Monday, October 1, 2012

Go paint on your cat eyes and have a good time!

If I have a signature look at all, it is doing the "cat eye" with my eyeliner. A stylish friend of mine in high school did the look often and I had a major girl crush on her so of course I wanted to rock it too. And though much of my style has evolved since the tender age of fourteen (definitely for the better) I am still doing the 60s Girl eyeliner thing a month shy of my 23rd birthday and shall not relent until the world eyeliner supply dries up or my elderly hands are too shaky to do it properly.

Funny story: Once, late in high school or shortly after, I was flopped onto my parents bed, watching TV with them and bemoaning some teenage drama that they clearly found ridiculous. I don't remember what the issue was but I had decided to have a Friday Night Whine-In instead of going out with my friends. My mother, likely exasperated by the complain-a-thon, kicked me off the bed and said "Go paint on your cat eyes and have a good time!". This has become something of a life motto for me.

"Go paint on your cat eyes and have a good time! But if you're gonna drink, I'd really prefer you did it at home"
 I love winged eyeliner because I think it's one of the wildest things you wear day to day without looking crazy and, done properly, it is universally flattering. You can have a subtle single line for a little bit of flair or you can cake it on until your eyelids are all black and still look more Shirelles than Marilyn Manson.

Everybody loves a girl in a cat eye. Children are fascinated. Teenagers are jealous. This look is probably one of the only modern trends that has the Older Lady stamp of approval, because they were flaunting the same thing back in the day.  I was helping some grandma-types at the shoe store the other day (and by helping I mean sitting on the couch with them while they tried on shoes because my back hurt) and one of them pointed out my eyeliner and said "I love how all the young girls are doing the retro look again! It makes me wish I had saved some of my stuff from the sixties!"

Experimenting with cosmetics is best done when you have plenty of free time and somewhere to wash your face. If you are a cat eye virgin I do not advise attempting this ten minutes before your date shows up or on the bus on the way to your job interview.

That being said, the key to pussylicious eyeliner is p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e. I am no makeup artist- in fact, when my old room mate and I were going through pictures of a tenth grade me the first thing she said was "Wow! You sure got a lot better at doing your makeup!" Damn straight. I could probably paint a cat eye on myself hanging upside down from a hot air balloon at this point, but I've been doing this pretty much every day for like, nine years now (oh god...). So yeah, you're probably gonna mess it up a few times but with enough practice you too will be able to swoop it on without lifting your pen and get it perfect on the first try. Pro tip: unscented moisturizers or Vaseline are perfect for wiping off goof ups without leaving a gray trail. Dab a little on a Q-Tip* for detailing/fixing something without having to re-do your whole face. The second best way to get all your eye makeup off? Crying.

*Fun fact! Did you know that Q-Tips used to be called Baby Gays? I love that.

Have I convinced you to try it yet? I thought so! Let's learn how!

For this job, I really really prefer the felt tip marker style eyeliner, ideally one on the thin/medium side. My favorite right now is NYX Felt Tip Liner in Jet Black, which is what I used for all these pictures. Rather than having to go over your line again and again to achieve desired thickness you can just press down harder and the line gets wider. Genius! You have more control than with the liquid liner in a pot but it goes on just as dark. I haaaaate using pencil for cat eyes and advise against it (unless, of course, you are running to work after an all night rendez-vous with your crush and pencil is the only option).

Here is our starting point. Eyeliner is one of the last stages of my make up routine. I've already put on moisturizer, concealer and mascara. I don't really wear eyeshadow but if you do, I would put that on before the eyeliner too.

 Start in the middle of your eyelid, right above where your iris is if you're looking ahead. I find my eyes look smaller if I go any closer to my nose with the beginning of my line (and you get little black goo balls caught in your tear duct and that's gross)

Press down and drag the eyeliner until the line extends just past the edge of your lid. If you want a super subtle, modest cat eye you can stop here. Wtf, so easy right?


If you want to go bolder, draw outward from just under the end of your first line, as far you want your wing to go.

Extend the top line of eyeliner to meet the lower line and make a point. You will have a little triangle of blank skin. Gently dot to fill it in.

And, voila! In the words of the woman who hollered at my friends and I when we were walking past the Salvation Army once, "Wassup, retros?!"

It's kind of hard to take pictures of yourself with your phone in the bathroom mirror though, so in case you you are unclear of some of the steps, I made this handy diagram too:

I think if you click on this it will get bigger.

(This method is definitely not the only way, it's just how I do it.)
Meee-ow!! Now go paint on your cat eyes and have a good time! We love you!

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