If you’ve seen a furry feline’s eyes light up in a quick flash of luminous green against the night, you’ll know just what we mean when we say that these manicure designs look uncannily like a cat’s bright eyes.

“Cat eye” manicures are what users on Xiao Hong Shu (a.k.a. China’s Instagram) are calling nail designs that feature milky ways of glitter, diffused across the talons’ tips in a smooth crescent shape.

The elegant curve of the glistening shimmers creates what looks like a cat’s flashing iris – it’s an eye-catching design that recalls the piercing gaze of a furry feline, hence its name.

Glitter made from magnets

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But a dazzling design isn’t the only thing that captures our attention; how the “cat eye” manicure is created is also what’s going into our books.

The winking moon-shaped “cat eye” manicure is painted using not ordinary nail polishes but magnetic ones.

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Photo source: 杰森美甲Jesson/Xiao Hong Shu

Magnetic nail polishes are infused with metallic particles that both give the polish its iridescent glow as well as let you conjure up distinctive designs using a magnet.

The magnet pulls the metallic particles within the polish so that they concentrate on the nail in certain nebulous patterns or shapes.

In the case of “cat eye” manicures, the glitter gathers in a characteristic crescent shape, which is reminiscent of a feline’s twinkling eyes.

But before we share the best magnetic nail polishes to get in Singapore, here are our favourite gleaming “cat eye” manicures to inspire your next nail look.

Iridescent “cat eye” manicure looks

Blue-tipped “cat eye” manicure

cat eye manicure

Photo source: ​​kellykessa凯莉凯莎/Xiao Hong Shu

This “cat eye” manicure is created using jelly-texture pink nail polish as the base and indigo blue over the tips of the talon.

But it’s no regular ombré nail design because magnetic nail polish is painted over the two, and then pulled with a magnet to give this set its breathtaking blue-white glimmer – it’s almost angelic.

Sunlit gold “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 有空一起遛狗/Xiao Hong Shu

This “cat eye” manicure looks like pools of golden, liquid sun rays, thanks to the iridescent yellow-speckled tips. To wear these sunshine-soaked talons, you’ll have to get a magnetic nail polish that has got golden (instead of silver) glitter.

Glowing galaxy “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 小妃美甲笔记/Xiao Hong Shu

Soft pools of rosy red, punctuated with a glimmer of brilliant, bright blue – the combination reminds us of rusty Mars, perhaps clouded by a river of silver shot through the galaxy.

This set uses a jelly-texture base nail polish, blended in with rogue pink, and, at the tips, magnetic grey polish that boasts specks of stunning blue.

Crystal blue “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 小妃美甲笔记/Xiao Hong Shu

The crystal blue shimmers in this manicure set remind us, truly, of a furry feline’s piercing eyes – and the light pinks of its cute nose. Use a pink-beige milk tea shade for the base, and then top up the tips with blue-on-blue magnetic glitter nail polish.

Mystery waterfalls “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 欧琳汀美业/Xiao Hong Shu

With the deep, mysterious blues painted onto long, coffin-shaped nail extensions, this “cat eye” manicure lets you wear sultry, mystical, and enigmatic vibes – perfect for an elegant dinner date.

“Cat eye” manicures are also not just about the right polish pairing. As this nail set shows us, a subtle addition of gemstones or other accessories is also key to elevating your style.

Clear “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: Wonderland在逃公主服务/Xiao Hong Shu

We’re absolutely head over heels for this see-through “cat eye” manicure that features long, coffin extensions, ever-so-subtle translucent grey tips, and glitter all around.

It’s a reinvention of a classic French tip and the ideal set for sipping on glasses of champagne with your besties.

Coffee “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 库洛小米~/Xiao Hong Shu

Coffee jelly nails are a trending nail style, which boasts bubbly, jelly-textured brown nails that look good enough to eat.

But this coffee “cat eye” manicure imbues your style with added elegance, and, with each shift of light, your nails will bring a teasing twinkle to your already alluring fit.

Two-faced “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: kellykessa凯莉凯莎/ Xiao Hong Shu

A single scintillating sight amidst other murkier shades, the “cat eye”, in this manicure, is painted on one nail on each hand.

The contrasting deep greens and purples are further juxtaposed with a brilliant scattering of light on the “cat eye” talon, thanks to shimmering metallic particles from the magnetic nail polish.

Blood red “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 库洛小米~/Xiao Hong Shu

Powerful or freakish, you decide.

These blood-red “cat eye” nails are created by painting on a pinkish nude base, and then colouring the tips in with a magnetic nail polish that’s a deep red hue.

After blending in the red tips with the base shade, use a magnet to create a shimmering sliver of glitter. Voilà, you’ve got yourself a set of bold “cat eye” nails.

Maleficent “cat eye” manicure

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Photo source: 欧琳汀美甲/ Xiao Hong Shu

Something about this manicure reminds us of the character Maleficent. Maybe it’s the dark, mystical tones or the brassy metallic tips that mimic the horns on her head.

You’ll need a muted purple jelly polish for the base, and brassy magnetic nail polish for the tips. That’s not all though, because this set also features gold film arranged at the very edges of the talons to emphasise the gleaming crescent just below it.

Peachy “cat eye” manicure

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The complimentary pink and green hues in this “cat eye” manicure go together with blush pink roses and its fresh green leaves.

Wear this peachy “cat eye” manicure by starting with a beige base, and then going over the tips with a pink-on-green shimmer magnetic polish.

How to do a “cat eye” manicure at home

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Photo source: kellykessa凯莉凯莎/Xiao Hong Shu

“Cat eye” manicures usually have a translucent nude or pastel base so that the ends of the nails stand out more.

So, to create a “cat eye” manicure at home, paint your nails with a light nude colour or any dusty, muted shade of your choice.

You can either follow up directly with magnetic nail polish at the tips, or paint another jelly shade at the ends before going over it with a clear shimmer magnetic polish.

A blue-toned tip with magnetic silver shimmers, for instance, would give you a bluish-silver colour like the first of our favourite “cat eye” manicures.

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Photo source: kellykessa凯莉凯莎/Xiao Hong Shu

Before curing your nail polish, hover a magnet over your nails and brush in an upward motion so that the shimmers become more visible.

Then, hold the magnet at the very tips of your nails to “pull” the metallic particles towards the ends in a fairy-tale moon shape.

See a video tutorial here.

Best magnetic nail polishes to get in Singapore

Born Pretty Cat’s Eye Magnetic Gel Nail Polish

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One reason a “cat eye” manicure looks so elegant is because of the translucent, jelly-like texture of the nail polishes.

So, to really recreate a graceful “cat eye” nail style like the ones we’ve featured above, use Born Pretty’s Magnetic Gel Nail Polishes, which flaunt delicious “jelly” textures and a huge assortment of shades.

You can choose between magnetic nail polishes with a clear base, pinkish nude base, or see-through black base, as well as switch it up when it comes to shine.

The infused metallic glitter particles are available in everything from silver and cool turquoise to sunshine gold. You’ll certainly be able to create a wide variety of “cat eye” nail looks with these polishes.

Born Pretty Magnetic Gel Nail Polish retails for S$3.63 instead of S$7.18 on Shopee.

Annies (恩妮诗) Laser Cat’s Eye Nail Polish

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Wear a jelly-textured “cat eye” manicure but dial up the sparkle with Annies Laser Cat’s Eye Nail Polish.

These see-through shades brim with a whole lot of magnetic glitter particles, which will lend extra shine to your glinting “cat eye” nails. You can also choose from a range of shades, including silver, gold, deep purple, chocolate brown, cool emerald!

Annies (恩妮诗) Laser Cat’s Eye Nail Polish retails for S$3.68 instead of S$3.99 on Shopee.

Ai La Nuo Magic Box Cat’s Eye Nail Gel Polish

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For an enigmatic, intense, or sultry “cat eye” nail style, Ai La Nuo’s Magic Box Cat’s Eye Nail Gel Polishes will come in extra handy.

These magnetic nail polishes are available in deep quartz colours like sapphire, amethyst, and citrine. You can also use the deep grey polish to achieve the Maleficent “cat eye” style, for sure.

Ai La Nuo Magic Box Cat’s Eye Nail Gel Polish retails for S$2.46 instead of S$3.51 on Shopee.

Cosplus The Love Of Beauty Cat Eyes Nail Color Gel

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Cosplus’ The Love Of Beauty Cat Eyes Nail Color Gel comes in a variety of shades, which each boast a unique style.

The magnetic nail polish in the shade Rock Crystal, for instance, gives a truly quartz-like finish to the talons, and the shade Bonsoir recalls a magical star-lit sky.

Cosplus The Love Of Beauty Cat Eyes Nail Color Gel in Rock Crystal retails for S$14.55 instead of S$16.17 on YesStyle. Cosplus The Love Of Beauty Cat Eyes Nail Color Gel in Bonsoir retails for S$14.55 instead of S$16.17 on YesStyle.

nails inc. Get Magnetised Duo

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You won’t get a jelly-like texture with these nails inc. magnetic nail polishes, but you will be able to flaunt vibrantly chromatic colours and conjure up a crescent-shaped ribbon of glitter nonetheless.

Choose between glistening gold and deep navy blue or wear both colours at the same time for a surprising style.

The Get Magnetised Duo comes with a magnet, so you can create your “cat eye” manicure the moment the set arrives at your doorstep.

nails inc. Get Magnetised Duo retails for S$31 on Lookfantastic.

Related read: “Blush nails” are making a huge comeback – here are 20 loveliest looks to get you inspired