The kitten eye

Shortbread Cookies


Sometimes the cat eye is a little bit more dramatic than I’m interested in, so if I want a bit more of a glam look, I’ll do the kitten eye. It’s a smaller version of the cat eye, in case that wasn’t obvious in the name.

I’ve heard from women that liquid liner can be daunting. It’s challenging to work with. And doing a cat eye, or kitten eye, is a talent in and of itself! But, after a bit of practice, I’m sure you can master the skill. Plus, the perk of the kitten eye is that it’s shorter, so you don’t have to worry as much about your “flicks” matching, like you do with the cat eye.

Frankly, we aren’t dolls with painted on makeup in the first place, so if your flicks aren’t exactly symmetrical, that’s okay. It’s better that they both match the direction you are doing (up and out) versus obsessing over them having the exact same length.

Or, just do what I do, and do the kitten eye.


First, you should find a liquid liner that you love. The brush, the product itself, and even the weight of the wand will all factor in when finding the right liquid liner for you. I also like to make sure to add plenty of highlight around my eyes when I do something a bit more glam, to balance it out. In this tutorial I’m featuring YSL’s Eyeliner Noir Liquid Liner and YSL’s Touche Eclat (in shade 1.5). I have heard beauty bloggers talk about the wonder that is Touche Eclat for a long time, so I was happy to finally pick some up! I happily accepted the assistance of an employee at the Nordstrom Beauty section to pick the YSL Touche Eclat shade. I thought it was a universal highlighter, and was surprised to see such a range in colors! I wanted brightness that looked natural, so we settled on the shade 1.5.

I like to keep the eyeshadow minimal when I’m doing dramatic liner, so for this look I used a soft neutral shade all over the lid, and a brown shade about 2 shades darker in the crease. YSL makes a really pretty eyeshadow palette called Pure Chromatics (which can be used wet or dry) and the shade No. 9 would be the perfect neutrals to both wear everyday and in this simple kitten eye look.


On my lips is Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Coral.



My biggest tip when it comes to liquid liner is to work slowly, in a well lit area, and work with short strokes. You can always go bigger and bolder with liner, so keep it narrow and precise to start out with. My favorite thing about the YSL Eyeliner Noir Liquid liner is the brush. It is extremely detailed, and the perfect amount of tightness to allow a brush-like stroke, without creating a mess. Also, the formula is inky and dark, but not too liquid-y. It would be hard to apply too much liquid with this liner. I’ve used some that need to be scraped off on the side so it didn’t glob onto my lash line, but you won’t run into that issue with this one.

In order to determine how pointed upward, or pulled outward, the flick should be, follow the direction of your lower lid. The further outward you do, the more narrow your eyes will look, BUT the more dramatic the eye will look as well. So for a dramatic cat eye, pull that flick out! But, for this look, staying in the natural direction of your eye shape will be pretty, and different, without being over done.


You can see from the green arrow that my flick followed straight up from where my lower lid was angled.


To add brightness around the eye area, hit your brow bone, the top side of your nose, and the highest point of your cheek.



Finish with a generous bit of mascara on the top lashes, and hit the bottom lashes with just enough to add definition, but no more than that. The focus is the liner and the top of the eye, so don’t worry too much about adding definition along the bottom.


I like mixing a bold lip color with the kitten eye, and while this one is a custom shade I created over the summer, I think this would be fun to wear these holidays as well!

I always love shopping around for beauty products at Nordstrom, and wish I lived closer to one! Although, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t! There are a handful of brands that I haven’t yet tried there, and the gift sets that are available this time of year are so tempting!

 This post was created in collaboration with Nordstrom


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Olivia Ruth says · 11.18.14

Hi Kate – I love this!! Actually I think that anytime I ever attempted to do a “cat eye” I have done a “kitten eye” because I prefer something that is less dramatic but still fun. Maybe you can do this post in video form too?

Have a great day! XO – Olivia Ruth

Lauren says · 11.18.14

I love this tutorial!! Do you think the Benefit Push Up Liner would work as well? I have that and love it as well!!

Kate says · 11.18.14

It could, for sure, but it will be harder to get a precise flick at the end with that one. The perk of liquid liner is the application tool is typically much more pointed, therefore it’s easier to get a pointed edge! It’s worth a shot though!

Melissa G says · 11.18.14

You seriously look gorgeous! I don’t think I would even try this. I used liquid liner back in the day and don’t think I want to go that route again!!

Jenny says · 11.18.14

I’ve never heard someone call it a ‘kitten eye’ before, but how cute is that! This is how I usually wear eyeliner on work days. It does take practice to learn the flick, but you’ll get it in no time! And I like your advice- it’s what I always tell people who ask me- don’t fret about your wings being perfectly symmetrical, once you get mascara on it won’t be noticeable! This is a good post, and one that I’m sure will help many!
Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

Emma says · 11.18.14

Trying this look ASAP love it!

Emma | With A City Dream

Misty @ Balancing A Hectic World says · 11.18.14

Love this look! Such a great eye to take you from work to parties during the holidays!


Becky Hines says · 11.18.14

This is a beautiful makeup look and a great alternative if you don’t want to do the full-on cat eye! The YSL eyeliner looks like it would be amazing, I have heard some pretty good things about it and this post just made me want to try it even more! The highlighter is a beautiful touch as well! Great blog post!

Becky, x

katharina says · 11.18.14

Awesome! You look super fresh, how on earth do you do this? 🙂

Carolina says · 11.18.14

Kate, you need to try the Milani liquid eye liner. I can do a “cat eye” perfectly and it’s relative inexpensive! I love it because it’s so easy to apply and it last all day long!

Andrea says · 11.18.14

Thank you for explaining how to know where to go with the “flick” in non-beauty terms! I can follow the “follow the direction of your lower lid” so much easier than all the other over complicated tutorials I’ve tried! Brilliant!

lesley says · 11.18.14

Would this work with the Kat Von D Tattoo eyeliner? This look is such a good balance of everyday and glam! Thanks for posting!

Kate says · 11.18.14

yep it would! You may not get as opaque of a finish with the Kat Von C eyeliner, but you can get a precise flick!

molly @ still being molly says · 11.18.14

I have the Kat Von D tattoo eyeliner and I love it! I do cat eyes and “kitten” (haha!) eyes with it all the time! 🙂 It’s my favorite! Just thought I’d share.

Sami says · 11.18.14

Perfect! I don’t like the look of the full cat eye on myself, but I think I could pull off this kitten eye technique. Thanks!

Carolyn says · 11.18.14

Lovely! It’s so funny because I can only use liquid liner. I am terrible at any of those felt tip ones. I just can’t ever get the line right. I am sure it’s because I have been using liquid forever and just need more practice but I figure – why bother! Although it is harder and harder to find a true liquid liner with a brush like this. Thanks for posting the link 🙂

Gabby says · 11.18.14

This is adorable, you basically placed a name on what I have been doing for ages!

Krista says · 11.18.14

Perfect explanation! Thanks for breaking it down. Your product options look amazing!

JNJxn says · 11.18.14

So cute!!!

Liz says · 11.18.14

Hi Kate! A few weeks ago you did a post that included a review of It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye. I am one of your “more mature” ( read over 50!) readers and, unlike you and your younger followers, I have the dreaded under eye trenches. Fortunately, I have always been avid about my skin care but oh how I hate my undereye trenches! Upon your recommendation, I purchased Bye Bye Undereye and it is FABULOUS! A true game changer! I have tried various concealers over the years and I am totally impressed! Thanks for your great tips….I enjoy all of your posts. Keep up the good work! 🙂

Melissa G says · 11.18.14

Liz…I have been using Bye Bye Under Eye, and it seems to accentuate my fine lines under my eyes. It’s such a bummer. I don’t have dark circles, but have a little discoloration a tad lower. SO I have been just avoiding the under eye area. I am looking for another one!!

Bee says · 11.18.14

Just so stunning…. loved it 😀

Mrs C says · 11.18.14

Great look. I love eyeliners. My make up artist told me that a line above the eyelid increases the size of your eyes so I wear it every say!

Rebecca says · 11.18.14

This is such an adorable look, but unfortunately for me I need to have an intense wing. My eyes are hooded and so something this subtle would be lost. I love this on your eye shape however!

Rebecca |

Abby says · 11.18.14

This is such a pretty look… I just wish i was better at liquid liner! haha! That lip color is perfect on you!

xo Always, Abby

Kate says · 11.18.14

After years of practice I might be brave enough to try some liquid liner! I like the look of this one and it looks easy to use.

Meagan says · 11.18.14

Great post! I’ve always been scared of liquid liner, but I may have to give it a try!

Chanan Bond says · 11.18.14

Inspired. My few attempts at a “cat eye” were unsuccessful but I do believe that I may be able to pull off the kitten eye. Thank you!

Tess Alexandra says · 11.18.14

I much prefer this to the traditional cat eye actually, it’s really beautiful and accentuates the eye but it isn’t too “punchy”. Suits you beautifully!

Heather Shin says · 11.19.14

Your tip about following the trajectory of your lower lash line just changed my life! Tried it this morning, and even in my sleep deprived state (2 boys-4 and 4 months) I managed to make it look good! Thanks!

Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort says · 11.19.14

Thank you for the tutorial! I can’t resist trying something with such a cute name. 🙂

Dawn says · 11.19.14

You must try the Sugar lip products! They are amazing, although they are a bit pricey. I recently purchased the lip polish which is an exfoliator for your lips. It was perfect for my chapped lips. The tinted lip balms are also great. I hope you try them soon!

Andrea says · 11.19.14

I would wear this type of eyeliner everyday a couple of month ago but like any other beauty blogger/youtuber I’m always trying new things and new ways to wear my makeup and I changed it up for a smoke out cat eyeliner and reading this post just reminded me why i loved so much the kitten eye like you call it, I’m pretty sure I’ll be rocking this out a lot AGAIN! xx

DiaryOfAMakeUpAddict says · 11.20.14

Great post. I think I need to try this out as I do think this will help with mastering the skill of the cat eye. Thanks for posting.
Xoxo Nathalie

Allison says · 11.20.14

Thanks for the demo, Kate! Which color of the ‘Touche Éclat’ Radiant Touch did you use here? They have several shades for sale. I have fairer skin, too, but maybe a touch darker/more yellow than yours… Could you recommend a color?!

Adrianne says · 11.20.14

I did your Kitten Eye today and I love it! I finally understand how to actually do it. It is going to take some more practice to get it just right, but I don’t feel as lost!

Isobel says · 11.21.14

Absolutely gorgeous and so simple! xx