I have decided that this year my eye make up will consist mainly of cat flick eyeliner. Half because I have finally got the hang of it and need to justify the time and energy I spent on it (like a teenage boy learning to do a cab whistle in his bedroom feels the need to show it off at every opportunity).
The other half because I feel like I am possibly getting a little old to get away with the smudged-all-round-my-face eyeliner.
But I need the right eyeliner, because I have oily eyelids. Ugh. I mean it makes sense, the rest of my face is one big oil slick, why would my eyelids be any different? But even eyeliner that claims to be budge-and-smudge proof slides down my face.
As I’ve said before, when you are 25 this is charming. When you are 38, less. I recently went to interview someone and his office was quite warm. In as much as I had given any thought to how I looked I thought I looked fine – presentable. Then I came out of the office and caught sight of myself in a mirror and I was bright red and my eye makeup had sort of pooled under my eyes and gathered in the corners. Awful.
Anyway I have come to the conclusion that, oily eyelids or not, a good cat eye flick starts with eyeshadow base. I know that sounds like an absurd thing to use but it makes such a huge difference to the longevity of your eye make up and when you have spent at least 5 minutes perfecting your flick, for it to wander off by 10.30am is no good.
I use Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials, but it is very expensive and I hear that this from MAC and this from Nyx are is just as good.
Next, the eyeliner. I have tried many. I tried the Maybelline one, the Mac one, a Bourjois one and L’Oreal Infallible gel eyeliner. Finally I went to the Chanel counter. I had heard, too, they made a good one but I didn’t want the most expensive one to be the best.
But, weighing in at £31, this eyeliner pen is the one I’d say has the greatest staying power. Even though the lady at the Mac counter warned me, unprompted, that her liner was “quite hard to get off”, it was not hard to get off. It got the hell off all by itself without me even touching it.
Having said this thing about the Chanel one, if you don’t have oily eyelids one of the other less expensive ones may well do the trick. OR if you have oily eyelids, one of the less expensive ones plus the eye base may work fine. I’ve now got this astronomically expensive eyeliner pen and the eye base and it feels a bit overkill, but hey that’s just how much I mean this about the cat flick thing.
Trying to describe how to do an eye flick is ridiculous. The general advice is to draw a short diagonal line from the outer corner of your eye, outwards and then join up the line from your upper lid with it.
But written down that makes no sense. It only makes sense once you come to the conclusion that that’s the thing to do yourself and then think back and go “Oh that’s what it means.”
My advice is to just practice a lot with the Simple Human round mirror and maybe watch a few YouTube videos, but don’t get carried away with the length of the flick – we are not Bella Hadid.
I love a flick but can only do them with a brush and pot. Any of the felt tip-style pens just make me look like I’ve drawn on my face in felt tip, and not in a good way.
My ten year old daughter spent all weekend learning to do a cabbie whistle and I’ve never been so jealous of an ability in all my life. Cat flicks evade me also, and I might balk at spending quite that much on an eye-liner.
I know it’s an absurd amount. It had better last me all year
I have the same problem with eyeliner smudging, so I’ve switched to a waterproof formulation and it has worked. I just use a Maybelline one, nothing fancy. I can’t get on with waterproof mascara though.
I don’t wear make up but I do buy the chanel eyeliner pens for my daughter who thinks they are the best. Her cat flick eyes always look very good.The pens seem to last quite a long time.
Perhaps not for a cat flick but I also have very oily eyelids (and am glad I am not a total freak and this is a thing) and have recently found the Maybelline Tattoo eyeliner is genuinely long lasting without any smudging, almost even until bedtime. I dab loose powder (I have a Chanel one) on first which makes a difference, rather than any eye base.
The solution to oily eyelids is…drum roll…Paint Pot by MAC. It is not very expensive, lasts forever and won’t budge. I have gotten better at cat liner (still hard to get symmetrical) but I always wonder whether to leave under the eye blank or do a light smudge. Neither one look quite right to me!
I’d love to do flicky eyes but I have hooded eyelids and it just sort of exacerbates them (and also picks up the ink so I end up with two moon shaped marks on my upper eyelid). I wish there was a way around it, as it’s my favourite look. I suppose I could have an eye lift! Though to be fair, I’ve had the same problem all my life, it’s not just an age thing.
Emma – a great trick is to tightline the inside of the upper eyelid with something like the Urban Decay pencil in Perversion, then do a flick on the outer corners as usual. It ends up looking like you have eyeliner RIGHT on the eyeline but won’t smudge or imprint on your lids. Hope this helps!
Along with oily lids I have wrinkles. Keeping the stuff on is impossible. I have a very thin eyeliner (not as demonstrative as a cats-eye flick) tattooed on my top lids. It’s wonderful. Hurts for about 30 seconds but lasts four years. Need much less product with the added bonus of waking up looking much less horrific. Highly recommended,
Any recommendations for a good You Tube tutorial?
I looked through all of them – they’re all a bit mad and done by those vloggers who literally paint another person’s face over their own … Charlotte Tilbury does an alright one although I find her flick a bit extreme and long. But, if you watch enough you’ll get the idea
I wear a cat flick everyday and have oily lids too – honestly I’ve given up on eyeliners entirely. I use a wet angled brush and eyeshadow. Weirdly miceller water works really well but I also highly recommend Illamasqua’s mixing medium. It’s a super tiny bottle but you only need a minuscule amount. That works best with a loose powder shadow but I’ve used it on pallets too xx
I go through so much eyeliner that I’ve had to find a cheapie to wear to the office.
I have tried all the cheap ones and the only one that lasts is Revlon Colourstay. Luckily it comes in dark brown as well as black as I find black a bit too harsh these days.
Unfortunately I can’t set foot outside without eyeliner.
I absolutely LOVE Trish McEvoy make up. Yup it is expensive but I don’t wear or own a lot of make up so I’m happy to pay their prices. Best make up I’ve ever used. They do a great eyeliner pen as well which lasts ages. You can flip the felt tip around when one end starts drying out. The ladies at the Liberty counter are fantastic if you need any advice.
I’m a liquid eyeliner wearer (for ~20yrs 😱). Used to use L’Oreal super liner till they changed the formula and it went all flaky. This one is amazing and doesn’t budge after 12 hours on call at work…
I too have oily eyelids, (thinking this will SURELY pay off at some point?) and I find Stila Stay all Day sort of does but definitely doesn’t imprint on upper lids (£14). Second Mac paint pots as a good base.
OK I have the answer. Best eyeliner (since MAC reformulated liquilast) is Kiko Definition Waterproof Eyeliner, lasts absolutely ages too. Key tip; don’t put the liner straight onto the base / shadow, leave it to settle for at least 10 mins.
Kelly Williams says
I was once told by a Clinique lady I shouldn’t try to use their eye crayons because my eyes were “so greasy”, so eff her. My foolproof eye-flick routine is: Urban Outfitters eye primer, teeny dusting of powder, Tom Ford Eyeliner pen (eye-wateringly expensive, but lasts FOR. EVER.)
Christ, Urban Decay not outfitters. 🤦🏼♀️