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Cat eyes give you a dramatic, glamorous look that’s both classic and trendy. When you first start doing a cat eye, it’s easy to smudge your eyeliner or make it uneven, but you can master the technique with practice. If you’re ready to try out a cat eye, you have two options for drawing it on. You can use a makeup brush to help create an easy outline for your cat eye or use tape as a guide. For cat eyes, liquid eyeliner is queen, but you can try to layer pencil eyeliner if that’s all you have.
Creating an Outline with a Makeup Brush
1Apply neutral or light eyeshadow from your lash line up to your crease.
Dip your brush into a neutral, nude, or light eyeshadow, then brush it across your lid, working from your lashline to the crease. The eyeshadow will prime your lid and allow for a smoother application of eyeliner. It will also give the eyeliner something to cling to, so it will stay put and won’t smudge or rub off.
- Because cat eyes are so dramatic, darker eyeshadow colors can look overdone. Instead, consider using a color that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter.
- Don’t use a cream eyeshadow. The eyeliner won’t stick to it, and both the liner and eyeshadow could easily wipe off.
2Angle a brush from your nose to your outer brow to find your end point.
Hold a slim makeup brush against the side of your nose and angle it until it points to the end of your eyebrow—this is the line you want your wing to follow.
You want your wings to be as identical as possible—different lengths, widths, and angles will look off.
- If your eyelids are hooded, make the angle less upward and more horizontally straight. This will extend your lash line and open up your eyes.
Variation: As another option, treat your wing as an extension of your lower lash line. Follow the angle of your lower lash line, then extend past it to form the flick of your cat eye. This will help you make both eyes symmetrical.
3Use eyeliner to make a dot just above your crease to mark the tip of your wing.
The higher you make your dot, the thicker and more dramatic your cat eye will be. Make sure the dots are at the same angle and height on both eyes before moving on.
It’s much easier to erase a dot and move it than to erase an entire wing.
- For cat eyes, it’s best to use liquid, felt tip, or gel eyeliner for best results. If you use pencil eyeliner, you’ll need to draw on several layers to make a cat eye, and the final result won’t look as smooth.
- If you aren’t happy with the placement of your dot, use a cotton swab dipped in eye makeup remover, primer, or moisturizer to wipe it away. Then, lightly dab your foundation onto the clean spot and try again.
4Draw a line connecting the dot to the outer corner of your eye.
Don’t pull on your skin while drawing the wing. Instead, tilt your head back slightly and lower your gaze so that you can see your lash line. This will help you see what you’re doing as you create your cat eyes.
- Although pulling your skin taut may make it easier to draw your line, when you release the skin, your wing will change shape and it may look sloppy.
5Draw a line connecting the dot to the middle of your upper lash line.
Gently pull your eyeliner from the corner of your eye to the middle of your lid. Position your line as high as you want your cat eye to go. It’s okay if you have eyeshadow peeking out below the line, as you will fill it in later.
6Fill in the outline you have made, if necessary.
Depending on how you angled your initial lines, and how thick you drew them, you may or may not need to fill the outline in. Use your eyeliner to fill in any areas where eyeshadow is peeking through.
- If you drew your top line right at your lash line, then you may not need to add any filler.
- If you’re using pencil eyeliner, make several layers to fill in your cat eye.
7Clean up any mistakes with a pointed cotton swab.
The pointed tip will allow you to get into corners and clean along lines without accidentally smudging the eyeliner.
You can also dip the cotton swab in primer or eye cream and use that to gently remove any excess eyeliner.
- Avoid using makeup remover. It might do the job too well and remove any eyeshadow that you put on earlier.
8Draw a line to connect the inner corner of your eye with your cat eye.
Position your eyeliner at the corner of your eye, then slowly pull the liner toward the cat eye. Continue across your eye until you reach the outer corner of your lid. This will make the top of your cat eye look even.
- Try your best to do this in a single, fluid motion. Otherwise, the line may look jerky and uneven.
- Again, avoid pulling on your eyelid. Instead, tilt your head back slightly and lower your gaze so that you can see your lash line.
- You can try tightlining your eyelid, which means you get the liner between your lashes and up against your waterline, but this can be difficult to do and may irritate your eye.
9Thicken the line as it gets closer toward the outer corner of your eye.
Try resting your pinkie on your cheekbone while you do this. It will stabilize your hand and make it easier to get a smooth, straight line instead of a shaky one.
- If you are using a felt-tip liner, hold it closer to the middle of the tube so you have more control.
Using Tape as a Guide
1Sweep neutral or light eyeshadow from your lash line up to your crease.
Use an eyeshadow brush to apply a neutral, nude, or light shade of eyeshadow across your entire lid. The powder will smooth out your lid and help the eyeliner go on smoother. Because cat eyes are so dramatic, consider using a color that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter instead of a darker color, which can look overdone.
- Avoid using a cream-based eyeshadow. The eyeliner won’t stick to that very well, so it could slide right off.
- Avoid putting on under-eye concealer just yet because the tape will take it off. Also, the tape may remove any eyeshadow in that area.
2Take a short piece of clear tape and tap it onto your hand.
Stick it to your hand and pull it up several times to remove some of the adhesive. This will make the tape less tacky and gentler on the delicate skin around your eye.
- Tapping the tape on the back of your hand before applying it to your skin will also make it less likely to cause discomfort when you remove it.
Variation: As another option, you can use a sticky note instead of tape. If it’s very sticky, you might want to tap your sticky note against your hand before you apply it. This will remove some of the adhesive.
3Position the tape along the outer corner of your eye.
Place the tape just beneath your lower lashes, and angle the top towards your temple. Then, use the pad of your finger to lightly tap it down so that your eyeliner doesn’t bleed under the tape.
- For a more dramatic look, angle the tape towards the end of your eyebrow instead. This will result in a thicker line.
- If your eyelids are hooded, position the tape at less of an upward angle and closer to a horizontally straight line.
4Draw a line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner.
Apply your liquid, felt tip, or gel eyeliner as you normally would, but make the line thicker as it goes towards the outer corner of your eye. However, don’t draw past the corner or onto the tape just yet.
- If you are having trouble applying the eyeliner smoothly, don’t tug on the outer corner of your eye. Instead, tilt your head back slightly and lower your gaze to see your lash line. Alternatively, rest your pinkie finger against your cheek to steady your hand as you draw.
- When you’re doing cat eyes, it’s best to use liquid, felt tip, or gel eyeliner. If you only have pencil eyeliner, you can layer it to create a similar result, but it won’t look as smooth.
5Use the tape as a guide to extend the line past the corner of your eye.
Slowly pull your eyeliner across your skin just above the tape. As you reach the end of the tape, taper the line to a thin point. Follow the tape line as smoothly as possible, and don’t worry if you get some eyeliner onto the tape.
- You can make the “flick” of your cat eye as long or as short as you want. The longer it is, the more dramatic your cat eye will be. When you first start doing a cat eye, it’s easiest to make a very short flick by extending your eyeliner slightly past your eye, over your crease.
6Remove the tape carefully and make any touch-ups, if necessary.
Grasp the tape by the lower edge, then slowly and gently peel it off of your skin. When you pull the tape off, you will see a nice, crisp line.
- If the tape removed any eyeshadow, carefully patch it up with more eyeshadow.
- If you usually apply any under eye concealer, you can do so now.
- If you used a pencil eyeliner, you may need to do several layers of eyeliner to get a cat eye look.
How much do I put on?
It depends on the thickness you want. Keep applying until you get the desired shade, but only do a little bit at a time to avoid mistakes.
How do I apply eyeliner to my left eye?
Use tape to shape how you want to line your eye.
How do I make sure that your eyeliner and wing are not too thick?
Use a liquid liner or a gel (with a thin formula, like Tarte Amazonian Clay liner) with an angled brush, as opposed to pencil. You want to start at the outer corner of your eye and with one quick, fluid motion (it has to be fast or the wing won’t be as sharp), flick your liner toward the tail of your brow to create the wing. Then, make a thin line from your inner corner to the tip of the wing and fill in the space between the line and your lash line. Take your time (apart from the flick) and practice a lot, because wings aren’t easy until you get it right, then it’s pretty easy.
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wikiHow Video: How to Make Cat Eyes With Eyeliner
To create a classic cat eye, start by pressing the handle of a makeup brush against your nose and angling it so it touches the end of your eyebrow. Use this as a guide, then draw a dot where you want the tip of your cat eye wing to be. Repeat on your other eye. Then, draw a line from the dot to the outer corner of your eye. That will be the bottom of your cat eye. Draw another line from the dot to the middle of your upper lash line. Fill in your cat eye, then finish the look by drawing a thin line from the inner corner of your eye to the wing. Repeat on the other side, and correct any mistakes with a q-tip.
- The thicker you make your wing, the more retro it will look.
- Experiment with the length and the angle of the wing to figure out what looks best on you.
- If you struggle to apply liquid eyeliner, felt-tip and gel eyeliners are a great option. Felt tip eyeliners work just like a pen or marker, so they’re easy to use and offer a great amount of control. Similarly, gel eyeliners are available in pencils, making them easy to use.
- If you’re using a pencil liner, try to get it as sharp as possible. Also, you may need to layer it in order to get that dark look.
- If you have not yet styled your hair, consider pinning it back. This will keep your face clear of any stray hairs. If you have already styled your hair, consider lightly clipping it back instead.
- If you’re having troubles making a straight line, try using a credit card or business card. For a curved line, try using a spoon.
Things You’ll Need
Creating an Outline with a Makeup Brush
Eyeliner (liquid is recommended)
Using Tape as a Guide
Eyeliner (liquid is recommended)
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This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 28 references. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards.
In other languages:
Español: hacer el delineado de ojos de gato, Português: Fazer o Olho de Gato Usando um Delineador, Italiano: Farti degli Occhi da Gatta con l’Eyeliner, Русский: рисовать “кошачий глаз” при помощи подводки для глаз, Deutsch: Katzenaugen mit Eyeliner machen, Français: faire des yeux de chat à l’eyeliner, Bahasa Indonesia: Membuat Mata Kucing dengan Eyeliner
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