Going bold with your eye makeup by getting back to basics can be a lot of fun. Believe it or not, dramatic looks like this blue cat eye starring NARS Outremer Eyeshadow ($23), my new favorite blue, don’t necessarily need to involve boatloads of products.
This particular cat eye packs an edgy wallop, thanks in large part to Outremer, and only requires a single shadow, a few tools, a positive attitude and a good chunk of time (for me, from 20-30 minutes). I went with bold, blue Outremer here, but you could just as easily use another color you happen to have on hand, like a yellow, orange, pink or green. If you decide to try your hand at a bold look featuring a different eyeshadow single, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Now, I hope you’re ready. Here are the steps I followed this time around…
1. Brushes with greatness
Brushes used, from the left: the MAC 266 Small Angle Brush, MAC 219 Pencil Brush, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush and the MAC 217 Blending Brush
First things first, I cleared a space to work in at the bathroom counter and gathered the following eye makeup brushes, each of which serves a different purpose in the look.
- A Small-Angle Brush — A great multipurpose brush. I use them for everything from lining my lash and water lines to filling in my brows. In this case I used the MAC 266 ($19.50) to outline the initial shape of the cat eye and to line my water line.
- A Domed Blending Brush — Another awesome multitasking brush. Great for applying powder or cream eyeshadows, blending and for applying concealer. I like the MAC 217 ($17.50) and used it here to apply color to my lids and in the crease. I also used it to blur out the edges of lines and the overall shape of the cat eye.
- An Eye Shader Brush — A solid performer when it comes to applying dense amounts of eyeshadow, and it excels with loose powders and pigments. I used it here (the $24.50 MAC 239) to apply color on my lids and along my lower lash line.
- A Pencil Brush — Great for detailed work. Here I used the pointy tip on the mighty MAC 219 ($24.50) to add dense, concentrated color on my lids and lash lines.
2. Prepare to prime
Next, I prepared my lids for the look by applying a primer. I like the results I get from with NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eye Shadow Base ($24). I think it really accentuates colors while extending wear time and preventing creases.
3. Work from an outline
Using the small-angle brush, I drew a faint outline of the cat eye shape on my lids, and down along my lower lash line. Since I didn’t want the line appearing in the final look, I tried to keep it as light as possible.
4. Fill ‘er up
Then, with the domed blending brush, I filled in the outline by patting color onto the lids and sweeping it into the crease. I aimed to put the darkest color along the lash line, and then faded it up as it moved into the crease.
With the eye shader brush, I further darkened my lower lash line with color, and then blurred out the edges (and the outline) with the domed blending brush.
Patience is a virtue at this step. There are lots of ways to build color, but I usually get the best results when I take my time to apply color in sheer layers, slowly building them up until I reach the level of color saturation I want.
5. Pump up the jam
For extra KA-POW! I used the pencil brush to pack even more color onto the lids and lash line. Then, with the small-angle brush, I lined my upper and lower water lines, dialing up the drama another notch.
6. Bringing it all together
Yea! The hard part’s done. Just a quick curl of the lashes and one or two layers of mascara, and we’re out!
Now who’s up for clubbing?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,