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 • Makeup  • Makeup Guides  • Is the Sleek Bun and Cat Eye This Winter’s Chicest, Easiest Trend?
Selena Gomez with winged eyeliner and a middle parting bun

Is the Sleek Bun and Cat Eye This Winter’s Chicest, Easiest Trend?

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Main image – @selenagomez/Instagram

Now we are fully getting into the throws of winter, there are some looks that have firmly cemented themselves as the styles of the season. The top one? The classic slicked-back bun (also most recently seen incorporated into the ‘clean girl’ and ‘off-duty model’ aesthetics) combined with the bold cat eye.

It seems that almost every celeb, from JLo to Selena Gomez, has been spotted wearing this style over the past year or so. And we most recently saw Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke, wearing the sleek bun with a middle part paired with black Chanel and a sweeping cat eye for the BFI Chanel Filmmaker Awards.


Is the Slicked Bun and Cat Eye Winter's Trend

Image – @emilia_clarke/instagram


A classic yet contemporary look, this combo is surprisingly user-friendly to pull off and works for everywhere, from the office to lunch with friends and all of those upcoming festive Christmas and New Year parties.

In fact, we’d go as far as to say this may be the perfect combination to instantly fake a polished, contemporary vibe even with day three hair and almost no makeup skills.

Here’s how to get it.


How to get Emilia Clarke’s slicked bun

Emelia didn’t have a hair out of place when sporting this look, with the ultimate precision given to a *perfect* middle part. Unlike Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s famous messy-chic bun, this one is all about creating a slick, minimalist look.

While this style looks insanely chic and on-trend, it’s actually pretty easy to do this classic bun. And we’re going to show you how.

Don’t you just love a look that doesn’t take hours but has major impact?! Us too.


What you’ll need:

  • A fine toothcomb
  • A boar bristle brush or similar
  • Hair gel or hairspray
  • Hair serum or oil
  • Bobbles or bungee tie
  • Bobby pins
  • A clean spoolie (optional)


How to do it:

Chris Appleton, hairstylist for literally all of the biggest celebs around (did we mention he’s also BFFs with Kim K?!) and known for spilling the tea on some of the biggest A-lister looks, recreated the look on his TikTok (we’ve also added some super simple steps below):


This is how to get Bella middle part bun the right way –

? original sound – Chrisappleton1


This style looks great just above the nape of your neck or just below your crown, in the middle of your head, make sure to pull the hair into a tight bun for the full effect!

Appleton’s tutorial involves pinning the front section away first and pulling that into the ponytail afterwards. If this seems a *bit* too much for you, try our steps below:

  • Starting with clean, dry hair is the best option. But if you’re working with a few day-old hair, don’t worry!
  • Add some styling cream to your hair and wait for it to dry
  • Once dry, use a fine tooth comb to make a middle part in your hair. To create a smoother finish, you can also straighten your hair at this point, making sure to straighten the wispy bits around your hairline
  • Next, apply a hair oil or serum to create shine, we recommend a lightweight product. Brush this through from your centre parting all the way down the lengths of your hair to get an even distribution
  • Now it’s time to secure your hair into a ponytail into position. Use a fine-toothed comb or boar bristle brush to smooth down the hair as you pull it into the ponytail. Secure with a bobble or bungee tie. You can also finish the look at this stage if you’d prefer a slicked-back ponytail rather than a bun, or if you have super short hair
  • Once secure, twist and bend the ponytail around the bobble or bungee tie, winding the hair around and pinning as it starts to bend. *PS. If you want the ‘model’ look, leave the end of your hair out of the bun, like in Appleton’s tutorial
  • Once the bun is in place, make sure the bobby pins are all hidden and smooth down any flyaways using hairspray and your brush or a spoolie (spoolies are great for any baby hairs around your face)


Emilia Clarke with a classic middle parting bun

Image – @emilia_clarke/Instagram


How to get Selena Gomez’s bold cat eye

Selena Gomez is the master of the cat eye, and although this can seem quite an intimidating makeup hack to pull off, with a little practice it genuinely is achievable for all eye shapes, skill levels and ages. Don’t believe us?  Just check out our step-by-step winged eyeliner tutorial with pictures for how to achieve a cat eye for your exact eye shape.

For a quick idea of how to get this look though, take a look at the steps below.


What you’ll need:

  • Concealer
  • Concealer brush
  • Eyeliner (we suggest liquid or gel for this look)
  • Mascara and false eyelashes (optional)


How to do it:

Rare Beaty’s creator Selena Gomez is pretty much the master of this ever classic look.  She shows us how she applies her eyeliner in this super simple tutorial.


Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner is one of @selenagomez’s favorites! #selenagomez #rarebeauty #eyelinertutorial #liquidliner

? original sound – Rare Beauty



  • You’ll want to prep your eyes first with concealer (and if you struggle with perfect concealer application, take a look at our tutorial on preventing your under eye concealer from creasing)
  • You can go freestyle on this if you’re confident with your eyeliner skills or, start by marking out where on your eye you want the wing to start and where you want it to end. add a few dots to map this out
  • Then, join the dots together and fill in the area with your eyeliner
  • Clean around the wing with concealer and a concealer brush (like in the tutorial above)
  • Add a few coats of mascara (take a look at the expert tips on how to apply your mascara like a pro here if you struggle to get the best lift) or a set of false lashes and you’re good to go!


PRO TIP: A super simple way to make sure you don’t mess up your liner is to use a bit of scotch tape on the outer corner of your eye so that when you draw your liner the tape will keep it in the correct shape *wink wink*.


Selena Gomez with winged eyeliner

Image – @selenagomez/Instagram


The takeaway

The slicked-back bun and cat eyes we’ve been seeing all year are here to stay for winter and into 2024, creating literally the chicest look for events and parties.

And while we don’t all have our own personal Chris Appleton on hand to style our hair *sigh*, fear not, because we know you can create this look from the comfort of your own home – yep, we believe in you!

Pair with a glitzy dress, add a bold red lip, or go for understated glam with a simple dress and you’re all set.

If you try out this look, let us know in the comments below or send us a photo on our Instagram @live.thatglow – we can’t wait to see them!


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Senior Beauty Editor

Laura Kemp started her journalism career as a news reporter for one of the largest newspaper groups in Europe before moving into features and editorial writing. Combining her love of hard-hitting journalism with her passion for beauty, she’s now Senior Beauty Editor at Live That Glow. When she’s not writing, researching, or interviewing her favourite experts, you’ll find Laura practicing her downward dog or drifting on her paddleboard.

Expertise: Hair care, nails
Education: University of Salford

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