My signature makeup look is the cat eye -- and I've been wearing the winged eyeliner for the last ten years.
OK, obviously I didn't invent the look. (Case in point: Lauren Conrad and Adele.)
Now, every girl I pass on the street is stealing my eyeliner style. Even my closest friends have hopped on the bandwagon.
Here's the thing: I'm not upset that the trend has exploded. The embarrassing truth is that, I -- a self-proclaimed cat eye expert -- am mortified that so many gals have far superior winged styles than me.
I had to know what these women were doing that I wasn't. So I chatted with celebrity makeup artist Jake Bailey .He does Katy Perry's makeup, so I figured I'd be in for some great tips (and he didn't let me down). If you are as obsessed with the cat eye as I am, check out this tutorial that makes creating an amazing-looking cat eye a cinch.
CHOOSE the right LINER
You're not going to be very successful if you try to scrawl across your lids with a dried up eyeliner pencil -- you need something that will easily glide over your lashline. That's why the most obvious cat eyeliner is a liquid formula, but it's also the trickiest kind of liner to use.
"You need so much concentration," says Bailey. "There was a time when all Katy [Perry] wanted was a cat eye, and I was so rushed but had to do them perfectly -- I needed to come up with something else." Now, he uses CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, $6.15, an extra-creamy pencil. If you're more confident in your makeup freehand skills, MAC Cosmetics senior artist John Stapleton recommends an angled brush and a pot of cream liner.
Related: 16 Best Eyeliners Under $10
FIGURE OUT YOUR SHAPE
You want to follow the natural curve of your eyes, so the best way to determine the right cat eye shape is to start drawing. But, "if you have downturned eyes you'll have to fake it a little," Bailey explains. Instead of following the curve of the top lid, imagine how the bottom lid would extend upwards and draw that line.
LINE THE RIGHT WAY
Stapleton suggests starting with the brush [or pencil] resting on your lashes in the inner corner of the eye. Gently drag it across, letting the line become slightly thicker as you go, until you get to the end of your lashes. Then stop.
"Then, start the tail in the opposite direction, with the tip of the brush facing your temple, and draw until you connect the two lines," he says. Either leave the cat eye thin and pointy or thicken it up by adding more layers of liner to the shape.
MAKE IT EVEN
If you work with your eyes open looking straight into the mirror, you'll easily be able to make the cat eye even on both sides from the get-go, says Stapleton. Remember, it's always easier to add more liner than take it off. If you make a mistake, use a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover to get rid of any stray marks or feathering.
EXAGGERATE the look WITH LASHES
Now that your liner is set, turn your attention to your lashes. While a few coats of black mascara will do the trick, Bailey suggests using a full strip of false lashes to enhance the wing even more. Apply them along your lashline from the inside out, but separate them from your real lashes at the outer corners. "This turns the eyes up even more," he says. And the trick is surprisingly subtle. The space (of about a millimeter) will be invisible because it's filled with liner, and when you apply mascara the lashes will all blend together.
KEEP the rest of YOUR MAKEUP SUBTLE
The old rule of thumb that you should play up one feature is especially true when it comes to the cat eye. The eyes are the focus, and everything else should be natural. Use your favorite blush and lip gloss but apply lightly, and if you feel naked without color on your lids, Stapleton suggests a nude shadow like MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Blanc Type, $15. Bailey suggests leaving your lower lashline completely bare.
TAKE IT FROM DAY TO NIGHT
Now that you understand the basics of a daytime cat eye, it would be remiss for us not to tell you how to transform it into a sexy, night makeup look -- especially since it's so simple. "When you go out, just extend the line and maker it thicker," says Bailey. "It goes from day to night just by pumping it up." We also like to add liner underneath -- especially in the waterline -- and layer some black, shimmery shadow on top of everything for even more impact.
More from TotalBeauty.com: