Cat Eye Nails - 11 Ways To Do This Instagram-Famous Trend

Written by Sumona BoseFeb 29, 2024
Cat Eye Nails - 11 Ways To Do This Instagram-Famous Trend

Nail art designs take inspiration from a number of places - movies, nature elements, candies, graphic art and even emojis! If you possess the right skill set, you can pretty much translate any kind of shape or pattern onto your nails. This is especially true when you are dealing with the OTT and tricky manicure trend of cat-eye nails. Intrigued? Let us explain - If you have ever paid close attention to a cat's eyes, you will notice a bold, marble-like and fantastical pattern in them. It’s almost like looking into a constellation or getting a compact glimpse of the universe. Fortunately, even though it sounds like it will be a monumental task to recreate it, cat eye nails are actually trending for being extremely simple to do; with the help of a neat trick that anybody can master after a couple of tries.

To be precise, cat eye nails are not like other animal-inspired nail art trends. It does not aim to recreate a print or pattern found on the skin of cats but mix deep colours to create swirly designs with a hint of metallic detail as seen in their eyes. Nail techs have come up with the unique technique of using a magnetic nail lacquer to create a metallic, horizontal streak across a marbly base to recreate the mystical appearance of a cat's eye. All you need to do is apply glitter-infused, magnetic nail polish and use a magnet to scatter or collect the shimmering particles in a certain way.

So, if you are confident enough in your skills to DIY elaborate nail designs at home, here are 11 trendy ways to do the nail trend yourself…


1. Silver cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @reynor.nails

Starting with an easy one, silver cat eye nails are a super fun way to wear the trend without having to worry about the details too much. Since the shimmer placement will most definitely blend with the rest of the colour, you can be sure to use this as a practice pigment. Make sure to keep layering on coats until you get an opaque finish as a sheer colour application will not have the same feel to it.


2. Line art cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @nailsbyvirginia

A common pattern that is often associated with cats’ eyes is a horizontal line down the center, which resembles a cat’s non-dilated pupils. This can be used to create a unique version of cat-eye nails; all you need to do is apply a thin streak of shimmery polish down the centre of your nails. Make sure to buff and clean the base and apply a clear polish to make the manicure look glossy and give a reflective effect to them.


3. Black and gold cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @lalapolished

There is nothing as mystical as a stunning combination of glossy black and shimmering gold on your nail. This combination looks gorgeous on longer and thinner nail shapes; with coffin nails being an especially favorite pick for nail techs to do the style on. It will also make a good style to wear for nighttime soirées as the gold will reflect beautifully in artificial light, making your manicure look like a million bucks!


4. Emerald hues

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @nails_by_laurajane_

Another stunning number will be one of shimmery emerald tones which offer beautiful depth to the glitter particles of the polish. To recreate this manicure, start by applying the shimmering nail lacquer all over your nail and use a magnet to direct the glitter particles in the center. Create the diagonal shapes in a way that they complement each other and follow the same angle on all of the fingers.


5. Abstract cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @springwithfriends

If you are a fan of abstract designs, there is a way to edit cat eye nails to suit your fancy! Use your shimmery nail lacquer to create swirling, crescent-shaped or edged patterns that only cover a section of your nail. Use stick-on diamante or beading to add some oomph to the design; make sure to keep the base creamy and matte to make the embellishments stick for longer.


6. Purple hued cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @nailsbykarise

Fans of pastel nail polishes will agree that lavender hues are one of the cutest colours you can pick for your manicure. If you want to translate your love for pastel colours into cat eye nails, merge it with a darker shade to create an ombré effect. Once you have your ombré, apply a clear shimmer polish and use a magnet to create the cat eye diagonal shapes. Make sure to incorporate the darker colour on a bigger section as the shimmer may not show well on just a pastel base.


7. Clustered cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Similar to the silver cat eye nails we saw before, clustered designs can be created in order to wear lighter nail colours like blush pinks and neon oranges. Apply a thick layer of shimmer polish all over your nails and use the magnet to uniformly scatter the glitter particles from the nail bed to the tip. If you are not able to make them as uniform as you see in this reference, try to focus the thicker cluster near the edges rather than the centre. This way you can avoid the colour looking clumpy in the middle.


8. Aquarius cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @studiotjugofem

Metallic gel polishes in a deep and rich colour can be used to create this zodiac-themed cat eye nail design. Colours like turquoise blue and ocean blue can be used to wear silver metallic shimmer nails. This style is especially good for medium nail lengths where shimmer particles placed closer to the nail bed can actually give depth and dimension to your manicure. You can also use this design for super short and clipped nails, with the shimmer focused closer to the nail bed rather than the tip.


9. Multi-coloured cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @nailsbyyagal

A gorgeous combination of velvet-themed nails with cat-eye vibes, multi-colored manicures can be created with two or more of your metallic polishes. Pick deep tones, in this case, a dark blue and green, that complement one another and mix and match them to wear on different fingers. You can wear the colours on different hands to make your manicure session even more exciting. The colours catch the light in different ways and can make for an eclectic and expensive-looking manicure!


10. Chrome cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @poshspagreenwich

This one is for the true nail enthusiasts who like to create elaborate nail art at home! Start by buffing your nails and applying a clear or nude polish on top. You will need a UV or LED lamp to cure the polish in order to give it a reflective effect. Follow this up with a magnetic chrome pigment that can be re-assembled to create the cat-eye diagonals and shimmery clusters on your nails. Finish with a clear topcoat in order to seal the chrome pigment in the pattern that you hoped to achieve. Make sure to keep the layers of base polish, chrome pigment and topcoat very thin to give them the desired reflective effect.


11. Space grey cat eye nails

Space grey cat eye nails

Image courtesy: @fioletowyorangutan

In case you are not into experimenting with a lot of colour, a monochromatic moment can be created with space grey cat eye nails. The trick to getting this one right is applying a white shimmer to a grey base and using a magnet to get the placement right. Clear, gold or silver shimmer may not show up on the grey base like a white nail lacquer would. You can also go a bit lighter on the grey, in which case we recommend applying a more scattered shimmer to make room for any mess-ups with the white shimmer.

Main image courtesy: @nailsbybecky_s, @les.donails

Sumona Bose

Written by

Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!


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