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Winged eyeliner is a total classic in the beauty world, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest makeup look to apply. If you’re new to attempting to master the perfect flick, you’ve no doubt dealt with uneven wings and patchy lines. Wondering exactly how to do winged eyeliner and what type of eyeliner is best for wings? We have all the answers! Rather than just give up on a makeup trend that’s here to stay, it’s all about taking your time and learning to line the right way. Below, learn how to wing eyeliner via our step-by-step winged eyeliner tutorial. Sharp wings, here you come!
Before we get into the tutorial, let’s talk about what to use to create your wing. Just as some eyeliners are better for creating bold lines or smudged out looks, certain options work better than others for making a fierce flick. When it comes to winged eyeliner, liquid or gel liners are generally a safe bet. Perfecting your cat eye requires a liner that glides onto your skin for a super-smooth application, something these two formula types can deliver. Try the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Liquid Eyeliner, which is available in rose gold and black shades and is one of our best eyeliners for wings.
Now, it’s time for our winged eyeliner tutorial. Let’s get right to it!
Priming your eyelids can not only help make a major difference in how your eye shadow looks and how long it lasts, but it can also be a game-changer when it comes to eyeliner. To help ensure your eyeliner goes on as smoothly as possible, apply a thin layer of primer first. Dot directly onto your lids then blend out before moving on to eyeliner.
It’s time to get crafty! Hit up your art supplies collection for a small piece (about an inch long) of adhesive or washi tape. If your tape feels extremely sticky, press it against your hand a few times to keep it from tugging at the delicate skin surrounding your eyes. When you’re ready, take the tape and place it starting at the outer corner of your eye, going upward towards the end of your brow. The tape works as a makeshift guide or stencil for your eyeliner—just create your wing with it in place, then pull away to reveal a super-straight line.
Editor’s note: Besides using tape, another trick to master winged eyeliner is using a winged eyeliner stencil. If you’re struggling to get your wings perfectly symmetrical, you may want to reach for the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner, which comes with an easy-to-use stencil that allows you to create perfectly precise (and smudge-free) wings. For a full run-down on how to use it, head over to our article on How to Perfect Your Cat Eye With a Stencil.
Once you’ve managed the hard part—creating two wings that match—you’ll need to finish lining and connect your flicks. Don’t go directly to drawing on a thick line. Instead, start small. Even if that’s the look you’re ultimately going for, ease into it. Paint a thin line along your lashes and gradually add on until you reach your desired effect. Your line should be thinner towards the inner corner of your eye and become bolder where it meets your wing.
When you want your winged eyeliner look to have extra oomph, tightline. Tightlining creates an “invisible eyeliner” effect that makes for fuller-looking lashes and an overall bolder style. Pull up gently (seriously, so gently!) on your eyelid to expose your upper waterline where the base of your lashes are. With a pencil eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Black, carefully apply the product directly to the base of your lashes. Ta-da, lashes that instantly look lush!
Making mistakes when you’re trying to achieve the sharpest wing ever can seem like a major disaster, but it doesn’t have to be. If you encounter any mishaps while lining your eyes, wait until you’re finished to start fixing. All it takes to clean up those makeup mess-ups is a cotton swab or small eye shadow brush dipped in the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types.
What’s a makeup look without mascara? Everyone needs luscious lashes with lots of length. Sweep the L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Washable Mascara on from root to tip.
A killer eye makeup look wouldn't be complete without a pair of well-groomed brows. So, pick up the L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel to fill in your arches. Use the doe-foot applicator to fill in sparse areas, the angled brush to define your brow shape, and the spoolie to brush your brows to perfection.
While the above winged eyeliner tutorial will work for most people, how you apply eyeliner can differ based on your eye shape. For those with hooded eyes, it can be a bit more challenging to get perfect wings—but it is totally possible! The trick to doing winged eyeliner on hooded eyes is to create your wing while your eyes are open. If you do this step with your eyes closed, the issue is that your flick will likely end up obscured by your “hood.” So, create small flicks at the outer corners of your eyes while they’re open, then create a very thin line—thin, being key—along your upper lash line. Connect the line with your wing and you’re officially rocking winged eyeliner!
Ready to move on to mastering another eye makeup look? Next, read our article, What is Halo Eye Makeup? Here’s How to Rock This Buzzy Makeup Trend, to do just that.
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