Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting the Perfect Cat-Eye with Powder Liner

This is a tutorial for getting a softer, simpler cat eye liner look using powder rather than gel, pencil or liquid.
The benefits are that:
  • powder is easier to control, especially if you're new to eye liner
  • if you make any mistakes you can rub it away easily
  • you can go on light, and then build up intensity when you like the shape/angle
  • you can use it dry for a softer look, or damp for something that looks more like liquid liner (be careful which shadows you use though. Not all work wet.)
  • you can use pretty much ANY eye shadow or pigment of your choice, which means the color options are endless
The application technique is actually the same as when you apply gel or cake liner with an angled brush.
The easiest brushes to use for this look are flat angled brushes. Wider/larger brush heads are actually easier for getting extended wings. Natural hair brushes also tend to work better than synthetic ones as they pick up more pigment.
Step 1: After applying the rest of your eye makeup, dab the tip of your angled brush into black shadow or cake liner. I'm using it dry for a softer smokier line. You can dampen your brush to get an intense line if you're using cake liners or loose pigments.

Step 2: Use the LOWER LASHLINE AS THE GUIDING LINE for the angle of the brush.  I simply place the brush along the outer corners of the bottom lash line and then gently stroke the brush along that line. Extend inwards along the lower lash line. 
This step is key because it:
  • helps you to make the angle of the flick more balanced on both eyes
  • gives that gorgeous sweeping arc of liner when you close your eyes, as this follows your natural eye contour. 


Step 2: Next, line your upper lash line. All you do is pick up more powder with your brush and tap off excess before placing it right at the base of the lashes and wiggling gently to "push" the pigment onto your skin. Then remove your brush, pick up more powder, and then place it along the next section of your lash line. Don't try to stroke the brush all the way from one end of your eye to the other. This is MUCH easier and much more precise.

Step 3: To get rid of a harsh angle between the flick and your upper lash line, place your brush along the flick and then stroke it inwards diagonally towards the center of your lid. This thickens up the line at the outer corners without ruining that beautiful angle.


  1. Great tutorial! I've always been hesitant to use eyeshadow as a liner, but I'll have to give this a try sometime soon :)

    1. Thanks Kay! Yes, give it a shot! It's really a lot simpler and easier to control than liquids and gels, and good if you find most liners a bit too dramatic looking.

  2. Beautiful! A very helpful tutorial!

    1. Thanks Jenny! I wasn't intending to do it previously but someone messaged me with a request and it suddenly hit me that it might be useful for those who just want to work with powders.

  3. great tutorial! and I love the eyeshadow as well, what did you use?

    1. Hi Jenni-fuhhh, that's MAC Sable on the lids with a tiny bit of a pale beige shimmer in the inner corners. (I don't really remember which as it's such a generic champagne shade but I assume it's Sable that caught your eye!)

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