Our Beauty Panel shares their secrets to achieving the perfect cat eye

beauty panel cat eye

beauty panel cat eye

Everyone loves a good cat eye. No matter your eyeliner style, from statement to subtle, any look can be bumped up a notch simply by adding that classic wing. But, as any beauty junkie knows, it’s not always as simple as it sounds. Perfecting the classic cat eye can take lots of experience, and many frustrated attempts ending in uneven wings. Luckily for us, our Beauty Panel is here to teach us a lesson in eyeliner, so we won’t have to endure lopsided wings any longer. Whether you’re looking to make a splash with a statement cat eye, or to simply complement your eye shape with some liner, read on to find out our panel’s best tips.

Challenge 93: Show us your favourite way to achieve the perfect cat eye.  See the answers now! »

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at beautypanel@fashionmagazine.com. Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


beauty panel cat eye

Allison Leong
Vancouver| Alison*Elle

Cat eye liner has become a standard part of my everyday makeup routine in the last few years, due in large part to my discovery of liquid liner pens. No matter what I’d tried in the past (gel liners with brushes, pencils, or liquid liners with brush applicators), I just couldn’t achieve the look with ease. But give me a liquid liner with a marker tip and I’m good to go!

The key to application is to lay the “marker” tip horizontally and sweep it across your lid in one quick stroke. This gets an even line at the top and you can then use the pen to fill in the space between the base of your lashes and the liner (basically tight-lining). Then, you finish up by doing the flick. I use the pen to draw a thick triangular shape at the outer corner of each eye and fill it in. If you’re prone to mistakes (though I swear this cat eye liner technique is pretty foolproof), Prestige Cosmetics Makeup Eraser Pen will be your new best friend.

Products Used: Burberry Foundation in Velvet Trench No. 206, Burberry Light Glow Natural Blush in Earthy Blush No. 07, Burberry Eye Colour in Tea Rose No. 200, Annabelle EyeInk, Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara, Burberry Effortless Brow Definer in Sepia No. 02, Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Military Red No. 109

beauty panel cat eye

Brittany Messner
Calgary | Brittany Messner

I am a huge fan of the winged eyeliner look and in various forms, but as far as everyday wear I find that my style leans a lot more 1960s. When I apply liner I want it to be bold and sharp with a heavy emphasis on doll-like lashes.

For application, I find a great felt-tip liner to be my perfect weapon of choice. I start with the wing tips first, making sure to get both sides as even as possible before filling in the lines. If the ends need a little more evening out I take a short angled brush with a bit of makeup remover (or coconut oil) to clean up the edges. If you go this route you may need to lay down a touch of powder before going back in with your liner.

To finish off my look I curl my lashes and give them a couple coats of my favourite lengthening mascara. I always apply mascara to my bottom lashes regardless, but with this particular look I really like to emphasize them. Last but not least, I swipe a little white eyeliner in my waterline to really make my eyes pop!

Products Used: Make Up For Ever Smokey Stretch Mascara, Graphic Liner and Artist Shadow in Shades M-532 and S-642, Annabelle Kohl Eyeliner in Milky Way, Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Terre Neuve, Emani HD Corrective Concealer in Fair, MAC Huggable Lip Colour in I’m In, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brunette

beauty panel cat eye

Samantha Johnston 
Toronto | btwsam

When I first started using eyeliner, I was all about the pencil. Liquid liner freaked me out and I didn’t have the confidence to do much more than create a darkened upper lash line. It wasn’t until years later that I’d ditch the dull pencil for the flawless miracle that is liquid liner.

Liquid liner, although slightly intimidating at first, is absolutely necessary to achieve the perfect cat eye. A liner that comes in pen form (unlike some twist off brush/sponge versions) is the safest bet for shaky hands.

Approach the cat eye one step at a time. It’s easier to fix and less intimidating.

1. Create the base by dragging your liner along the lash line. The closer you get to your nose, the thinner the line should be.

2. Starting from the bottom water line, follow that line up and out in a straight line. To make sure they’re even I do the exact same thing on the other eye. Bottom waterline, up and out.

3. Attach the end of your wing to your lash line, forming a bit of a triangle. This line doesn’t have to be perfectly straight, a bit of a curve is normal.

4. Fill in the triangle and you’ve got a perfect cat eye!

If you need to clean up any lines, use a small angled brush and apply thin strokes of concealer. Blend outward.

Products Used: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer. MAC 263 Small Angle Brush.

beauty panel cat eye

Colleen Conroy
Vancouver | Blush Rouge

The cat eye is such an awesome makeup look. It’s certainly a staple in my books and I usually use it as a go-to when I want to add a little flair. I find the curve in the wing acts as a great pick-me-up for your eyes and lends instant trend. It’s true that there are so many different ways to achieve this look but from the beginning I’ve always gone about it the classic way, without any additional aids other than a really great liner brush (thin and dense, bent tip for precision and tightness to the lashes). I like a very defined cat eye so I gravitate towards gel liners and sometimes I go with full liquid liners. Pencils are gorgeous as well, but tend to give a softer look. Here’s how I paint my wings:

I start by lining my eye from inner corner to outer corner, gradually thickening the line as I get closer to the outer edge. From the bottom of that line I start to extend it further, drawing upwards with a bit of a swoop. I then flip my brush around and starting where the top of the wing is, I flow the liner back down to meet my first line at the highest point of thickness. Then I fill it in. While doing all of this I lean my head back so my eyelids naturally drop but it allows me to still see. I also pull my skin taut with my opposite hand to help achieve a smooth line.

Pair this with some big hair and a nude lip and you will be feeling very va-va-voom!

Products used: MAC Select Moisturecover in NC20 and NW25, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium, MAC Bronzing Powder in Solar Riche, NARS Blush in Orgasm, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde, Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Eye Primer, MAC Eyeshadow in Blanc Type (all over) and Saddle (crease), Tarte Tartiest Clay Paint Liner in Black, Tarte Bent Eyeliner Brush, L’Oréal Double Extend Mascara in Blackest Black, MAC Lip Pencil in In Synch, MAC Lipstick in Saint Germain and Up The Amp.

beauty panel cat eye

Richa Dwivedi
Burlington | The Beautista

Eyeliner can be used as a tool to create various looks as well as highlighting different features of the eyes. Whether it be with a winged eyeliner or tightline at the waterline, eyeliner can be placed in various parts of the eye to create different looks. My personal favourite is the cat eye. It gives a beautiful lift to the eyes. To achieve this look, you need: two clean slanted eye liner brushes, cream/gel eyeliner, and concealer.

The best time to apply your eyeliner is after your eye shadow and before your apply your mascara. I like to start by drawing a flick using the angled liner brush. Using one hand, pull your lid upward to taut your skin ever so slightly. Using the other hand draw a thin diagonal line towards the end point of your eye brows. It’s up to you to decide how long or where you’d wanna place the tail of the flick. For a more precise angle of your flick, draw the flick toward your eye instead of away from it. Next, draw a line back toward the middle of your lid. You should create a small V shape at the edge of your eye. Now, fill in the outlines with the eye liner. Starting from your tear duct, draw a thin line above your lash line until it connect with your V. You can always make it thicker if you like.

If you make any mistakes or just want to give a super clean look to your flick, dip a clean eye liner brush into your favourite concealer and sweep it right under your flick and blend it with your finger or brush.

Now apply your favourite mascara and you’re done.

beauty panel cat eye

Ellie Somfelean
Montreal | My Beauty Box

A cat eye is a makeup staple for me and probably one of my all time favourite looks to wear. There are many ways to wing a line and I like to play with the shape and thickness of it depending on my mood and the look I’m going for but for day to day I like to keep it simple.

I like to focus on the outer half of my eye so I will draw a thicker line and extend it upwards to elongate the eye while I barley line the lash-line towards my inner corner. This method opens the eyes nicely without being too dramatic. The secret is to keep the flick delicate and sharp, you want to have it almost peek through the lashes rather than stand out. I love using marker eyeliners as they are easy to handle and make drawing a perfect line so easy. To make sure the line stays put and to deepen the intensity I like to go over it with some black eye-shadow and set the colour. Lastly I always keep a cotton swab handy to clean up the edges or go over any smudges or mistakes I might have made as well as use concealer on a detail brush to sharpen/go over edges and give them that crisp, sharp look.

Products used: Annabelle EyeInk Duo Liquid Liner and Mistake Proof Eyeliner; Annabelle Brow Show Liner and Brow to Go Kit