If there’s anything we love more than a fashion week beauty trend, it’s a practical fashion week beauty trend. Don’t get us wrong, we live for a bizarre Gucci eyelash-eyebrow hybrid or a Giambattista Valli XXL hairstyle as much as the next beauty enthusiast- it’s the stuff that sustains our souls come February and September. But, it’s also a treat when the shows serve up a wearable (and dare we say sexy?) beauty trend that can serve as inspirational fodder for our day to day looks all year round.

It was the haute couture circuit that answered our prayers this season, where Creative Director of Dior Make-Up, Peter Philips, flipped the archetypal cat eyeliner on its head to create a super sharp, elongated shadow along the bottom lashes. Rather than taking a smokey approach, the lines were kept angular and sharp to define the eyes, swapping out a punky black for a more modern shade of denim blue. And thus, the reverse cat eye cemented itself as the most sultry trend of AW21.

Chanel also dabbled in underliner at their AW21 Haute Couture show, doubling up with a two-tone navy and black liner above and below the eye. The overriding message? If you’re looking to pencil this trend into your own routine, swap out your trusty black liner for a midnight or Prussian blue for a cool-toned update.

‘I love layering a little deep blue shadow to the liner, it accentuates the whites of the eyes, making them pop,’ says Dior’s Pro Make-Up Artist, Jamie Coombes. ‘You can also layer a little blue shadow over brown liner for added intensity.’

‘There’s been such a massive trend for cat eyeliner that the time came for something different, the reverse,’ says Coombes.

When it comes to wearing the most current interpretation of the reverse cat eye, the choice is all yours. Play around with smudging out the liner if you prefer a grungey, undone look, or for times that require a little more sophistication, keep things graphic with clean lines. ‘Changing up your colour way is a great way to keep the look fresh throughout the seasons,’ says Bobbi Brown’s Senior Pro Artist, Warren Dowdall.

‘For summer, bronze, cinnamon and gold tones will look amazing paired with a slightly softer blended liner. For winter, richer tones of grey, mauves and violet paired with a dense black liner will look effortlessly chic,’ Dowdall continues. ‘Our eyes can only focus on one thing at a time so a more balanced approach is best when you have a strong statement feature like this. I would pair with a nude lip and a fresh, glowing base to keep the look super modern.’

In comparison to the usual cat eye, which poses varying levels of trickiness depending on your lid space and structure, the reverse liner works universally well and is relatively easy to apply when it comes to different eye shapes.

‘The reverse cat eye really creates an openness and elongation of the eye that flatters every eye shape,’ says Dowdall. ‘It’s a great option for hooded eyes where it can be more difficult to create a classic cat eye look where the weight of the shadow is on the upper lash line.’

How To Master The Reverse Cat Eye

To set us on our road to achieving the liner du jour, Coombes shared his step-by-step breakdown of how to achieve the exact reverse cat eye seen at the Dior AW21 Haute Couture.

‘First, prep the eye area using an eye or skin primer to perfect the upper and lower eye area, keeping the lower lash line bare,’ says Coombes.

‘Apply a black pencil or crayon eyeliner along the lower waterline, working it into the roots of the lashes, then build up the intensity below the lashes. Draw the line out to a winged point on the outer corner of the eye and a point in the inner corner, joining to the upper lid corners. Using a cotton bud to clean up the edges.’

‘Next, using an eyeliner brush, layer a midnight blue eyeshadow over the liner. Complete the look with a black mascara on the lashes and a light touch of pencil through the brows.’

Serving intense eye looks for the rest of your summer plans? Check.

This story originally appeared on ELLE UK

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