How to Create the Perfect Cat Eye Eyeliner Look

katie jane hughes cat eye


A cateye is synonymous with a chic, elevated eye look—but it can also bring to mind some unpleasant memories of painstakingly applying liner with a shaky hand, only to wipe it off and try again (and again). Luckily for us, celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes has a simple two-step tutorial for creating the perfect cat eye eyeliner look. Hughes has lined the eyes of celebs like Ashley Graham, Kerry Washington, Anna Kendrick, and more, and is famous for creating some of the red carpet's most breathtaking eye looks. Ahead, watch as Hughes shares her cat eye makeup tutorial.

Meet the Expert

Katie Jane Hughes is a celebrity and editorial makeup artist with clients among the likes of Ashley Graham, Kerry Washington, Anna Kendrick, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and more.

First, Choose Your Weapon

A cat eye can be created with almost any eyeliner formula, from cream, to liquid, to crayon, to pencil. And don't be afraid to stray away from your tried and true browns and blacks. For this tutorial, Hughes is using this lovely emerald pencil by Revlon:

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner in Jade $6.00

Then Apply Using Hughes's Two-Step Technique:

  1. Start by etching out the general shape of the cat eye: "I'm using the tip of the pencil to get right up in my lash line," says Hughes. "I'm gliding on this color, basically making little tiny etch marks so that you get the shape you like." She continues, "So if you've got softer skin like I do... see how much my skin is moving around the eye area, the outer corner? Work your way backward-in so that you'll get less movement." Just remember that this varies from person to person; some people might find that it's easier to glide from the lash line up rather than the other way around.
  2. Clean it up: To create a more precise shape, Hughes likes to go back in and create sharper edges with a detailed eyeshadow brush dipped in face cream (which will help clean away product without irritating or drying your eyelids). "I've got a brush dipped in a little bit of face cream, and I pinch off the product," says Hughes. This way the brush is primed with texture, but not with a big dollop of product. You just want the brush to be barely wet." Once your brush is ready to go, Hughes recommends trimming down your cat eye ever so slightly (using the brush) to create that precise, sharp look that's associated with a cat eye. You may also choose to trace over your full cat eye (from the inner corner of the eye to the tip of the wing) again to intensify the color. It's up to you! Top the look off with mascara and you're ready to go.

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