15 Must Know Cat Eye Nail Tips For DIY Manicures [2023]

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 cat eye nails manicure look amazing. The gel polish, if applied correctly, will last for up to 4 weeks.

cat eye gel polish tips 

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.

how to do a cat eye gel manicure

2. Use a nail dehydrator & primer

Check Prices On Amazon

By removing hydration prior to painting your, you can help the polish adhere better and last longer than ever before. All it takes is a few seconds with a nail dehydrator.

This nail prep product helps to remove any natural oils that are present on the nail, creating a clean and dry canvas for your artwork. Just be sure to not overuse this tool, as too much dehydration can cause nail brittleness and other issues.

The brand we use often here is the Morovan Dehydrator and primer.

cat eye nail polish tips

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

Applying a base coat to your natural nails or nail tip that is compatible with the cat eye gel polish will help the cat eye nail product and gel polishes last. UV gel base coats will also 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.

cat eye gel manicure ideas

4. Choose Your Desired Base Color

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.

5. Apply A Top Coat

When you are finished with your cat eye nail designs, apply a no wipe top coat for protection. You can even try shimmer top coats or multi-chromes for a layered look. Top coats are one of those must have nail art tools and supplies to have in your nail art stash.

6. Use A Good Brand Of Cat Eye Polish

Check Price On Amazon

The better the cat eye nail 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 Modelones is one of Amazon's top sellers and has a ton of colors that you can play with to get a stunning cat eye look. We also have a list of some other cat eye gel polish sets that we think you will love to use.

Just note that this is a gel set, so you will need a curing lamp. Check out our article about curing lamps here.

cat eye gel polish

7. Prep The Cat Eye Polish Bottle

Inside the uv gel nail 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.

8. Use The Right Magnet

Cat Eye Magnet Sets On Amazon

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.

You can go with a regular magnet or try some different designs.

magnet for cat eye nails

9. 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.

10. 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. Using a small round magnet will give you a black hole effect in your cat eye nail.

black hole cat eye nail effect

11. 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.

cat eye nail tips

12. 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.

For this cat eye nail we were using the Born Pretty gel. See more nail art products from this brand in the Born Pretty review.

Born Pretty Shop On Amazon

cat eye nail tips 

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.

13. Check To See If The Gel Polish Has Expired

How To Know If Gel Polish Has Expired

One of the most important aspects of cat eye polish is knowing if your gel polish has expired. While cat eye gel polish can last for months, it will eventually start to lose its luster, break down and may become brittle and prone to chipping.

14. Practice With Different Techniques

Cat Eye Nail Art Tutorials

Getting a perfectly balanced set of cat eye nails takes practice, especially for line work or the black hole effect.

cat eye nail art tutorials

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.

Press On Tips Check Prices On Amazon

Silicone Practice Hands Check Prices On Amazon

15. Purchase Hand-painted Cat Eye Nails

Find Cat Eye Press On Nails On Etsy

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 press on nail shops on Etsy that have absolutely beautiful designs that are ready to go?

cat eye nails on etsy

Many nail artists sell their cat eye nails in their Etsy shops. And if you are looking for some embellishments for your nail art, check out this article where we talk about the best nail shops on Etsy for nail art & supplies.

Did you find this helpful? We hope so!

💖Thanks for reading and being here with us today. If you would like to support our nail blog, we would love it if you could share this article on your social media or link back to this article from your own blogs, websites and Facebook groups.

We would really appreciate that so very much :)

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!

best cat eye nail tips


Silver Nail Polish Ideas

Best Portable E-files & Nail Drills