Even if you feel like your previous attempts at eye makeup left you looking like a horror movie zombie clown (been there, done that!), trust me, babe, you can do today’s easy cat eye makeup look.
Because it relies on forgiving neutrals, as opposed to saturated brights, and doesn’t require extensive blending or complex brushwork, it’s a great confidence builder. Perfect for when you want a quick, elegant eye look easy to dress up or down.
Before we get started, let’s go over the products we’ll use…
Like last time, these are only suggestions, so feel free to substitute any similar colors you already have. As you browse through your collection, look for 1) a neutral (beige, brown, peach, taupe, gray, etc.) powder eyeshadow, ideally one within a few shades of your natural skin tone; 2) a complementing glittery shadow; and 3) a black, brown or gray shadow for the cat eye itself.
(Note: For this cat eye look, I find that soft powder shadows are easier to work with than eyeliners. The shadows don’t look as intense as liners, and you don’t have to worry as much about buffing out the edges.)
I’ll be using the new Dior 3-Couleurs Glow Palette in 651 Nude Glow because it has a good selection of shades for this particular look, but you could also use shadows like NARS Cyprus, MAC Soba, MAC Patina, or MAC Arena as your main neutral; NARS Night Star for your shimmer/glitter shadow and something like MAC Carbon for your darker shadow shade.
Okay, here we go! Let’s get started.
First — and this is really only the first step if you have oily eyelids — starting with a primer can really help extend the wear time of your shadows. If it’s not a problem for you, you can skip ahead.
Now, using a flat eye shader brush like the MAC 239, pat your main neutral shadow, which for me is the darker golden brown shimmery shade in the upper left of the Dior palette, on your lids starting at the lash line and slowly working up into the crease.
Try to concentrate more of the color near the lash line than the crease, as this creates the gradient/transition effect, and also gives the eye more depth, and the overall look more polish.
While you’re still holding the same brush, take the leftover product, and run it along your lower lash line.
Then, grab a domed blending brush like the MAC 217, and gently buff the edges, further diffusing the color, by running the brush along your brow bone…
…and then around the edge of your eye.
Depending on the shadow you use, the time you have and the level of intensity you’re going for, you may have to repeat these steps to build up the pigment. With this look, I usually do between 1-3 layers.
Next, swirl a fingertip in your pan of glittery shadow, and press directly in the center of each lid. Don’t worry about blending out the edges here, because after the product sits for a while, it should settle pretty well by itself.
The glitter serves as a sort of spotlight, drawing more attention to your eyes, brightening them up, and also giving some additional texture to the look.
Of course, if you’re not into glitter, no problem. You can skip this step. It’s really up to you.
Now, it’s time for our cat eye, mrow!
Start by dipping a small-angle eye brush like the MAC 266 into your pan of black shadow, and tapping the tip against something (or running it across a paper towel) to remove any excess product, and thereby reduce any fallout beneath your eyes.
Beginning at the outer corner of an eye (the side closer to your ear), place the flat edge of the brush parallel to your lashes, and push the shadow along your upper lash line.
I usually start with the longer bristles pointing outward, toward my ear, and then, at about the halfway mark, I flip the brush around so that the longer bristles point inward, toward my nose. Ultimately, you want a black line that starts thick at the outer corner of the eye, and gets thinner as it moves in.
When you’re done lining, take your angle brush, and place it on the outer corner of your lash line, with the shorter bristles placed next to your lashes. Try to position the angle of the brush so that if you were to run an imaginary line along the natural curve of your lower lash line, the bristles would follow the line.
That’s the angle we’ll use for our cat eye flick.
Using short strokes now to create your cat eye liner, drag your brush along your lash line, moving from the outside to the inner corner. To turn up the intensity, just repeat this step a few times.
C’est magnifique! Great job. Apply mascara, and fill in your brows to complete the look.
To really open up the eyes and give them more depth, you can also apply a black liner along your upper water line, and a beige (or white) eyeliner along your lower water line.
OOH! I bet a bronze liner like MAC Powersurge would look really pretty along the lower lash and water lines, too.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,