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6 Tips to Help You Achieve the Perfect Cat Eye

Practice makes perfect and so do these tips.
April 12, 2023

A ‘60s-inspired cat eye (more recently referred to as winged eyeliner) has been a charming makeup staple for decades; it’s retro but never outdated. When timeless makeup looks come to mind, classic winged eyeliner is probably one of the first things you think of and it’s true. Winged eyeliner in any form is like the little black dress of makeup — it’s fit for any occasion, universally flattering (with a few tweaks here and there) and beautifully chic. 

The only qualm about cat eye makeup is the application. Winged eyeliner is no doubt one of the tougher makeup looks to master, but it’s worth learning. To help you with just that, we’re sharing six tips to help you perfect your cat eye makeup. 

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What Is the Difference Between Winged Eyeliner and Cat Eye Eyeliner?

There’s a good chance you’ve heard both of these terms used interchangeably and they both refer to a wing at the outer corner of the eye, but they do have a slight difference. A cat eye is supposed to mimic a cat’s eye so it typically includes winged eyeliner at the outer corner and eyeliner on the lower lash line. Winged eyeliner just refers to the flick at the corner of your upper lash line or eyelid. 

6 Tips for the Perfect Cat Eye

Creating the perfect cat eye is all about paying attention to the little details. So, here are six tips to help you craft selfie-perfect wings.

1. Consider Your Eye Shape

Your winged eyeliner application is going to level up when you take your eye shape into account. That’s right, we all know what winged eyeliner looks like but there are subtle ways you can tweak the technique to flatter your unique eye shape

Wide set eyes: If your eyes are set far apart, you’ll want to keep the cat eye on your eyelid, without extending the line too far past your eyes. You can think of it as a chunky wing, which will help to create the illusion that your eyes are closer.

Close set eyes: Following the opposite of the advice we gave for wide set eyes, those with eyes that are close together will want to extend the length of their cat eye makeup, drawing the flick outwards and past the tail of their eyebrows. Adding just a little bit of length to your wing will help your eyes appear farther apart.

Hooded eyes: Hooded eyes can use a batwing eyeliner shape to accommodate the extra skin on their lids. When the eyes are open, this subtle switch in technique will appear like the perfect wing.

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Round eyes: To make your round eyes appear more almond-shaped, create a wing straight across your lash line, and let the wing go outwards with the slightest upward pull rather than a noticeable flick. Keeping the line straight will help to lengthen and lift your eyes, sort of like the trendy siren eyes makeup look. 

Monolid eyes: Monolid eyes lack a defined crease so create a feline flick in the outer corner that follows your lower lash line. This will create the perfect upward flick for your eye shape that extends past your brow bone so it’s visible when your eyes are open.

Downturned eyes: If you have downturned eyes, create a dramatic upward flick in the outer corner of your eyes to fake the illusion of upturned eyes. Create a mini wing in the inner corner  of your eyes, pointing slightly downward to further highlight the lifted and upward pull.

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2. Use Different Types of Eyeliner

There isn’t a single eyeliner that’s best for a cat eye because it all comes down to personal preference. While most people would gravitate towards a felt-tip liquid eyeliner to create a wing, you can also achieve the look with a gel pencil. Here are two different types of eyeliner to consider for your cat eye makeup routine.

An eyeliner pencil is a great option for the lower lash line and smoking out your liner. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner glides across the lid to provide waterproof, transfer-proof color and is equipped with a built-in smudger to create smokey, dramatic eye makeup looks. Use it on the upper lash line, flicking the outer corner to create a wing and finish by lining the lower lash line to create a true cat eye. 

Liquid eyeliner takes talent to apply, but it’s great for achieving a precise, ultra-sharp wing. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner has a pointed felt tip that’s perfect for crafting sharp feline flicks, plus the formula lasts for up to 30 hours. For a true cat eye makeup look, use this liner on the upper lash line and the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner on the bottom lashes.

3. Use a Stencil

If you’ve practiced and practiced winged eyeliner without success, we have just the tip for you: Stop trying to freehand it and use a stencil. There’s no rule saying you have to do it all on your own, so use a cat eye stencil to help. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner comes with a removable wing stencil to help you get perfectly precise wings, every time you do your makeup. 

Position the open part of the stencil at the outer edge of your eye, laying it flat against your skin. Fill in the stencil to draw the wing, then remove the stencil to reveal your perfect flick. Continue the line across your eyelid to complete your cat eye.

4. Try Tape as a Guide

If you don’t have a stencil, you can use tape to create an outline for your wing. Place a piece of tape at the outer corner of your eye and angle it towards the tail of your eyebrow. Once the tape is securely in place, line your upper lash line per usual. Thicken the line to your desired intensity, then wing it out. Drag the wing to your desired placement and don’t worry about keeping the bottom edge straight. After you’ve added the tiny triangle at the edge of your eye, you’re free to remove the tape and reveal your sharp wing.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t like using tape, social media is a great place to look for winged eyeliner hacks

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5. Steady Your Hands on Something

Another great trick that can help you achieve a cat eye successfully is to steady your hand before applying. Even if you don’t tend to have shaky hands, it’s smart to steady your hands before applying eyeliner to your lids. 

Our first piece of advice is to sit down because when you’re standing up, your hands tend to be less steady. Next, plant your elbow on a flat surface, like the countertop of your bathroom sink or your vanity. Lastly, place your pinky on your cheek as a sort of resting place, which will keep your hand from shaking as you line your lids.

6. Clean Up Mistakes With Makeup Wipes

Even the steadiest hands make mistakes from time to time, and that’s where makeup wipes come into play. If you aren’t completely pleased with your cat eye, all you need to do is reach for the L’Oréal Paris Ideal All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes and use one of the corners to clean up the shape of your cat eye.

Next: 8 White Eyeliner Looks That We’re Obsessed With

Photo Credit: IG/@maquillagebyengy, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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