Exactly How to Do Winged Eyeliner, According to Celebrity Makeup Artists

You don't have to be a profesh makeup artist to do this right.

Alberta Ferretti - Backstage - Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19
Rosdiana CiaravoloGetty Images

Thinking about how many makeup wipes I've wasted and full-on eyeshadow looks I've ruined because my attempt at winged liner looked cray cray is embarrassing. No matter how steady I make my naturally shaky hand, I can never seem to get it right. Those sharp, bold, and crisp cat eyes look so good, yet they're such a headache to master. But if you're running low on patience, don't psych yourself out on learning this beauty skill just yet.

The oh-so-sharp cat eye you're trying to create may take a few more makeup wipes and trial runs, but celebrity makeup artists Jamie Dorman and Sarah Lucero (who also heads up the global artistry team for Stila Cosmetics) are about to make us all pros in no time.

Pull out your liquid liner, pop a squat in front of the mirror, and follow along for their tips on how do winged eyeliner right. Yes, you can do this.

Tip #1: Look Straight into the Mirror When You're Mapping Out the Shape

It might feel natural to look down when you're doing your eyeliner since your focus iso n the bottom half of your lids, but don't. Angling your face straight-on into the mirror is so important when you're mapping out the shape. "You look at people straight ahead so that’s the angle you want to create your line from," Dorman advises. "After you’ve created the shape, then you can look down into a mirror to fill it in."

Tip #2: Use a Liquid Liner for the Most Intensity

Eyeliner can come in pomades, pencils, powders, etc. But the easiest way to intensify your cat eye is by using either a black or brown liquid eyeliner—this texture and shade packs the most punch. "Liquid liner makes the eyes look larger and more defined," explains Lucero.

Stay All Day Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner Micro Tip Sephora
$22.00

"With your pen, lightly apply the liner tight to the root of the lashes. This makes the lash line look fuller and thicker," she adds. "Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner Micro Tip ($22) has a shorter, more precise tip and is ideal for placing liner right at the lash root and defining the eye shape."

Tip #3: When Creating the Wing, Absolutely Do Not Stretch Your Lids

Sure, it feels smart to pull and stretch the skin around your lid when you're applying liner to make the surface more smooth. And you've probably been doing it this way forever. Sorry to break it to you—but that is the wrong way to do it. According to Lucero, this method isn't a true representation of your eye shape.

Dorman also points out that this habit will wreak havoc on your skin in the long-run. "It will cause your eye area to sag before it should, and won’t create an even line when your eye is relaxed and looking ahead, which is the angle everyone will see it from," she explains.

Tip #4: Use Tools to Help You Create the Perfect Shape

A sharp wing takes a steady hand and lots of practice. It may take you a little while to get there, but don't be discouraged!

The Vamp Stamp VaVaVoom Kitten Wing Stamp Bloomingdales
$19.00

Thankfully, there are tools out there to save the day and create the perfect winged liner for you. Dorman recommends the Vamp Stamp eyeliner. "Make sure to look ahead when you press the stamp where you want the wing to be—then, fill it in," she recommends.

I personally love using a good old q-tip to clean up my wing. After I've gotten my line as clean as it's going to get, I just wet it and clean up any areas that look a little bumpy.

Tip #5: Don't Forget About Mascara


Think of your mascara and liner as long-time besties, because they always do each other right. It doesn't really matter which order you apply mascara and eyeliner; it's all about preference. But Lucero likes to apply mascara before liner because it gives her a better sense of how far out to lift her liner. "Pretend you are drawing one little last lash flick at the ends and work your way towards the lash line," Lucero suggests. "This mascara trick is helpful to get a modern edge to your liner. Plus, it helps you understand your eye shape and allows you to create the perfect cat eye stroke that is always flattering on you." She suggests finding a fine-tip liner that's easy to manage, control, and draw the perfect line every time.

Tip #6: This Is Exactly How to Keep Your Liner From Fading

It's the most annoying thing ever to glance at yourself in the mirror and notice that your liner, which was once super bold and crisp, now looks faded and sad. To keep the staying power of your liner up to par, Dorman suggests employing eyeshadows to assist. "If I need extra reassurance, I will use a silicone-based cream eyeshadow under the liner like Beauty Pie Wondercolour Cream Eyeshadow Stick ($26) and top off my eyeliner with black eyeshadow to increase the intensity," she explains.


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