13 Must Know Tips For DIY Cat Eye Manicures [2022]

cat eye nail tips

Here are the best tips for creating multi-dimensional looking cat eye nails with magnetic nail polish. A perfect cat eye manicure does take a little practice with using the magnet, and once you get the hang of it, the results are absolutely stunning!

Are you looking for some tips and tricks for using magnetic cat eye gel nail polish? You can come to the right place because we have some helpful tips for you to help you with your manicure. Using cat eye nail gel the right way will make your manicure look amazing. The gel polish, if applied correctly, will last for up to 4 weeks.

When perfecting a cat eye look, professional nail artists and at-home DIYers like to play around with different designs using magnetic nail polish and a magnet. This is what gives you a manicure that changes colors and vibrancy with the light.

What makes a cat eye look? The different shades of magnetic polish creates a multi-dimensional effect depending on how the light shines onto it. When using specially formulated holographic polish, this really takes the look to another level.

The most popular cat eye looks are galaxy nails, linear lines and chunky glitter effects. Here are some of the best tips and ideas for when you are ready to make your own cat eye nail designs.


1. Prep The Nail Properly

This is the most important tip so that you have a manicure that will last as long as possible. So first clean your nails really well. Then clean up your cuticle area. Buff the nail gently, removing any shiny spots. This will help the polish adhere to your nail and stay as long as possible without lifting. 

2. Apply A Base Coat To Your Natural Nail Or Form

Applying a base coat that is compatible with the cat eye gel polish will help the cat eye nail product and gel polishes last on your nail and help protect your natural nail from staining. Always apply the base coat in a thin layer.

If your base coat is too thick, the manicure could pop right off after just a few days. So this is one of the more important steps if you want the cat eye gel polish to last.

3. Paint On A Dark Layer First

Using a black or dark polish first will really intensify the multichrome colors. A black first coat will also give that black hole effect that is so popular. Of course you can go ahead and use a lighter starter color to create a more subtle multi-dimensional effect.

4. Apply A Top Coat

When you are finished with your designs, be sure to apply a no wipe top coat for protection. You can even try shimmer top coats or multi-chromes for a layered look.

5. Use A Good Brand Of Cat Eye Polish

The better the formula, the more stunning and professional your results will be. Not all cat eye polish will give you the same results. Investing in a well-formulated cat eye polish with a good balance of multi-chromes that are suspended in the base is what you are looking for. 

This set by Mizhse is one of Amazon's top sellers and has 5 colors that you can play with to get a stunning cat eye look. Just note that this is a gel set, so you will need a curing lamp. Check out our article about curing lamps here.

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6. Use The Right Magnet

Using a proper magnet that is specifically for cat eye nails is what you need to move those little specks around. These magnets are quite powerful so do keep them away from your cards and phones.

Sometimes the magnets will be included in the gel polish set. If you do not have a magnet yet, here are some sets on Amazon that are very affordable. You can go with a regular magnet or try some different designs.

7. Try Two Magnets

Using two magnets and placing them on either side of the nail will push the magnetic shavings together to form a circle revealing a true cat's eye. This is a really great way to make a galaxy nail design.

8. Hold The Magnet The Right Way

Hold the magnet at about a 45 degree angle. This way the little specks will move around more easily.

Play with the magnet, use it upside down, try different designs. You can also try going from the side of the nail or from the middle.

9. Hold The Magnet In Place For At Least 15 Seconds

Keep the magnet in place for about 15-20 seconds. This will give your polish a chance to be attracted to the magnet and be more defined. One of the reasons why the polish is not moving is because the magnet was not held there for long enough time for the specs to move.

10. Layer The Holographic Colors

Layering colors will give you a deep multidimensional galaxy effect. Go over the design again with a double coat or even a triple coat. With gel polish, you can keep playing until you get a perfect design because it doesn't harden without curing under the light.

Do be aware that certain gels might start to run and muddy up your design. So when you get it perfect, get it under the lamp right away. If you are working on a client, you might want to cure one nail at a time, especially if you are making line art or smaller details.

11. Prep The Polish Bottle

Inside the bottle are the little specks of color that are suspended in the polish. When a bottle has been sitting for a long time, those tiny fragments are going to be mostly at the bottom of the bottle.

Before you start your manicure, turn the bottle upside down for a few minutes. That way those gorgeous color changing particles & pigments will make their way down to the top.

12. Practice And Practice

Getting a perfectly balanced set of cat eye nails takes practice, especially for line work or the black hole effect. You can practice on yourself of course or you might want to try getting a set of gelly tips to practice on or a silicone practice hand. Amazon has practice hands in many shades.

Press On Tips Check Prices On Amazon

Silicone Practice Hands Check Prices On Amazon

13. Purchase Hand-painted Cat Eye Nails

Using ready to wear press on tips is a great choice, especially for those times when you need a manicure in a hurry. Did you know that there are many shops on Etsy that have absolutely beautiful designs that are ready to go. Many nail artists sell their cat eye nails in their Etsy shops. Check out this article where we talk about the best nail shops on Etsy for nail art & supplies.

If you found this article helpful, please share it on your social media and save a Pin to your nail boards so you can find us again!

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