Shadow liner: The new eyeliner trend for the makeup minimalist

A winged liner will never go out of style, but getting a symmetrical cat eye every morning can be a chore. Enter shadow liner: the perfect minimalist makeup trend.

We all saw it coming; after spending last year in our pyjamas, 2021 was predicted to be a bold era for beauty and fashion, and so far, it’s lived up to the hype. Thepost-lockdown makeup world has nurtured the likes of unapologetic graphic liner, intense blush and even a reverse cat eye.

But, these daring makeup trends aren’t always for everyone or every day. To that, I say: how about shadow liner?

What is shadow liner?

Shadow liner, also known as kitten liner, is a minimalistic, smoky eyeliner look that uses smaller lines and subtle wings. This dainty eyeliner trend is often a feature of a more natural makeup look, supported by dewy skin, soap brows, a touch of blush and a healthy serving of lip gloss. Shadow liner is basically the cherry on top of the Glossier dream look. The shadow liner was also a staple in Paco Rabanne's spring 2021 runway, courtesy of the one and only Pat McGrath.

How to get the shadow liner look

Shadow liner exudes effortless, casual sophistication. And, as it requires less precision, shadow liner is ridiculously easy to execute, making it perfect for anyone from makeup novices to experienced connoisseurs.

If you’ve already got a classic cat-eye look in your arsenal, you’ll find a shadow liner even easier to achieve. All you need to do is start your liner at the centre of your eye instead of the inner corner. Then use small, thin strokes along the lash line and finish strong with a tiny flick.

Clean shadow liner can be achieved with a black or brown brow pencil, but if you’re looking for a smokier style, then eyeshadow is your best friend.

Using an angled brow brush, go in with a black or brown eyeshadow and draw on your desired wing (you don’t need to be precise here). Then, take a small blending brush and smudge out the liner, starting from the lid outwards. If your shadow liner look isn’t quite dark enough near the lashline, then feel free to touch it up with a little more eyeshadow.

Afterwards, apply a small amount of micellar water or makeup remover to a concealer brush or Q-tip and follow the underside of your wing to create more definition. And, there you have it - a sultry, elegant new liner that you can wear day or night!

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