"You look like a witch," were the exact words my thirteen-year-old cousin once said to me. The reason being? My cat eyeliner — or lack thereof. I'm sure many of us understand the woes of mastering winged liner. In fact, many things can go wrong when executing a cat eye; from anxiety to indescribable joy, emotions are ravaged, drained, and then built again. That's the cycle of (beauty) life, ladies.
From Brigitte Bardot to Audrey Hepburn, belles of the past have long perfected the cat eyeliner. Though my liner will most likely never look worthy of a French sex symbol or Hollywood screen legend, I can at least try— with much trial and error involved. You know girls talk business when they accept the cat eye mission. The weapon of choice varies: some prefer the classic felt tip, while others opt for the gel and angled brush route. Either way, the end goal is still the same: polishing that flick (mascara and eyeshadow optional).
For weeks, I somehow managed to churn out a cateye every morning before class. Of course, my lids braved through both the good and the bad. To be honest, I still have yet to ace the ultimate winged liner, even after all those painstaking minutes that felt more like hours. When will my day come — the day I officially achieve beauty righteousness? Only time will tell, but what I do know is that no cat eyeliner attempt is complete without these seven horror stories.
And in the wise words of makeup extraordinaire Michelle Phan, "Good luck" — and may you finally paint the cat eye of your dreams.
1. Your Flick Won't Be Sharp Enough
This is probably my number one downfall when it comes to cat eyeliner. Though makeup artists and that ultra-cool girl in your media class makes the flick look like child's play, actually trying to tackle the wing is a struggle. How in the world do people simply whip out the cat eye flawlessly on the first try? A dull cat eye is my number one pet peeve, though I'm also guilty of it at the same time.
2. You'll Suffer The Case Of Uneven Wings
As the popular eyeliner meme goes, uneven wings is the true disaster. My right eye will be golden, but my left eye? A nightmare. At this point, I believe that anyone with a perfectly symmetrical cat eye is a myth.
3. Your Eyeliner Will Dry Up
Hello world, meet the number one eyeliner that will change your makeup routine. There's a reason this Stila liner has a cult following — its staying power is the definition of superhero strength. No matter the amount of naps you sneak or tears you shed while watching Room, your winged liner will stay mighty and strong. Multiple stabs at drawing your cat eye will often result in dry liner, but luckily this magic pen is incredibly rich and smooth all around.
4. You'll Overdose On The Makeup Remover
Is your cat eye routine really complete without a few errors — or like, fifty? I worship the folks who can produce flawless winged liner with one fatal swoop, namely because I often end up using 90 percent of my makeup remover every time I try. RIP my trusty Simple makeup remover — I'll learn to minimize my mistake count eventually.
5. You'll Spend Forever In The Bathroom
Kudos to my family, friends, strangers in the hostel who I have left stranded all in the name of my winged eyeliner. Whenever I tell myself I'm going to do a cat eye, it essentially translates to "I'm going to hog the bathroom for about 2423984 hours". Perfection takes time, alright? (And I really do apologize in advance)
6. You'll Try Every Trick But Still Get Liner All Over Your Face
From the innovative business card trick to the genius tape hack, there are a multitude of ways to nail that precise cat eye. However, you'll most likely spend forever studying each tutorial only to realize that what you see on-screen doesn't always translate smoothly to the reality.
7. You'll Realize That You're Actually Not Lauren Conrad
Dear LC, queen of the supreme cat eye: what is your secret???