How To Create The Perfect Winged Liner

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The perfect element to a glamorous makeup look, winged eyeliner has always been a beautiful way to elongate and frame the eyes. Whether pairing with a classic red lip or creating a sultry dramatic eye (think Arabic-style eye makeup), this lovely liner isn't the easiest of styles to master.

Often times requiring lots of practice, winged eyeliner becomes easier with time. I've learned that it's all about hand placement, how you hold the brush or liner and the pressure of application. A heavy hand will result in a messy application -- an undesirable look that leads to that dreaded raccoon-eyed smudge. Read on for the different types of liners you can use to achieve this chic swoosh and food-proof tips for getting it right every time.


The classic eyeliner we all overused during our JHS/HS years, a pencil liner is like an old friend that won't let you down. Designed to give you control, yet soft enough to smudge into a smokey look, a pencil liner is forgiving during clean up. While layering will give you a darker shade, pencils will never provide that slick, super dark flick of liner you'd get with alternative products. (Remember to always sharpen the tip when creating a winged look).

To some, a liquid liner is the easiest way to create a wing. Wet, quick and inky, these thin brushed liners allow you to get that sharp look with a simple flick of the wrist. However, while easy, liquid liners aren't the best for long wear as they tend to smear by end of day and breakdown in ultra hot weather. Be sure to have it on hand for reapplication and cosmetic cotton buds for quick cleanup.

Personally, I find these type of liners the best for achieving this look. Unlike liquid liners, felt-tips provide more control and less chances to mess up as there isn't any drying time. The sharp tip not only allows for a clean wing, but provides swift application without much effort.

Gel/Clay (Potted)
You'll need a slanted or thin liner brush to use these liners. Best for extended wear and sometimes waterproof, gel and clay formulas allow you to paint on a wing with ultimate precision. The smooth texture helps glide on product along the lash line and pull a wing without dragging. With use, product can dry out and require more work to get it on. However, mixing in a drop of makeup remover will revive a dry pot of liner and bring it back to its smooth consistency. Though each product varies, an additional layer may be needed to increase the intensity of color.

Powder to Product 
I always suggest mapping out your desired shape using a thin, slanted liner brush and dark eye shadow prior to liner. Not only is shadow more forgiving if mistakes occur but light strokes help create a perfectly shaped foundation. Once you've reached your perfect wing, use your preferred liner and apply over your shadowed shape. (Using shadow and a liner brush is also great for practice. Getting a feel for the brush and the angles of your unique eyes is essential in getting a great wing every time)

Connect the Dots 
Using your preferred product, apply five dots along the upper lash line, the last dot will be where you'd like your wing to end. Slowly applying liner from dot to dot will help you create an even shape before the dramatic wing. Once you reach your fourth dot (just before the end of your lash line), pull it up to the fifth and last dot. Neatly fill the wing and go over or thicken any spots you feel need editing. 

A method best used with inky products (liquid, felt, gel), use the entire tip of your liner as a stamp along the lash line. Holding the brush or liner at an angle, lightly tap it as close to the lashes and follow through to the end. Once lined, softly drag the tip over any missing spots. To create the wing, re-angle the tip at the end of the lash line and tap to your desired wing. Once stamped, fill the area to even the flick.

Final tip: For added balance/control, place your pinky on your cheekbone while lining your eyes. It'll stop the shaking and help you create the perfect winged liner. 

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