Little black dress, black Louboutins, black bra? All extremely reliable and chic items in your wardrobe that are fashionably impervious to seasonal trends. Shouldn’t you have a little black something in your makeup bag, too? Enter “little black eyeliner” – a classic cat eye is an indispensible and classic go-to look.
As the August issues of your favorite fashion magazines appear on the shelves and you start fantasizing about topping your favorite summery dress with cozy knits or a tailored, menswear-inspired jacket, (heatwave, be damned!) try shifting your thoughts from transitional dressing to transitional makeup. Sure, while iconic black eyeliner has certainly earned its reputation for evening-worthy drama, there’s no reason why it can’t make an amazing daytime look, too. With the right kind of look in mind, it’s actually a darn-near perfect solution to summer-fall transitional makeup.
Check out five of my favorite liquid liners that are perfect for achieving a crisp line, and click through for makeup looks that are more soft and pretty than they are hard and dramatic, keeping these simple tips in mind for perfect cat eye liner:
1. Angle your line correctly- if you were to extend the end of your eyebrow and the point of your eyeliner, the two would intersect and form a triangle if your liner is angled the right way. Keeping this in mind ensures that the cat eye will lift your eyes and face while making your eyelashes look awesome. If it’s angled too low or high, your eyes may look droopy or like you don’t know what you’re doing.
2. Know your eye shape – If your eyes are narrow or spaced far-apart, extend the line all the way to the inner corner of your eye. If they’re close-together or very round, bring the line only to the inner edge of the iris.
3. Do your weak side first – Better at lining your right eye than your left, or vice-versa? Always do the side you have more difficulty with first-that way, it’ll be easier for you to match the line on your other eye.
Oh, by the way: practice, practice, practice! As someone who wears cat eye liner almost every day, believe me when I say that with a bit of practice you’ll nail this technique in no time. Need a little extra help? Check out this tutorial video.
Look 1: School appropriate
I love this eyeliner for basic, every day use. While it delivers rich black color, it comes off easily with the help of water or oil-free makeup remover, so it's perfect for beginners who are still learning how to draw a flawless line.
For a stunning, yet school-appropriate look, pair this with a lovely bronzer and your favorite lipgloss. Keep the line thin and extend it just past the outer corner of your eye. Swipe mascara on your top and bottom lashes for look that's fresh, minimal and totally gorgeous.
(Maybelline Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Black 502, $7.49, CVS)
Look 2: After-work cocktail party
M.A.C's Fluidline eye liner has gained somewhat of a cult following due to its silky-smooth application and crazy staying-power. The formula is unique because it stays buildable long after it has dried. So, wear a little less to work in the morning, and add a little extra for a more high-impact look. A subtle change, yesbut a very simple and effective way to take your look from day to evening.
Keep the rest of your makeup in the natural zone, with soft blush on your cheeks and a pretty lip stain.
(M.A.C Fluidline in Blacktrack, $15; 209 Eye Liner Brush, $17.50; both M.A.C.)
Look 3: Pool party
So, this is kind of in the same vein as those swimsuits we saw on the runways that you can't actually swim in. While cat eyes may not be the most practical thing for poolside or the beach, if done correctly it can be very cool and unexpected. Urban Decay's 24/7 waterproof formula totally lives up to it's name, and will last through chlorine, sea water and even sweat.
Make a slim line and pick waterproof makeup for the rest of your face so your eye liner won't be the last thing standing after a dip in the waterwaterproof mascara, cream blush and lipstain will look great.
(Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Perversion, $18, Sephora)
Look 4: First date
A cat eye is the perfect way to show a little bit of personality with your makeup and enhance your gorgeous eyes all at the same time!
For a flirtatious look during a date, pair your perfect eye liner with a little bit of shimmer eye shadow placed near the inner corners of your eyes. Then, add some blush and a nude-ish pink lip for a polished, yet naturally pretty makeup look that's sure to impress.
(Dior DiorLiner Eye Liner, $33, Nordstrom)
Look 5: Weekend fun
"Josie Maran" and "argan oil" have become beauty buzzwords as of latenow, you enjoy these two beauty wonders on your eyes.
For a fun weekend look, simply pair your cat eye liner with plenty of mascara on your top lashes and a punchy color on your lips.
(Josie Maran Argan Liquid Eye Liner, $22, Sephora)