Cat-Eye Liner Just Got A Lot Cooler

The cat-eye is a classic style we've been seeing for ages — with icons from Marilyn Monroe to Amy Winehouse adopting it as their signature look. Even Lauren Conrad is hardly ever seen without a feline flick. It will always be timeless — but why not have some fun and switch things up a bit?

We stretched our creative muscles with the help of makeup artist Tiffany Patton and came up with six bold, beautiful versions of the look. Ahead, the basic cat-eye gets some major makeovers meant to inspire you to take your liner to new heights.
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Window Cat-Eye
This style is ideal if you don't want to go too out-of-the-box, but still feel like getting creative — and it's pretty easy to pull off. Simply line your top lash like you normally would, with MAC Creme Liner in black, starting at the center of the eye and going out. Extend the line about a centimeter out from the eye. Draw a very thin line along your bottom lash, going up toward the top line, and connect the two. No need to fill in the tail — the empty space in the middle will add a bit of extra interest and keep it from looking too overpowering.
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Slice-Of-Color Cat-Eye
For a modern and super-edgy take on this look, try a line that seems to go right through your eye. To get even more daring, take it a step further and use a bright color like Aquacolor UV-Dayglow in orange. It may seem like a lot of work, but it's easier than lining your whole lid.

Use a thin liner brush to draw just the tail of the cat-eye. In the inner corner, create two small dashes: one from the upper lashline down toward the nose, and one from the bottom lashline to meet the other. Then, fill in the color. “This look is great in someone with less lid space,” says Patton. “If you keep the shading and definition around the eye in neutral tones, the liner-color possibilities are endless!”

Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Negative-Space Cat-Eye
Dramatic black eyeliner is not for everyone. If you prefer a wash of color or a smoky eye, don't worry, you can still sit with us. Instead of using liner for this cat-eye, get in on it by creating the illusion of a little outer-eye flick with negative space.

Create your preferred eyeshadow look (it doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic as ours) to begin, applying the shadow on the upper lid and along the lower lashline out past the corner. Patton suggests using two shades, one lighter and one darker (she used Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in Black Purple and Raspberry) to create depth and definition. Lastly, take a Q-tip and dip it into waterproof eye-makeup remover, and with it, "split" the top and bottom. It's as simple as that.
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Rounded Cat-Eye
A bold, graphic cat-eye can look a little harsh — but rounded edges completely change the mood. It’s still majorly dramatic, but with a soft side.

For this look, you will need an eyeliner brush and a flat shader brush. Use Kiko Lasting Gel Eyeliner and the thin brush to outline the shape, creating small half-circles on the inner and outer corners of the eyes and connecting them with a line along the socket — or slightly above, depending on your eye shape. Don’t worry about being perfect here. “This line will look more like a tracing until you take a flat brush and either paint in even strokes or stipple your black gel liner inside the shape you've created,” explains Patton. “Have small cotton buds handy for cleaning up the lines and perfecting the shape.”
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The '60s-Inspired Cat-Eye
We’re taking a little inspiration from Twiggy for this one, but mixing it up with soft metallic hues instead of inky black. “Who says you can't use softer shades to create a '60s cut crease?” says Patton. “Bring out the pastels, soft browns, and metallics!”

She advises to first take a soft, pale shadow like Paula Dorf eyeshadow in Boogie Woogie and lightly dust it along the lid and lower lashline to make your eyes pop. Then, use either a metallic liquid liner or longwear cream shadow in the soft color of your choice and a liner brush (Patton used Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E303), and draw a line out past the corner of the eye and around the socket, as pictured. Groovy.
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Graphic Cat-Eye
Though this look is simple, it takes some cojones to pull off. But we think it would be the perfect complement to a little black dress for a night out and about. “Be extra-bold by creating an interesting shape at the end of your line,” says Patton. “Use your favorite black liner, whether it's pencil or gel, and think about the angles — maybe it's a bit square, or an extra-long triangle. Use a few dots to mark where you want the shape to end up, and connect the dots using an angled brush.”

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