Meet the viral cat-eye nail trend—and try it yourself

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Love a feline flick when it comes to eyeliner? Meet the nail-polish version: cat-eye nails. An evolution of the velvet nail trend, this manicure uses magnetic polish to create a metallic line through the centre of the nail that mimics a cat’s light-catching gaze.

This nail-art trend has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram—and you can get the look, too. You’ll need magnetic nail polish (regular or gel formulas work) and a strong rectangular magnet. For best results, hold the magnet diagonally under your finger as you paint so it can pull the pigments into that stripe as you go—and keep it there for about 30 seconds as the polish dries. To really sharpen the effect, finish by hovering the magnet in the same diagonal direction over top of your finished layer for 30 seconds at the end. It’s a slow process and may require some trial and error, but the eye-grabbing result is worth it.

Scroll on for inspo, toolkit must-haves, and more helpful how-to tips.

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Mixed Metals

Create a moody, mystical mani with contrasting metallic pigments that pop off a dark base. We love how this one combines both gold and silver flecks for extra allure. And good news for the short-nail crew: though an elongated, pointed nail shape plays up the witchy vibes, this cat-eye nail design looks equally great on tightly trimmed nails.

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Get the look:

Lights Lacquer Dark Arts nail polish

This limited-edition charcoal nail polish shade—the same one used to create the look shown here—features a combo of both gold and silver pigments for a multi-metal finish. Whereas some magnetic nail polishes look best over top of a base coat, this one’s good to go on its own.

Your key to the cat-eye nail trend is a strong magnet. This budget-friendly option scores rave reviews for its powerful pull. It also features a circular magnet on one end if you want to try aura nails—another of our favourite viral manis.

Work of Heart

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Wear your heart on your fingertips with this sweet take on the trend by nail artist Zola Ganzorigt, who paints the tips of your favourite celebrities, including Hailey Bieber, Sydney Sweeney, Vanessa Hudgens and more. (She’s the trend-maker behind Hailey’s viral glazed donut nails.) And though there are tricky hacks online to get a look like this, there’s an easier way: just use a heart-shaped magnet (Ganzorigt got hers on Amazon).

Get the look:

Pinky-peach with flecks of gold, this gel polish is perfect for creating a romance-ready design. The included magnet works great for different magnetic designs, but we love the cheeky twist of the heart shape (more on that below). Date night, anyone?

Get the heart-shaped magnet required for this darling design—plus 10 other options ranging from stripes to chevron to mesh. Play around with the positioning of your heart (in a corner or smack-dab in the center) to switch up the style.

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Feline French

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Breathe new life into the classic French manicure with cat-eye tips. We love the contrast seen here with a pink metallic polish against a bare-looking base, but you can also play with fun colour combos (picture: a lilac base with a cosmic purple cat-eye tip) or switching up the tip colour on every nail. There are endless ways to have fun with this design, all while leaning on the timeless style of the French mani.

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Get the look:

Velvet Rose magnetic polish

Paint your tips in this rosy hue from Mooncat, the nailfluencer-fave brand known for its otherworldly nail polishes. The rich base colour includes lighter pink flecks for an eye-catching effect when used with a magnet.

Instead of the go-to glossy top coat, we love the flat effect seen here—it helps the metallic pop against the rest of the nail, and also ups the velvety look. Good news: It’s as easy as finishing off with a matte top coat (and don’t forget one more hold of the magnet to really set your magnetic line in place).

Skittle Stripes

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If you love the Skittle nail-art trend (where you paint each nail a different colour), try the cat-eye version. To keep it looking cohesive, pick magnetic nail polish colours that complement each other, make sure each metallic line follows the same diagonal direction, and tie it all together with a unifying base coat (we love black paired with the deep tones featured here, but you can also try white under bright nail polish for a vibrant look).

Get the look:

If you’re a nail tech or a DIYer who has an at-home gel kit, you’ll find everything you need to create the look in this one set. It includes nine magnetic nail polishes ranging from aqua to fuchsia to coppery gold, plus a solid black to layer underneath and a powerful magnet to achieve a cat-eye effect.

Deep Space - Teal to Purple Magnetic Holographic Nail Polish

Tight on storage space? For a multicolour look that doesn’t require so many bottles, grab this holographic polish that boasts both teal and purple pigments in one formula. Instead of different colours on each nail, this approach puts those contrasting colours together on all 10 of your tiny canvases. Bonus: No gel lamp or base coat required (but you’ll have to grab your magnet separately).

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