A Smudged Cat-Eye Is The Indie Sleaze Way To Wear The Classic Look

Attention, all former goth and emo babes. Get out your favorite kohl eyeliner pencil because it's your time to shine once again. There was one grunge-inspired makeup trend that recently showed up again and again on the runways of New York Fashion Week and Milan Fashion and that trend is beautifully smudged kohl-lined cat eyes. Whether this trend is due to the popularity of the Netflix hit "Wednesday" or just coincidentally due for its new era of wearability on the trend wheel, rejoice.

If it has been quite a while since you constructed a dark and brooding smoked out eye makeup look, there's no need to fear. Practice a bit in your free time and take a look at the following smoky, smudgy cat eye styles for inspiration. Makeup is all about creativity and self-expression, after all, so try out a few new looks or rotate them all to fit your every mood. 

Grown up goth

Ready to embrace a goth-inspired look that embraces the basics but offers a more mature flare? Reach for a slightly drab palette of greens, grays, or khakis and apply a basic smoky eye. Extend each eyeshadow color from the top lid up and out into a thick, blurred wing, ending with the darkest shade. Pair with a neutral lip. 

Goth meets glam

Who says a goth-inspired look can't be glamorous? If you like to give every trend a chance but you're more of a glitz and gold type of gal, the best of both worlds can be yours. Apply your typical shimmery gold or champagne shadow with a black wing on your top lids. Then, add an extremely dramatic blended out black shadow across your lower lids and connect it to your existing wings to create a bold, fuzzy extended cat eye. 

Classic vamp

Looking for an ultra sultry aesthetic that leaves jaws on the floor every time you walk through a room? Try applying a thick silver, taupe, or gray wing with eyeshadow and then layering on a slightly thinner soft wing in black. Smoke out the lower lash line and add a red lipstick topped with a high-shine gloss for maximum sex appeal. 

Punky purple

Goth, emo, and grunge looks are known for their blacks and grays, but that doesn't make the use of color out of the question. Try creating a purple smoky eye by gradually blending purple shadows from lightest at the inner corner to darkest at the outer corner. Shape into a soft wing and enhance the shape with black shadow or kohl liner.


Not a fan of purple but yearning for some color? Use the same technique to build a smoky eye out of pinks and reds, using the darkest shade to form a diffused cat eye wing. In order to really showcase the red hues, skip the black liner enhancement and opt for a dramatic black lash instead. 

Soft edge

You don't have to go full goth to embrace a softer nod to the cat eye. Next time you apply your usual neutral makeup look, swap your liquid liner for a soft kohl pencil or reach for a black eyeshadow. Instead of a sharp wing extending from the top lid, create a wider, softer, more triangular wing that extends from the outer corner. Your makeup might look a little softer but you'll feel a tad edgier on the inside.