Ariana Grande’s signature look can be summed up pretty easily: a sky-high ponytail, oversized sweaters and a wickedly sharp cat-eye.
That signature wing is credited to celebrity makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla. The Los Angeles-based MUA – who also paints the faces of Betty White, Sophia Richie and Tia Mowry – has just been named North American Cat Eye Ambassador for KVD Vegan Beauty. The brand, formerly known as Kat Von D Beauty, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of their beloved Tattoo Liner and has called upon Chinchilla to share his wing expertise with fans in a series of YouTube Videos. We caught up with him to get a better idea of what it takes to achieve the perfect swoop.
Cat Eye 101:
“Everyone has different eye shapes, so definitely go off of your shape,” he tells us via Zoom. “[Grande] has more of an almond eye shape. Everyone’s concern is like, okay, it looks great on her, but like, what about me?” Chinchilla recommends starting from the outside of your eye, drawing a thin flick first and working from that point. “It’s all about tweaking what you do.”
Start drawing a few millimetres away from the edge of your eye. “What happens is our eyes [curve downward] for the most part right, at the end. So if you follow that curve, you’ll make your eyes look a little bit droopy, as opposed to lifting them.” The key to getting the lifted effect, he says, is to draw your flick upwards, almost pointing toward the top of your ear.
For Deep Set and Hooded Eyes:
“What happens [with this eye shape] is that the eyelid can cover the eyeliner and change the shape,” he says. “In that situation, look in the mirror and draw your flick while your eyes are open.” By applying liner with open eyes, it’s easier to determine where your eyelid covers the liner and might benefit from a thicker application.
For Mature Eyes:
Chinchilla recommends brown liner for a softer look. “I feel like less is more when it comes to mature eyes. Of course, we all love a black cat eye, but you can achieve that same effect with brown liner and it’s just softer.”
Draw your flick thickest at the end to get the full lifted effect (very flattering on mature eyes). “You’re exaggerating the end of the flick to create that lift, keeping it really thin towards the inner part [of the eye], close to the lash line.” And again, adopt the less is more attitude. “You want to go little by little, because you don’t want [the liner] to travel and get messy.”
If You Can’t Nail the Symmetry:
You guessed it: tape. “I know that’s such a generic answer, but it works,” says Chinchilla. “Make sure the tape is symmetrical. Create your flick, and then take the tape off and bring it inward.” Otherwise, a stiff angled brush and a little makeup remover works to clean up minor discrepancies.
Stick to applicators that create brush-like strokes for your best chance at getting even wings. “If you’re using a really thick felt tip eyeliner, it’s going to be pretty impossible to get a smooth edge or symmetry. But when you have the right brush and the right product, it’s easier.”
Favourite Beauty Pairing With a Cat Eye:
“A little bit of highlighter right on the cheekbone. It brings attention to the eyes and upper eye area.” And of course, no Chinchilla eye is complete without lashes. “Lashes are like my thing. There’s so many lash options these days that they’re not scary anymore. You can get a really soft, natural eyelash and just pair [winged eyeliner] with that and it makes such a big difference. “ Very Ariana Grande.
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