How to Do the Perfect Winged Eyeliner

A timeless classic, winged eyeliner never goes out of style. A dainty or bold flick at the outer corner of your eye, winged eyeliner creates a sultry look that has stayed on-trend for decades. Today, it’s also one of the best makeup looks for wearing a face mask, as it brings a dramatic touch to the primary feature still visible with a mask on.

Despite the popularity of winged eyeliner, it can be one of the trickiest makeup techniques to execute. It can take a lot of practice to find a shape that suits your face, and to figure out how to draw a steady line without any smudges or breaks. But beginners, don’t worry! Read on for our step-by-step guide on how to do easy winged eyeliner.

Our picks: The best winged eyeliner tools

The first item on the agenda is to pick your weapon of choice. Your chosen eyeliner is of utmost importance, of course, but there are some other tools you may find useful:

  • Eyeliner: Of course, the eyeliner you pick will have a big impact on the way your wing turns out. Opt for a pencil if you’re trying for smoky, smudged winged eyeliner looks. The classic, clean winged eyeliner will require a liquid liner with a pointed tip. Superliner Tattoo Signature Eyeliner is a great choice, with a waterproof formula that will last all day long. 
  • Cosmetic tape: Call this the beginner’s best friend. An underrated favourite, cosmetic tape leaves nothing to chance by making sure your wing is dead-straight every time.
  • Primer: For the smoothest application that will prevent product from slipping and sliding, primer is a must. If you’re adding eyeshadow to your look, it’ll help the pigment stay bold and bright as well.
  • Makeup remover: Everybody makes mistakes. A good eyeliner will have an intense pigment that doesn’t wash away easily, so warm water alone might not cut it. Invest in a gentle makeup remover that doesn’t irritate your eyes, like our Filler Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Makeup Remover.
  • Q-tips: If your winged eyeliner goes astray, a Q-tip will help you to take off excess product without ruining the rest of your makeup, so you can start again fresh.

How to do winged eyeliner

Now - let’s get down to business. Here’s our comprehensive winged eyeliner tutorial for a full-drama, fool-proof eye look with minimal fuss.

  1. Prime your canvas: Now is the time to put your selected primer to use. With your fingertips or a slightly damp beauty blender, apply a thin layer of primer to clean, moisturised skin. Let it sink in for a short moment before putting on makeup, to allow it to settle into your skin.
  2. Use tape: Using cosmetic tape for your winged eyeliner looks is a life hack you won’t regret trying. Take an inch of tape and place it at the corner of your eye, with the bottom of the tape just under your lower lash line. This will be the guide for your wing, so it should tilt diagonally upwards. Once you’ve found an angle that you like, do your best to match it on the other eye. Draw your wings with the tape in place, then remove the tape for precise, pointed wings. 
  3. Connect the wing: Now that you’ve formed the wings, connect the line to your eye. Make sure you’re using a very fine eyeliner, like our Infallible Grip 24HR Liquid Eyeliner in Vinyl Black, as it will be easier to get it right the first time. Start with small strokes and build up to your desired thickness.
  4. Line your waterline: Now that the hard part is out of the way, feel free to add some depth to your lower lash line. From a full liner look on the upper and lower waterline to a subtle darkening around the lashes, the choice is yours.

Eyeliner wings for different eye shapes

Every face is unique, so every winged eyeliner look should be as well. The trick to gorgeous winged eyeliner for hooded eyes is to make sure you’re drawing the wing while the eye is open so you can visualise the final effect. Don’t be afraid to use minimal eyeliner across the lid, with more focus on the wing itself - this can work well for hooded eyes.

If you have a monolid, thick winged eyeliner may look lovely on you because you have some extra lid space to play around with. Instead of the usual black, go for a pop of colour to really make heads turn. Try the 36H Gel Automatic Liner in Electric Blue to illuminate your look, or in Emerald Green if you want to go bold - test out our virtual try on tool to find your perfect eyeliner shade. Add a swipe of the Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Black for separated, lengthened lashes to finish off your look.


Cat eye vs winged eyeliner

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, cat eyes and winged eyeliner are not exactly the same. Winged eyeliner, in general, refers to a makeup look where only the top lid is lined with a swish at the outer corner. A cat eye often includes lining your bottom lashes as well, to create a more dramatic and angular shape. For this style, use Superliner Flash Cat Eye Liner to ensure you’re getting the most precise application. The difference between a cat eye and a classic wing will change the appearance of your eye shape, so try them both out before you decide on your everyday winged eyeliner. With all of these tricks up your sleeve (and a bit of practice), you’ll be well on your way to becoming a winged eyeliner pro. 

Did you like our winged eyeliner tutorial? Read on to learn about eye makeup for different eye shapes.

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