TikTok made me do it–it’s a phrase that’s become so common over the past couple of years. In the world of beauty, TikTok has inspired contouring nose job hacks, sunburnt blush applications, rivalries between cat eyes, dog eyes, and fox eyes, and so much more.
Today, though, we’re here to highlight one particular beauty look (that’s actually nestled into one of the above trends) that we’ve been seeing all over TikTok and the ‘gram: Reverse cat eye makeup (AKA fox eyes). A sharp twist on some of our favorite winged liner looks, this technique is an instant confidence booster and super versatile, so it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Keep reading to learn all about reverse cat eye makeup, including a few of our favorite examples.
What Is a Reverse Cat Eye?
Reverse cat eye makeup has two main variations. For a more minimal take on the trend, simply add a wing-like tip to the inner corner of your eye. Alternatively, you can opt for heavy bottom eyeliner that ends in a pointed inner corner, with more minimal liner on your upper lash line. It all depends on your specific preference, but one thing’s for sure: If you take the time to scroll through TikTok, you’re bound to find more than a few ways to rock the foxy lid look.
The best part about reverse cat eye makeup is that it works well with all eye shapes. “A reverse cat eye is often a far easier way to create the iconic ‘cat eye’ shape,” says celebrity makeup artist Emma White Turle. “It works well on every kind of eye shape and is especially good for hooded eyes or those with an eyelid crease that comes to the outer corner of the eye, where the usual cat eye liner doesn’t work as easily.”
How to Create a Reverse Cat Eye
Turle says it’s best to begin by prepping the eye area, no matter the type of reverse cat eye you choose. “Gentle products and touch are a necessity,” she says. “Do give your skincare time to absorb, and applying an eye primer can be really good here. It will give the longevity you need for your eye makeup.” Her go-to product? The Hourglass Veil Eye Primer ($30).
Once your eye area is prepped, it’s time to get to work. Start by tracing on your reverse cat eye: “A very sharp pencil is always key to drawing the perfect line,” Turle says. To achieve the cleanest look, she suggests looking straight into the mirror with your eyes open. “From the outer corner of your eye, starting from the lower lash line, draw your cat’s tail flick,” she instructs. “Don’t worry about perfecting it yet, but try and balance them both on each eye.” For a sharp pencil sure to help you create the look, she recommends trying the Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl Smoky Eyeliner ($28) and Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Satin Kajal Liners ($28).
“When you get to the inner corner, try and get the same angle of point as the outer corner tails,” Turle encourages. “Sometimes holding a thin makeup brush along the line in front of your eye can help marry up these two tails.”
Once you have your general reverse cat eye shape in place, it’s time to smudge. “Under the eye, use an eyeshadow crayon to rim under the lash line,” celebrity makeup artist Mia Jones suggests. “Then take a flat eyeshadow brush to blend into the bottom lash line and extend the shadow from the outer corners into the desired cat eye shape.” She likes Byredo’s Colour Stick ($33) in the shade Dravite.
After intensifying and blending the lower lash line, take the time to touch up your edges with a cotton swab and micellar water. Once cleaned up, Turle suggests applying concealer with an angled brush to make your reverse cat eye really pop. Additionally, she says that going over the wings with gel liner can help add to the longevity of the overall look.
Ready to test out this trendy look for yourself? Ahead, peruse eight of our favorite reverse cat eye makeup ideas.
Negative Space Reverse Cat Eye
One of the best parts of reverse cat makeup is the plethora of ways you can make it your own. Here, celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta employs a negative space technique that makes the design really pop out. To create the look, he used the Inglot Cosmetics AMC Eye Liner Gel ($22).
Smudged Reverse Cat Eye
For a more dramatic reverse cat eye, Ta likes to sweep out the outer corner tail with slight smudging along both the inner and outer corners. Here, you can see how especially long, fluttery lashes can really top off the look. To mimic the look for yourself, add a Falscara Special Edition Starter Kit ($25) to your beauty arsenal.
Extended Reverse Cat Eye
To give your makeup look an especially dramatic, vixen-ish appeal, opt for an extended reverse cat eye. Here, makeup artist Shari Kramer brought the outer tails almost up to the outer corner of the model’s brows, which makes for a particularly bold end look. To recreate this look, your best bet will be to use a liquid eyeliner that glides smoothly, like Benefit’s They’re Real! Xtreme Precision Eye Liner ($24).
Abstract Reverse Cat Eye
Not all reverse cat eye makeup looks have to be traced in black—nor do they have to employ solid tips. Here, celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes shows off a playful abstract reverse cat eye, which is great for more casual events.
Jet Black Reverse Cat Eye
Adriana Lima is one celeb who regularly rocks a reverse cat eye makeup look. Here, Ta opted for a jet black, ultra-sharp reverse cat eye to really accentuate the shape of her eyes and create an overall striking appearance. To get wing tips this sharp, keep a bottle of micellar water and pointed cotton swabs or a fine, angled makeup brush on hand.
Two-Tone Reverse Cat Eye
To ensure that a reverse cat eye pops on dark skin, Kramer likes to employ a two-toned technique. Here, she outlined the inner corner and waterline with white eyeliner to really make the reverse cat eye stand out.
High Contrast Reverse Cat Eye
Need more proof that a two-tone approach can be undeniably stunning? This reverse cat eye employs white liner on the top side of both the inner and outer wing tips, effectively brightening the overall look.
Everyday Reverse Cat Eyes
The reverse cat eye look may be sharp and striking, but it works for everyday makeup, too. The trick is to pair it with fluffy brows, lip balm, faux freckles, and barely there complexion products, as Kramer did here.