Apologies to the red lip and smokey eye, but a well-executed cat eye is the most versatile makeup look of all time. Worn with a sheer balm and touch of blush, it’s the perfect look for mimosa brunch, while a vampy lip and extra coat of mascara transforms it into an ideal nighttime look. Hence, we’re in full agreement here at Byrdie HQ that it’s the one skill every woman should master at some point in her life—and hopefully sooner, rather than later.
With this in mind, we enlisted the help of our resident makeup guru and creator of many a celebrity cat eye, Lauren Andersen, to show us how to get a perfect wing every time.
Start with a clean eyelid. We recommend using an eyeshadow primer, like Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($24), to keep your cat-eye smudge-proof.
“I take my ring finger at my temple, and stretch my eyelid straight out,” Andersen says. “Keeping my eyelid mostly closed, and softly closed, I start at the middle of my lash line and draw a straight line. I go straight out, and then I let go, and [the line] will be a little bit lifted.”
Next, Andersen traces a thin line from the inner corner of her eye until it meets the beginning of the line she just created. “I like it thin on the inner corner, and then it wings out to a peak,” she says.
“As the final step, I draw a line from my lower lash line and connect it to the outer wing I created, then fill in the little [triangular] corner,” Andersen says. Then, she just makes sure everything is blended and the line is sleek and smooth.
No cat eye would be complete without long, lush lashes. Wiggle a volumizing mascara from the base of your lashes all the way to the ends for a fluttery fringe. Andersen says she likes Avon’s Mega Effects Mascara ($30).
One last tip: “Use your finger as a guide for the wing,” Andersen says. “Extend the wing to your temple, the center of your temple, so your guide is the same on both sides.”