Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cat Eyes 60's Era: Tutorial

One of the most persistent questions I get on a daily basis is "how do I create a cat-eye"?

The simple answer is that there are as many ways to create a "cat-eye" as there are stars in the sky. First, there are different types of cat-eye shapes.  They range from the clean and narrow, late 50's-early 60's era width you may be familiar with if you've watched a lot of MadMen, (in which the liner remains very subtle and close to the lid without extending out almost at all) to ferociously thick, mod styles populated in the swinging 60's.
There's the classic, "swoosh" liner favored by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, in which the line curves alongside the natural shape of the lid and thickens to an up-curved,  tail. Typically, these ladies used a chocolate brown rather than a black to soften the edgeing around the eyes.
There's the Cleopatra eye, popularized by gals like Barbara Streisand, where the tail edges dramatically close to the end of the natural browbone. Notice in this case, the tail pulls straight outward as opposed to upwards, elongating her eyes to a near point.
And there's of course the Mod line, which usually is thicker, heightened by lashes both above and below, and brought all the way inward, with a heightened angle away from the natural end of the lid.
Finally, there's the "contemporary" cat eye, in which often the line is smudged and softened to a feathered finish. (This is a style perfected by Kevyn Aucoin in his numerous, beauty books, and can be achived with creams, gels, or liners).

But today I'm going to show you my personal take on a modern-"mod" eye. Meaning, I'm not using any false lashes or frosty tones, but I'll demonstrate how to achieve the "mod" shape and interpret it in a contemporary way.

I always begin with a clean, primed, eyelid and a light coat of mascara.
One short cut is to purchase a liner pen, but I prefer different textures ranging from cremes to gels and inky, wet pots of color. So I favor using a skinny, liner brush that will work with any product. I like a flexible, animal hair such as sable or squirrel. (Cruelty free of course)!
One of my favorite liners is a pan of jet black color called Barbarella, made by Becca Cosmetics. It doesn't smudge or run, and you activate it with a drop of water, so it stays stable and doesn't dry out or crack. Other good ones to consider are made by Makeup Forever and MAC. I start with a single drop of water and mix an inky consistency.
Next, I pick a spot somewhat above the point where my natural lash-line stops. Begin your line about a 1/4 cm above that point, and then slowly draw the line inward, pressing as closely as possible to the lash-line.
Don't worry if you make a mistake or something smudges. You can go back later and fix it with a q-tip! Notice the amount of space I've left above the end of the lash, and where I meet the line to my natural lid. (We'll fill that in later).
Next, fill in the open area with more color, until a little triangle is created.
This will ensure that when you open your eyes, your line will appear straight across, rather than sloping downwards.
Begin thickening the point both on top as well as underneath. Make sure you continue to thin out the line as you reach the inner corner of your eye.

Fill in the space underneath the lashes as well, so that no skin remains uncolored.
Bring the thinnest part of the liner all the way into the inner, eye corners and fill in gently until the line is solid across the entire lash-line.
Dot in between lashes to complete the depth of the line.
Finally, add a touch of neutral, contour color in the creases. If you want to avoid frosty, light tones, use your natural lid tone as the highlight and just deepen the crease.
I love a bit of dusty mauve to add tone.
Add an additional coat of mascara, and throw in some brows and bronzer, coupled with a pink cheek.
And Voila!
A modern twist on a retro, cat eye look.
Remember, there's no right or wrong way to build this look. Try experimenting with all shapes and you'll find with time, the perfect shape to compliment your eye.

With Love,

Noa B

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