Cat-Eye Nails Are Still Going Strong in 2024—Here's What Makes Them So Captivating

Plus, How to Get the Look

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cat-eye manicure universal: manicured hands holding a cell phone
Dmytro Betsenko/Getty Images

Of all the various mani trends we've seen over the last few years, there's one that has outlasted the rest: cat-eye nails.

For the uninitiated, you might think that cat-eye nails would somehow mimic the classic eyeliner look. Or that it’s an intricately drawn feline on your nails. But it’s actually neither of those things: This manicure is a textural technique that leaves your nails looking mysterious and mystical, just like a cat’s eyes. 

Also referred to as "velvet nails" because of its sumptuous-looking texture, the eye-catching effects are created using a special polish and a corresponding magnet that moves the polish into whatever pattern you want, giving your nails a multi-dimensional finish.

Here’s where the fun comes in. Once you’ve applied the topcoat over your nail color, you can hold the small magnet that goes with your polish to move all those metallic specks in whatever shape or pattern you want.

You can form a straight line down the center and stay true to the design’s name, or try applying the magnet at an angle for a more celestial feel. Either way, your mani will look otherworldly.

With the right tools, you can definitely DIY this look or request it at most nail salons. As for us? We've been getting the cat-eye look by reaching for press ons because they're super fast and easy to apply. (Not to worry, we'll link to some of our faves below.)



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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...