The Best Eyeliner Brush for Cat Eye

Bold eyeliner is a hallmark of cat eye makeup.

Photo: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

If you’re looking to infuse your ho-hum eye shadow routine with sexy flair, try a cat eye shadow scheme. The hallmark of the smoky cat eye look is dark, sweeping eyeliner that rims the lids and makes the eyes look fierce and feline. Eyeliner is essential to this sensual style, and using the proper brush will give you the “purr”-fect cat eye look.

Brush Material

They may all look the same, but makeup brushes are made of a wide range of materials. Natural hair makeup brushes are softer than most synthetics, and are made from hairs plucked from animals such as squirrels and horses. Synthetic brushes tend to be stiffer and are comprised of plastic fibers that are easier to care for and maintain than natural hair brushes. Natural hair brushes are the clear winner for cat eyes, since the bristles hold more pigment for a thicker, even line.

Shape it Up

Eyeliner brushes are much like haircuts when it comes to shape -- some are rounded like bowl haircuts, some are military flat tops, and some are funky like mohawks. Round brushes don’t work well for cat eyes since the rounded bristles don’t reach far enough into the corners for even coverage. Flat brushes are passable, but they leave squared-off ends that look harsh and unforgiving. Slanted brushes are the best for feline eyes, reaching far into the inside corner and sweeping up over the outside edge in a single swoop.

Types of Liner

Without a good liner, your brush choice is irrelevant. Liquid and gel eyeliners are the top contenders for “Best in Show” eyeliner, and each has its place. Gel liner works wonders on top lids, where the liner is swept on thin at the inner corner, and widens and extends the outer edge. Liquid liner is best for lower lids, as the thin liquid sweeps evenly over lower lines for large, round cat eyes.

Cat it Up

Base eyelids with a liquid eyeshadow primer, and brush a smoky charcoal shade over the eyelid. Buff a black shadow from the outer edge up into the crease, blending with a soft brush for even coverage. Tap a sparkly accent shade along the eyebrow ridge, and add a small spot to the inner corner of the eye. Dip a slanted brush in gel liner, and brush it on from the inside out, with the shorter edge of the brush near the inner corner. As you move to the outer edge, extend the liner slightly past the outer edge and pull the brush straight out toward your temple. Line the lower lid with liner, and add a coating of ebony mascara.

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