I’ve got some great tips on how to apply retro-inspired eyeliner flicks. Image writer’s own.
I’ve been wearing retro-inspired cat eye makeup for as long as I can remember – I think I had my first eyeliner flicks applied when I was about 19 years old. I splurged and had my makeup done professionally by the MAC team at Smith & Caughey’s on Queen Street and it was love at the first flick. I remember looking in the mirror and loving my new look. I went strolling back through town towards my work feeling likes a badass babe, but also hyper-aware of this new style and not feeling 100% confident with it at the time. It was new for me, and I had never had this style of makeup applied to my face before – little did I know, that was the day it all began and I would continue to evolve my own eyeliner style.
Fast-forward 10 odd years and I’m still wearing my eyeliner flicks – sometimes they’re more dramatic (think Amy Winehouse vibes), and other days they’re barely a small point on my eyelids, but they’re usually there in some form or another.
Types of Eyeliner
There’s a few different types of eyeliner now – you’ve got gels, liquids, creams, solid to liquid and trusty kohl pencils. All of which do a fantastic job, however, some are definitely more suited to a retro-inspired cat-eye look than others. A few of my past favourites include MAC’s Fluidline Black Track, L’Oreal’s Telescopic Control Tip Liquid Eyeliner and Maybelline’s Master Precise Liquid Liner.
Fenty Beauty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner. Image via Fenty Beauty.
Lately, I have been loving my new Fenty eyeliner. I grabbed the Fenty Beauty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner ‘Cuz I’m Black’ last year and it’s been my number one beauty staple ever since (apart from red lipstick of course). Not only is the product consistency extremely workable, saturated and long-lasting, but the super-flex applicator is perfect for creating this key timeless look.
For an ideal ’50s inspired wing, you need to pay attention to the pointed tip applicator. You don’t want this tip to be too flexible or too thick/rounded. When you find the perfect mix, guarantee you’ll never want to change it up and that product will be your new favourite.
How to apply your eyeliner
There are some amazing YouTube tutorials out there (I’ve added an amazing one below), you’ll also find how-tos for the specific shape of your eyes as this can help with the application. I’ve compiled some easy steps below for applying eyeliner with a small flick – nothing too creative so you can get the basics mastered.
Different eyeliner shapes and styles. Image via Bellatory.
Start with a nice clean eyelid if you’re not applying eyeshadow, otherwise, apply your eyeshadow first.
Open your eye, and check to see where you want the placement of your flick to be. You want it pointing slightly upwards to draw the illusion of your eye being ‘lifted’. Always draw your flick with your eye open, because once you close your eye, the skin and shape will change the overall shape.
Once you know where you’re headed, begin from the end of your eyelid line, and gently flick upwards and outwards until you’re happy with the length of your wing.
Feel free once you have the basic shape, to go over the line, gently bringing the point inwards so you end up with an outline of a tidy pointed shape.
Bring the eyeliner across your lid from out the outside, down to the inside of your eye, getting thinner as you get towards the inner corner. Fill in the shape with your eyeliner of choice.
Repeat for the other eye, keeping it as symmetrical as possible – not always easy but this does get better with practice. If both sets of eyeliner aren’t looking the same shape definitely don’t worry. This classic makeup look gets easier the more you do it, I still sometimes have trouble lining my left eye over the right eye as I’m right-handed.
This style is perfect for a simple look matched with red lips if you’re wanting a retro feel, or check out some of the really creative ways you can change up a simple cat eye with eyeshadow colours, dramatic brows and bold lips. It really is a style that can be adjusted to suit anyone.