Nothing says instant glamour quite like the perfect cat-eye, our all-time favourite eyeliner trend. But real talk: Actually tracing a pristine, sharp wing at the ideal angle—and nailing the symmetry on both eyes—often takes way more than an “instant,” especially if your technique is a little shaky.
Luckily, with some clever eyeliner tips and tricks, the cat-eye of your beauty dreams can be surprisingly easy to achieve. (Psst: It all starts with choosing the right black eyeliner.) Read on for the cat-eye tips you need to know, courtesy of Jodi Urichuk, L’Oréal Paris Canadian Makeup Artist and Expert.
Reach for a beginner-friendly eyeliner.
As a general rule, waterproof liquid eyeliner is the go-to starting point for the best cat-eye. But not all black eyeliners are created equal, and choosing the right one is a total game changer. One of the coolest new launches is L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Liquid Liner, which comes with a super-smart bonus tool—a wing stencil—to make creating a precise flick simpler than ever.
Consider this the makeup equivalent of training wheels on a bike: You can use the stencil until you get the hang of doing it smoothly on your own. “This eyeliner is so great for a consistent and sharp winged liner,” explains Urichuk. “The stencil can be used in so many directions to help with a sharp line effect.”
Adjust your angles.
From where you place your stencil to how you look in a mirror, achieving the perfect cat-eye is all about the angles. For starters, use your lower lash line as a guide for the direction your cat-eye flick should go. “Place the stencil in line with your lower lash line,” explains Urichuk.
Next, “look straight in the mirror to see how big you need to draw the wing to be able to see it when your eyes are relaxed,” she says. This is particularly key if your lids are hooded, since your cat-eye wing won’t necessarily look perfect when your eyes are closed. “You have to draw it in a way that you will see the desired shape when your eyes are relaxed.”
Know how to draw the line.
Hold your L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Liquid Liner at an angle, and follow Urichuk’s cat-eye tips. “Colour in the stencil with the liner, and then sweep the pen across your lash line [from the inner corner] to join the wing—it is truly that easy!” she says. “You don’t need to press hard on the stencil or the pen.” Once you’re done, just lift the stencil clean away to reveal your perfect cat-eye.
Clean up your cat-eye (as needed).
To create the best cat-eye, practise makes perfect, so if your handiwork is wobbly on the first go, you can always fix up the eyeliner later. “Keep in mind that if you don’t get the shape you want, you can take a sharp-angled brush with a little foundation or makeup remover on it and sharpen up those edges in one sweep or change the angle,” explains Urichuk.
Also, if you can’t seem to apply the liquid eyeliner as close to the lash line as you’d like, it’s no big deal: Just tightline your lash line with a matching pencil eyeliner or mascara, suggests Urichuk. Mastering the perfect cat-eye may take a few extra minutes here and there, but this iconic look is timeless—making this beauty manoeuvre our definition of a life skill.