Cat Eyes

Cat eyes are probably not universally applicable to all librarians (dudes aside). Lots of librarians I know don’t wear cat eyes, or even wear makeup at all. But then a lot of libarians do, and so does Bat Girl, aka coolest librarian of all time.


Now where do I get the audacity to tell you how to do a cat eye? My coworkers once asked me if my eyeliner is tattooed, which I took as a very fine compliment.

Gal pals also frequently ask me how to do a cat eye, and all good librarians know that when you get asked a question a lot, it is time to make a subject guide so you can direct people to a ready-made, thoughtful resource, rather than typing/explaining scattered instructions over and over again.

To start – which eyeliner to pick! For a cat eye, my preference is liquid liner. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner is my favourite because it is shaped like a felt-tip marker so that even my clumsy hands can draw a decent line. It seems to dry out quickly, but if you dip it in a little water, it’ll be good to go again. I like this Loreal one too and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liner is also supposed to be excellent.

There are really just 3 steps to this process:

  1. Draw the liner as close to your lash line as possible.
  2. Then comes the hard part, which I think The Beauty Department sums up best (who knew that Lauren Conrad is actually useful? Meow!): Imagine a line from the outside corner to the end of your brow, that becomes the angle for the wing. With light brush strokes, slowly draw the wing at that angle.
  3. Then I like to thicken the line from the middle of my eye to the top of the wing, so it almost looks like a stretched out triangle.

Optional Part 04: If your line is a little shaky, clean up around the edges with a wet q-tip.

And voila!


(Storm Troopers also like cat eyes)


Honestly, it takes a lot of practice. I’ve been doing this for years and still don’t get it right about 1 out of every 10 times and end up looking like this:


Still cute, though, right?

I usually curl my lashes and then put the eyeliner on so that if I mess up, I can wipe off the liner and start it again without mucking up the rest of my makeup. Also, if I’m not wearing a cat eye on a work day, it is usually an indicator that I was running late that morning.

Fellow librarian, Sara, whom I consider to be the ultimate makeup expert, finds it helpful to draw the line with an eye pencil first and then go over it with liquid eyeliner. She is so skilled, that when she broke her right arm, she taught herself how to do perfect cat eyes with her lefthand!

If you want a real fancy going out on the town tigress cat eye, use this tape tip from Jane Marie of The Hairpin.

*Edit. Pal to librarians, Cara, brought my attention to this amazing spoon trick video.

And if you want to be the fanciest ever, you can do what is known as tight-lining or the no liner liner, explained here, along with the cat eye. But you’ll need an eye pencil or gel liner and a whole lotta bravery for that.

The Beauty Department has some more handy cat eye tips and also links to this eyeliner chart for inspiration. Everything from Audrey Hepburn to freaky futuristic drag queen!:


And if anyone is interested, the other makeup I’m wearing in those photos is Tarte Maracuja concealer in Light, Mac Pro Longwear Blush in Rosy Outlook, Geisha Mascara, random pale blue and ivory eyeshadows in my collection, and a random brown eyeshadow I use to fill in my eyebrows.

Great, now you all know how much I spend on my makeup. DON’T JUDGE.


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