How To Master A Killer Winged Eyeliner (Every. Single. Time)!

Expert Advice

liner tips

How to do a cat eye – such a simple, tiny little thing shouldn’t be that difficult, right? But it’s not until you attempt one that you know how much room for error there is! So, we enlisted a few experts to dish the deets on how to get the most amazing, razor-sharp wing. Try their advice below, then get ready to perfect the feline flick.

Step 1: Choose the Right Liner

eyeliner tipsSource: Stila

The one tool you need to create a solid cat eye is obviously a black liner, and while all pros tend to play favorites, MUA Elvins Thompson with Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa at The Royal Poinciana Plaza, swears by Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $22 (as do we): “Its felt tip makes it effortless to use and achieve a gorgeous wing, and I like to pair it with Surratt Beauty Relevée Mascara, $30, since it contains fibers that provide a voluminous touch,” he says.

Another thing Elvins is a stickler about is neglecting your bottom lashes, so he recommends going back in and tight lining with Surratt Beauty Smoky Eye Baton in Fumee Noir, $35. If you want to add some color, he also likes smoking out the eye with the same pencil in the burgundy shade Canons de Beaute. “This combination will give you a sexy, alluring effect.” 

Step 2: Always Draw the Wing First

According to Chanel Temple, global makeup artist for Hourglass Cosmetics, mastering a flawless cat-eye depends on where you start it. “I always start with the wing by marking the outermost corner of your eye and drawing a thin line angled slightly upward,” she explains. “I also like to keep my eye open, so I can see which angle works best for my eye shape.” And if you’re still confused as to the order of other products post-wing, just keep her rule of thumb in your back pocket. “Always wait to apply mascara or shadow along the lower lashes until after you’ve done your wing, in case you need to clean it up after,” she says.

eyeliner hack quick flick

If you’re a complete newbie to winged liner then save yourself the hassle and get yourself the Quick Flick’s genius wing stamp, $30. It comes with a wing-shaped stamp that you simply press on, and then the other end has a normal liner for you to complete the rest of your look. It’s beyond easy to use, and the ink is super-pigmented and long-lasting. Its tip also comes in four sizes, so whether you like a subtle wing or a dramatic one, they’ve got you covered. Check out our full review.

Another thing to consider is your eye shape. If you have hooded eyes (when your brow bone hangs over your eyelid) you need to alter your liner technique to achieve a snatched and lifted finish. Instead of looking down when applying your eyeliner, look straight at the mirror and draw your liner with your lid sitting in its neutral state. This technique is called a batwing and it’s a total gamechanger for hooded eyes. Check out celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes’ tutorial for more deets.

Step 3: Correct Any Mistakes Later

“If you make a mistake, LET IT DRY,” advises Glamsquad artistic director, Kelli J. Bartlett. And while you may think this is easier said than done and a dried line won’t budge, her top tip for a foolproof cleanup is easy AF. “Saturate an angled brush in makeup remover (I love Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover, $32) and wipe away whatever you don’t want to see, making sure you clean the brush on a tissue in between strokes.”

Not only is this hack a great way to manipulate the shape or clean the lid, but it will save you the hassle of having to start your cat eye from scratch and risk being late to happy hour. Bartlett suggests curling your lashes before applying winged liner as well, as it will help you define the eye shape and you won’t have to touch up your liner if you crimp too close to the lash line.

Step 4: Set Your Liner

Most liners are not intensely black, so to achieve a super matte black effect set your liner with a powder or pencil liner. This will help it stay in place all day long and fill in any areas where the pigment isn’t as intense. Simply use a sharpened pencil or a black eyeshadow with a flat angled brush and pack the shadow over the liquid liner.

Alternatively, you can grab our Huda Beauty Life Liner Double Ended Eyeliner Liquid & Pencil, $25, the formula is the blackest, mattest, and most intensely pigmented liner on the market, so there’s no need to set it for extra impact, plus it won’t budge for 48 hours!!

Ok now you know how to slay a wing, here’s some inspo…

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Check out more makeup artist tips for killer winged eyeliner here.

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