There isn't an occasion for which a classic cat eye doesn't suit. But sadly, creating said cat eye is easier than said done. While practice is undeniably the best way to nail down your technique, it's also important to make sure you're using the right tools. In this case, that's your eyeliner — the right pen (or pencil) can make all the difference. Ahead, a guide to the best eyeliners for a cat eye — but first, a few essential tips.
First up: figuring out what type of eyeliner to use. Liquid formulas have long been the go-to because they deliver intense color payoff and come in pen-like applicators that, in theory, make them easier to draw on. But since their budge-proof formulas leave you less room for error, they can also be quite intimidating (and most definitely require some practice). To get your most precise wing, you can try lightly sketching your cat eye with a pencil first, which can be used as a guideline for applying your liquid liner over the top. Another makeup artist-approved tip is to place a piece of tape at the outer corner of your eyes so that you can create two even flicks, using the tape as a stencil.
You can, of course, use a pencil to create a cat eye too. Just be sure to choose a pencil that can be sharpened, since retractable pencils won't retain their pointy tip over time. Gel pots are another popular choice because they have a creamy consistency that's easy to work with. That said, if you go the gel liner route, you'll need to pick up an angled brush, too.
No matter what your weapon of choice, be sure to keep some Q-tips on hand in case you make a mistake. Rather than starting over from scratch, you can dip the cotton swab in some makeup remover or micellar water and use it to clean up your lines and erase smudges.
From classic liquid formulas to a more forgiving pencil and even winged stickers (!), these are the best eyeliners for cat eyes available on Amazon.
1. The Best Overall
From Lady Gaga's makeup line, this genius eyeliner actually involves some sneaky stickers, thanks to Face Lace's Phyllis Cohen, with whom Haus Laboratories collaborated for this product. The Haus Laboratories Eye Armor Kit comes with a classic matte-black liquid liner that has a fine-point felt tip to create more precise lines. But when it comes time for the winged tip, you don't have to mess around with the liquid pen. Instead, the kit comes with individual wing stickers that you line up with your upper lash line, stick into place, and connect to your liner using the liquid pen. The stickers are reusable, but Haus Laboratories gives you 10 pairs in total — five pairs of thicker wings and five pairs of elongated wings — so you can switch up your cat eye without compromising on accuracy.
2. The Best Liquid Eyeliner For A Cat Eye (Sans Stickers)
For a more traditional method, the cult-classic Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a favorite among makeup artists, beauty editors, and Amazon reviewers alike. The waterproof liquid liner goes on without skipping or pulling, and it dries quickly without smudging. It's available in two different styles: original and micro tip, the latter of which allows you to create more precise lines with ease. The liner is even available in a range of gorgeous colors beyond black, including moss green, midnight blue, and white.
3. The Best Cheap Liquid Eyeliner For A Cat Eye
For a more affordable pick that doesn't compromise on performance, try the NYX Epic Ink Liner. The liquid liner has a fine point, felt brush tip that allows you to create super-sharp wings, but that can also be built up into thicker lines by pressing the pen down more firmly as you brush it across your lids. Over 700 Amazon reviewers confirm that the liquid liner is a pigmented, true-black color, and that it's truly waterproof. "For real, this stuff does not budge without makeup remover," raved one reviewer. "I've been swimming with this liner on in pools and oceans and can attest to the fact that it's truly long-wear and waterproof."
4. The Best Pencil Eyeliner For A Cat Eye
When it comes to creating cat eyes, only the best pencils will let you achieve the precision required for winged looks. The Maybelline TattooStudio Eyeliner Pencil is an ideal choice because it can be re-sharpened, which means that even with continued use, the point will remain sharp enough to create precise lines. Additionally, Maybelline's formula has a gel-like texture, so that the delivery is smoother and the color is intense. The formula also boasts a 36-hour finish that's waterproof, fade-proof, and sebum-resistant for anyone with oily eyelids.
5. The Best Gel Eyeliner For A Cat Eye
Another popular method for achieving the perfect cat eye is to use a true gel formula. The Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel comes in a tiny pot that delivers an intense color payoff with just one stroke. To best apply it, you'll want to purchase a separate angled brush, like this one from NYX. And if you're new to the gel formula game, try softly drawing your lines on first with a pencil or shadow, then using the gel liner to fill everything in. Inglot's creamy liner is waterproof, crease-proof, and smudge-proof, and the formula is also hypoallergenic — a plus for anyone with more sensitive eyes.
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