The best cat eye makeup to inspire all the face painters out there

Plus, a few choice eyeliner recommendations to get you started

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / November 23 2021

In the world of winged eyeliner looks, we’ve had some real doozies.

There was the ‘floating liner’ trend (still going strong in 2021), we’ve dabbled with the ‘reverse cat eye’ trend, and we’ve  stolen many wishful glances at the excellently executed and ever mounting celebrity eyeliner looks that are constantly infiltrating our social media feeds.

But try as we might, there’s one classic winged eyeliner look that we’ll never quite get over, and that’s cat eye makeup. 

Call it nostalgia if you must, but cat eye makeup is forever our first love and it’s hard not to reminisce about the classic edge it’s delivered throughout our makeup-wearing lives.  

From our first liquid eyeliner purchase – shout-out to Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner ($8.47 at Chemist Warehouse) – to our adult face painting sessions with slightly exxier options, cat eye makeup has never let us down. 

So, if you too are like us and forgot the staying power of a good cat eye, then join us as we revel in some easy-to-replicate cat eye makeup moments and a few va-va-voom feline flicks (for special occasions, you know?). 

Heck, we’ll even sweeten the deal and share with you our favourite eyeliners for achieving the wing of your dreams. In the words of Shania Twain: “Let’s go girls”.

The classic cat eye

We’ve already mused on Lana Condor’s ability to pull off a cat eye like no either (her inky feline wing at the 2021 InStyle Awards gave us chills TBH), so we think it’s only fair she start things off as far as cat eye makeup inspiration is concerned. 

Then there’s Gigi Hadid. Who else remembers when the model alongside celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta broke the Internet with this post-partum cat eye makeup look? Iconic. 

And we can’t forget to mention Ariana Grande, who’s been rocking a cat eye since the days of her career's inception on Nickelodeon. One could argue Grande’s eyeliner is just about as recognisable as her signature ponytail.




The glam feline flick

Now let’s get into the good *cough* glam *cough* stuff. 

Forget playing it safe with size because when it comes to glam cat eye makeup we’re looking at jumbo jet-size wingspan here, people. 

Team a thick lined cat eye with an equally bold colour choice like this peachy tangerine mash-up that Selena Gomez is touting. 

Or extend your cat eye makeup to the heavens, while running parallel to your sharp-edged contour, for a face-snatching effect like rapper Megan Thee Stallion

And for those keen on the extreme, why not just completely alter your eye shape like drag queen and makeup artist Miss Fame? Follow suit by using a white eyeliner to contour your lower lash line and extend your cat eye makeup to the inner corners.




After an eyeliner to practice your best cat eye makeup? We recommend:

KVD BEAUTY Tattoo Liner Liquid Eyeliner ($30 at Sephora); INGLOT AMC Eyeliner Gel (was $32 now $27.72 at Oz Hair & Beauty); and Rimmel Glam Eyes Professional Liquid Eyeliner ($5.97 at Chemist Warehouse).

KVD BEAUTY Tattoo Liner Liquid Eyeliner

INGLOT AMC Eyeliner Gel

Rimmel Glam Eyes Professional Liquid Eyeliner

Ever wondered what Adele’s using to create her signature cat eye makeup? This is Adele’s favourite eyeliner.

Main image credit: @anthonyhnguyenmakeup

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).