Easy on the Eyes: Flaunt Your Inner Feline With This Soft and Simple Cat Eye

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

cat eye makeup tutorial 1

Even if you feel like your previous attempts at eye makeup left you looking like a horror movie zombie clown (been there, done that!), trust me, babe, you can do today’s easy cat eye makeup look.


Because it relies on forgiving neutrals, as opposed to saturated brights, and doesn’t require extensive blending or complex brushwork, it’s a great confidence builder. Perfect for when you want a quick, elegant eye look easy to dress up or down.

Before we get started, let’s go over the products we’ll use…

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From the left: MAC 217 Blending Brush, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, MAC 266 Small Angle Brush, Dior 3-Couleurs Glow Palette in 651 Nude Glow

Like last time, these are only suggestions, so feel free to substitute any similar colors you already have. As you browse through your collection, look for 1) a neutral (beige, brown, peach, taupe, gray, etc.) powder eyeshadow, ideally one within a few shades of your natural skin tone; 2) a complementing glittery shadow; and 3) a black, brown or gray shadow for the cat eye itself.

(Note: For this cat eye look, I find that soft powder shadows are easier to work with than eyeliners. The shadows don’t look as intense as liners, and you don’t have to worry as much about buffing out the edges.)

I’ll be using the new Dior 3-Couleurs Glow Palette in 651 Nude Glow because it has a good selection of shades for this particular look, but you could also use shadows like NARS Cyprus, MAC Soba, MAC Patina, or MAC Arena as your main neutral; NARS Night Star for your shimmer/glitter shadow and something like MAC Carbon for your darker shadow shade.

Okay, here we go! Let’s get started. πŸ™‚

First — and this is really only the first step if you have oily eyelids — starting with a primer can really help extend the wear time of your shadows. If it’s not a problem for you, you can skip ahead.

Now, using a flat eye shader brush like the MAC 239, pat your main neutral shadow, which for me is the darker golden brown shimmery shade in the upper left of the Dior palette, on your lids starting at the lash line and slowly working up into the crease.

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Try to concentrate more of the color near the lash line than the crease, as this creates the gradient/transition effect, and also gives the eye more depth, and the overall look more polish.

While you’re still holding the same brush, take the leftover product, and run it along your lower lash line.

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Then, grab a domed blending brush like the MAC 217, and gently buff the edges, further diffusing the color, by running the brush along your brow bone…

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…and then around the edge of your eye.

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Depending on the shadow you use, the time you have and the level of intensity you’re going for, you may have to repeat these steps to build up the pigment. With this look, I usually do between 1-3 layers.

Next, swirl a fingertip in your pan of glittery shadow, and press directly in the center of each lid. Don’t worry about blending out the edges here, because after the product sits for a while, it should settle pretty well by itself.

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The glitter serves as a sort of spotlight, drawing more attention to your eyes, brightening them up, and also giving some additional texture to the look.

Of course, if you’re not into glitter, no problem. You can skip this step. It’s really up to you.

Now, it’s time for our cat eye, mrow! πŸ™‚

Start by dipping a small-angle eye brush like the MAC 266 into your pan of black shadow, and tapping the tip against something (or running it across a paper towel) to remove any excess product, and thereby reduce any fallout beneath your eyes.

Beginning at the outer corner of an eye (the side closer to your ear), place the flat edge of the brush parallel to your lashes, and push the shadow along your upper lash line.

I usually start with the longer bristles pointing outward, toward my ear, and then, at about the halfway mark, I flip the brush around so that the longer bristles point inward, toward my nose. Ultimately, you want a black line that starts thick at the outer corner of the eye, and gets thinner as it moves in.

When you’re done lining, take your angle brush, and place it on the outer corner of your lash line, with the shorter bristles placed next to your lashes. Try to position the angle of the brush so that if you were to run an imaginary line along the natural curve of your lower lash line, the bristles would follow the line.

That’s the angle we’ll use for our cat eye flick.

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Using short strokes now to create your cat eye liner, drag your brush along your lash line, moving from the outside to the inner corner. To turn up the intensity, just repeat this step a few times.

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C’est magnifique! Great job. πŸ™‚ Apply mascara, and fill in your brows to complete the look.


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To really open up the eyes and give them more depth, you can also apply a black liner along your upper water line, and a beige (or white) eyeliner along your lower water line.

OOH! I bet a bronze liner like MAC Powersurge would look really pretty along the lower lash and water lines, too.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 42 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Teri says:

    Great tutorial! I have a palette that is made for this! Love that the line is made with eye shadow, it looks very different from gel liner or eye liner, so much softer :).
    Teri recently posted … Natural Skin Care from Delhaize

  2. Carmela says:

    Awesome tutorial! This makes for a great everyday look, albeit a little bit more glam’d up. πŸ™‚

    I’ve always wanted to line my upper waterlines but I always get bad raccoon eyes when I do (even if I put a bit of powder under my eyes to make sure it’s not transferring because of oil or use a waterproof liner). I’d be grateful for any tips you might have, Karen! Thanks! πŸ˜€

  3. Love these tutorials, Karen! And the look your created is similar to the look I do everyday…but better. I’m going to practice creating more of a flick at the outer corners–I love how it looks on you!
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: NEW Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 69 Fleur de Lotus Reviews & Swatches

  4. Emily says:

    Looks lovely, as always! This is great for a staple cat eye classic look, not too light, not too dark!
    Emily recently posted … The Ultimate Red Lipstick (And Pink And Nude) – Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick Reviews

  5. Julia says:

    I have been wanting to try a cat eye, but din’t want to look too dramatic. This look is perfect, I think I will try it soon!

  6. Lulle says:

    This is a great tutorial, everybody can do it!
    I like to line my lashes with a dark shadow, it looks really soft. I use my angle brush wet when I want more intensity, or when the shadow doesn’t stick to the eyelid very well.
    Lulle recently posted … Clinique Almost Powder Makeup

  7. Very very pretty and great tutorial! This is an extremely wearable soft cat eye, I like!!!

  8. Anna says:

    What are you wearing on your lips? Looks gorgeous!

  9. Summer says:

    Beautiful look, Karen! As always, I’m impressed by your ability to make something so gorgeous out of very few products and steps.

    Any word on when Dior Nude Glow will be released in the U.S.? I’m DYING for it!

  10. Tracy says:

    So easy! So gorgeous! Loving these tutorials you are doing!
    Tracy recently posted … More Yummies With Shu Uemura Chocolat-Donna Blushes in Framboisier & Apricot

  11. Melissa says:

    Thank you for your tutorials. I really enjoy them. Btw- you ring rocks!

  12. Advah says:

    Loving those tutorials, thank you Karen!! They are the answers to most of the makeup questions I’ve always wanted to ask! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Advah,

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you like them. I really enjoy doing them too. If there’s ever a look you want me to try to recreate just send over a link…

  13. So simple and very pretty. Your tutorials are always very easy to follow, you’re a great teacher πŸ™‚
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review: Chanel Chance

  14. Kim says:

    This looks great and I love your step-by-step with the photos. So easy to understand! πŸ™‚

  15. lovely tutorial Karen, that Dior palette looks gorgeous! I love your lip color here btw!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Indian Bridal Makeup Tutorial 5 : Earth Tones ~ Brown and Terracotta

  16. Nina says:

    I LOVE your tutorials — im one of the few that prefer picture + text to videos so this really, really helps me!

    The cat eye is awesome – not harsh because it is an eyeshadow, and im totally doing this tomorrow. I can finally put my Carbon e/s to good use!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Nina! πŸ™‚

      One cool thing about this look is that if you are in the mood for something sassy you can always change the color of the liner. I’ve tried this with green, purple and blue shadow and it works great.

      Hope you’re having a nice Wednesday so far.

      • Nina says:

        Ooohhh… Nehru eyeshadow would be awesome w/ this look! πŸ™‚ Maybe Bio Green too!

        Its time to put my unused MAC Matte / Matte2 collection to good use!

        Wednesday is going OK — made a quick Target run to get a birthday card and a coffee press. Its the Hubs’ birthday next week and im prepping for it!

        Have an awesome rest of the day!!!

  17. Thanks for the tutorial, Karen! I usually use a gel/liquid liner because I don’t think powder is intense enough or lasts as well on my monolids, but the idea is the same! Love the simplicity and it’s so sexy meow!

  18. casey says:

    This is one of my new favorite looks and I agree with the others–perfect pink lip on you! Care to tell where your earrings are from? They’re adorable and could double as a Tabs toy haha!

  19. Eleanor says:

    I tried this look out this morning, and I look great! I didn’t have the Dior shadows, so I used MAC soft brown, Makeup Geek Shima, Shima, and Shop & Drop (dark navy) from the MAC Shop & Drop quad. I really like it and feel great. πŸ™‚

  20. JCz says:

    Karen, I love these “tutorial-type” pictures – sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to watch a video instruction, so these are a great alternative for me.
    Plus, what a cute little nose you have!!!

  21. Katrina says:

    Yeah yeah yeaaaaaaaaaaah Karen, another excellent tutorial! I love this series!! (Helps that you’ve got such a beautiful model to work on)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Windie,

      Yes and no. I used elements of this tutorial in that look, but it’s not the same exact thing. The Dior look has a lot more blending and the liner is different. This is a simplified version. πŸ™‚

      • Windie says:

        Sorry about your eyes. Hoping no bothersome physical effects other then it’s appearance.
        Thank you for rsppnse. Will stay tuned for eyeliner tutorial.

  22. Cyndi Liu says:

    Your eyes look so gorgeous but too many steps for a busy mom with young kids like myself. I found this video while searching the internet from the Today show showing beauty editor Bobbie Thomas doing a cat eye using a stencil. I decided to purchase after watching her do a really great cat eye in seconds. I was pleasantly surprised at the results I was able to do too. Worth taking a look.


    Cheers! Love your site!

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