How to Create the Perfect Cat Eye for Every Occasion

Without a doubt, cat eyes are the hottest trend in eye makeup. Flaring eyeliner out at the outer corner of your eyes accentuates the lash line for a classic, sexy look. Cat eyes or “winged” eyeliner is easier to master than you think. Once you learn the technique, you can use it to fashion a variety of looks from delicate and demure to get-noticed bold. Very little additional makeup is necessary making the style great for hot, sticky summer weather. I prefer to keep my lids bare or just add a simple swipe of shimmery shadow. In this post, I will offer tips to create the perfect cat eye and demonstrate 5 different wearable looks to serve as inspiration. I wear some version of a cat eye almost every day, so I consider myself a bit of an expert!

Cat Eye Basics:


1. Line the upper lash line including the spaces between the actual lashes (this is called tightlining) from the inner corner of your eye to the outer edge.
2. Draw a line up from the outer corner of your eye using the curve of the bottom lash line as a guide. Note the length of this line, to repeat on the other side for symmetry.
3. Connect the inner corner of the eye with the top of the line at the outer corner.
4. Fill in the shape.

Optional: If desired, you can line the bottom lash line as well. I personally prefer for this line to be softer, blending from the outer corner to the center of the eye.


  • To clean up mistakes, dip a cotton swab in eye makeup remover or a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil and wipe away excess.
  • Dark, thick, sharp lines will create a dramatic look while soft, light, or smudged lines create a more subtle look. Don’t fear the cat eye because you fear it’s too bold; it’s easy to modify.
  • If you struggle with drawing straight lines, try this awesome trick using scotch tape.
  • Liner brushes are essential for applying gel, cream, or shadow liners. They are available in pointed, flat, and angled varieties.
My favorites:
TiGi Bed Head Fame Angle Brush $9
Royal & Langnickel Silk Pro Pointed Liner $3.59
Smashbox Arced Liner Brush $20

5 Ways to Rock Cat Eyeliner

Here are 5 different styles to serve as inspiration and to demonstrate the variety of looks you can create.


Look 1:  Mini Cat Eye

For this downsized version, the first line begins near the center of my lash line as opposed to the inner corner of the eye and the “wing” at the outer corner is kept modest. Using a brown pencil keeps it soft and subtle enough for daytime.

I used Pencil Me In Cosmetics in Brownie $6.99


Look 2: Classic Bold

Created with black liquid liner, the lines on this cat eye are sharp and clean. Extend this line out as far as you like for a fun 60s retro feel.

I used Wet n Wild MegaLiner in Black $2.99


Look 3: Colorful Cat Eyes

Cat eyes done in bright, cheery colors are fun and modern. I used eye shadow dampened with a little water and liner brush to create a bolt of bright blue.

I used Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Pure Pigments in Brash Blue $7


Look 4: Double-Winged Liner

Add a second “wing” for an edgier but still wearable cat eye. This look was created with gel liner and a liner brush.

I used L’Oreal Paris Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Blackest Black $9.95


Look 5: Smudged Cat Eye

Another way to soften the look of a cat eye is to smudge the edges. Apply eyeliner pencil and use your fingers or a smudge brush to blend.  Here you can see that I incorporated the optional step from the how-to above and carried the color down to my lower lash line, just on the outer edge.

I used Pencil Me In Cosmetics in Boysenberry $6.99





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