How to Do Winged Eyeliner

Nothing finishes a look like a well-executed winged liner. No matter how skilled or experienced you are as an artist, this high-precision detail can still be tricky to achieve. Use our helpful guide to hone your technique for perfect wings every time!

Determine Your Ideal Shape

Brunette girl long shiny wavy hair

People have a variety of eye shapes that can drastically change the way makeup looks. Fortunately, a variety of wing styles exist to help enhance your unique (and beautiful) eye shape.

Here are some guidelines to help you find an effective wing for your eyes:

  • Round: Big, doll-like eyes may look innocent, but they can look sexier and more mature with a winged liner that elongates them. A sleek cat eye shape with an emphasis on length helps stretch the eye horizontally.
  • Hooded: Because a hooded eye has skin covering the eyelid crease, it’s important to choose a shape based on what’s visible when the eye is open. A chunky or floating wing that draws up over the hood creates an illusion that looks chic with eyes open or closed.
  • Downturned: For oval eyes that turn slightly down at the ends, it’s all about the outer corner. To angle up without looking “swoopy,” choose a shape that connects an up-angled top liner with the natural angle of the lower lash line. To enhance the downturn, follow the natural slope instead.
  • Upturned (almond): Oval eyes that turn up at the corners can be counterbalanced by a wing that is slightly thicker along the bottom lash To enhance the natural upturn instead, make it thicker along the top.
  • Wide set: Eyes that are further apart can be drawn together by adding weight to the inner edges. A liner shape that extends the inner corner and keeps the outer wing relatively short will help visually pull them inward.
  • Close set: For eyes that are closer together, choose a wing shape that starts at the midpoint of the eye and lines both the upper and lower lids. This will give the outer half more visual weight, visually drawing the eyes apart.

Choose the Right Liner

Once you’ve identified your shape, determine which type of eyeliner product is best for the job.

Common liner options include:

  • Pencil: The classic wooden pencil or mechanical twist-up with drawing-like control. Formulas vary, but most can easily be smudged out if desired.
  • Gel pot: A soft, creamy product that can be applied with a liner brush in a smooth stroke. Gel liner can usually be smudged before it dries.
  • Liquid: A liquid formula that is applied with an applicator or liner brush. Liquid liner generally dries fast and is less forgiving, creating a strong line that does not smudge.
  • Felt pen: A liquid eyeliner formula inside a pen with a slender felt tip. This creates striking, smudge-resistant lines with a drawing-like application.

Wing It Out!

Close-up portrait of a young attractive and beautiful brunette.

Now, it’s time to make the magic happen. Keep the following techniques handy to help you execute your plan flawlessly.

Perfect Your Shape with an Angled Brush

An angled eyeliner brush like the Scott Barnes #59 Lip & Eye Precision Liner Brush is designed to glide comfortably in a straight line. Place the angle flat against the skin, allowing your hand to rest closer to the face. Then, gently drag it across in a smooth motion. The brush can also be helpful for creating light wing guidelines on the outer corner.

Create Sharp, Clean Edges with a Guide

A handy trick is to apply a strip of scotch tape along your outer eye, creating a sort of stencil for your wing. Apply eyeliner to the upper lid, extend the line to the tape, and fill. Gently peel back the tape to reveal a beautiful, sharp line. Use a cotton swab to clean up any stray marks.

Nail It Every Time with Scott Barnes

Having the right tools and products makes all the difference. Scott Barnes offers a full range of professional quality brushes at affordable prices to complete your wing toolkit. Check out Scott Barnes’ three versatile brushes for creating every type of winged look imaginable:

With the right tools, you’ll be achieving those sought-after flick and swish looks in no time!