One of These 7 Cat Eye Techniques Will Be the Way You Finally Perfect Your Winged Liner

If you struggle with making your flicks just right, you probably haven't tried one of these methods.
Publish date:
June 30, 2015
tutorials, cat eyes, eyeliner, liquid eyeliner, gel liner, winged liner

If you’ve had the chance to read some of my xoVain articles, you’ll know that I LOVE doing cat eyes. I will do them every single day, in almost every single article—unless I managed to contaminate my eyeliner that day. What can I say? Cat eyes are cute!

The road to achieving my favorite liner shape, however, hasn’t been an easy one. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve practiced; I still have a hard time with those wings from time to time, so I like to switch up my techniques on the regular.

If you often struggle with making your cat eyes just right and even like me, here are seven ways you can give your technique an update.

The Cotton Swab Method

How To: Over-apply your liner (use gel, cream or pencil, but not liquid since it might flake) where the curve and flick would be, and then use a cotton swab (or these pointed ones) dipped in makeup remover (or moisturizer) to sculpt your desired wing.

I used this technique frequently during college when I was a cat-eye beginner because it gave me a lot of control. This is a good method if you have trouble shaping your cat-eye wings, but I don’t recommend using it to shape the start of your liner if you’re wearing other eye makeup because you’ll end up removing a lot of shadow in the process.

The Tape Method

How To: Align a piece of Scotch tape with the end of your brows and the outer corner of your eyes. Using a gel or cream liner, begin tracing your upper lash line. When you get to the end, draw a vertical line along the tape that’ll serve as the kitty flick. Then fill in the space between the top of the vertical line and the outer corner of your lower lash line with more liner to create a slope or curve. When you’re done, remove the tape to reveal your cat eyes.

This technique is great if you want perfectly sharp edges. I demonstrated this method using gel liner, but it also works really well with powder liner. On the downside, if you have very sensitive skin around your eyes, the pulling off the tape might hurt. To deal with this, try sticking the tape on your forehead or cheek first, removing it, and then aligning it between the end of your brow and the outer corner of your eye. The oil from your skin will likely make the tape less tacky and thus, easier to work with.

The Eyeshadow Method

How To: Use an angled eyeliner brush to draw a cat eye using eye shadow in a shade that matches your liner. When you’re done, go back and trace over the cat eye you made with the liner of your choice.

I love this technique because the cat eye made with shadow serves as a guide. When doing this, it’s better to under-apply rather than over-apply your liner. That way, even if you don’t have perfectly symmetrical cat eyes, the powder shadow that peaks through underneath will help blur out the edges. I have a higher success rate with this method, BUT I try to do this only when I know I’m doing my base makeup afterward. Since using an angled eyeliner brush with eyeshadow tends to cause a LOT of fallout on the under-eye area, you’ll likely have to do some cleanup, so apply your foundation and concealer after—not before—doing this method.

The Wing-It-First Method

How To: Trace a triangle at the outer corner of your eyes, which will later become your cat eye flick, and then fill it in. Next, line your upper lash line, and then go over everything with more liner so it all connects.

This method gets the cat eye wings out the way immediately. However, I’ll admit that I sometimes have trouble getting the wings perfectly symmetrical, and I tend to make the slope too low with this technique.

The Wing-It-Last Method

How To: Draw the start of your cat eyes by lining your top lash line and making the line thicker towards the end. Make sure to leave some space before you get to the outer corner. Next, trace and fill in your wing, and then add more liner to blend the flick with the rest of your liner.

I usually don’t have luck with this technique because I always end up overly lining my top lash line and not leaving enough space at the end, causing my kitty flick to extend too far. I still think it gave me a pretty cat eye though.

The Curve First Method

How To: Draw the curve (or slope) of your cat-eye wing first and stop where you want it to end. Then connect the end to the outer corner of your eye to create the wing. Fill that in, and then line your upper lash line. Lastly, connect it all together until your cat eye shape is smooth.

This is my latest favorite cat eye technique because it immediately tackles the area I struggle with the most—the curve. With other methods, I usually end up making the curve ridiculously exaggerated, but this technique lets me keep the curve under control right from the beginning. I recommend this if you have almond eyes and you don’t want your flick to start too high or appear overly curvy.

The Once Through Method

How To: Draw the outline of your cat eye, and then fill it in! Easy peasy.

After years of doing cat eyes, I have yet to master this technique. If you have, consider me officially jealous of you. I mean, I can totally do one good cat eye in one shot, but two, perfectly symmetrical ones? Get outta here.

  • How do you do your cat eyes?
  • Do you use any of these techniques?
  • Anyone have any recommendations for good eye makeup remover?