Is anyone else consistently disappointed to find that they don’t look good in a cat eye? Here I have come to convince myself that wearing one is both a mostly universally flattering makeup maneuver, and a very easy one to execute on your own, but if I can’t look good in one, well, what hope is there for the fate of the relationship between my face and makeup?

To settle what was perhaps the most perplexing conundrum to close my 2017, I called upon Charlotte Tilbury‘s Pro Artist, East Coast, Mia Jones, to troubleshoot anything I may have been doing wrong. And you know what I learned? That I’d been drawing my g-dang lids on backwards. Here I thought it was best to start at the end of your lids (and look, for some people that trick works), when really, starting from the inside corners of your eyes yields better results (particularly if your eyebrows take up a substantial portion of that region of space).

Or does it? I’m too distracted by my shiny-ass wrist to look at my eyes. But if you, like me, fall victim to the wrath of sucking at makeup application, have made some version of a resolution to not look like a dying turtle for the duration of this winter and recognize that just because sometimes you don’t like to wear makeup does not also mean that you don’t want to know how to best apply it if and when you do wear makeup, here is a handy tutorial in slideshow form that explains how to get the perfect cat eye at home in an undisclosed number of steps (fine, five, with an optional two) that say rawrrrrr when prompted but never wooof because, you know, cat eyes, people. Not dog eyes.

Photos and gifs by Edith Young. 

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  • Aleda Johnson

    I’ve found my 2018 New Year’s Resolution.

  • Celina

    Random, but Leandra, your skin looks amazing!

    • Leandra Medine

      eh, its a mirage/concealer. i am essentially one gigantic blackhead these days

      • Celina

        Well, you’re beautiful anyway. 🙂

      • tuberoseandvetiver

        Please tell me what concealer you use

  • Annie

    This is a great look on you! I’m going to try this method.

  • thekatalyst

    Step 0, check, minus occasional creeping existential angst. All sequential steps thereafter- we shall see during next date night prep 😀

  • I have been doing makeup for years and I still don’t know how to get a cat eye right on the first three tries, so don’t feel bad!

  • Merrynell

    Whatchoo wearing on your lippy??

    • Leandra Medine


      • Hollie Bell

        No way! Was going to ask the same, such a nice rosy shade.

  • Liz Warners

    The BEST cat eye advice was this: They have to be sisters, not twins.

    • Millie Lammoreaux

      I honestly feel like “sisters, not twins” is good advice for the majority of life’s struggles.

  • Tonya

    Gorgeous skin and complexion!

  • I too, enjoy existing.

  • Millie Lammoreaux

    Y’all, I have Very Hooded Lids that essentially have a fold right where the “flick” should be…how in the world can I make a cat eye look good and STAY on me? I’m quite adept at makeup but this has alluded me for the better part of a decade. Thoughts?!

    • Kristin

      I recently saw a tutorial on cat eye for hooded eyes where there is sort of a notch (I can’t think of the right word) at the end. I am going bananas trying to find the video. It was I believe a product video, so now I need to scour the internet and find it for you.

      • Millie Lammoreaux

        Double thanks for devoting your time to the search!

    • Kristin

      Okay, I found it. It is on the Sephora website for the Kat Von D tattoo liner. Scroll through the videos on the product site and there is one for hooded eyes. Not sure if that would work for you, but seems kind of interesting.

      • Millie Lammoreaux

        Whoa, THANK YOU!! I never would have thought to do it like that, with a notch thingy. Cool! Zooming home after right after work to play with my makeup now. 🙂

      • Lorange E

        Double thank you!! That is such a cool trick!!

  • Simply clicking through the slideshow gave me anxiety. I am not a makeup person. However, I attempted a cat eye for New Year’s Eve and it came out ok! I didn’t even cry.

    What primer do you all use for your eyes? Any recommendations? I don’t know what I’m doing.

    • Amelia

      “I didn’t even cry” proud of u

    • Millie Lammoreaux

      You look lovely! I’m a fan of the Urban Decay Primer Potion.

    • peenerbambina

      I use the wet and wild “only a matter of prime” primer that costs pennies and it is amazing. Honestly, I forget how good it is until I don’t put it on one day and everything smears everywhere and makes me sad.

    • Leandra Medine

      these look great!!! i don’t use a real “primer” basically i put concealer on my lids

      • hmm concealer, I’ll try that. Thanks, Leandra!

  • Camila Restrepo

    I been using liquid eyeliner regularly, like 3-4 a week, for a couple of months and pratice does make perfect. Also Kat Von D’s tattoo liner is the bee’s knees; so good liquid eyeliner helps a lot.

  • Kattigans

    Leandra, cat eye is so good on you. This tutorial is much appreciated because while I can kinda do my makeup (like know the basics and what works for me) I really, really suck at most eye makeup that isn’t idiot proof. I’ve been craving a cat eye recently but never knew how to really do one

  • Kat

    This looks great on you, but your amazing eyebrows steal the show. As someone who suffers from a compulsion to pull my eyebrows out, I am supremely jealous. 2018 is my year to beat it though!

  • Tina

    The best tool I’ve found is by Able Cosmetics…their Cat Eye 101….genius.

  • Jennifer

    You look so smooth and fresh! And your lips are dreamy.

  • Michy Moncada

    Love this advice! And I also love your lipstick 💗 can you tell me which is it please?

  • Seep

    What is the point of this the pictures are like a mile away

  • designpeeper

    It’s good to know that I was not the only one struggling with getting the perfect cat eye. Great article thanks 🙂

  • The cat eye looks good but you also look great without it. I think its all about whatever feelings you exude from within that makes you look good (yes, its kind of a hippie-dippie outlook but I think its true!). Sometimes I love how I look in the cat eye and sometimes it just feels wrong. Just gotta go with whatever feels right in the moment.

  • Jen

    I wish these photos were more close up! Viewing this on a phone/iPad, I can barely tell you have a cat eye done, let alone the steps she went through!

  • coffeebee

    i love this look on you – woowoo! i can’t believe chapstick gives you the cutest light pink lip color. just the plain ol’ black tube chapstick, or something fancier??

    • Leandra Medine

      It’s actually a drunk elephant chapstick called Lippe!

  • Michelle

    Does anyone else out there look terrible with cat eye liner? I have a very fair complexion with light (dark blond) hair and blue eyes. I’ve had my makeup professionally done a couple of times, both times with the cat eye and it made me look like I’d been punched in the eyes. I’ve tried it myself with the same results. Tight lining works nicely for me as its softer but still adds some colour/ drama! Just wondering if its just me, or others find this too!
    Leandra – you look lovely. I think I prefer you with less makeup truth be told! Lovely and beautiful either way though 🙂 xx

    • Leandra Medine

      I feel like you’d have such a solid Bardot thing going on given the description (blue eyes, blonde hair), maybe the line being drawn is too thick!?

    • Rosemary

      Same! I love the cat eye trend on other people and sometimes I’ll throw one on just for fun but it’s definitely doesn’t make me feel like my best self. I have super-hooded eyes and thick black brows, which are both features I love, but a cat eye just blends them together like one big black hole. Now I gravitate toward other fancy looks that play my eyes up more like glitter liner, plum mascara, gold shadow, or gloss!

    • Jade

      Have you tried a brown liner instead of black? I find a black cat eye to be too harsh for my day-to-day look (I work at a bank!), so I usually go with a softer brown and it really tones it down while giving me a little edge.

    • doublecurl

      I have similar coloring as you and a cat eye is the only eye makeup that actually looks good on me! A smokey eye is a nightmare and I look like I’m strung out. A cat eye on top with white liner on the lower waterline and no black lower liner is the only thing that works for me. As Leandra said, Brigitte Bardot!!!

  • Your facial motto is giving me so much life. THANK you.

  • I LOVE cat eyes! I tend to do mine a little more vintagey, but I feel like there’s about 50 different ways to do it and I’m trying to figure out which one helps me live my best life!

  • Rebecca

    Lucky you!!! Just met Mia Jones at a Neiman Marcus Short Hills event…so beautiful, so good!!!

  • Allegra

    liquid eyeliner was the first makeup i ever did on myself, and i have that shit down to a science – however I NEVER USE BLACK. for some reason i feel like it looks to harsh, super obvious where/when i fuck up, if i smudge it it’s a disaster, etc. etc. i use the cheap ass sephora brand liquid eyeliner in every color except black and i get compliments alllllll the time. if you’re nervous about your cat eye try a sparkly khaki or brown or champagne color instead of traditional black, it’s way way less daunting.

  • Mary

    I’ll never understand putting on a cat eye with your eyes closed. Yes, it looks perfect and is easier but completely changes its shape once the eye is opened. You can see in the final photo that the liner looks stubby and shortens the eye. The point of a cat eye is to elongate it. My eye shape is similar to yours and I find that when I do my cat eye with a closed eye once they’re opened the wing has this curled shape to it as well. Best tip is to keep your eyes open because who walks around with their eyes closed???

  • Rockrenee

    The struggle is real! Some tips: metallic liner works great for blue eyes making them appear brighter, emphasize brown eyes with a dark blue shade!

  • Hannah Betts

    It’s blown my tiny mind that you were applying yours backwards and I’m now fretting that the wrong way will fix itself in my brain, despite the fact that I’ve been catting for 35 years.
    I’m taking this as a sign that it’s time to go to bed.

  • Teawith Onesugarplease

    CT all the way for feline eyes , love your tutorial

  • Natalie Redman
  • streats

    “explains how to get the perfect cat eye at home” …if you have a makeup artist. Whyyyy wouldn’t you show yourself doing it? Those photos are literally no help to us lowly schmucks doing our own face. Love you Leandra but c’mon now. Tutorial 101!

  • Simone

    i love step 0 and this slightly pink gloss suits you so well and ‘Here is a still life of step 2 in case the gif was giving you a headache’ was a really sensitive idea for people who are highly sensitive (like me).