Applying eyeliner is the perfect way to complement your makeup look and make your eyes pop. Whether it’s a simple thin line or a bold, dramatic cat eye, I just can’t imagine doing my makeup without outlining my eyes. It’s my favorite part of doing my makeup and at the same time the hardest one to do – it took me years and lots of eyeliner tubes to perfect the technique and yet I still get nervous every time I draw my wings. So yes, learning how to create a winged line can be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it since eyeliners look great on every eye shape. To encourage you all, I brought together some tips that make things easier and helped me improve my eyeliner application.
1. Choose your product
There are three basic types of eyeliner: pencil, gel, and liquid.
Pencil eyeliner is the easiest to apply and the best one for makeup beginners, but it may not spread as smoothly as the liquid and gel ones. Depending on the quality, it may smudge and fade off after a while. However, it’s the best product to begin with and a great choice for simple looks.
Gel eyeliners have a soft, creamy formula and glide on easily. They usually come in a little jar, so you’re going to need a hard angled brush to apply it. It does look a bit intimidating at first but trust me – they’re quite easy to work with. Thanks to the thick formula, they’re long lasting and pigmented. The only con I can think of is the precision – I can’t get a sharp line as I do with liquid liners, however, if you use a high-quality brush you can achieve sharpness with gel liners too.
Liquid eyeliners are the best for precision and bold, dramatic cat eyes. They come in tubes with a small brush or pen – like packaging with a little brush tip. I prefer the pen ones since they’re easier to handle and are best for drawing a sharp, defined line.
2. Do the eyeliner first
There are no rules when it comes to the order of applying makeup – it’s a matter of personal preference and some people like to do face before eyes, some the other way around.
I prefer doing my eye makeup first just because it can get messy with all the eyeshadow fallout and liner or mascara smearing. I’ve messed up my eyeliner too many times and instead of smudging everything and removing my foundation, concealer, blush and starting all over – I do my eyes first, cover up any mistakes and then continue applying face products.
3. Apply a Primer
Don’t forget to prep your eyelids – applying a makeup primer or eyeshadow base will keep your liner in place, prevent fade off and make it last longer. A good primer will also turn your eyelids into a smooth surface and the eyeliner will glide on easily.
4. Connect the dots
If you struggle with doing a straight line in one movement, try out the dots trick. Create little dots along your lash line: start just above the tear duct of the eye, move on to above the iris, place the next one right at the crease and the last one just below the end of your brow – this is where the end of your flick would be. Using short strokes, connect the dots and create a straight line. Next, draw a line from your lower lash line up to the one above to create the perfect winged eyeliner!
You can also draw little dashes instead of dots and connect them into a winged line – both techniques are so easy to do and work great for beginners.
5. Use a tape
Unless you’re an artist or have the steady hands of a surgeon, creating the perfect angle and sharpest line on both eyes is just impossible. Instead of struggling free hand, try using the tape trick.
Get a piece of washi tape and place it underneath your lower lash line (at the outer corner of your eye) and angle it towards your temple. Begin drawing a line in the middle of your upper lash line and move the liner past the outer corner towards the end of the tape. Don’t be afraid to draw over the tape – you’ll remove it later, just focus on creating a thinner line as you reach the upper end. Remove the tape and reveal your straight, sharp wing! Go back to the middle of your upper lash and connect a line over the inner corner, finishing at the tear duct.
This trick is my personal favorite because it helps me create a flawless winged eyeliner look and works with all types of liquid liners.
6. Mind your posture
It may sound silly, but your posture has everything to do with your eyeliner application. I can never do my wings standing up, or sitting back on a chair with a mirror in my other hand. I’ve seen makeup artists do it and I just admire them for that (and their steady hands). If you have shaky hands like me, having a good posture will do the trick. Sit down in front of a mirror, place your elbow on a flat surface and your hand on your cheek. Resting your elbow on a table will keep your hand steady, and looking down in your mirror will help you get a good view of your eyelid and application.
7. Don’t mind the mistakes
Perfecting your eyeliner technique isn’t easy, and making mistakes along the way is totally normal. So don’t be afraid of doing some because they can be easily fixed. Make sure you have cotton swabs and concealer nearby; erase smudges and imperfections by swiping a cotton swab over the smudge or apply concealer to fix them.
Beauty blogger, skin care enthusiast, makeup lover. She writes mostly about beauty on her personal blog 365beautytips