Beauty Icons: The Cat-Eye Flick

The cat-eye flick was a signature of Brigitte Bardot
The cat-eye flick was a signature of Brigitte Bardot

Guest beauty writer Lauren Phillips muses on the classic cat-eye…

Funny how one of beauty’s most iconic looks is notoriously one of the hardest to master. Frustrating really, given the transformative, eye-widening magic a single sweep of cat-eye liner can wield. Cleopatra knew it, Brigitte Bardot knew  it, even Adele on *that * cover of The Gentlewoman knew it.

even Adele on *that * cover of The Gentlewoman knew it.

It’s the bright, young things of the 1950s and 60s that cemented the cat-eye’s place in the beauty pantheon, though. Bold, modern and undeniably sexy, it was a look that defined an era. Poster girls of the time, like Anna Karina, Sophia Loren and Francoise Hardy made the cat-eye their signature, and with it, confirmed their status as beauty pin-ups for generations to come.

By the 1970s – as bare-faced bohemia and later, Studio 54 glamour took hold – the cat-eye took a back seat. Glitter, super-sized blowdries and swathes of bronzer was the look du jour, but like any good thing, the cat-eye made its comeback. In the 1990s, post-punk girls payed homage to French New Wave with off-centre berets and flicks of black kohl. More recently, self-confessed It Girl Alexa Chung’s signature winged eyeliner has garnered an army of fans and even lead to her own range with cult liner brand, Eyeko. “I’m an avid wearer of eyeliner – I would say I’m  wearing it 90 percent of the time,” she told Into The Gloss.

Gilded lids and tough-girl flicks at Creatures of the Wind SS16
Gilded lids and tough-girl flicks at Creatures of the Wind SS16

New, innovative twists on the cat-eye are regular mainstays on the runway, too. At NYFW, make-up artist Aaron de Mey for NARS opted for dramatic winged looks as part of Creature of the Wind’s SS16 collection. Inspired by inimitable punk-goddess Siouxsie Sioux, Mey created extreme, graphic flicks using Black Moon pencil and Via Veneto Larger Than Life eyeliner. ‘The look is very eclectic with a lot of layering which plays off the layering in the collection. It’s punk, tough looking. I loved the richness of the gold against the toughness of the black. It’s an updated, modernised take on eyeliner.’

Make-up icon Kabuki mixed things up at Jeremy Scott SS16
Make-up icon Kabuki mixed things up at Jeremy Scott SS16

Over at Jeremy Scott, industry legend Kabuki turned out a gang of Go-Go girls inspired by “East Village party girls of the 80s who love playing dress-up in 60s vintage.” He used MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack and  Superslick Liquid Eyeliner in On The Hunt, both above and below the eye, to create the ultimate babydoll look.

Whether you opt for an elegant feline flick, or a bolder, more graphic take, cat-eye liner will never fail to make an impact. Still wondering how to master yours? Head to our How To Guide for everything you need.

 

Lauren Phillips is a Manchester-based copywriter and Food Editor at The Skinny magazine. She likes Netflix, pina coladas and her bulldog, Sadie. 

Cat

Cat

Founder

Cat is the beauty-obsessed founder of the London Beauty Insider. She is a London=based writer and editor and also regularly contributes to the Telegraph, Metro, L'oreal, MATCHESFASHION.COM and Grazia Arabia.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

 

Thanks for reading the LBI

About us

London Beauty Insider is a beauty blog founded by two friends - Fab a professional makeup artist, and Cat a fashion and beauty writer. All shoots are created in our kitchen in South East London alongside the watchful eye of Valentina, Cat's adopted Tabby. Stay tuned for plenty of reviews, tips, and how-to guides.