SparkNotes Blog

The Ultimate Cat Eye Makeup Tutorial

Eyeliner is our way of saying, “Helloooo” and also “whassup president snow I am here to rainnn trouble on your parade.” It will enhance your already beguiling eyes, or foil onlookers as to the fact you spent five hours last night watching video mashups of Haymitch and Katniss on your smartphone in bed.

Of all the ways to do liner, cat eye is the easiest because it can tolerate a bit of mess. Sometimes I leave the same eyeliner on for days, just coloring in the bits that have rubbed off like a glamorous zombie. The nice thing is you have no chance of waking up with nubs for eyelashes if you pass out to a montage of “Say Something” without removing your liner. (Not true of mascara.) Lastly, if it’s good enough for Adele, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lawrence, it’s good enough for me.

Ready to go? Let’s start meow.

(Images by the amazing Page Schumacher!)


In step one, you want to draw a straight line from the end of your lash line toward the end of your eyebrow. As you learned in Potions, just a dash is all you need!

Makeup artists recommend starting with a fresh, neutral base, using an eye concealer or primer, but you probably can’t be bothered with that. Me either! Instead, just draw a thicker, bolder line to assert that you do not care your eyelids are a smudgy grey color that recalls winters in Munich.


Starting 3/4 of the way along your lash line, you will now create a bow that dashes out to meet the first line, like Eponine running out to meet Marius on the barricades amid a hailstorm of bullets. It will feel similarly daring and dangerous.

The trick is to curve the line so it creates a fat triangle when it meets the first line, rather than a sharp, pointy spear. Think about it like this: You aren’t drawing an eyelash shape “(“, you’re drawing an eye-shaped outline that will enlarge your peepers “<“.


Starting at the beginning of your lash line, or 1/4 of the way in if you have tiny pinhole eyes like mine, sketch an outline to meet the existing strokes. You may feel like half your eyelid has been given over to eyeliner, but trust me this will look good once you’ve colored it in. If you doubt my mentorship, just take a look at this picture of Adele without makeup—still beautiful, but a mere mortal in the eye department.


Color in the line, letting off a peal of laughter if you’ve ever imagined Bellatrix fixing her hair and face in the mirror each morning before resuming her Death Eater duties.

The line should look smooth, like the BFG leaned in the window and Sharpied your lash line with an oversized marker while you slept.


Eeeeeee! Look at you! You’re now ready to hoodwink an unsuspecting fellow with your mad eyeliner game (I will not use the word “woke”).

For bonus points, run a white pencil along your waterline (that weepy pink rim that tells the world you are about to burst into tears before you even know). This will make your eyes look bigger, and buy you valuable getaway time as shocked suitors wonder: are her/his lashes really that voluptuous?

Are you a liner fanatic?