This Bobby Pin Eyeliner Hack is the Key to the Perfect Cat Eye

September 08, 2023
Jordan Julian
By: Jordan Julian | by L'Oréal
Photo of a person with long dark hair using a bobby pin to trace a cat eye with eyeliner, collaged on a purple and green tie-dye background

You probably think of bobby pins as a classic and versatile hair accessory. But you might not have realized that the drugstore hair styling staple has tons of different uses beyond just pinning your bangs back or locking up-dos into place. In fact, a bobby pin or two may actually be what’s missing from your makeup arsenal. Lately, we’ve been seeing beauty influencers using bobby pins to sharpen their winged eyeliner all over our Instagram and TikTok feeds. Ahead, we’re breaking down how to use a bobby pin to get the perfect cat eye in just 3 easy steps.

How to Use a Bobby Pin to Get a Perfect Cat Eye

There’s no question that the cat eye is a timelessly chic makeup look, but it can be trickier to execute than it looks. Drawing the perfect eyeliner wing requires a steady hand, a bit of practice and, if you’re new to trying the look, a lot of time. Luckily, one of the most popular bobby pin beauty hacks is using the hair accessory to trace a straight, sharp liquid liner wing. In this video, the creator demonstrates the hack.

Step 1: Line Up the Bobby Pin With Your Waterline

First, take the straight edge of the bobby pin and place it at the outer corner of your eye, lined up with your waterline at a diagonal angle. With your liquid eyeliner of choice, trace along the flat bottom edge of the pin to outline the bottom of your wing, stopping at your preferred wing length.  

Step 2: Fill In Your Wing Using the “V” End of the Pin

Next, flip the bobby pin around so that the “V” end is lined up with your waterline at the outer corner of your eye. Using your eyeliner, fill in the “V” to create the triangle-shaped flick of liner that defines the look. Pro tip: If you’d like, you can skip the first step and start by filling in the “V” of the pin. Keep in mind that you may need to clean up your line with a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover afterwards so it’s extra sharp.

Step 3: Finish Lining Your Eyes

Now that you’ve drawn on your cat eye, use your eyeliner to finish lining. This step may vary based on your personal preferences and what look you’re going for. You can apply eyeliner along your upper lash line, your lower lash line or both. 

Our Favorite Liquid Eyeliners

Ready to try this hack out for yourself? Check out some of our favorite, editor-approved liquid eyeliners that are guaranteed to make your cat eye look fierce and fabulous.  

Lancôme Idôle Liner 

This stunning liquid liner is the one that is used in the video tutorial, and it just so happens to be one of our faves. The precise felt tip seamlessly glides across your eyelid to give you a bold, sharp line in one stroke — no skipping or smudging. Choose between black, brown, blue, green and gray shades.

Lancôme Idôle Liner

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Colored Liquid Eyeliner

If you like to have fun with your makeup and express yourself with color, you’ll love the shade range of this liquid liner from NYX Professional Makeup. Mix and match hot pink, pastel lavender and bright yellow shades to create the graphic eyeliner looks of your dreams.

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Colored Liquid Eyeliner

Urban Decay 24/7 Inks Easy Ergonomic Liquid Eyeliner Pen 

Let’s be real — even with a hack, doing a winged liner look can be a time consuming task. That’s why this ergonomic eyeliner pen from Urban Decay is designed with a grip to make the application process comfortable and smooth. Available in nine intensely pigmented shades, this water-resistant formula stays looking and feeling great all day.

Urban Decay 24/7 Inks Easy Ergonomic Liquid Eyeliner Pen

Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Ink Eyeliner Pen

For a longwear liquid eyeliner at a drugstore price, we recommend the Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Ink Eyeliner Pen. Featuring the brand’s darkest pigments, this waterproof eyeliner is perfect for creating dramatic, high-impact wings with up to 24 hours of wear.  

Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Ink Eyeliner Pen
Photo: Dara Rosen, Design: Juliana Campisi

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