8 Cat Eyeliner Tricks To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger And More Striking

The eyes have always had it, but in the age of ongoing face mask-wearing, extra attention is being paid to the gaze. In lieu of red lips, it’s perennially classic and universally flattering cat eyeliner that’s receiving renewed focus. “Now more than ever, eyeliner is the most effective tool to instantly enhance the shape of the eyes, express our mood, and accentuate our unique individuality,” says Gina Brooke, who paints winged eyes on clients including Cate Blanchett and Sofia Boutella. From creating a flattering base to drawing on the perfect eye-elongating wing, here pro makeup artists reveal their tricks for nailing cat eyeliner.

Start by tightlining

To begin, make-up artist Emily Cheng, who works with Yara Shahidi and Laura Harrier, recommends tightlining, also known as the invisible eyeliner technique, which consists of “applying eyeliner in between the lashes” to make them appear thicker and fuller at the roots. It will create a base for a richer, longer-lasting cat-eye look.

Swipe on a natural eyeshadow

After pro Tasha Reiko Brown (who works with Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross) tightlines, she adds a sheer swipe of a light, natural eyeshadow on the lids for a clean backdrop to add contrast. “Use a domed eyeshadow brush to apply a warm natural brown in the crease,” instructs Brown. To double down on brightening the eye area, Brooke recommends adding a neutral, flesh-toned liner at the inner corners of the eye, as well as to the lower inner perimeter to instantly open the eyes and ultimately create the illusion of larger eyes. “Using a gradation for colour and smudging the liner away from the upper and lower lash lash line will widen the eyes and provide a fresh, wide-eyed appearance,” she says.

Find the right texture

While there’s power in choice, sometimes it can be overwhelming to decide what type of eyeliner — easy-to-apply pencil, precise felt-tip liquid, or creamy gel with a brush — will be best for your desired cat-eye result. “The right tools and texture can make all the difference,” confirms Brooke, who prefers to use a soft angled nylon fiber lip brush with gel eyeliner for application. 

Often, Cheng will take a hybrid approach. “I’ll start a wing with liquid liner and blend up and out with a black shadow,” she explains. “This will also contribute to making the eyes looking larger without the eyeliner looking like one large block.” Brown has a similar dual-minded approach, laying the groundwork with a kohl pencil before adding a layer of liquid liner, concentrating it at the base of the lashes for “sharply defined liner with a diffused edge.” 

No matter what, though, it’s about finding the right balance between what’s easiest to apply for you and your desired result.

Choose your shade

The most flattering shades are the ones you feel most confident in,” insists Brown. That being said, universally you can’t go wrong with warm, rich, deep browns to bring warmth around the eye. “It defines the eye without pulling focus and has more of a subtlety than black,” she says. For a similarly soft effect, Cheng recommends deep maroon as an alternative for a striking pop. But for the most part, she tends to stick to the ultimate classic, a highly-pigmented black liner, for a “sharp and clean” effect.

Strategise shape and lift

The intention of winged liner is to elongate the eye. To do so with optimal results, “Start with liner at the innermost corner and drag out slightly past the end of eye,” instructs Brown. “The line should be ultra-thin at the inner eye and gradually become slightly thicker as you move outwards.” One point that Brown drives home is that the tail end of liner doesn’t necessarily have to flick upwards in a cat eye motion. 

The tail end should angle slightly upwards and out for elongated eyes with a gentle lift,” says Brown. Before actually drawing on the flick or wing, really think about what kind of “lifted” look you want to achieve in the end. “Following rules of thumb for certain eye shapes won’t necessarily work in your favour as each face is a unique creation and other facial factors come into play,” she explains. “Really take a moment to analyse your face and your desired results and plan your technique from there.

Add the flick or wing

To keep steady and trace on your ideal shape, Cheng recommends keeping your eye open and looking into the mirror with a relaxed face before attempting to sculpt the shape. “Following the curve of your bottom waterline and sweeping upward is a good place to start in finding the angle of your eyeliner,” explains Cheng. “This way you’ll avoid going too straight or too angled upwards, unless that is the look you are going for. I find following the waterline to be the most natural and flattering.”

Another thing to consider is if you want a crisp or diffused edge — the latter, which Cheng calls a “soft baby wing” delivers a softer, sheerer finish. “It instantly defines your eyes and it’s an easy way to create shape,” she says.

Clean it up and refine

No matter what your desired effect is, a tapered point Q-tip will be your best friend to clean up errors, as well as sharpen lines and shapes. “When I have a liner that has gotten too thick or to correct any mistakes, I’ll take a pointed make-up Q-tip dampened with micellar water and refine the line,” says Brown, cautioning that you should be wary of using traditional Q-tips as the fibers can get caught in mascara on lashes and travel into the eye. 

Additionally, eschew make-up remover, which can disturb the surrounding make-up around the line too much and leave an oily residue (stick to micellar water instead). Another tried-and-true technique is harnessing the correcting and contrast-creating power of concealer. “Finishing with concealer underneath will also accentuate the liner,” says Cheng.

Finish with mascara

The final touch is mascara. After liner has dried, curl the lashes if desired, then wiggle it on. “The end result will give you depth and definition around the eye, and lashes that standout against brightened lids,” says Brown. For an eye-widening, wing-accenting curve, Cheng suggests “concentrating mascara on the outer corner, which will help elongate,” she says.

VOGUE

How to Properly Clean and Dry Your Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes isn’t the most enjoyable thing to do, but it is rather important. Over time, the bristles can become a breeding ground for bacteria that could lead to breakouts.

That’s why it’s crucial to clean the tools at least two times a month — but those who use their brushes more than the average person may need to squeeze in even more washes. And it’s also good to note that if the fibers feel stiff, you’re overdue for a scrubbing.

Stop pushing the task to the bottom of your to do list, and get squeaky clean brushes by following the guide below.

How Often Should You Wash Your Makeup Brushes?

The amount you should wash your brushes can totally depend on the frequency at which you use them. Founder and CEO of ANISA BeautyAnisa Telwar Kaicker suggests giving your brushes a deep cleaning bi-weekly or once a month, depending on how often you use your brushes.

For a deep clean, use a makeup brush cleanser, like the Anisa The Wash cleanser ($12; anisa.com) or grab a gentle cleanser that won’t disrupt the fibers of your brush, whether they’re made from synthetic or natural materials. Many beauty bloggers swear by classic anti-bacterial dish liquid.

While you don’t need to deep clean your brushes every week, Kaicker does recommend a quick, “dry clean” using a product that doesn’t require water, like the Sephora Collection Daily Brush Cleaner ($15; sephora.com). “It gets rid of surface oil and dirt for everyday use with no downtime,” she tells us.

How To Wash Your Makeup Brushes

We all dread the process of actually washing our brushes, which is why most of us put off doing it anyways. But avoiding deep brush cleanings will just create more problems for you (like breakouts and stiff brushes). So here is an efficient brush cleaning process that’s as easy as 1-2-3. Follow these steps for a streamlined, hassle free, and quick washing process.

1. Wet Your Makeup Brushes

Saturate each bristle with lukewarm water. It doesn’t matter if the brush is made of synthetic or natural fibers, be sure to concentrate the running water on the tips as to avoid contact with the glue that holds the bristles in place. Over time, the constant contact can weaken the adhesive and result in unwanted shedding.

2. Swirl Your Wet Makeup Brushes

Either on a clean towel or a silicone cleaning pad ($15; anisa.com), swoosh the wet brush in a circular motion into a cleanser of your choice. All you have to do is rinse the brush and repeat until the water runs clear. If you have gunks of product build-up, you’ll want to reach for a solution made specifically to remove makeup. Cinema Secrets makes a time-saving Makeup Brush Cleaner ($24; sephora.com) that doesn’t require rinsing. 

3. Dry Your Makeup Brushes

You can also use a silicone cleaning pad after rinsing the brush to remove excess water. After removing excess water, gently reshape the brushes. Then, instead of letting brushes dry standing up or laying flat, hang them upside down for at least four hours. Gravity will help all of the moisture to properly evaporate, and preserve the shape of the bristles. The Dry’N Shape Tower by Sigma Beauty ($59; amazon.com) can dry and shape 48 of your eye brushes at once.

INSTYLE

The 5 Secrets To “No Make-Up” Make-Up, According To Lisa Eldridge

There are beauty wonderlands and then there is celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge’s House of Eldridge, a pop-up in London’s Covent Garden, which takes the definition to new heights. With a lipstick lounge, bedecked in rich velvet fabrics (and a lip-shaped sofa – one for the Pinterest interiors board); a selection of her personal collection of vintage make-up, including thousand-year-old compacts and blushers from the 1920s; all of her eponymous make-up line available to try (along with expert colour matching); her beautiful jewellery collection; and soon, professional talks on all manner of subjects – there is something for everyone in the beauty dream world she has created.

It’s something a bit different from a normal beauty stand in a department store,” she tells Vogue over Zoom. “It’s not merchandised, just an insight into my world. There are over a thousand pieces from my vintage make-up collection, some of which I am selling, and areas with different themes. Plus there is a replica of my studio in the back – it’s exactly like people may have seen on Instagram where I used to film my YouTube videos.

One of Eldridge’s calling cards is effortless, fresh make-up that is so imperceptible, no one would ever know her clients are wearing it. She works with everyone from Dua Lipa and Alexa Chung, to Winnie Harlow and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on their luminous complexions, and is equally glowy-skinned herself. So what are her tips on how we can emulate the look at home?

1. Prep is important

One of her top tips is to start with your skincare routine. “Making sure that your skin is well hydrated and moisturized is important,” she says. “Without that, you can’t get the products to behave the way you want them to.”

2. Work with your real skin

For a no make-up make-up effect, Eldridge advises applying your foundation only in the areas it’s needed – generally in the centre of the face. “For me, it’s around my nose, mouth and chin area and a little bit on the forehead,” she says, name-checking her new Foundation as a great product to try. “It’s not a tinted moisturizer or a full coverage formula, but something in the middle that you can sheer out if you want to. It self sets, so you don’t need to powder on top of it. I really like it because it doesn’t feel like you’ve got any make-up on, but it’s still got good coverage.” She applies with her fingers or a flat brush.

3. Don’t be afraid to mix formulas up

If you’re struggling to achieve the right (lightweight) consistency in your base product, Eldridge suggests adding some moisturizer into it. This trick also helps reduce that cakey finish when certain foundations cling to dry or flaky skin.

4. Highlight

A new wave of highlighters nourish the skin while imparting the ultimate dewy sheen for a look that says “healthy”, rather than overdone. “I always use a highlighter on the high points of the cheeks – a subtle one, that doesn’t have any glitter in it – and I apply it on the nose, in the corners of eyes, and on top of the lip to create a dewy look.

5. Create an outdoorsy flush

A make-up artist essential, cream blush is the best route to go down for a natural flush. Eldridge swears by her own Enlivening Blush – in the shade Pink Soap – which she applies with fingers, building up thin layers to create the right texture and finish.

VOGUE

7 Expert Tips on How to Apply Makeup on Dry Skin and Avoid Flakes

Few things can wreak havoc on your makeup look like dry skin. During the winter, achieving that smooth and even complexion can be difficult, especially if you’re someone with dry skin that’s also peeling or flaking.

No matter how much you moisturize, it can seem like your makeup clings onto and emphasizes the dry patches on your complexion. So if you’ve tried to douse your face in the most moisturizing products countless times, but you still feel like getting a smooth and even makeup application is not possible during the colder months, then I’ve got you covered.

1. It’s All About The Prep

When it comes to how makeup sits on your face, it’s all about what’s underneath. “There are levels to perfecting any makeup application,” says professional makeup artist Dominique Lerma. “If you’re someone who suffers from those dry areas during the harsh winter months, your first call to order should be solidifying a skincare routine that sets you up for successful makeup application.” 

If you aren’t already, start incorporating serums, moisturizers, and face mists into your routine with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or glycerin. “I like to use serums and dry oils to the skin before moisturizers to help revitalize the skin and prepare it for makeup application“, says celebrity makeup artist Billie Gene. “I also tend to spray the face with a refreshing mist before moisturizer to add moisture and soften the skin for a better absorption.” 

2. Exfoliate!

On top of adding moisturizing skincare products into your routine, exfoliating is one of the best ways to get rid of flaking skin. It also helps improve product absorption that might not be happening because flakes and dead surface skin cells are blocking penetration. 

People often think that they shouldn’t exfoliate if their skin is dry, but on the contrary, choosing gentle exfoliators will aid in preparing your skin to follow up with your skincare regimen and then applying your makeup,” says Lerma.

The key to exfoliating dry skin is to use a gentle chemical exfoliant instead of harsh physical exfoliants, like scrubs. One Lerma recommends trying is the Youth to the People Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant ($38, sephora.com) is a liquid exfoliant that combines three gentle acids and superfood exfoliants to smooth skin texture and even skin tone.

3. Skip the Foundation.

Instead of layering up on a full-coverage foundation in hopes of covering any dry patches, go with a lighter formula like a tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or CC cream, says Lerma. This can prevent makeup clinging to dry flakes and a cakey finish.

For those severely dry patches, try spot correcting those areas with concealer for more coverage. “You can cover dry patches with a hydrating concealer after the skin is prepped with proper skincare,” says Gene. “Be sure to spot treat and don’t rub the concealer on.” This brings us to our next point.

4. Pat, Don’t Rub.

Gene says the technique you use to apply makeup can either help or worsen dry patches as well. “When applying foundation dry or peeling skin, be sure to apply it in one direction when using a brush or with a pressing technique with a makeup sponge,” he says. “You don’t want to rub the brush around the face (in different directions) too much because that can cause friction to the skin, which can result in the skin peeling even more.

5. Be Strategic When Using Powders.

Despite what you may think, you don’t have to completely skip powder formulas if you have a dry skin type. Whether you’re someone who has combination-to-dry skin or someone who likes a matte finish, you can use a powder, but you have to be strategic about placement.

Be sure to apply the powder only where you need the additional coverage or setting,” advises Gene.

Also, make sure you choose a finely milled powder and one that isn’t full-coverage, which Lerma says can make the skin look drier. The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39, sephora.com) is a great option.

6. Avoid “Glowing” Formulas.

According to Cassandra Garcia, a professional global makeup artist, always look for hydrating makeup products, but be careful about formulas that say they promote a glow. 

Something to be aware of a glowy formula is make sure there isn’t texture with glow particles,” she says. For example, make sure the promised glow isn’t due to shimmer or glitter in formulas because that can add more texture to flaking or peeling skin. Instead, look for formulas that keep it simple and boost hydration to offer that natural-looking glow. “If you want, choose to add glow or shimmer in other places with a highlighting powder or cream so that no texture is added,” she says.

7. Face Mist Is Key.

The biggest tip to making your makeup last and avoiding any dry patches or flakes appearing throughout the day is keeping a face mist handy at all times. “The best tip to keep your makeup smooth throughout the day during the winter is using a refreshing mist to help set the makeup,” says Gene. “A spray can be used continuously throughout the day without interrupting makeup and keeping your look smooth.”

INSTYLE

5 Expert Makeup Tips For Enhancing Monolid Eyes

“Dark brown – nearly black – slightly downturned, and defined by the shape of their lids,” journalist Monica Kim wrote in a piece for Vogue back in June. “There is no wrinkle, no crease, no skin that falls back into the socket. Just a wide, flat plane that sits unmoving below my brows.” Kim was talking about her monolids, an eye shape possessed by many of East Asian descent, and one she shares with British Vogue’s luminous September cover star, Gemma Chan.

The web is awash with how-to videos and instructional articles on how to create the “ultimate” eye look, but unfortunately the techniques often ignore monolids. Here, Hiromi Ueda, the makeup artist behind Chan’s look, shares her top tips for achieving show-stopping eyes for monolids.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #61 series on my blog.

Order up

“I think the order you apply your makeup in is very important,” says Ueda. “It’s better to apply eyeshadow before you attempt a feline flick. And it’s wise to keep your eyes shut while the eyeliner is drying, to avoid reprinting the liner on top of your eyelid.”

Go bold and bright

With the onus being on accentuating the shape of the eye along the lash line, eyeshadow is a monolid’s best friend. Seek out bold and bright colours, and know that you can easily wear just one shade (instead of three, as those with double lids often do) across your lids. “I recommend choosing colour that’s impactful and which contrasts against a feline flick,” Ueda says. “I always check what my client is going to wear (and its key colours), so I can complement them in the makeup.” 

Ueda is a fan of Mac’s Pigment Pots for the extensive shade range. Monolids can also pull off some colour below the eye, so if that takes your fancy, experiment with blending your chosen shade underneath, too.

How to create a feline flick

When drawing a feline flick, seek to extend the line outwards, rather than up towards the end tip of the brow – it will help to enhance the shape of your eyes. “Ensure the line looks straight when you open your eyes, so mark some points on the eye with an eye pencil or pen and then draw the defined line,” advises Ueda. You can further define and make eyes look wider by using a tightlining technique on the upper lash line – work your eyeliner into the waterline and areas between your eyelashes, for a subtle but impactful effect. Long-wear and waterproof eyeliners are best to ensure there’s less transfer onto surrounding skin.

For fluttery lashes

The trick to making eyelashes stand out if you have monolids is to curl them beforehand, says Ueda. “My biggest advice is also to replace your mascara regularly to avoid any clumpy bits, as they won’t create a perfect finish.” False eyelashes can also work really well.

Go for gloss

Many eye shapes struggle with eye gloss because it tends to crease and slide all over the face, impacting the overall eye makeup finish. Monolids, on the other hand, don’t have that problem, up the ante on your eye look with a little shine. “Apply alone or add some gloss on top of eyeshadow, as it can make colours stand out more,” says Ueda.

VOGUE article

Behind The Scenes…

Photographer: Andrei Roman
Model: Katie Noskova

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4 Foolproof Steps To Create Audrey Hepburn’s Classic Cat-Eye Flick

When it comes to creating the ultimate feline flick, look no further than Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn. “Her almond eyes were synonymous with the winged eyeliner that adorned them, and the perfectly defined lashes that fluttered as she gazed through the window of Tiffany & Co, eating a croissant,” says Vogue make-up artist, Celia Burton. “When Alberto de Rossi died, Hepburn’s make-up artist of 25 years, she was said to have declared she’d rather not work again. A perfect tribute to the enormous role that make-up — and the man applying it — had played in her career. Legend has it that de Rossi would apply mascara and then separate each individual eyelash with a safety pin to emphasise her doe eyes.”

Indeed, famed for her feminine brows and signature cat-eye, Hepburn’s was a beauty that surpassed all others. And one that will be under the spotlight once more thanks to a new documentary on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star. Masterminded by the same BAFTA-nominated team behind 2018’s McQueen, a film about Alexander McQueen, Audrey takes an intimate look at one of cinema’s iconic actresses, featuring never-seen-before footage as well as interviews with her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Givenchy’s former artistic director Clare Waight Keller, and Tiffany & Co design director emeritus John Loring. Though the film promises to uncover the woman behind the red-carpet glitz and glamour, focusing on the psychological effects of her difficult upbringing, it will no doubt bring some of her iconic beauty looks back into focus, too.

To mark the occasion, Vogue make-up artist Celia Burton breaks down the steps to recreating Audrey Hepburn’s signature cat-eye flick.

Step 1: use liquid eyeliner to mark the position

Look straight into a mirror, with your chin lowered. Consider your eye shape, and use a liquid liner — my favourites are Glossier Pro Tip or Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner by Hourglass — to mark out with a dot or dash where you want the ‘flick’ to finish. For the Hepburn effect, I recommend a sharp, squat flick, angled upwards and outwards from the end of the lash line at 45 degrees.

Step 2: drag the eyeliner across the eye

Tip your head back, so now you’re looking down at the mirror, and drag the liner across the eye from the inner corner, staying as close to the lash line as possible. Always have a cotton bud and oil-free make-up remover to hand, to neaten as you go.

Step 3: connect the dots and thicken up

Stop when you reach the end of the lash line, return to looking straight into the mirror, and join the dots from the marked spot to the main event. You can leave this skinny, as a subtle flick, or thicken it out at the wing — just make sure to keep the 45-degree angle.

If you prefer your liner soft or blurred, use a gel-liner pencil in the same way — my favourites are Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl pencils or Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons — and smudge it along the lash line with a brush or finger before it sets, then tidy up the bottom of the flick with a cotton bud and oil-free make-up remover.

Step 4: finish with lashings of mascara

Finish with an intensely black, lengthening mascara such as Glossier Lash Slick or Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara by Hourglass, making sure not to clump the lashes in tribute to Alberto de Rossi and his safety pin.

VOGUE article

Tips For New Makeup Artists

  • Hand placement – never place your hand on top of a client’s head while working on their face, put it on your hip, hold another brush in it, or place it on the client’s chin. This is especially important with brides or models who have their hair already done. Plus, we tend to focus a lot on the step we’re doing that we might not notice just how hard our grip is on the client’s head.
  • Your pinky finger is your best friend – it serves as a resting point for your hand while blending eyeshadow or applying eyeliner, lipliner and lipstick. It’s a balancing tool to be used instead of resting the side of your hand on the face, or hold their head.
  • Apply false lashes easily – have the client look down and to the right for their right eye, and down to the left for their left eye. This method stretches the inside corner of the client’s eyelid allowing for perfect placement of false lashes and eyeliner.
  • Use dense eyeshadow applicators for glitters/pigments – you know those cheap ones that come with palettes? They’re so dense and impactful, they’ll be able to apply the glitter/pigment with less fallout and product loss than a traditional brush.
  • Choose the right eyeshadow transition shade – this shade is placed slightly above the socket of the eye under the browbone to transition into an eyeshadow look. The best bet is to use the bronzer shade you’re using on the client. This allows for cohesiveness and sculpting.
  • Avoid and correct eyeshadow fallout – it’s recommended to do eyeshadow first and wipe off the fallout without disrupting the base makeup. Apply skincare and primer, followed by eyeshadow. Clean up the fallout by wiping it off with a cotton round with some skincare on it – that way you’re not wiping off the initial skincare.
  • Apply skincare & primers strategically – skincare should help balance out dry/oily areas while helping to prolong the wear of makeup. Many people have oily T-zones (forehead, nose, and chin) while having dryness on the cheeks. Use hydrating, mattifying, and smoothing primers in areas where they’re needed. One primer may be all that the client needs, but may be not.