Pat McGrath is arguably the most revered makeup artist in the world, so when she shares a tip, we listen closely. (And commit it to memory for all eternity.) During a recent interview to discuss Max Factor's return to the United States market via a limited-edition collection, McGrath — who is the brand's creative design director — shared some advice about how to create the perfect cat-eye, a makeup look often considered one of McGrath's signatures. When we asked her what she sees as the biggest eyeliner mistake most people make (the Max Factor collection includes an innovative liquid eyeliner with a flat, tapered tip), she offered up a few pointers.
"The perfect cat-eye should have a gradual tapered shape," she says. "You want to start at the inner corner of the eye, close to the tear duct; this should be the thinnest part of your liner." But the area that proves most difficult for people, says McGrath, is the flick at the outer corner, no question. "The wing is the hardest part to get right. You want to start the lift for the wing just before the end of the eye, not when you reach the end." This creates a more seamless line that elongates eyes and makes them appear larger. "To help with symmetry, use the end of your eyebrow as a guide for where your taper should go," she adds.
And even McGrath, Supreme Makeup Goddess of the Universe (which is a nickname I just made up for her) admits that cat-eyes can be tricky. "Practice makes perfect. I always have a cotton swab with makeup remover ready to easily fix mistakes," she says.
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