Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Brigitte Bardot's cat eye look made easy

Eyelash_bardot_2 Okay, minxes. I promised to deliver a how-to on the Brigitte Bardot cat eye and I will not disappoint. But please remember that creating a look takes time and practice. Did Bardot perfect her signature style overnight? Probably not.

I certainly didn't. I have been staring at my mug in the mirror allBardot1_2 weekend and working on my technique. I have a trash can filled with blackened cotton swabs and a few empty bottles of Syrah.

Moving on...
What you will need: 1. A steady hand. Don't even think about trying this at home if you're jacked up on coffee or in a rush. Take deep breaths and relax.

P116907_hero2. Black eyeliner. I like this Guerlain Divinora Eye-liner ($32,  because it looks so elegant and the brush is needle sharp. Liquids rule. Pencils suck, by the way, and smudge.

P111606_heroGel eyeliners are easier for the newbie. Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear gel is smudge-proof and waterproof, ($19; You will need a brush -- of course -- and I like a bent brush like this one from Smashbox ($20). That way, you can draw a line with more ease.

3. A neutral eyeshadow -- peach or taupe. You don't want to add color to the lid or diffuse the cat eye by blending.

Images14. Tried and true mascara. A cat eye without the proper fringe is like a plate of linguini and no fork. Just bad news. Every makeup artist I have ever interviewed swears by this Maybelline Great Lash.

Let's do it:Cat_makeup_eyeliner
Step one: Brush the neutral shadow on entire lid. Blend this color from your lids softly up to your brow bone, as your base shadow. You may want to add a bit of subtle shimmer under the arch of your eyebrow.

Step two: Starting on the inside of the eye, trace the black liquid eyeliner right along your upper lash line with a steady hand. The line should be ultra-fine. The only way to create a thicker line is to go Brigittebardotpics012back and add another right next to the first one. By doing this, you already have a straight line to follow. (It helps to gently pull the lid out to create a straight lash line.) 

Notice that Bardot went ape with the liner, on both upper and lower lash lines. I imagine she went back and drew line after line to get a thickness that ain't easy to pull off.  You should start thin and add gradually. It's like using spice. Go easy, tiger.

Step three: You want to flip the line upwards at the endAngelina_full_2 toward the temple. This is a very retro look and you can go more subtle and still get some oomph. See Angelina Jolie's subtle wing, right. I advise applying the liner on the UPPER line only, at first. It's more sophisticated.  Would it kill that woman to smile? At the outer corner, flick your eyeliner brush upwards and outwards. Be sure to taper it instead of making it a thick, squarish line.

286 259_2 Step four: Add a boatload of mascara to TOP LASHES ONLY. I am talking like two, maybe even three coats. You might want to either add a few false eyelashes to the outer lashes OR just add more mascara there. The longer the lashes at the outer end, the more of a cat eye you get.


Step five: Clean up any smudges or wayward lines with a damp Q-tip. Be sure that the wings match in shape and size on each eye. Done? Wink at your reflection and go break some hearts.

Photo credits: Jolie, WireImage; makeup,; Bardot,

Comments () | Archives (7)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Question for Monica. At what age does this look become inappropriate? I'd like to try it tonight. Thank you for the tutorial!

There is no age limit to the cat eye -- Bardot, now in her 70s, still does it. Sometimes, to scary effect.
BUT I think you want to make it more subtle as you hit your late 30s and 40s just because you're more sophisticated. I like how Angelina Jolie thickens the line as she extends outward and adds a wee kick up.
Do it tonight - you already have feline qualities.
Cat suit + cat eye = Liza on the prowl.
Love, Monica

I usually dislike these type of article/blogs however this one is funny and
irreverent as well as informative. Yes, clearly Brigitte would be a frumpy
wallflower w/out the eyeliner. There is hope for me yet!!

I love the look and the idea of the base eye shadow. I am not sure about using that particular Maybeline mascara because I have sensitive eyes since my lasik eye surgery and my eyes would water and burn. Is there another mascara like Maybeline's that would work for people that have sensitive eyes or wear contacts?

Hi Karen,
I did a tad of research and Ocusoft mascara is specially formulated for sensitive eyes. You can buy it on and it costs $10. Let us know if it works.

Frankly, until you share with us a photo of YOU having successfully completed this look, I'll never believe you managed to pull it off. For one thing, when are you never without a cup of coffee, a drink or a cig in your hands? You're 99% stimulant, baby.

Get an Original Brigitte Bardot on her Harley poster at Lead Pipe Posters!
his huge, classic poster of actress and sex idol Brigitte Bardot was produced in 1967
by the famous poster company Berkeley Bonaparte and shot by Herman Scoop.
It was printed on good quality, heavy poster stock and is in mint to near mint condition. Price


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.