Trending right meow: the seduction of the cat eye

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For a dramatic finish, top off your cat eye with bright red lipstick. If you’re feeling tame, swipe on chapstick. (Photo courtesy of Fashion Diva Design)

This biggest and boldest fall makeup trend is indubitably the cat eye. It can be sophisticated and sweet and, with the right smoky smudges, can turn edgy and rebellious, making it the most versatile and loved trend for fall.

Women and men alike, including lifestyle blogger for SeanintheCity.com Sean Charles, are falling in love with the must-try staple for the upcoming fall season: the cat eye.

“If God had made me female I would be sporting every shape and angle,” Charles said.

The cat eye is an extension of the top or bottom eyelid’s eyeliner line, which quite literally mimics the eye of the feline house pet.

Although spotted on models at shows such as Jason Wu, Lanvin and Monique Lhuillier in the recent 2013 New York Fashion Week, the cat eye trend is no stranger to the high-fashion makeup sphere. It is reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour and even dates as far back as Cleopatra and her fabulous ancient Egyptian style.

With roots stretching back to the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the cat eye is a clear fashion staple. SMU Fashion Media Professor Chelsea Bell said, “as a staple, the cat eye will see subtle evolutions as beauty and fashion trends change…and like any staple its popularity will wax and wane.”

Right now, the trend is certainly waxing.

The Daily Campus Style Editor Brooke Reagan believes the trend waxes and wanes seasonally. She finds the cat eye prevails during the fall and winter months and dwindles during spring and summer, no doubt due to wardrobe changes.

The basic look has also undergone alterations to satiate Fall 2013’s fashion needs. For example, at the Christian Dior runway show, makeup artists added icy colors to the cat eye, giving it a more modern look. On the other hand, Michael Kors’ backstage artists used black eye shadow instead of eyeliner to offer a more dramatic and edgy look for the show.

Another modern tweak made to the incomparable cat eye is the connected and disconnected variations. A connected cat eye is where a line is drawn on the top lid and another line on the bottom lid and the two lines come together in the outer corner. A disconnected cat eye has a gap between the two lines.

There is also the reverse cat eye, recently seen on Georgia May Jagger at the 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty launch party. This design reverses the original cat eye so that the extension passes the tear ducts toward the nose. All variations add personal flavor to any ensemble and are easier than one would think to do at home.

Melissa McFadyen, makeup artist for a renowned cosmetic company, offers suggestions for when to do what type of cat eye and how to do it at home. During the day she suggests allowing the liner to “make most of the statement,” meaning soften all other makeup. McFadyen recommends using a prime eye look, which is basically a backdrop for the eyelid made of one’s skin-tone colors. A muted shimmer may also be applied to add a more feminine and sweet touch. She encourages applying a dense coating of mascara and even mentions applying a soft, false lash if necessary. She finishes this makeup tutorial with a “bright, bold lip.”

For a provocative, nighttime look, McFadyen loves going “crazy with the shadow.” She mentions how jewel tones are another fall trend that match perfectly with the cat eye and give it a shimmering sophistication. For an intense smoky eye, she suggests using a pencil on the waterline, which really amplifies the look. Think Brigitte Bardot-esque. She also advises a connected cat eye style to accentuate the trend. Wearing a soft, subtle lip color keeps the attention on the eyes.

McFadyen urges women not to try and apply the cat eye line in one, full stroke. It will turn out uneven and sloppy. Instead, McFadyen recommends applying the liner or shadow in short, overlapping strokes. This is much easier to administer and creates a smooth, balanced look. For maximum sharpness, a small swab of makeup remover can easily rid the lid of unwanted excess.

McFadyen likens the cat eye to the red lip: it will never go out of style. “It’s a classic,” she said. Whether one agrees with Charles and prefers the “oh so heavy” application, or agrees with Bell and favors the “noticeable but not overdone” look, the cat eye and all its glory are here to stay.

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