In my opinion, there is nothing more frightening in a makeup routine than the act of applying eyeliner. The thought alone can make a girl sweat, because we’re constantly treading the fine line between too little and too much.
Like many girls, I start out unsure and a little shaky whenever I attempt to put on eyeliner. This is especially true when it comes to the coveted yet elusive cat eye. It’s a pipe dream, really, because sooner or later I find myself with unintentional, heavy-metal smudging, with no chance of a comeback. At that moment, it’s just easier to wipe it all off and settle for a smoky eye. That’s why, even as a makeup artist, eyeliner is not my favorite.

But one woman’s trouble can be another woman’s treasure. Mae West once wrote, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, too!”—and I think chinitas might appreciate this sentiment when it comes to wearing eyeliner.
My beautiful friend, Corina, has the small, pretty, almond-shaped eyes so common among chinitas. And although she doesn’t have monolids, she does have thin folds.

Anyway, Corina’s signature makeup look is a cat eye à la the late, great Amy Winehouse, which she has totally nailed (lucky!). And when she showed me the sheer amount of product she actually applies, I was surprised! The end result doesn’t look like she used too much: Now, I think Corina is gorgeous with or without a lick of makeup, but even I can’t deny how dramatic the transformation is post-liner. Her eyes look, bigger, brighter, and for lack of a better word, “smilier.”

More often than not, women with smaller eyes or thinner folds need more eyeliner for a cat-eye compared to girls with larger eyes and deeper folds—otherwise, the effect just won’t show. So that’s the good news, chinitas: you can pile on the eyeliner and look as elegant as can be, while most girls would probably wind up looking like pandas.

Need more convincing? Here’s Corina’s step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect, chinita-friendly flick.

STEP 1: PRIME YOUR LIDS

This is one step girls often skip, but I can’t stress enough how important it is. Foregoing eyeshadow primer leads to smudgy eyeliner, especially if you have oily lids. Just squeeze a small amount on your ring finger and pat it onto your lids until you’ve coated the skin evenly.

STEP 2: TRACE OVER YOUR LASH LINE

To draw her cat eye, Corina uses her favorite gel liner, Super Liner Gel Intenza by L’Oréal Paris. First, she loads a brush with a good amount of product. Then she starts from the inner corner of her eye, gliding the brush across her lash line to reach the outer corner of her lid.

STEP 3: MAKE REFERENCE POINTS

Notice the inky dashes over each of Corina’s eyes? Those are intentional! They serve as her reference points for the shape she intends to create for her cat eye.

STEP 4: CONNECT THE DOTS

Finally, it’s just a matter of connecting the dots (or dashes). Corina draws a line between the reference point and the outer corner of her lid, building up her liner in layers until she is satisfied with the result.
Et voilà! The purr-fect cat eye.

Remember, whatever the size or shape of your eyes, there’s an eyeliner hack to make your life easier. You just have to find it! (PS. We take requests.)

Photos by Danielle Calma. Lady Gaga meme via MemeCenter.com.