Makeup Artists Share How to Do the Reverse Cat Eye in 5 Easy Steps

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Building out your liner skill set involves mastery of many shapes, the better to play up your current vibe. And where the kittenish flick is a quintessential makeup move, the reverse cat eye comes with a rebel edge. “A reverse cat eye is a modern take on the classic cat eye, where the winged eyeliner is applied to the lower lash line instead of the upper,” explains makeup artist Benjamin Puckey. “This bold approach creates a cool, slightly rebellious look, emphasizing the eyes' shape and adding a sultry, smoldering effect.” Makeup artist Fara Homidi agrees. “It communicates a sexiness, but also gives the vibe of someone willing to take chances.” Who knew a simple switch-up could say so much?

While most reverse-cat-eye advocates would agree with the above description, the look can also denote liner that wings at the inner corners of the eye along with the outer. This detailing is optional, but the positioning—an extension of the lower lash line—is the ultimate goal. “The reverse cat eye offers a lot of versatility, letting you play with different levels of boldness,” says Puckey, who suggests looking to Zendaya’s regular red carpet rotation for inspiration (she's a big fan of the look). “Opt for a sharp, precise line or a smudged, smoky effect.”

Meet Our Expert

  • Benjamin Puckey is a celebrity makeup artist and global color director at Clé de Peau Beauté.

  • Fara Homidi is a celebrity makeup artist and founder of her own eponymous beauty line.

As far as accompanying makeup goes, Homidi suggests keeping this neutral and letting your eyes make the statement they were meant to. For his part, Puckey prefers his reverse cat eye overseen by a power brow. “Well-defined brows complement the boldness of the reverse cat eye,” he explains. Both artists recommend a nude lip (Puckey reaches for Clé De Peau Beauté’s Cream Rouge in Chocolate Cosmos) and a sculpted face. “A soft cream contour stick, like Westman Atelier’s Face Trace, can define your cheekbones without overshadowing your eye makeup,” says Puckey. A touch of highlighter at the inner corner of the eye offers luminous punctuation to the about-face liner look.

Read on to learn how to create a reverse cat eye in five simple steps.

Step One: Prep Your Eyes

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Proper preparation creates a foundation for a long-lasting look. “Apply an eye primer to ensure your eye makeup stays in place,” says Puckey. “I prefer the Rare Beauty Eye Primer, as it provides a smooth base without causing product skipping.”

Step Two: Define the Lash Line

Migrating the classic wing to the lower lash line calls for a few extra makeup moves. “To balance the focus on the lower lash line, add subtle definition to the upper lash line,” says Puckey. “I suggest using a waterproof gel pencil like Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ’N’ Kohl to draw a thin line along the upper lashes, then smudging with a pencil brush for a soft effect.”

Step Three: Sketch the Shape

“I always love to sketch the shape with a softer pencil such as Victoria Beckham’s Satin Kajal Liner,” says Homidi, who suggests trying dark brown rather than black for a softer look. “Lightly trace your bottom lash line with the pencil and use a small eye brush to smoke out and manipulate the product to get the shape you want.” Puckey suggests drawing a wing that extends out and slightly upward, mirroring the direction of a traditional cat eye from below. “Continue the line from the outer wing to the inner corner, keeping it close to the lashes for a clean look, adjusting the thickness based on your preference,” he says. Finally, use a fine Q-tip to clean up your wing, swiping the line to sharpen and finish the look.

Step Four: Set With Powder

Now comes the moment to commit to your cat eye. “Once you are happy with the shape, a pro trick is to add a touch of translucent powder over this to ensure that the pencil liner is budge-proof,” says Homidi. Powder plus primer means that your well-honed wing will stay perfect, strong, and sharp — particularly if you adhere to the final step.

Step Five: Intensify the Look

As the reverse cat eye is all about the drama, adding further definition and sharpness is a mandate. “Go over it with a liquid linerSurratt Auto-Graphique is my favorite — to intensify the finish and lock in the look,” says Homidi. The increase in depth and saturation makes the already luxe look feel all the more glamorous.

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