Eyes That Say “Meow”


Why is it that people and their pets wind up looking alike? Do humans subconsciously seek out companions that resemble them? The dog on the street usually matches its owner. Think about it. Less is known about cats—probably because they’re not paraded around as much. Not so for Penelope, the one-year-old Devon Rex who calls Vogue Italia cover girl Meghan Collison mom. Penelope is all over Meg’s Instagram feed, generally in some envy-inducing state of snuggle with the model that makes you go awwww I want a cat... That oddball perma-wet-look shaggy white fur that looks like a hand went through it in the wrong direction, the fact that it can run around outside just like a dog!, and those big blue eyes. Up close, they match Meg’s exactly. Their smiles are also uncannily similar, no?

Variations of the infamous cat eye were all over the spring 2013 runways—at a recent Covergirl press event, Pat McGrath shared photos from short of a dozen shows (in a category she called “Gallery of Wings”). The cat eye itself is nothing new, but it’s how you do it, and how you wear it, that makes all the difference. First, skip the red lip, unless you are going for a very literal Mad Men throwback. In fact, keep the whole face pretty bare, hitting the tops of cheeks, brow bones, and inner corners of the eye with some creamy highlighter (Emily used McGrath’s beloved Madina “Shiny Stick” on Meg) and dabbing Lipstick Queen's Oxymoron Lip & Cheek Color on, well, lips and cheeks. Dust a pearly pink shadow (we like Bobbi Brown’s new Caviar & Oyster holiday palette) over lids, sweep Benefit’s genius Brow Gel over those arches, and get cracking on the liner. You actually need two things: a black pencil, and a black liquid, because, as McGrath says, “Nobody can draw a perfect line all at once” (though, as we suspected, she stops short of saying “not even me.”)

It’s not rocket science, and there’s also no one way to do it—only some loose guidelines. Start close to the upper lashline with the sharpened pencil (we’re not particular—c’mon, a black pencil is a black pencil), start small and build, get the shape right, clean it up with a moistened cotton swab, and then trace over your steps with liquid. Alessandra loves Lancôme Artliner—of the felt-tip pen variety—while Emily’s all hung up on a rare Japanese vinyl-like wonder called Rubotan (usually available, though currently sold out at, Michael Angelo’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor. Call to put your name on a waiting list.) Makeup artists love a gel-pot-and-brush combo, but we’re too scared.

Also scary: figuring out how thick the line should be, where it should start, where is should end, and pretty much everything else about liquid eyeliner. But you know what we say? Just practice. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some Miguel, and have a date with the mirror. What’s the worst that can happen? You have to take it off before you leave the house? Oh, the horror. Nobody knows your face better than you, not even a makeup artist, so just see what looks good. Emily painted a classic shape on Meg with the Rubotan, but, feeling particularly feline, what with Penelope circling their feet, extended the ink slightly past her tear duct into a fine, wispy point. Total number of Bioderma-soaked cotton swabs used? 4. They’re truly the very best tool in cleaning up and perfecting a line. And the very best accessory? A pair of Maison Michel cat ears, or a real cat. Or, in our case, both.

Meghan Collison, wearing her own Rebecca Turbow x Verameat dress with a Maison Michel headband from Fivestory, and Penelope, photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on November 15th, 2012.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://twitter.com/L_Ashley Lauren Ashley

    A cat eye is my go to as well, and I also have a pet kitty ... hmm. Coincidence? Maybe I've been copying her subconsciously all along. :-)


  • Lindsay923

    What shade of Lipstick Queen's Lip & Cheek Color was used? Oxymoron is the name of the product, not the shade. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003495413796 Jade Thompson

    This is an amazing image!

  • http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/ Nomadic D.

    I'm really much more of a dog person, but that cat is damn cute! And yes, you're totally right, it's that scruffiness, are they using B&B surf spray or something on her? ha! As for the liner, yes, practice is really the only way. Except for that fairly magical tape trick - I use washi, just stick it on and it serves as a guide/stencil for the outer flick, and then peels right off. Some folks use a business card or something, but if you use tape you can actually do both eyes at once and make sure you're even.


  • Kitchen Afternoon

    Yes on cats and catliner!
    I am going to James Beard House for wine dinner soon, where shall I get my hair done that afternoon?

  • mllep

    I really wanted the first and last photos to flicker back and forth, as if Penelope was saying "meowwwyeah!"

  • Lucie Herridge

    I love this image!!! So cute! I now follow your blog :) x

  • Sam

    Fucking dead. I don't even like cats and I want one of those little fluffballs now.

  • Denisa

    Perfect pics and so lovely cat. Have a great day.

  • katie chambers

    I wear a subtle cat eye on a daily basis, and by far the best thing I have ever found for doing it smoothly is called Hashmi Kajal. It's a tiny little tube filled with thick black pigment and a wand you dip in it. I got it for a buck fifty at an Indian grocery store in Nashville a year ago. If you can find it, get it-- it lasts a long, long time and is great for going on cleanly (unlike, ahem, the Guerlain take on kajal) the first time and not smudging around. :)

    • http://www.commonromance.com/ Couteau

      That stuff is fantastic. I have no idea why it hasn't been copied.

  • http://fairytalesandcoffee.wordpress.com/ fairytalesandcoffee

    Holy cow - the model does strongly resemble a cat in some shots.

  • http://twitter.com/SophieLewis423 Sophie Lewis

    I love cat eyes (even though I have 2 dogs)! These photos are super cute and that cat is stunning! xx


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=526895283 Jessica Dang

    Have you tried Estee Lauder's Pure Color Quick-Thick Eyeliner yet? I'm really curious about that product!

  • http://www.commonromance.com/ Couteau

    Hey, what does ITG have against puppies?

    True that we get pets that enhance our features. My dream dog is half Weimaraner (looks like me) and half Poodle (acts like me). It would be ridiculous.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraAtVMV Laura VR Bertotto

    What an unbelievably perfect photograph!

  • http://twitter.com/LauraAtVMV Laura VR Bertotto

    What an unbelievably perfect photograph!

  • Marta E

    Cutest picture ever! :D


  • stephanie taylor

    Psyched to see a Fivestory mention. I designed the logo! ...and great post. The cat eye really does take some practice.

  • http://mybeautysample.com/ Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    lol they DO sort of look similar. Gorgeous shoot :)

  • http://floralics.blogspot.in/ Amber

    Love the look! Thanks for the cute story and the gorgeous pictures.


  • Alice Thompson

    The most adorable pictures ever!!! Fantastic article!

  • http://www.ourwonderlust.com/ TinaOurWonderLust

    I love a cat-eye look but sometimes its hard for smaller eyes and hooded eyes. I have a trick for my tiny Asian eyes- I call it The Kitten-Eye look :) http://www.ourwonderlust.com/ourwonderlust/ourbeauty-the-perfect-cat-eye-for-small-eyes.html

  • http://www.daulbe.com/ Daul Be

    I miss my cat just reading this!!!

  • Andrea L

    awww love these pictures <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Kapsimani/773655031 Maria Kapsimani
  • Alexandria Gaines

    She's so gorgeous! I need to try out a cat eye...even though I'm horrible with eyeliner :(


  • http://www.cottontrendy.com/ Cotton Trendy

    The cat eye is so classic and timeless. I think it is a stunning look for almost any age as well. Ah, words of wisdom, practice makes perfect! I think we can all relate to that when we look back on old photos and think "why did I ever wear my make up like that?!"



  • bead

    A video tutorial? My hand is terrible, AND I do not recommend the overpriced Chanel stylo.

  • http://twitter.com/jediandgirippo Jody Carruthers

    Of all the cosmetics in the universe, eyeliner is the one I fear the most, but this post has definitely inspired me to experiment even more with liquid liner.
    As for pencils, I LOVE the Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes pencil. I find with being quite fair that if I line my top lash line I get a visible gap of skin underneath, between my lashes. The wonderful ladies at the Meatpacking District Sephora showed me a trick where you lift your eyelid up from under your eyebrow and gently color in underneath the top lashes and on the lash line. This is super effective by itself, but even more so if you're doing a solid line above your lashes. Feels weird and takes practice not to blink/cry everywhere, but it's basically fool-proof.
    Also, that cat is the raddest cat ever.