How to do the kitten eyeliner look, according to makeup artists
Cat eye is a classic eyeliner technique that features bold upper and lower wing eyeliner that looks great for parties or special occasions when you really want your eyes to stand out. But for those of us who aren’t particularly good at makeup, styling can be tricky to master.
Come in, the kitten’s eye. The easier-to-master cousin of the traditional cat’s eye is currently having a moment and has made an appearance in our social media feeds and on celebrity lids. Make no mistake about it, however, kitten eye is nothing new. Andrew Sotomayor, Emmy-winning makeup artist and founder of Oracle Jayne Station, said it was one of his favorite looks since the early 2000s.
But its current popularity is probably due to the fact that we all simplified (or skipped altogether) our makeup routines in our forties, and now we want an easier way to take our look up a notch. “We always want a bit of a lift, we always want to recreate that raised outside nook that we see so many models doing,” celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello said of the winged look. “But it’s a little more portable and more everyday.”
It’s more subtle than a cat’s eye, with a lighter line and a little bang at the end, so both experts say it’s a lot easier to do. And because cat’s eye is so bold, people often feel the need to do a full makeup routine, adding things like lipstick and eye shadow, to make the look really complete. However, Sotomayor and Lovello agree that this style will look great on its own or with just a little mascara.
“If a cat’s eye is your dressy look, a kitten’s eye is your casual look,” Sotomayor said. Plus, unlike its more pronounced counterpart, it’s great for those with hooded lids, as your eyes appear larger but don’t interfere with your natural crease, he added.
Below, the two makeup artists walked us through the steps to achieve the look, along with some of their favorite products to use.
How to make a kitten eye
To start, take the eyeliner (the liquid works best) and point the tip towards your ear, Sotomayor said. Then press just outside the corner of your eye and slide along your upper eyelid towards the center. Once you reach the middle, take the tool and do the same, this time sliding from inside your eye, near the tear duct, and connecting to the center. Since you are working in sections, there is less room for error.
If you’re not completely confident in your eyeliner skills, you can use eye shadow instead to mimic the effect, Lovello said. Here’s how it does it: Dip an angled brush into the eye shadow, then place it at the corner of your eye, lining it up with the angle of your lower lash line. Then press to “stamp” on your kite. If it looks a bit messy or you want to tighten it up, you can take a small brush with concealer and slide it along the bottom of the wing to straighten and even out the line. Then go back with the angled brush, turn it over and work your way over your upper eyelid.
Surratt Auto-Graphic Liner
Sotomayer said this liner is his “favorite kitten eye product.” It features a precise applicator brush inspired by the design of a Japanese calligraphy pen. It’s also refillable, so you can just buy a new cartridge for under $ 20 when you run out.
Reina Rebelde Liquid Eyeliner
For a more affordable choice, Sotomayer likes this option from Reina Rebelde. The durable and water resistant liner will not leak or fade. And as a bonus, he said it was made by a small business owned by a woman.
NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner
This eyeliner is a favorite of Amazon customers with over 31,000 five-star reviews. “It basically meets all the requirements that I would want in my perfect eyeliner,” wrote one reviewer. “It’s affordable, extremely black, opaque, easy to use, waterproof, stays put for a long time, and the tip is thin enough that you can get wings as sharp as a sword.”
ZOEVA 322 eyebrow brush
If you go for the eyeshadow, Lovello likes to use this brush. It can be used with cream and powder products and features a sharp, angled tip that will help you create the perfect line every time.
Mented Everynight Eyeshadow Palette
Sotomayer said this palette from Mented is “amazing”. It has a deep black color which is perfect for the look, although you can get creative and experiment with some of the other shades as well.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Shadow Singles
Lovello said she often uses Anastasia’s simple shadows. And for this look, she recommends using a black or dark brown shade. “The dark brown will be a little more natural, so I would say you start there,” she said.
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