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What Are Cat Eyelashes & What Makes Them Unique?

Jul 07, 2022
What Are Cat Eyelashes & What Makes Them Unique?

By far one of the most sought-after styles in makeup right now, the signature cat-eye effect has taken the beauty industry by storm. What started with a winged eyeliner trend in the 2010s has since made its evolution from the lash line to the lash itself. Cat eyelashes are a style universally loved for their ability to slim the face and elongate the eye, giving the wearer a sultry, mysterious gaze. 

If you are one of the many people interested in incorporating the cat eyelash into your future looks, stick around and we’ll break down why we are so captivated by this style. We’ll even tell you the best lashes to buy to achieve the elegant cat-eye look of your dreams.

What Are Cat Eyelashes?

Cat eyelashes are a specific style of lash meant to imitate the direction and flare of a cat’s eye. The inner corners of a cat lash feature shorter lashes and gradually grow to longer lashes at the outer corner. This gradient gives the eyes a slanted, elongated look, just like a cat’s eye! 

Cat lashes can even mimic the dramatic look of winged eyeliner (which is especially helpful if achieving a perfect wing is not your thing). Cat eyelashes contrast with the natural shape of your eyelashes, which tend to hit their longest length under the arch of your brow. This is one reason we find them so appealing — our eye is attracted to things we find unique and unexpected. 

What Makes Cat Eyelashes So Special?

Cat eyelashes are extremely versatile and flattering on most eye shapes, which is why they are so widely popular. Especially when opting for false lashes, cat eyelashes can be easily interchangeable between casual daytime and lively nighttime looks. 

A less dense, wispy cat lash works well for an elegant, flirty daytime vibe (perfect for a coffee date or brunch), while a thicker, fuller cat lash can give you a more captivating, darkened evening look (great visiting downtown or attending an upscale event). You truly can’t go wrong with a cat-eye!

Why Are We So Drawn to the Cat Eye?

Cat lashes are enticing because of the dramatically different look they can give us by countering the natural shape of the eye and our lashes. But cat-eye creations have been historically favored for not just decades, but centuries. Stay with us — we promise this isn’t your average history lesson: 

Our interest in cat-eye makeup dates as far back as ancient Egypt when it was popularized by Nefertiti and later Cleopatra (in addition to being loved by many male pharaohs as well). More recently in Western history, 1920s entertainers began wearing bold lashes and cat-eye wings in red carpet appearances. 

With the commercialization and mass production of makeup in the mid-century (think the 1950s), we saw stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe incorporate cat-eyes into iconic looks both on-screen and off. Casual makeup wearers followed suit and made the cat-eye a staple look for everyday life.

Who Can Wear Cat Eyelashes?

Just about anyone can rock a cat eyelash — which is a major reason why it’s universally loved. However, this look can work better for some than others. Let’s talk eye shapes: 


If you don’t have a crease above your eye, you have a monolid eye shape. Soft cat eyelashes can be very impactful on this eye shape. They open up the eye and give the outer corner a lift.

Upturned vs. Downturned

To determine if you have upturned or downturned eyes, draw an imaginary horizontal line through the center of your eye (starting at the inner corner). If the outer corner falls above this line, you have upturned eyes. If the outer corner falls below this line, you have downturned eyes. 

These eye shapes by no means counts you out! Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift, who have upturned eyes, use cat-eye lashes to gorgeous effect, choosing to lean into their natural lifted cat-eye shape.

People with downturned eyes can look stunning with these lashes too — it’ll just have a slightly different effect. With this look, you’ll get less of a lift and more of a dramatic, sultry emphasis on your eye shape.


If you have a heavy brow bone or deep-set crease or if the crease of your eye is not visible when open, you have hooded or deep-set eyes. Those with hooded eyes can benefit from a lengthy cat lash which will help open the eye and draw the gaze up and outward, contrasting a deep-set brow.

Round vs. Almond

The easiest way to determine whether you have round or almond-shaped eyes is by looking at the whites of your eye (also called the sclera). If the whites can be seen above or below the iris (the colored part of your eye) when in resting mode, you have round eyes. If you can’t see any white above or below your iris, you have almond-shaped eyes. 

While almond-shaped eyes can work well with cat lashes, those with rounded eyes will see the most significant face-altering effects. This is due to the lifting and lengthening effect of the outer corner. A cat lash will balance out a round eye and give a much more sultry look when compared to the doll-like appearance of round eyes. 

How Do I Choose the Best Lash for Me?

We know it can be hard to know where to start looking for the right cat eyelash for you, but look no further! Here are some of our favorite lashes to give you that lifted cat-eye effect for every occasion:

  • Cloud 9 - Cloud 9 lashes are a subtle but elegant way to incorporate the cat eyelash into your life without being too overwhelming. These are perfect for beginner lash users or anyone who wants the your lashes but better effect.
  • Morning Dew - Similar to Cloud 9, Morning Dew lashes feature low to medium density lash coverage with lightweight lashes. However, Morning Dew’s extended last length and extra wispiness gives a more fresh, awakened look. These are perfect for someone looking for a bright and airy daytime style, though they can also easily transition into a more dazzling nighttime look as well. 
  • Starry Night - Much different than our previous two, the Starry Night lash is perfect for anyone ready to make a statement with a much more intense eye look. With its sleek, thick dual-layered lash, these lashes create a sultry, striking gaze that is guaranteed to turn heads all night long. 
  • Love Spell - Unlike the rest of our recommendations, Love Spell is a magnetic lash. It uses Doe Lashes’ signature neo-liner to lock in your eye-look all day long (no glue required!). Love Spell perfectly combines wispy textures and a long, lightweight lashes to give you a fluttery care-free style that is perfect for work or play. 

Just To Wrap It Up

Cat eyelashes are by far the most universally loved lash style on the market today, and it’s not very hard to see why. The versatility of the cat-eye effect is unmatched, offering a wide variety of looks for any level of makeup user for any occasion. We simply love the cat-eye and the way it can transform our looks. 

But don’t just take our word for it — try one out for yourself. When you do, let us know how much you love it too!


Why Did We Start Wearing Makeup | Britannica

The Eyes and How They Work | Medical News Today

Is Magnetic Eyeliner Safe | Healthline

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