The last few seasons have seen an emphasis on barely there makeup and fresh-faced beauty. And we’re not going to lie, the low-key approach to beauty is one of our faves. But this season we’ve also begun to see a bit of a heavier hand when it comes to makeup and beauty. Sparkle is making a comeback. Neon-bright eyeliner and shadow have been spotted. And very noticeable swipes of black around the eyes are on our radar.
If, like me, you grew up in a time where black eyeliner was the only makeup trick you knew (many thanks to X-tina), you’re familiar with rimming your eyes in black. In fact, black eyeliner was my “going out look” for years. But it’s been awhile since I’ve done it, having learned to use lipstick and highlighter a bit more efficiently. But, eyeliner is back, and I’m on board.
To make sure that I’m a bit more modern than my Christina Aguilera-inspired makeup days of yore, I got in touch with celebrity makeup artist and CoverGirl makeup pro, Veronica Chu, to share her tips and tricks for keeping this look on point. Chu is no stranger to black eyeliner. “My mom always wore a classic cat eye, and I would always wake up early before school and ask her to apply it on me,” says Chu. “She eventually made me learn on my own, and I’ve been doing this look ever since!”
Veronica’s tips for black eyeliner application
Black can be unforgiving—especially if you’re a fan of liquid liner. So Chu’s main tip is to not be afraid to remove the excess liner and touch up your work. No one expects you to get it right on your first try! Also, make sure you’re working with good lighting and a good mirror. Finally, “don’t worry about making the eye look identical on both sides,” says Chu. Your eyes aren’t perfectly symmetrical, so likely your makeup won’t be either.
Things you shouldn’t do when applying black eyeliner
“Don’t pull on your eye or stretch on the skin when applying!” says Chu. “Let your eye sit naturally.” That way you have more control with how the finished product will look. Also, the biggest thing you can do is practice, practice, practice—but only when you have the time. Trying out a new look isn’t going to go over well when you’re running out the door, so perfect this look when you have some time to devote to it.
Look #1: The black cat eye
This classic makeup look has never really gone out of style, and Chu loves it especially for manipulating the shape of your eye. Wish your eyes were wider? More feline? Rounder? You can give off that impression with this look. Try it with: COVERGIRL Intensify Me Liquid Eyeliner in Black ($8)
Step 1: Grab a liquid liner and start on the inner corner of your eye, using small strokes towards the outer corner of the eye.
Step 2: “Before the eye ends, start winging out towards where your eyebrow ends (as a guide),” says Chu.
Step 3: Filling in, and touching up. “You can use concealer on a brush to fix the tip of a cat-eye mistake,” says Chu.