Meet the Reverse Cat Eye: The Latest Eyeliner Look That's Trending on TikTok

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

TikTok is constantly gracing us with new tips and tricks to try out. Whether it’s a concealer hack, figuring out how to wear makeup under a mask or using Chapstick to intensify your eyeshadow, there’s a reason why we end up spending hours scrolling for beauty intel. The platform also showcases the latest trends and finds new ways to bring back (and elevate) the classics. The latest to blow up on the Internet: the reverse cat eye look. Here’s everything you need to know about the TikTok trend and some tips on how to recreate the look yourself.

6 Ways to Wear Eyeliner in 2021 (and 1 Look That’s Best Left in the Past)

what is the reverse cat eye cat
Victor VIRGILE/Contributor/Getty Images

What Is A Reverse Cat Eye?

The reverse cat eye is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an upside-down version of the traditional winged look.Instead of only applying eyeliner to your upper lash line, you also place it along the lower lash line (because why should the lids have all the fun?). As for the wing, it pretty much stays the same.

Why Is It So Popular All Of A Sudden?

Like most beauty trends, this one isn’t new. It’s actually inspired by the kohl liner that’s traditionally been worn in the Middle East, South Asia and parts of Africa for many centuries. It first made its way into Western culture in the ‘60s and became more mainstream after celebs like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian started wearing the look.

With many of us spending more time experimenting with bold looks at home, it caught on with the TikTok crowd as well. Recently, TikToker @paintedbyspencer made the inverted style go viral and since then, millions of people have been reaching for their liners to recreate the look. (For reference, the hashtag #reversecateye currently has 41.5 million views and counting, so it appears that the popular trend is here to stay.)

Ok, How Do You Recreate The Look?

Whether you’re a pro when it comes to your eyeliner (kudos to you, btw) or a total beginner, recreating the reverse cat eye is simple and can be done in three easy steps. To get started you’ll need an eyeliner pencil, a blending brush and a flat brush.

Step 1: Apply the eyeliner to your waterline and draw your wing so that it goes towards the inner corners of your eyes, where the tear ducts are. (Tip: Extend the wing just beyond the inner crease for a more dramatic look).

Our recommendations: Essence ($2); Covergirl ($4); NYX ($8); Haus Laboratories Makeup by Lady Gaga ($18); Urban Decay ($22); Make Up For Ever ($22); Lancome ($23)

Step 2: Grab a blending brush and lightly buff out the edges to get a smoky eye finish. Option to add more eyeliner (or eyeshadow) to intensify the look.

Step 3: Bring the look together by adding some definition to your reverse cat eye. To do this, take the flat brush and straighten up your wings. (You can also use a liquid eyeliner to define the lines even more.) Finish off the look with a couple coats of mascara.

So, Should I Ditch The Regular Cat Eye?

There’s room for both looks. The regular cat eye is a classic that we can always count on, while reverse cat eye is a modern take. You know in case you want to mix things up sometimes.

However, the cat eye is a go-to for a reason. It’s ideal for an everyday look (and doesn’t require too much effort). So if you’re going for a minimalistic approach, you may want to stick to the classic cat eye. But if you want to try a trendy style for a night out with friends, a dinner date with your partner or a big schmancy event, the reverse cat eye is a good alternative.

Another reason people are drawn to the inverted look is it works on all eye shapes. When a regular cat eye seems impossible on hooded lids, the reverse style makes it easier to rock a bold look (and it defines your eyes in a new way.) You can also try swapping out your black liner for a colorful shade to amplify the look. Just look at TikToker’s @mikaylanoguiera results for proof.

So no, the cat eye isn’t going away. We’re just adding a new version to the family.

7 Pink Makeup Looks to Try This Summer

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...