Are you considering getting cat-eye lashes? They’ve become the most requested style in my lash salons because they instantly create an eye-catching look with a subtle hint of glamour.
Whether you’re a client or a lash artist, there are a few things you must absolutely know about cat-eye eyelash extensions before you take the plunge.
Given their popularity, I had to create a comprehensive guide covering all angles of this fascinating look.
So, let’s get started!
What Are Cat-Eye Eyelash Extensions?
Cat-eye lashes are a specific eyelash extension style that uses longer extensions towards the outer corner of the eye and shorter ones in the inner corner. As a result, it creates a winged or feline-eye look.
So what’s so special about this style?
For one, it can help make your eyes appear wider and more open. Also, cat-eye styling can give you a sultry, sexy, and alluring look. They are perfect for special occasions or everyday wear if you want to feel confident and beautiful.
Of all the various eyelash extension styles offered in my lash studio, cat-eye is the most requested one by far.
Now, you should know that not all cat-eye lashes are created the same. There are many variants of this look. Let’s take a look in the next section.
What Are the Different Cat-Eye Lash Styles?
1. Natural Cat-Eye
A natural cat-eye look is usually done with classic lashes and a mix of extensions that range from 8 mm to 13 mm. Of course, it depends on the client’s natural eyelashes.
2. Extreme Cat-Eye
The extreme cat-eye style is a more dramatic take on the cat-eye style. For extreme cat-eye mapping, you should use a mix of C and M curls with lengths of 5 to 13 mm. This mapping really intensifies the effect and gives that exotic look.
3. Reverse Cat-Eye
Just like the name suggests, the reverse cat-eye is essentially the opposite of the usual cat-eye look. Longer extensions are used in the inner corner of the eyes and the shortest ones are used in the outer corner.
4. Wispy Cat-Eye
For a wispy cat-eye look, classic lashes are used at an even distance across the lash line to create the “wisps” or “spikes”. Volume fans are used in-between for the fluff and density.
5. Kitten Eye
The kitten style is a variation of the usual cat-eye style that uses shorter extensions to create a more subtle look. For example, the kitten style might use 9 mm to 12 mm lengths. I will say, this one is not that common. Most of my clients prefer the additional length.
Classic Vs. Hybrid Vs. Volume Cat-Eye
All 3 lashing techniques (classic, hybrid, and volume) can be used to create this style. The main difference between the three is the number of lash extensions used per natural lash.
- Classic cat-eye lash extensions use 1 extension per natural lash. This is the most natural-looking and simplest of the three techniques.
- Volume cat-eye lash extensions use 2-6 extensions per natural lash. These are known as 2D to 6D fans. This gives the most dramatic and fullest result out of the three techniques. You could technically use more than 6D, say op to 15D, but that’s called mega-volume and is generally a look you only want to pull off for special occasions.
- Hybrid cat-eye lash extensions are a mix of classic and volume. This technique creates “spikes” with the classic lashes and adds density with the volume fans.
In my eyelash studio, I often use the volume technique when doing a cat-eye look for my clients. I find that the extra oomph volume lashes deliver really makes a difference for clients who want to up their lash game.
Cat-Eye Lash Map
There are many ways to draw a lash map for a beautiful cat-eye look. Here’s a typical example:
As you can see, this map uses shorter extensions in the inner corner of the eye (8 mm) and gradually increases the lengths towards the outer corner (14 mm). This is the typical design you want to achieve.
I sometimes like to reduce the lengths at the very end for a more winged look (see how I do it below).
Here are the steps I take to create a cat-eye lash map for my clients:
- Divide the total area of the lash line into 4 to 6 parts sections using dotted lines. You can draw directly on the under-eye pad with a fine-tipped. The sections should be equally spaced out. Pro tip: More parts you divide the lash line into, the more striking or precise styles you can create!
- Pick 7 to 8 different lengths of lash extensions. This is typically between 8 to 15 mm lengths based on different lengths of natural lashes per section. Side note – It helps to make a big and bold sweep that adds definition to your lashes. So, add a 2 mm minimum length to the client’s lashes.
- Start from the inner corner of the eye to the middle with shorter lengths. The inner corner will typically use 8 mm and go up to 10 or 11 mm for the middle portion.
- Move to the middle portion of the eye towards the outer corner with longer lengths. You will typically use 10-11 mm in the middle and progressively increase the length towards 14-15 mm for the outer corner of the eye.
- Reduce the lengths in the very outer corner section to add a dramatic winged look. This is an optional step, but I sometimes like to use 10 or 11 mm in the outermost section.
- When choosing a curl, everything from straight J curls to DD curls and others in between can be used for the cat-eye style.
Check out this great video from Yegi Beauty where she gives a crash tutorial on mapping cat-eye eyelashes.
How to Do Cat-Eye Eyelash Extensions
I love this video from Cosmina Esanu where she takes you through a complete how-to tutorial on how she does cat-eye lashes. She shows a full appointment from A to Z.
Step 1: Draw Your Lash Map
You know the saying: Measure twice and cut once. The same applies here, too. A lash map is a critical step you should take before you start lashing.
Using the under-eye pad, separate the lashes into 4 to 6 sections. Then, write down which extension length you’re going to use for each section. Remember, cat-eye uses the shortest lengths for the inner corner.
Step 2: Decide Which Technique to Use
Also, are you going for a classic or volume? If you want something very natural, go classic. If you want more fluff and are a more experienced stylist, go volume.
If you choose volume, I generally recommend a maximum of 6D (6 lash extensions per natural lash). Anything more than that might look too heavy.
Step 3: Start the Application
Using tweezers, select the extensions from the tray (single or fan) and dip them into the adhesive. Then gently apply the extensions to the natural lashes.
When doing this style, I like to begin with the shorter extensions in the inner corner of the eye and progressively work my way toward the outer corner where I’ll apply the longer lashes.
Step 4: Final Touches
Once you are done applying the extensions, you should brush them gently. Then, you should cure the adhesive. There are a few methods you can use, but I like to simply cleanse them since moisture will force the curing process.
Remove the eye pads and voila! You’re all done!
Will Cat-Eyelashes Suit Me? Who Is It For?
Choosing the appropriate style for your given eye shape and facial characteristic is vital to a beautiful end result.
Simply because not every style looks good on everyone.
For instance, a long and wispy cat-eye look is perfect for round eyes because they add shape to round eyes. But this look may not look great on small eyes. For downturned eyes, cat-eyes make you look brighter.
Here’s a table to decide whether or not the cat-eye style is suitable for you.
|Recommended For||Not Recommended For|
|Almond Eyes||Hooded Eyes|
|Round Eyes||Small Eyes|
|Upturned Eyes||Downturned Eyes|
|Wide-Set Eyes||Deep Set|
Doll Eye vs Cat-Eye
The main difference between the two styles is in the mapping.
For cat-eye lashes, the length of the lash extensions is gradually increased from the inner corner toward the outer corner of the eye. This gives the eye a more feline look.
The doll eye style on the other hand uses the longest lengths in the middle portion of the eye. This is ideal for those who want to achieve a more doll-like or anime look.
While the doll eye looks prominent, the cat-eye lash style looks more natural. However, the doll eye suits many eye shapes such as hooded, monolid, and deep-set.
Do cat-eye lashes make your eyes look bigger?
Yes they do! This style draws attention upward and outward which makes your eyes appear wider and bigger.
Should I get fox-eye or cat-eye lashes?
Cat-eye is better suited if you want to open up your eyes. On the other hand, fox-eye will use a straighter wing to create a more almond shape and make your eyes appear larger.
Should I get cat-eye or doll-eye lashes?
If you have small eyes or monolid eyes, cat-eye is not recommended. Instead, you should opt for a doll-eye that will open up your eyes.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I think that cat-eye eyelash extensions are a great way for stylists to create dramatic and eye-catching looks for our clients. It’s definitely a must-have skill in our tool kit.
Clients love this versatile style that can be used for special occasions or simply for natural daily wear.
What about you? Are you going to give this one a try? Let me know in the comments below!
– Asako 🙂