Yes. These smoky, sexy eyes belong to Sophia Loren. The classic 1950's cat eye. Marilyn Monroe. Bridgitte Bardot. These women knew how to rock the cat eye, or dark winged eyeliner.
Today, there is British singer Amy Winehouse. Well, let's just say, that's a severely exaggerated cat eye she's sporting. Not very attractive.
Dark winged eyeliner is very much in vogue this season. You see it everywhere. The red carpet. The runway. However, the cat eye is actually a timeless look. It has never gone out of style. But achieving the perfect, dark winged eyeliner is almost impossible. I said, almost.
If you have a brilliant, professional makeup artist like Sandy Linter or Stephen Moleski, then leave the fine lines to them. If you're left on your own staring into the mirror, well, here are some valuable tips:
First, liquid eyeliner is the bomb! In other words, the liquid liner makes for the best cat eye. But doing the winged eyeliner the right way, takes lots of practice and tons of Q-tips, yes, cotton swabs (I'll get to that in a moment).
I did some research on dark winged eyeliner, because I, too, have been wearing the cat eye for a number of years now. But it is so hard to achieve. I know you laugh, but when it's done right, it is a darn sexy eye.
Allure Magazine had a great article in their September 2007 issue, on How To Pull Off Dark Eyeliner by Susan Giordano.
Giordano has wonderful qualifications as a makeup artist. She has worked on Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoots, as well as those for Allure. Here is her advice:
"Go beyond basic black. For most women, a rich, chocolate brown eyeliner is a better choice than black; dark plums are also pretty. They both have the depth without the potential harshness. Contrary to what most people think, Marilyn Monroe wore brown.
• Keep it solid. Make no mistake—liquid liner is very difficult to apply. It dries as soon as you put it on. Most people should just skip liquid and try a more forgiving gel formula that will give you the bold look. If you want the appearance of liquid, Laura Mercier makes a great cake liner with a rich, velvety texture. You moisten it and then apply with a small, teardrop-shaped paintbrush. (I find those stiff, angled brushes hard to use.) This look is great for evening, when you can really pull off an exaggerated, winged-out line.
• Don't overdo it. The biggest mistake women make when putting on liner is to rim their eyes with it completely. Eyeliner is meant to add definition and make your eyes look larger, but circling them completely will make them look small and beady. Lining the inner rims of your eye can also have that effect. Just try to get the liner as close to your lashes as possible. You don't want to have any skin showing between the liner and your eyelashes."
Most professional makeup artists use Q-tips or cotton swabs for plenty of makeup techniques, as well as makeup mishaps. For the winged eyeliner, take a moistened Q-tip, and flick the end of your eyeliner into a thin wing that extends up and beyond the outer eye. If you make a mistake, simply use another cotton swab to wipe it away.
If you still need more help, here is an excellent tutorial on cat eyes with some wonderful step-by-step photos: