshadow ends up on your liner, just re-trace your liner to darken it.

When I apply my eyeshadow before my liner, I usually discover that I didn’t take the shadow out far enough or high enough, and I have to do a lot more adjusting.

9. Sometimes, skip lining your upper lash line entirely and just tightline and add a flick instead

Cat eyeliner can be tricky if you have hooded lids. With hooded eyes, you don’t have a lot of lid space to work with, and your line can seem to just disappear up into your hood.

Try tightlining your upper lash line with black liner, instead of lining your upper lash line with it — much like you’d see in a regular cat eye, but without using any lid space. Then add your flick at the outer corner.

10. Liven up your cat eye look with a metallic liner

metallic-liner

Black cat eyes are timeless, but sometimes I like to switch things up, so I’ll incorporate a metallic liner along with my black liner.

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Sometimes I’ll draw a line of metallic liner just along my lower lash line, or I’ll trace along the edge of the flick, or sometimes along my upper lash line. If you’re feeling extra frisky, you can even draw stars or hearts or dots.

mac star trek

mac star trek highly illogical

MAC Star Trek Trip the Light Fantastic Powder in Highly Illogical

mac star trek warp speed ahead khan

MAC Lipglasses in Warp Speed (left) and Khaaannnn! (right)

mac star trek llap enemy within

MAC Star Trek Frost Lipstick in LLAP (left) and The Enemy Within (right)

mac star trek midnight

MAC Star Trek Pressed Pigment in Midnight

mac star trek to boldly go

MAC Star Trek Pressed Pigment in To Boldly Go

mac star trek enterprise

MAC Star Trek Studio Nail Lacquer in Enterprise

mac star trek boxes

MAC Star Trek packaging

mac star trek highly illogical swatch

Highly Illogical Trip The Light Fantastic Powder

mac star trek midnight boldly go swatch

Midnight and To Boldly Go Pressed Pigments

mac star trek khan warp speed ahead swatch

Khaaannnn! and The Enemy Within Lipglasses

mac star trek llap enemy within swatches

LLAP and The Enemy Within Lipsticks

mac star trek nocturnal swatch

Nocturnal

When was the last time you rocked a cat eye? They never go out of style.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

36 Comments

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  1. Lulle says:

    I love your look Karen, so pretty, you’re ready to board the Enterprise!
    Great tips by the way, I’ll definitely try to use gel liner to smooth out the line made with a liquid liner. My lids are a bit textured and many liners don’t create a sharp line on me.
    I went to the Comic Con MAC Star Trek event this weekend, and I got the same Trip the Light Fantastic Powder you’re wearing here, as well as the Khaaannnn! lipglass – plus a few other things.
    Lulle recently posted … Inside the MAC Star Trek Experience at San Diego Comic Con

  2. I just recently got the NARS 47 brush and I love it! I actually haven’t used it with gel liner yet, but with shadows it’s been great.
    Carolina Braina recently posted … Rambling Reflections: Kindle, Beyoncé, #BeWhoYouAre, and a GIVEAWAY

  3. savannah says:

    Ha ha, thanks for pointing out the obvious for me. I couldn’t seem to place why I preferred my gel lines thinner than thick but that would explain why. Lining my upper lash line with black track literally changed my make up world, but it took me forever to get a technique that worked for me (ie. that I could actually do). Eyeliner flicks are a no no for me (shaky hands) but I’m definitely going to give your first tip a try. Lately, I’ve been loving lighter eye looks, and this is strange for me, wearing shimmers in the crease with a bit of matte. I stopped wearing shimmery eye shadows in my creases like five years ago, and simply stuck with mattes. This is what I love about makeup, you can just change it up whenever you want, and there’s always something new to learn or try, whether it’s product or technique. Love your look Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Savannah,

      Have you tried using tape to map out your wings? It’s an extra step but if you’ve got shaky hands it makes it so much easier. I like using surgical tape, which you can find in the drugstore (usually near the bandages).

  4. Those wiiiiiiiiings! <3 Looking really fierce, Karen. Definitely a Star Trek fan here.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Back for Beauty Seconds with Clinique, Kneipp and Paula’s Choice

  5. Eesha says:

    I love cat eyes and last week I wore to the office 🙈
    You r glowing Karen and your skin looks so good 👌
    Eesha recently posted … Current obsession | Orange/ Warm Orangey Red Lipsticks

  6. Um, today. But only a kitten flick. I wear a cat eye almost every single day, but even with all the practice I haven’t become THAT girl (yet).
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser – Here, there, everywhere

  7. Icequeen81.ma says:

    cool ,you are treky I used to watch the eps. Love the makeup and also the hair looks very classy and chic combines perfectly with the clothing

  8. Agata says:

    These tips are really great. I am going to try lining just the portion of my lashline. And I definitely need that Nars brush, I have been struggling to find an eyeliner brush that I’d be happy with!

    Your look is amazing!
    Agata recently posted … All Vices Should Be That Pretty- Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Review

  9. Jessica says:

    Liner first you say?
    Ok I’ll try it tomorrow.
    Jessica recently posted … Mad! Super Color

  10. Indya says:

    I love this post! You look like you belong on the Enterprise! Those metallic shadows are really pretty!
    Indya recently posted … Sephora Wonderful Cushion Matte Lip Cream | Totally Underrated!

  11. Chelsea says:

    I wore a cat eye yesterday, but am liner free today.

    Love this, including all the Star Trek. One of my girlfriends is working on a Star Trek burlesque routine that I’m super excited to see.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      How cool! I hope your friend rocks a cat eye when she does her Star Trek routine. 🙂

      Didja use your Clinique liquid liner for your cat eye? I’ve been using it steadily for the last three months and I’m really loving it.

      • Chelsea says:

        I used a pencil yesterday, but the Clinique liner is so easy to use. I need a new one, thanks for the reminder!

        • Karen says:

          You’re welcome. 🙂 I’ve got to get a new one, too. Need to put it on the list for my next Sephora visit.

          • Chelsea says:

            I just added it to my Ulta order online! 5x points! I needed conditioner (liters are on sale) and I wanted a few of their online only items anyway.

  12. Erin says:

    Loving your Zoe Saldana vibe!
    Erin recently posted … Play! by Sephora July 2016

  13. Mimi says:

    I’ve just started rocking (or attempting to) rock a cat eye myself. I’m getting better slowly. Haha. I have fairly small eyes and don’t start from the inner corner either. It always looked better that way and now I know why! Haha. Should try the other tips too.

    Mimi | According to Mimi
    Mimi recently posted … Review: Pei Wei

  14. Rachel R. says:

    Great tips! I love your silver accent liner. Today I’m wearing a bright purple cat eye with matching lashes. I love cat eyes because they give my face a lift.

  15. Allison C says:

    Absolutely, positively excellent post! Thanks for these tips. My eyes are downturned too so I try to start my flick before reaching the end but I forget sometimes.
    Allison C recently posted … Judith August Cosmetics Solutions Orange Masking Creme

  16. Iris says:

    Love this look.

    I’m totally sharing this post. One of my friends is a fan of both makeup and Star Trek. I think she’ll love this collection.

  17. jonirae says:

    are those powders intended to be blushers? or more like noncommittal “beauty powders”?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jonirae,

      I think they’re more like noncommittal beauty powders. I’ve heard that you can wear them all over your face (!) but I’m into that, since this powder does have a good amount of pearl.

  18. aradhana gupta says:

    i love the look you did in this post!

    where did you get your star trek outfit btw?

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