Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Life With Liner: How I Do My Winged Liner

My Typical Liner Look
One of my most asked makeup questions is "how do you do your eyeliner?" While I'm always flattered by the question, for many years, I didn't quite know how to answer it. I didn't really have a method... I would  aim for my lash line and hope for the best, simple as that.  I was recently asked again, "how do you do your liner" and for once, I sat down and actually thought about the steps I take and the rules I follow in my head for putting on my daily eyeliner. Here's what I came up with...

My Liner Guidelines

1. Practice makes perfect
I've only been comfortable and confident in my liner over the last couple of years. There was a lot of trial and error...a lot of nights just playing in front of my vanity, deciding what I liked best. Practicing before that special occasion that requires makeup perfection, takes a lot of the stress off the situation. You'll feel more confident and comfortable with your look if you've had a few practice runs.

2. Don't fight your eye shape
In the beginning phases of my makeup obsession, I watched dozens of "How To Do Winged Liner" tutorial videos. I don't anymore. I usually feel if I try to do my eyeliner exactly like some else does, it ends up looking unnatural. I take general techniques and adapt them to my eye shape and the look I'm trying to achieve. This falls back to Rule #1, practice makes perfect. Experiment with different shapes and style of eyeliner and see which fits you best, and stick with it.
I prefer to bring my wing out towards my temples. I feel this shape flatter me best.
I feel like bringing the wing up towards my brow is not a flattering shape on me.
3. I'm not afraid to get fat
I find a big fat streak of liner looks best on me.The liner is easier to control and I like the heavier definition it gives me around my eyes. I'm just not a thin line kind of girl.

4. Go out further than you think
Every time I do my makeup the first thing that goes through my mind when I apply my eyeliner is...dang it, that's too far! Every single time...but once you apply your bottom eyeliner and mascara, it end up looking a lot less dramatic than I originally thought it would. To compensate for this, I bring my winged edge out quite a bit further than I think I should

5. I always connect my top liner to my lower liner
Whether it's with a pencil liner or shadow, I always bring some definition to my lower lash line and then connect it to my top liner. This creates a bigger, more elongated eye look.  
6. I'm not afraid to have wonky wings
I don't worry too much about my liner being perfectly straight and even. This goes back to Rule #4, once your mascara is on, you probably won't even be able to tell if one wing is slightly angled or a tad bid longer than the other. Once I accepted this rule, it saved me a lot of makeup stress and heartache. And plus, if any of your friends are going to give you a hard time about your eyeliner, the problem is your choice of friends, not your eyeliner. :)

7. If all else fails...stay calm and grab a Q tip
Not once in my 15 years of makeup have I made a liner mess that a Q tip couldn't clean up. I dampen a Q tip with water (I don't prefer using makeup remover because it can leave an oily residue) apply a firm amount of pressure and simply erase your mistakes.

And like with any makeup mistake...blend it out and try again.

What I used...
Maybelline Eyestudio Cream Liner in Blackest Black
liner brush that came with the cream liner
Milani Powder Eyeshadow in Pitch Black
Sigma E65 Small Angle Brush

Any type of liner can be used...liquid, pencil, cream, gel, or even just eyeshadow. My technique is always the same. I just found cream liner was the easiest to photograph.

Step By Step...

Beware...there are a lot of photos but I wanted to be as thorough as possible

I dip my brush into the liner pot making sure I've coated the brush evenly with product. Don't overload your brush, it can make the product harder to control. Start out with a little and add more later once you have your rough shape.

I first start by making a reference point for my wing. I prefer to point my wings out towards my temple rather than up towards my brows. I think this shape flatters my eye best and I think that's what sets my liner apart from most other tutorials I've watched
I start in the center of my eye and draw a rough line and extend it out to my wing. Don't worry about making this line neat and precise. This is a rough guide line. We can clean up any mistakes later.
I apply gentle pressure with my liner brush.
Slowly extend that line to meet the wing. Again, I'm not too concerned about making it perfect at this point
Fill in the space between your liner and lashes. Be sure to work the liner in between your lashes to avoid gaps of skin showing between your liner and lashes.
Starting from the inner corner, drag the line to meet the rest of the liner.
Then I make sure my wing is extended as far as I would like it, and fill in any patchy areas to create a dark, opaque line
My typical winged liner shape.
See how my liner is a little patchy around the edge? That's fine with me. When my eye is open, you can't even tell.
Case and point for Rule #6
Using the left over product on my brush, I drag a small amount of liner onto my lower lash line
I usually stop about half way on my lash line
Using a small angle brush and a little bit of black eyeshadow, I smudge out the liner. This creates a softer effect and smooths out any mistakes or harsh lines. I do this to my upper and lower lash line.
Finished liner shape.
Curl your lashes and apply mascara.
Completed eye look.

What If I Make A Mistake?

I applied my liner with my left hand...ambidextrous...I am not
This picture makes me laugh
 Using a damp Q tip (damp, not wet) I start to drag the Q tip gently over the edges of my liner, cleaning up any crooked lines. I prefer to use water for this.
Basically, you're using the Q tip as an eraser.
I also use this trick to clean up my winged edge if I feel the shape isn't right or I've brought the wing out too far.
Go back with your brush and liner...
And try again





I hope you found this interesting...I always enjoy getting a new perspective on different makeup techniques.
Feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite liner products and techniques  


  1. Love this post! Very informative and I completely agree with number 6, the wonky eyes. I wear winged liner pretty much every day and very rarely have I ever been able to match them exactly, have fun with it! Following your blog now lovely! And thank you for the follow as well

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and leave such a lovely comment. I'm excited to be following your blog and I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

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