One of the top questions I’m always asked is how I do my signature winged eyeliner, so I thought I’d share a step-by-step tutorial of how I do it to settle it once and for all! First things first – I’m not a makeup artist or professionally trained in any way, so what you’re getting is a process I’ve tweaked and finessed over the years that just works really well for me.
I’d also like to note that this is a look that takes time to master – if you’re new to liquid liner, I recommend starting out with a low-end priced product so you’re not flushing money down the drain as you teach yourself. I’d also suggest a shorter, more stiff brush for better control. Wet N Wild makes a perfect beginner liquid eyeliner, the H2O Proof Liquid Eyeliner, and it retails somewhere around $3 – $5.
For this tutorial, I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner, but some other favourites of mine include:
Before I begin, I make sure my eyebrows are filled in and my concealer/foundation are all done. I know some people prefer to do eyes last (including concealer) but I prefer working on a finished, clean slate. I also make sure my eyebrows are done because they help me create the shape, and I want to be sure it all comes together as intended. Finally, save mascara for last (that might be a no-brainer, but mentioning just in case).
Step One: Take your eyeliner, get some product on the brush and start in the centre of your eye. The reason I do this is because the thickest part of the line begins in the centre, and I don’t want too much product going too close to the inside of my eye. This way, I can use up a good portion of the product on the brush and get a finer line on the inner half since there’s less product.
Step Two: Finish the line on the inner half with what’s left on the brush (do not go back for more product for this – there should still be enough to do this part and get a bold line). I tend to go pretty thin here because the thicker I go closer in, the smaller my eyes look.
Step Three: Start working on your wing! Take the brush and start from the corner of your eye, creating a soft swoop that points to the end of your eyebrow. Make sure your eyes are resting as naturally as possible – this way, you can control the shape as it will look while you’re going about your day. This of course can be as subtle or dramatic as you like – length and degree of angle are entirely up to you. For a more appropriate day-to-day cat eye, I’d go shorter and less-angled, and for evening I tend to go longer and a bit more upward-angled.
Step Four: Continue creating the wing. At this point, I actually take the brush and start from the top of the wing in towards the corner of my eye, and gently brush the product in the shape I want while connecting the wing to the line I’ve done on my lid. Remember to relax your eyes as naturally as possible – the moment you stretch your lid the shape is affected.
Step Five: Fill the wing in. It doesn’t have to be perfect right away – just start filling in the space and you can perfect the shape afterwards (you can see here it’s doing a weird wobbly line thing). Short, light strokes work best without too much product – it’s easier to build the colour than have to clean up a glob of liquid liner and start all over.
Step Six: Finally, finish up the line and perfect the swoop on the wing. Again, I tend to go back for a bit more product and start from the top of the wing and draw towards the corner of my eye in as it creates a softer, more natural line.
And there you have it! My step-by-step eyeliner process I use daily. I can honestly do this in about three minutes flat, and with practice you can too. Be sure to have some makeup remover on hand to correct any slip-ups as you go – I’m a HUGE fan of e.l.f.’s Studio Makeup Remover Pen as it’s very precise and does a great job, but some Q-Tips with remover work just as well. Good luck if you’re just starting out!!
The final before & after: