Emily MacCulloch
Emily MacCulloch

How I Got Adele’s $250 Cat Eye for Under $50

The world has been asking for Michael Ashton, Adele’s makeup artist, to reveal the secrets of her iconic #eyelinergoals cat eye to us mere mortals for years. Lo and behold, ask long enough and you shall receive. Last week Ashton did a video tutorial with his friend (and our girl crush) celeb makeup artist Lisa Eldridge breaking down ever-y-thing you need and every step to get Adele’s supreme flick (what a time to be alive!). But before you rush out to get your hands on all the goods, take a peek at the final price tag to recreate it: $250. Wait…what? Ummm ok, c’mon. That money could be spent more wisely somewhere else (right?) so I’m offering up the same look for…wait for it…under $50! Hello from the other side (of the income bracket who can’t afford Tom Ford). Yup, you can basically get the exact same look for a fifth of the cost. Just a head’s up though, I cut a few corners and products because unless you’re the songstress herself, you don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles, you just want a good, classic cat eye. Let’s get started!

Adele-Grammy-Awards-2016A flick for the ages

What You Need:

  • Maybelline New York Master Prime Long-Lasting Eye Shadow Base, $12
  • Essence Eyeshadow in Apricotta, $3
  • Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner, $10.50
  • L’Oréal Paris Waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara, $11
  • Quo Eyelash Kit in 803, $11.50
  • Total = $48

Step 1
I chose this particular primer because the colour and texture are a spot-on match for the one Ashton uses. This step is pretty simple, just apply the eye primer all over your lid and blend it with your finger. Buff it just above the crease of your eye and apply a little bit under your lower lash line. Tip: Make sure it’s completely dry before moving onto your eyeshadow.


Step 2
Ashton blends two shades together (a beige and a peachy hue) but you really just need one champagne-esque colour to get the look. Choose a soft shade to highlight your eyes (so go as light or as dark as needed with your skin tone) and use a fluffy eye brush to buff it all over your lid up to your browbone and through the inner corner of your eye. The key is choosing the right texture. Go for satin—not too sparkly but not too matte.


Step 3
Let’s be real, this is where the magic happens. Ashton uses Bobbi Brown (which I love) but I wanted a more affordable option and this Rimmel one did not disappoint. It went on super smooth and was really easy to use. Start in the middle of your eye moving outwards with small strokes. Make a thin lash line and then draw on the start of your wing. Tip: Adele’s wing isn’t overly dramatic and it goes out more than up (think of a retro wing that’s more horizontal than vertical). Once you have your wing sorted, join the tip of your wing to your lash line. Now you have the skeleton of your cat eye! You can thicken it up and smooth it out until you’re happy with it. Remember, Q-Tips are great for cleaning up messy edges.


Step 4
Lashes can be tricky to apply on yourself but I swear it’s possible. Quo’s #803 lashes are a dead ringer for the ones Ashton uses and this handy kit even comes with glue (saving you extra pocket change!). Squeeze a bit of the glue onto a tissue, then use the little sticks that come in the set to apply the glue onto the spine of the lash. Remember: a little goes a long way. Wait 15 seconds or so for the glue to get tacky and then place the lash into the base of your lashes and hold in place as they dry. Tip: Don’t glue on when your eyes are closed! Instead of shutting your eye, just angle your mirror and look down so your lid is almost closed. It puts your eyes in the perfect position for applying lashes without pulling your lids. Another tip: to make your lashes look more natural, angle them down just a bit when you apply them (instead of up, which looks really unnatural and makes you look surprised tbh). Wait two minutes or so for the glue to dry.


Step 5
Last step: Mascara. Normally when I apply false lashes, I always apply mascara before lashes so the falsies stay clean and mascara-free. But Ashton does lashes first and mascara last so if it’s good enough for Adele it’s certainly good enough for me (duh). This L’Oréal mascara is a popular dupe for Diorshow and I love its big, bristle-y wand. Gently brush the mascara through your fringe (top and bottom), blending your natural lashes with the fake ones so it looks cohesive. In Ashton’s tutorial, he uses a fan brush to apply mascara into the base of her bottom lashes, but I found an easy way to recreate this. Use the mascara wand, dab your bottom lash line, and then blend it out with a Q-Tip to give a hint of definition on your lower lash line without going full on with the liner.


Step 6
Once your glue has dried go back over your lash line to really seal in your lashes and cover any bare spots. You can add a bit of liner through the inner part of your eye here as well.


And…..you’re now officially Adele! Do you feel more glam? Do you feel like a diva? Are you ready to get a four-chair turn on The Voice?


Conclusion: I don’t have Adele’s eye shape and lid space (does anyone?) and since I’ve got deeper set eyes it doesn’t look exactly the same on me but the key things to remember are: It’s all about nailing down the right shape and angle of the cat eye with the right lashes. I usually do my cat eye a little thicker, angular and more dramatic, but this shape is pretty and definitely softer (I could use a little bit more of both of those things in my makeup routine). Is this makeup look right for someone like you?