How to Create a Reverse Cat-Eye in 4 Steps, Plus 13 Looks to Try

December 19, 2022
Caitlyn Martyn
By: Caitlyn Martyn | by L'Oréal
Ready to expand your eye makeup repertoire with a new (yet not-so-complicated) look? The reverse cat eye is the way to go. Some may even argue it’s easier to achieve than your classic cat eye if you tend to have trouble drawing a straight line on your upper lash line with eyeliner. The reverse cat eye is basically your classic cat eye but, well, reversed or flipped. Ahead, more info on the chic eyeliner trend, a step-by-step tutorial on how to get the look for yourself and looks to try once you’ve nailed the technique.

What Is a Reverse Cat Eye?

A reverse cat eye typically consists of heavier bottom liner that extends from the outer corner of the lower lash line into a wing; the wing swoops slightly upward to meet the outer corner of the upper lash line. In other words, it’s essentially an inverted winged liner. With a reverse cat eye, eyeliner is still usually applied to the upper lash line but in a much more subtle fashion. Sometimes the top and bottom eyeliner are connected at the inner corner of the eye as well. If you type in reverse cat eye on TikTok or as an Instagram hashtag, you’ll get endless inspiration. 

As for what tools you’ll need? While black eyeliner is a go-to choice for many, this technique can be used with any eyeliner color. Many choose to give their reverse cat eye look a smoky, sultry vibe, so an eyeliner that you can smudge or blend out slightly, like a regular pencil or a gel eyeliner, is your best bet. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll want it to have a precise tip or one that can be resharpened once it dulls. One of our favorites is the Maybelline New York TattooStudio Sharpenable Gel Pencil because it’s available in a multitude of colors and glides across your eyelid with ease. You can also create this look using eyeshadow or a gel eyeliner that comes in a tiny pot with an angled eyeliner brush. We love the Lancôme Liner/Smudger Brush #14. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Gel 24HR Lacquer Liner comes with a tiny gel liner pot and a brush. 

Step-by-Step Reverse Cat-Eye Tutorial


close up on eye wearing brown eyeshadow

STEP 1: Sharpen Your Pencils

First things first, pick your eyeliner pencil. Here, makeup artist Jonet Williamson used the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, a longwearing, smudge-proof eyeliner that lasts for up to 24 hours. Williamson recommends sharpening your pencil before you use it and keeping a sharpener handy throughout the process so you can sharpen the tip each time it gets a little dull.

close up on eye with black eyeliner on upper lash line

STEP 2: Draw Your Lines

The point of the reverse cat eye is that the top line is thinner than the bottom one and that the wing starts at the bottom and goes upward. To achieve the look, you’ll want to keep the top line as thin as possible while still focusing on accentuating your eye shape. “Because I have almond-shaped eyes, I like to keep the top line the size of the pencil point — very thin,” says Williamson. “For the bottom line, I try to make the outer corner thicker than the inner corner to help round my eyes out.”

close up on eye with reverse cat eye makeup

STEP 3: Add the Wing

After sharpening the pencil again to make sure it’s as pointy as possible, Williamson recommends drawing a line from the outer corner of the bottom lash line and dragging it upwards to the outer corner of the upper lash line. “Make sure that the thick part of the wing is coming from the bottom line.”

close up of mascara wand applying mascara to lashes

STEP 4: Finish With Mascara

To draw more attention to the reverse cat eye wing, Williamson applied the Lancôme Lash Idôle Mascara only to the lashes on her upper lash line, leaving the bottom lashes bare. For a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Washable Mascara, which provides noticeable lift, length and volume to lashes but is also super easy to remove.

person wearing reverse cat eye makeup

Reverse Cat-Eye Looks to Try

1. Green Reverse Cat Eye

Choosing a vibrant eyeliner shade is a simple way to make this eye makeup trend your own. We love how applied a thicker line of bottom eyeliner and lengthened the wings to meet the end of each eyebrow. For a similar look, reach for the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Smoke Liner in Sage Sparks.

2. Smoky Reverse Cat Eye

Instead of a sharp look that could cut glass, opt for a sultry, diffused wing by smudging out your eyeliner or using eyeshadow. Paired with slightly shimmery bronze shadow, this reverse cat eye creates a softer, smokier vibe.

3. Classic Reverse Cat Eye

You can’t go wrong with the classic take on the reverse cat eye. That means black eyeliner applied in a precise fashion to the lower lash line. If you need a budge-proof eyeliner restock, we suggest the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Perversion. It dries down to a matte finish and lasts for up to 16 hours.

4. Reverse Cat Eye With Pearl Accents

Just because this look puts the focus on the lower lash line doesn’t mean you have to ignore the top. Apply a super thin line of eyeliner to your top lash line and place face gems or pearl appliques like @maramoramarco_makeupartist right above your crease.

5. Multicolored Reverse Cat Eye

This reverse cat-eye look utilizes not one but four different colors. Because who says you have to choose just one anyway? The bottom eyeliner features pink, purple and blue shades, while a vibrant yellow is placed near the inner corners.

6. Reverse Cat Eye With Inner Corner Wing

Make your reverse cat eye even more dramatic with an inner corner wing and an extended wing at the outer corner like @_osmose__. Keep the rest of your look simple with brushed-up brows, a little highlighter and a shiny lip gloss.

7. Double Wing Reverse Cat Eye

Pair your reverse cat eye with a classic cat eye for a double-winged look. Making one wing longer than the other creates a fun, graphic effect and draws more attention to the eyes.

8. Reverse Cat Eye With Face Gems

For a more minimalist take on the face gem trend, and to accessorize your reverse cat eye, place just one singular rhinestone near the middle of your lower lash line. This idea would look great with any eyeliner color, too. For a more maximalist take, apply more face gems to the bottom lash line or around the eye. You can pick up a pack of face gems for under $10 on Amazon.

9. Blue Reverse Cat Eye

Does frosty blue eyeshadow scream too Y2K for you? Use a blue eyeliner to draw on a reverse cat for a modern look. We love the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick in Turquoise Storm.

10. Shimmery Reverse Cat Eye

Add a glitzy element to your look by pairing your classic black reverse cat eye with an extremely shimmery eyeshadow. For even more sparkle and shine, you could ditch the black eyeliner and opt for a metallic shade instead.

11. Reverse Cat Eye With a Barely-There Wing

Keep the focus on the eyeliner placed on the bottom lash line with a barely-there, smoked-out wing like @aliciatessaro. It’s the perfect eye makeup complement to a minimal or no-makeup makeup look.

12. Reverse Cat Eye With Floating Eyeliner

Use this look by @trinityy.w_ as inspiration and try two trendy eyeliner looks at once: the reverse cat eye and floating eyeliner. In this look, the reverse cat eye is mostly focused on the outer corners of the eyes.

13. Metallic Reverse Cat Eye

A metallic reverse cat eye like this one by @makeup_by_clar is the perfect makeup look for a holiday party or New Year’s Eve. For a pop of glitter, try lining your lower lash line with the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner. As mentioned above, to keep all the focus on the lower lash line, only apply mascara to your upper lashes.

Photography and Makeup: Jonet Williamson

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