8 Non-Basic Ways To Wear Eyeliner

Photo: MCV Photo.
The ubiquitous cat-eye flick has had its moment — and then some. It's even become a signature for stars with tastes as varied as Lorde and Lauren Conrad, which pretty much makes it a staple. Believe it or not, we’re actually huge fans of a basic, foolproof liner look — be it neatly winged or smudged into our waterlines.
With that said, there will always be a place in our hearts for eye-catching, show-stopping creations that go beyond the everyday line-and-flick. And, while these stunning, intricate designs are usually crafted for the runway, there’s no reason why we can’t recreate them ourselves.
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Whether you consider yourself a makeup beginner or a master, you, too, can rock liner that will elicit major envy from friends and strangers alike. Think colorful ombré, graphic glitter, and something called "Cleopatra goes to the Hamptons." Intrigued? Click through to see eight non-basic looks that are perfect for your next night out — or, really, whenever you feel like testing the waters outside your makeup comfort zone. We dare you.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Cosmic Glitter
Makeup master Pat McGrath says she created this "cosmic beauty" look for Anna Sui to complement the moons, stars, and sparkles in the fabric of Sui’s designs. To copy it, use a liquid glitter liner to add subtle touches of sparkle to the tops of eyelids, underneath eyes, and in the inner corners.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Two-Toned Wings
The graphic wing the models donned at Atelier Versace was yet another McGrath masterpiece. She applied a lighter shade to the center of the lid to create dimension, and then swept the darker shade up toward the temple and past the tail of the brow to make the wing. For daring beauty girls who are dying to try this at home, we suggest getting your hands on a deep-teal gel liner (try Laura Mercier in Canard), as well as a lighter pigment to press onto the center of your lid for that stunning shimmer.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Mirrored Stickers
Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup, was the mastermind behind our new must-have makeup accessory: mirrored eyeliner patches. The limited-edition, metallic stickers create a futuristic feel and allow the eyes to be the focal point of the face. Needless to say, we’re obsessed. Go ahead, pick up a set of your own while supplies last.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Warrior Eyes
Legendary MAC makeup artist Val Garland created a strong graphic eye, inspired by Japanese warrior women, for Hervé Léger. Garland drew a simple, black line in a rectangle, which she reworked for each model's eye shape. “We wanted it to feel like black electrical tape on the eye,” she says. To mimic this look, paint a thick, black line across your upper lashline with a cream or gel-based liner. Once you hit the outer corner, square it off to get the desired rectangular shape — voilá, you’re ready for battle.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Magenta Ombré
If you haven’t heard, ombré is officially no longer just a hair trend. MAC lead makeup artist Kabuki proved this by painting magenta ombré wings on the models at Jeremy Scott. The radical, flame-like designs were inspired by the detailing on vintage '70s muscle cars. To achieve this look, Kabuki used three different shadows, starting with touches of yellow and gold toward the inner part of the eye, and finishing with a bold plum-magenta hue for the wing. Add false lashes for extra drama — or just finish with two coats of mascara.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Graphic Glitter
At Alexandre Vauthier, everything was kept fresh, clean, and minimal — and then there were the eyes. Makeup artist Christelle Cocquet applied graphic glitter stickers underneath the models’ eyes in place of liner for a hint of glamour. To do it yourself, place your stickers underneath the lower lashline, starting in the center of the eye. Or, instead of going all out, try tracing just the bottom lashes with your favorite glitter liner for an eye-opening effect.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Cleopatra Eyes
Maybelline’s head makeup artist Yadim describes the look he created for Cushnie et Ochs as, “Cleopatra goes to the Hamptons." To paint this innovative cat-eye, he used Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Leather in Dramatic Black and kept the wing completely straight to add a graphic element. Want to rock it yourself? Use an angled brush to apply the liner, starting in the inner corner and drawing it out to the ends of your brow.
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Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/Getty
Undereye Action
Makeup artist Hannah Murray calls the beauty look for Topshop Unique “good girls gone bad.” We can definitely get behind that. To achieve this punk-esque eye, Murray smudged black kohl liner into the models’ waterlines as well as their lower lashlines. Grab your favorite smudge-y pencil and trace anything but your top lashes — it gives you a naughty, brooding sort of vibe that's perfect to wear with a leather jacket.
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