Nothing says glamour like a red lip and winged eyeliner. Unfortunately, nothing also says “Look at me, I think I’m better than you,” like a cat eye done too well. Here’s how to do a cat eye that’s a little messed up so you’re still approachable.
Prep: Select a decent product.
The tools you use can make or break this look. With reliable products you know and love, you’ll have a better chance of getting it just wrong enough to convince everyone around you you’re chill. We happen to be huge fans of L’Oréal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner (Ulta, $8.99). Its sturdy but thin brush is capable of creating the perfect line. That is, if you’re pretentious and into that kind of thing. Used incorrectly, it can also create kind of a smudgy scrawl that looks more normal and cool.
Step 1: Draw a line at a slightly too-high angle.
Lower your eyelid to get a smooth surface. Or keep it raised, if you want to be invited to brunch—no one needs to be hungover around some Little Miss Perfect. Draw a line at an angle from the outer corner. Make the line longer and at a sharper angle than you think it needs to be. After that, keep the line going a little further so it looks like you got a bit distracted—how relatable! Ugh, you’re a mess.
Step 2: Create a shaky triangle.
Create a triangle shape by connecting the top of the flick down to the lash line. It can be in line with the outer edge of the iris. Or on the outer-outer edge. Or not even near the iris at all. You definitely have some options, depending on which friends you’re seeing today and how much makeup you think they’ll be threatened by. What’s important is that it looks a bit off. People will feel more at ease, like they can genuinely open up to you.
Step 3: Fill in the triangle (mostly).
Fill in the triangle using your liquid liner. When you layer the product enough, the color looks smooth and saturated. We recommend skipping that part. An inconsistently black cat eye shows you’re just as good company on a movie night as you are going out.
Step 4: Connect the triangle to your lash line, sort of.
Think about smoothing the area where the triangle and your lash line meet, but don’t get entirely around to it. Basically you’re applying eyeliner as you normally would, except that now you’re incorporating the triangle. Apply it thickly where the triangle meets the lash line to show some effort but also apply it thickly near the inner corner of the eye to show you haven’t got a complete handle on this. That would make you seem intimidating and like you’d never want to come over after work to play Rock Band.
Step 5: Touch up any mistakes by adding some more mistakes.
Chances are you didn’t get it perfect the first time. But in case you did, this is where you can bring out the gaffes a bit more. Dip a Q-tip in makeup remover and dab at the too-well-applied areas to create a bit of smudging. These mistakes will show everyone you want to hear about their latest failed Tinder date, because mistakes are something humans make and how important is that?
Step 6: Apply mascara.
Finish with a couple coats of mascara. Don’t wait for your eyeliner to dry first. That is something a snob would do. Christi and Kaitlyn are fighting, so this is your only chance to swoop in and become Christie’s eyelid-speckled best friend.
It can be tricky to make both eyes look even. Practice a few times so that you are happy with the extent to which one or both eyes look off. Focus on getting your lines to be nonmatching lengths in a way that instantly breaks the ice with everyone you talk to! Good luck, ya lil’ slob!