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how to do cat eye eyeliner

Forget contouring, lip liner, and blending, acing the cat eye eyeliner look is by far the hardest makeup trend. Those that can do it make it look effortless, while the rest of us are armed with makeup remover wipes and a boatload of frustration. Fret not, I have the solution. Or a few ways to make the ‘cat eye’ work for you and your skill level, anyway. Here’s how to do cat eye eyeliner:

The basic steps:

cat eye makeup tips

1.  Choose your weapon/eyeliner. Start at the very corner of your eye, and angle your eyeliner upwards, in a diagonal fashion.

2.  Closing your eye, draw a straight line from the corner of your eye to where the outside crease of your eye ends. This is the beginning of your cat eye, and you can make this line as small or as dramatic (or thick or thin) as you like.

3.  Then, keeping your eyes closed, draw a small line or ‘wing’. The wider the wing, the more dramatic the cat eye.

4.  Starting on the inside corner of your eye, trace a line that starts close to your lash line and gradually arches up, following the line of your lashes until it meets the ‘wing’. You should now have the basic outline of your cat eye.

5.  Begin to fill in the outline with gentle strokes, until your cat eye is all filled in. Open your eyes and admire your handy work. Repeat on the opposite eye.

6.  If necessary, dip a makeup brush in water or toner and use it to tidy up the lines.

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Pro cat eye makeup tips and tricks:

cat eye eyeliner

1.  If you’re using an eyeliner pencil, make sure it’s sharp. A dull tip will make thicker lines, which will be harder to work with and you’ll have more to tidy up.

2.  Whatever you’re using, make sure it’s got a soft tip. There’s nothing worse than a hard pencil being dragged across your eyelid and messing up your lines.

3.  Liquid eyeliner is usually the best for cat eyes, but it can also be the trickiest to handle. If you’re struggling opt for a pen instead. The tips come in different thicknesses, and they are usually easier to apply.

4.  Not sure where to draw the line? Hold a makeup brush and lay it diagonally across your face, one end on the side of your nose and the other pointing towards the outside corner of your eye. This is the natural angle for your diagonal line (first step of the tutorial).

5.  The most interesting hack I’ve seen uses tape to get the perfect line. Gently place the tape so the straight line runs from the outside corner of your eye up towards your brow line. Swipe your eyeliner across the line, and the tape will stop the line from being to thick or not being straight (also perfect if you want to get identical lines on each eye).

6.  If you’re struggling with a pencil or pen, you can also use eyeshadow and an angled brush. The best bit about using an angled brush is that you can use it as a stamp for the cat eye flick, then use the brush to gently fill in the rest of the eye to match. It’s also more subtle, depending on the color eyeshadow you use.

7.  As mentioned in the tutorial, you can keep a makeup brush or cotton swabs handy to tidy up any lines, just by running them across of underneath with gentle strokes. Far easier than using makeup wipes, which will remove any and all makeup you’ve already applied.

5 different looks for you to try:


A makeup tutorial that uses dots along the lash line to create an easy template to follow, as well as as a more angled flick. (via Eimear McElheron)

Smokey cat eye

Combining the flick and swoosh of the eye liner with a heavy dose of smokey eyeshadow, this is an easy how-to for the perfect smokey eye/cat eye combination. (via Jaclyn Hill)

Inspired by…

This makeup artist shows you how to obtain Nicki Minaj’s cat eye look, which also shows you to to use a brush to create your wing.

Extreme cat eye

Inspired by Sophia Loren, this artist combines a thick cat eye on the upper lid with liner on the lower lashes too. Smokey grey eyeshadow completes this dramatic look!

Edgy cat eye

This tutorial uses cobalt blue pigment with a brush to create a show stopping look that not only lines the upper lid but also wings up to the crease for a different cat eye look.

Hopefully this tutorial, with its tips and tricks, has given you the confidence boost you need to try and tackle the cat eye yourself.

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Do you have any hacks for making the perfect cat eye? Share with us!


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