Summer is here, and with it comes happy hour on rooftop bars, long weekends with friends, and enough heat and humidity to ruin your look-if you let it. A razor-sharp cat eye is something I’m unwilling to compromise on those hot summer nights, and I’ve spent years searching for the perfect liquid eyeliner to last through a few drinks after work, or more accurately for me, until I’ve finished my 3 am slice(s) of pizza.
Before we get to the good stuff, I need to remind everyone of the importance of primer and setting spray. Even the best eyeliner will only last a few hours without these secret weapons.
NYX Eyeshadow Base – $7
For the girl who wants to intimidate her coworkers with a fierce daytime cat eye, first of all, I salute you, and second, may I suggest NYX Eyeshadow Base with your choice of a matte shadow, then finish the look off with Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Not only will this setting spray keep your makeup in place for hours, it will also protect your skin from those harsh UV Rays. Pop it in the fridge for a cooling effect and reapply as needed. Honestly, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about how perfect this product is, especially for the summer. Oh, and it smells good, too.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion and All-Nighter Long Lasting Setting Spray will help your winged liner last all night, especially if you’re braving a sweaty dance floor. This tried-and-true combination has never let me down, even when I left myself down (see: 3 am pizza).
The holy grail of liquid liners has to be Kat Von D’s Ink Liner in Trooper. This felt-tipped liner is easy to use, precise as hell, and will last all day and night. This award-winning liner has a matte finish and is perfect for any occasion. I have used this for years and will continue to reach for this first, unless something better comes along, but I don’t know if that will ever happen.
Another favorite of mine is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. This smudge-proof liner has helped me create some of my sharpest winged looks that last through the night. Stila also makes a Micro Tip version of this liner, for those looking for extreme precision.
For the fiscally responsible cat eye fan I recommend the Sephora Collection Colorful Wink-It Felt Liner. This waterproof liner will only set you back $14, but beginners beware, it is a little more difficult to use than my first two faves. The formula doesn’t dry as fast as some of my other top picks, but with some practice and patience you can still create a beautiful, clean cat eye.
This is my wild card. The Benefit Push Up Liner is technically a gel formula that you apply with its rubber AccuFlex Tip. This eyeliner is not for the faint of heart, and you might need to practice before wearing it outside of your home, but my god does it last. If your summer plans include a festival, beach party, or maybe a weekend trip into the depths of hell, try this. It. Will. Not. Budge. It is so long lasting that you will need a heavy-duty makeup remover when you’re finally ready to take it off. Consider yourself warned.
I love a good cat eye on everyone, and I keep running back to it for a quick confidence boost when I’m not having a particularly good hair or outfit day. With a swipe of eyeliner, you can create a classic look, or something bold and more daring. Don’t be afraid to try a thick wing, I promise something in you will change, and your confidence will skyrocket. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s worth a shot.