Eventually, everyone learns an important life lesson: Life isn’t always fair, and neither is makeup. That’s certainly how we feel about the fact that one of the most popular eye makeup looks is also one of the hardest to master. We’re talking about winged eyeliner, of course. You want to sport the makeup look on everyone’s eyes, but it’s nearly impossible to do on your own. Totally unfair, right? Those feelings—the result of many failed cat eye attempts—are exactly what’s inspired us to find ways to make winging out your eyeliner less intimidating. We’ve rounded up seven hacks to help you achieve a perfect cat eye, without causing major stress. So, grab your eyeliner and get ready to wing it.
Cat Eye Hack #1: Prime Your Eyes
Can you imagine finally achieving your perfect cat eye, only for it to wear off after just a few hours? What a nightmare. That’s why it’s a must to apply eye primer before you start lining your eye. Smoothing on a thin layer of primer will make all the difference in how long your eye makeup lasts—not to mention how easily it applies.
Cat Eye Hack #2: Start with the Wing
It may seem obvious to work your way outwards, waiting ‘til you’re almost finished lining your eyes to add a flick, but that may not be the best option. If winging out your eyeliner isn’t coming naturally to you, try switching the order in which you’re working. Use a felt tip liquid eyeliner—like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner—to draw the wing first, then continue lining along your upper lash line. Trust us, it’s worth a try!
Cat Eye Hack #3: Rely on Tape
There’s no rule saying you have to freehand your cat eye. You can turn to an office supply staple—adhesive tape—for help. To get your best wing yet, all you need is a small piece of tape. Place the tape at the outer corner of your eye, going up towards the end of your eyebrow. Then, go ahead and apply your eyeliner (for a more colorful look, consider the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Eyeliner in Electric Blue) as per usual, the only difference is the tape will act as a guide for your wing. Once you’re done with lining, carefully peel off the tape and you’ll be met with a super-sharp wing.
Cat Eye Hack #4: Alternate Eyes
Instead of lining your eyes one at a time, we recommend switching between eyes as you work. Everything you do to your left eye, do the same to your right before moving on to your next step. This way, you’ll be more likely to end up with wings that match.
Cat Eye Hack #5: Layer Different Liners
You know how it’s always a good idea to sketch an outline with a No. 2 pencil before breaking out a permanent marker? Well, the same concept can be applied to your eyeliner. If you’re struggling to keep your hands steady enough to apply liquid eyeliner, but don’t want to forgo the sleek look it provides, try using a pencil eyeliner first. After creating your cat eye with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, you’ll be able to more easily apply liquid liner over top—and no one will be the wiser about your little layering hack.
Cat Eye Hack #6: Use Eye Shadow
Cat eyes don’t have to consist of harsh lines. If you prefer something softer, all it takes is replacing your eyeliner with eye shadow. Dip an angled eyeliner brush into the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Noir Cest Noir (a black shade) and line your eyes. Not only is the softer look ideal for the daytime, but it comes with the added bonus of making imperfections less obvious.
Cat Eye Hack #7: Clean Up with a Cotton Swab
Don’t feel defeated, even eyeliner pros mess up from time to time. When you aren’t happy with your cat eye, there’s no need to get upset or start over from scratch. You can touch up any mistakes with a cotton swab dipped in the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types.
Ready for more eyeliner expertise? Here are 7 Nude Eyeliner Hacks to Add to Your Makeup Routine.