A Tuesday Eye Makeup Tip: How To Get a Precise Outer Cat Eye Edge

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

Use tape to create a crisp cat eye edge

Oh, hai!

Why, yes, there is a method to my madness. πŸ™‚

Justina, this one’s for you! I wanted to answer your question in the comments about that look I did using Maybelline’s Eye Studio palette in Desert Fantasy.


You asked…

I couldn’t place what I loved so much about your eye shadow, but I think it’s the precise outer edge. Can you explain to me how you got it to look that way? I love it!


The secret to that crisp, sharp cat eye edge?

One word: tape.

Last week’s look… See the cat eye edge around the outer area of the eye?

Yup, tape. Regular ol’ Scotch Tape works (I’ve done it before), but here I’m using Nexcare Gentle Paper Tape, because I think it’s a little more gentle.

Nexcare Gentle Paper Tape

Nexcare Gentle Paper Tape — your secret weapon for crisp eye makeup edges

You should be able to find it near the pharmacy at your local drugstore, usually beside the bandages. I picked up this roll up at Target for $3, but many regular drugstores carry it, too (and most online).

First, I pulled a 1-2 inch strip of tape from the roll and stuck it on and off my hand a few times to weaken the adhesive. That way, it wouldn’t tug at the sensitive skin around my eyes too much when I removed it.

crisp cat eyeliner edge

Try to line up both pieces at the same angle…


Then, I placed the tape precisely where I wanted it at the outer edge of my eye, using my lower lash line as a guide, before doing the same on my other eye, taking care to match the angles.

Next, I just went about my business, doing my eye makeup, and removed the tape when I was done.

Voila! A precise cat eye line. πŸ™‚

Crisp and sharp

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Yup, this is a great fool-proof way to do it! When I first started working as a make-up artist I used tape πŸ™‚
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | DKNY Women Fall eau de toilette

  2. Alison M says:

    I used a similar color combo and did a look with NARS Iskandar. I loved the precise edge you created so I used tape as well to do the look. I was too heavy handed with the deepest shade on the edge so after removing the tape I took a clean fluffy brush and gently swept the edge. Purrrrfection!

  3. Stef Smith says:

    How about some new tutorials on how to do makeup? That would be rad! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stef,

      Thanks for the nudge. I’ve actually been wanting to do more tutorials, so I’ll put that on the to-do list.

      • Becca C. says:

        I agree! I’d love to see more tutorials. I love finding about new products from you, but it also makes me super envious of your makeup application skills!

        Great tip with the tape. I’m going to try it out in the near future.

  4. Darbie says:

    Super clever. Might have to try it this weekend for a punk look.

  5. Danielle says:

    Love this tip! The cat eye is something I definitely struggle with.
    Danielle recently posted … Orange for Autumn: My Picks in Makeup & Nail Polish

  6. Crystal F. says:

    I was just thinking about this! Glad you posted about it as I really should try the tape out with my hooded eyelids.

    • NeenaJ says:

      When you’re taping hooded eyelids, apply the tape while looking straight ahead in the mirror or else the line will be wonky. Speaking from personal experience, here! πŸ˜‰

  7. Trisha says:

    Ahhh! I never thought of doing that! Now I’ll steal the idea. πŸ˜‰ Thanks, Karen!
    Trisha recently posted … Nails of the Day: Midnight Sparkles With Loose Nail Glitter

  8. Chelsea says:

    Oooh, I have to try this! I worried about using regular tape, but using the medical tape seems like a way better idea (I get allergic reactions to some adhesives, even on bandages and stuff).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      The medical tape works great! One roll will last you roughly forever, too. Not bad for $3. πŸ™‚

      What’s going on in your neck of the woods? Anything new and exciting?

      • Chelsea says:

        Nothing too much, just plodding along with the semester. On the one hand, I can’t wait to graduate, but on the other, I still need to find a job!

        I applied for one position that sounds perfect, and I found another that’s kind of my backup plan.

  9. Cool trick. I like how you can have multiple chances to line it up just how you want.

    I saw another similar cool trick on YouTube. You just do the make-up without regard to the line at all, and then when you’re done take a wet wipe or make-up remover wipe, line it up from your nose to your eyebrow, and wipe away the parts you don’t want! I think that was on Matt Goss’ channel, I think? Anyway, it works too!

  10. Susan S says:

    Yeah, I love the precision you get with tape. I have to use concealer afterwards instead, which gives a much softer line, but tape would remove my foundation and sunblock, and it takes up to 20 minutes to get it all straight in the first place.

    One of these days, I’m just going sci-fi and wearing my brow filler as eyeliner. (Or vice versa.) Then I can extend my brows into a long swoop that turns into exaggerated cat eyes, and I can fill in the rest with whatever wild colors and false lashes I want.

  11. Justina says:

    Wow, thanks Karen! I am so thrilled you answered my question, and even created a post on it! This is amazing! πŸ™‚ I am off to try it!

    Thanks for making my day!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Justina,

      You’re welcome. Thanks for asking a great question! Let me know how your eye makeup turns out. If you feel like taking a pic, send it to me. πŸ™‚

  12. Ceci says:

    Neat trick! I really dig your dj tabby kitteh shirt; can never have too many cat print clothing πŸ˜€

  13. hanna says:

    Such a cool trick. I don’t think my skin could take the tape though.
    hanna recently posted … Time to Reevaluate my Goals?

  14. Rachel says:

    Can’t decide which I like better, the cat eyes or the cat shirt!

  15. Katie F says:

    Nice trick! I rarely wear eye makeup, but I love a good cat-eye on occasion – I usually hold a credit card up to the edge of my eye at the angle I want.

  16. Kim says:

    Does your brilliance know no bounds!? What a fantastic idea! Can you use it for cat eye (liquid) liner, too? I’m flick-challenged and maybe tape would help?

  17. PianoGirl1985 says:

    This method also works for either a gel or a pen eyeliner! Makes my life so much easier!

  18. Carina says:

    I use Magic Tape. πŸ™‚
    Carina recently posted … Drugstore Finds: NYX Butter Gloss

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