Monday, 30 May 2011

5 steps to a perfect cateye with liquid eyeliner

Recently, a friend posted on Twitter that she'd just bought a liquid eyeliner and was trying to work out how best to use it. My first thought was to direct her to a good tutorial, and Google provided me with plenty of them, but most were in video form. I couldn't find a good text & image tutorial anywhere. So I decided to make my own picture-based post on how to do a quick, easy cat-eye.

For this tutorial I've chosen to use Urban Decay's Liquid Liner in Revolver; a) because it's an inkwell liquid liner, probably the best-known format, and b) because, God bless you Urban Decay but the brush on this is really thick and unwieldy. Plus, mine is starting to clump like crazy. So, this will be an exercise in how to do a good cat-eye even without your fine liner brush and expensive smooth liner - if it's possible to do a good cat eye with my beat-up old Revolver, it should be a breeze with whatever you're using.

Let's begin.

Step 1
Start with a liner-free eye. You might want to apply an eyeshadow base or a wash of eyeshadow before your liner to make the application easier. If you're just practising your cat-eye, don't spend too much time on prepping the eye, though, as mistakes are difficult to fix without messing up your eyeshadow.

Step 2
Bring the liner brush up to your eye and hold it parallel to the lash line. Lightly press the brush against the lash roots, as close against the lashes as you can. Don't draw the brush across at this stage. Just press. Repeat along the lash line until you have a patchy line.

Step 3
Now, draw the brush along the whole lashline from the inner corner outwards, joining up the patchy line you made before, and making it smoother and more even. Don't extend the line up your lid - keep the brush close to the lashline still. You're just getting coverage right beside the lashes at this point - you'll build up the cat-eye later on.

Step 4
Now, the flick. With your eye open, observe how your lower lashline curves upwards, and use your brush to continue this curve, extending for about 5mm (1/8 inch) out and upwards from the corner of your eye. Start the upward "flick" line from the end of the first line you made on the upper lid. Don't worry about connecting the two lines neatly at this stage - just get an angle you're happy with.

Step 5
The final step is joining up the flick with the rest of your lashline. Start from the outward point of your upward "flick" line, and, keeping the skin as taut as possible, draw a line across to meet the highest point of your lashline. You should have a triangular outline. Just fill it in.

That's it!

Was this helpful? Do you do your liner in a different way? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Love it - thank you :D I never manage to get my eyeliner quite right so I'll certainly give this a go! xx

  2. Eee! I love liquid eyeliner. I have about 20 colours but only really use black!!

    I have quite small eyes and am overly dramatic so tend to have the flick really far up. I also like having double flicks. Or if one is a complete goth (unlike me!) you can do the Death of the Endless eyeline.

  3. Pippa, there's a tutorial for that too - courtesy of Ana at Lipsticks and Lightsabers

  4. THis is a brilliant post. I really struggle with winged liner but I'm going to try your method now... it looks fooproof!

  5. that exactly how i do my 'cat-eye'
    great post

  6. Great post! In my teens I could do winged liner with no problem but for some reason I find it almost impossible nowadays! Will definitely give your method a go.

  7. Great tutorial! My winged liner is a bit hit and miss - Sometimes I can do it and it looks nice, sometimes it looks awful! So your post has come in very useful :) xx

  8. It may sound utterly ridiculous but I like to use tiny Post-it notes to get my line in the right place and to get a really sharp line. I'm rubbish at getting each eye to match when I work freehand. The post-its give a good guide line and remove without disturbing my MU.

  9. Great tutorial, the finished eye looks great!

  10. I love lipstick and lightsabers geek + makeup = good

  11. This is one of the best pictorials on doing the cat eye - LOVE IT! Saved this for future reference - thanks for posting! I'm like some of the others - it's a hit or miss - of course too - I'm in my late 50's and the skin just "ain't" what it used to be! But this looks like it could/should work for me! :-)


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