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When it comes to creating the perfect cat eye, two things hold true for nearly all women.
1. We love the look. 2. We can't do it.
I mean, sure, we can (maybe!) manage a tiny wing for Thursday night drinks with friends. Give us some drugstore liquid liner and we'll try out best.
But as for an even application without a shaky hand? It feels impossible.
So sue me for dreaming big when I got my hands on a new product from Beth Bender Beauty that promised to change all that ... and then some. The brand's Eye Candy Gentle Adhesive Eyeliner Stencil, available for $19.99, had me bewitched at first sight. Not only does it come in the most adorable gold packaging, but I immediately began thinking up all the different ways I could use it. Liquid liner, gradient, rainbow, smokey eye, glitter, ... I mean, come on.
I decided I'd try a powder eye shadow look on one eye, and a liquid liner look on the other.
As for messing up the stencil itself, I wasn't too worried about it. After all, the small package came stuffed with dozens upon dozens of stencils (32 sheets, to be exact, with 72 individual adhesives), so if I botched it on my first attempt, I could just try again.
Well, try, try, try again I did. And then I tried some more. These things were NOT easy! And I'm talking about the application alone. Applying the adhesive on my eye without getting it in my eyes was nearly impossible. Then there was the issue of matching one eye with the other. Once I'd gotten the right eye just where I wanted it, I had to make sure it looked the same as the left eye.
Before I'd even filled them in with pigment, I was nostalgic for my normal "freehand" style.
But let's not get bogged down with negativity here. Eventually, something did work: the powder look! I felt like the eye shadow was forgiving enough to allow for minor imperfections.
The liquid liner was a different story. It seemed to seep through the paper exterior of the adhesive, causing mayhem — MAYHEM — on my right eye.
In the end, I'd encourage beauty geeks looking to have some fun on a Saturday night to use these stencils to play around with a gradient shadow look.
But if you're hoping to create a gorgeous, sweeping wing using liquid, well, you should probably stick to freehand.
This article was originally published on Sept. 9, 2016 on TODAY.com.