Cat eye nail art is trending everywhere. You can see cat eye manicures on celebrity fingers and on Instagram videos. Everyone is just raving about this nail art style, but what is it exactly and how is it done?
What is cat eye nail art?
Cat eye nail art has nothing to do with actual kitties or with making your eye makeup look a certain way. This is a chic new nail art technique that will make your nails look mysterious like a cat’s eyes hence the name. There are definitely no cats involved in any way.
This technique makes use of a special magnetic nail polish and a handheld magnet. The nail polish has iron powder fragments that are magnetic. Iron is quite dense and so these fragments will sink to the base when the polish is applied on nails. This is where the handheld magnet comes in. By placing the magnet over the nail, you draw the iron particles up towards the surface where they are held in place because of the thickness of the polish. You should move the metallic fragments to one location, creating the technique’s signature slash. The effect is dramatic. You get mesmerizing glimmers of the iron when you wiggle your finger that looks like the flashes you would see on cat’s eyes. You can create a slash straight down the middle of your nails or you can place the magnet at an angle to create the signature slash.
How to do cat eye nail art
You can do your own cat eye nails at home. It’s really very easy when you have the right tools and the right nail polish.
Step 1: Prep the nail. Cut, clean, file and buff your nail and then apply a gel base coat. Let it dry.
Step 2: Apply the cat eye nail polish.
Step 3: Place the hand magnet over the nail immediately after applying the nail polish. Be careful not to touch the surface. Hold the magnet steady over the hand for 10 seconds and cure.
Step 4: Apply the second coat and repeat the previous step.
Step 5: Apply top coat to finish and let it cure.
If your hands are wobbly and the magnet moves whilst it’s still being held over the polish, then the design will look spotty. You can fix this by erasing the effect with a thin coat of magnetic nail polish and start afresh.
There are other variations to the technique, one of them involves creating cat eye gems on your nails. To do this you need black gel nail polish, nail stickers and a detail brush. You don’t actually put a real gem on your nails but rather, you create the illusion of a gem by applying clear builder gel in the center of your nail with the thin detail brush. Keep applying the builder gel until the “gem” looks raised. Apply a coat of cat eye nail polish on the “gem” only and then use the magnet to raise those metallic inclusions for 5-10 seconds, and cure. To finish, apply a top coat on the entire nail and gem and cure. Your nails will look like they are dripping with precious shimmering gems!