How to Do the Perfect Cat Eye

As a beauty editor, I consider myself fairly skilled when it comes to makeup. A smoky eye? I nail it. I can even contour. But when it comes to creating a cat eye, I’m clueless. I’m nervous I won’t get the line straight and the flicks even, and I end up skipping top eyeliner altogether. So we called makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, who has mastered the cat eye, and asked her to share all of her secrets.

Follow These Steps

  1. Grab a freshly-sharpened, creamy black eyeliner, like Charlottle Tilberry Rock N Kohl Eye Pencil in Bedroom Black ($27, net-a-porter.com), and draw a small wing starting at the outer corner.

  2. Draw small dashes across your top lash line, working your way from your outer corner to your inner corner. This helps create a thin, even line without the stress of having to draw one perfect line across your lids (much less intimidating).

  3. Made a mistake? No problem. Simply dip a cotton swab (the precision ones are great for detailing) in makeup remover and use it to erase any smudges, smooth out any places where the line got too thick, or even your wings.

  4. To lock in and intensify the look, go over the liner with a liquid one, like Surratt Beauty Auto-Graphique Eyeliner ($42, sephora.com), which is a refillable, Japanese-calligraphy-inspired pen great for drawing precise cat eyes—a fancy splurge you’ll be happy you made.

  5. Apply a few coats of mascara on top lashes, wiggling at the roots to boost volume. Pair the eye look with dewy skin (swipe on a little tinted moisturizer or foundation), a neutral shadow (or skip it to let the liner really pop!), and the lip color of your choice.