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Double-Winged Eyeliner Is the Impressive New Beauty Look Anyone Can Master

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Don't get us wrong, we love a natural makeup look as much as the master minimalist. But sometimes, when the right mood strikes, it's time for something utterly showstopping. If you've already mastered trends like glitter eyeshadow and red eyeliner, there's another major makeup moment you might consider trying: Say hello to double-winged eyeliner. This graphic makeup look is totally extra in the best way possible, and it's also an eyeliner style you can wear a million different ways. 

Ready to give this cutting-edge beauty trend a try? Below we share a simple double-winged eyeliner makeup tutorial as well as a few celebrity-approved ways to rock the look. 

About the Expert:

Lauren Berlingeri, a makeup artist based in New Jersey, has worked with various luxury makeup brands and high-end salons. She has done hair and makeup for weddings and events such as New York Fashion Week, New York Bridal Fashion Week, commercial shoots, and television shows including “Say Yes to the Dress.”

How to Do Double-Winged Eyeliner, Step-by-Step

Before you become a pro at double-winged liner, you'll want to make sure you have the right product in hand. You just need one essential product for this makeup tutorial, really: a seriously smudge-proof eyeliner

The type of eyeliner you choose to use to create your double wing is up to you, as gel and pencil eyeliners can both work well depending on the wing style you're planning to create. However, most often, a longwear liquid eyeliner like the KVD VEGAN BEAUTY Tattoo Liner will give you ultra-crisp, super-saturated lines that make a big impact. For seriously long wear time, you might even look for a waterproof eyeliner

A few other products you'll also probably want to have handy are an eyeshadow primer, your favorite mascara, a few Q-tips (for precise cleanup), and eyeshadow (if using). 

Step 1: Prep the eye area

Makeup prep is always essential, but especially when you're putting time and energy into creating a look where sharp, defined lines are the main focus. You don't want to spend 20 minutes on a makeup look only for it to smear the second you walk out the door. 

If you're planning to create an eyeliner-only look (aka no eyeshadow), try applying an eye primer like THE BEAUTY CROP Stuck On You Eyeshadow Primer with an eyeliner brush, applying it directly along the lash line and any other places where you'll soon be placing liner. 

If you are planning to use eyeshadow, you might instead try using a lighter concealer to really make your eye makeup stay put and stand out. "Prepping the eye with a concealer that's about two shades lighter than your actual shade will definitely make the shadow pop a lot more," says makeup artist Lauren Berlingeri. "Take that concealer and apply it all over the lid, wherever you are applying eye shadow. This will smooth the eye and create a flawless base for your shadow and liner."

Step 2: Apply eyeshadow

If you're using eyeshadow, apply any shade you fancy to your eye area and blend well. When going for big impact, Berlingeri offers a worthy piece of expert advice: "Stamp the eyeshadow on and then blend your matte shades. If you blend first, you're not going to see a lot of color payoff."

Step 3: Create your first wing 

Now that you have a perfectly prepped nude lid or a smooth lid topped with shadow, it's time to create your first wing. This wing is easy, since it's essentially just your classic winged eyeliner—a fluid, swooping line that hugs the upper lash line and extends beyond the outer corner of the eye.

Need help mastering this classic eye makeup technique? Check out our full winged eyeliner tutorial here. We've even included a few tips for how to customize it based on your eye shape. 

Step 4: Create your second wing

Now, here's where the fun comes in. The rule for creating your second wing is that really, there are no rules. A popular technique for creating a second winged line is to swoop it along the lower lash line, extending out just below the top wing (but leaving some negative space between the two lines). 

You might also try creating a cut crease with your second wing. After creating a clean cat eye along the upper lash line, you'll create another graphic moment by using your eyeliner to draw an arching line along your cut crease, connecting the end back to the tip of the cat-eye. 

Pro tip: If you are applying a second wing along the lower lash line, Berlingeri actually recommends applying this line first. This way you won't transfer your top line to your lid or brow bone as you look up.

Step 5: Craft a full makeup look that helps this eye makeup shine

If you really want this cutting-edge eye makeup look to make the biggest impact, consider keeping the rest of your makeup look relatively neutral. 

"If there’s a look you are trying to show off, I would make sure that’s the one thing you pop," Berlingeri says. "I would use a neutral lip and a neutral color blush; this way, your eyes are the focus, and the rest of your makeup won’t clash."

Step 6: Apply mascara

Once you're happy with both of your winged lines and the rest of your face makeup, you'll want to finish up by curling your lashes and applying a few swipes of your favorite mascara formula. 

If you want to make sure your mascara doesn't run (and ruin your expertly crafted lines), try using a waterproof mascara to ensure that it stays put all day long.

8 Double-Winged Eyeliner Looks to Try

Ready for a fresh dose of inspo? Here's how eight celebs have recently rocked this bold beauty look. If you're not sure how to start, use these examples as a guide when it comes time to create your own stunning eye makeup. 

1. Negative Space

A photo of Yara Shahidi with a graphic eyeliner outline and nude eyeshadow and glossy lips
Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images

No need to overcomplicate this bold look. Do as Yara Shahidi does here and simply create two soft lines: one classic cat eye along the upper lash line, and another gently arching along the cut crease. Finish with a lengthening mascara to open up your eyes and make them pop. 

2. Stacked Lines

A photo of Rihanna with white eyeliner
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

For a burst of color, try creating a layered double-winged look that features a black baseline with a bolder eyeshadow shade layered on top. Here, Rihanna does just that with a black and white double wing. This timeless combo can work on any eye color or skin tone, but feel free to experiment by using other colors as well. Something like this electric blue GLAMOUR DOLLS Retractable Gel Eyeliner can instantly make your liner look out of this world. 

3. Outer V

A photo of Lucy Boynton with a bold outline
Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Lean into the drama of it all with this extra-bold style. First, you'll create a super thick winged line (don't be afraid to really go for it!). Then, as a final and unexpected touch, go back and very lightly create a delicate, thin line that slopes down from the outer corner of the eye. The thick line is definitely the star of the show, but the extra second wing is what will have everyone doing a double-take. 

4. More Is More

a photo of Janelle Monae with white eyeliner outline, shimmery eyeshadow and purple mascara
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Sometimes, more is more! This double winged eyeliner has it all: crisp black tightlining, bronzed lids, and a connected, arched double wing. It's busy, and yet, it all works flawlessly. Copy Janelle's timeless color combo or experiment with your own palette to replicate this absolutely stunning makeup idea. 

5. Smoky Split Wing

A photo of Olivia Wilde with a smoky split wing
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Typically, this eyeliner style consists of super sharp lines. However, here Olivia Wilde offers an unexpected smoky eye-inspired alternative. To copy these subtly smudged lines at home, put down the liquid liner and instead reach for a soft gel liner like ARACELI BEAUTY Ojos Perfectos Gel Pencil Eyeliner. Swipe the pencil along the upper and lower lash line, curving the wings so that they go in opposite directions. Then, very gently, use a Q-tip or makeup smudger to smudge the lines and buff out those sharp edges. 

6. Micro Gap

A photo of Lily Collins with a double wing and a bold red lip
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain

Want to try this trend without piling on the product? Instead of creating lines that begin all the way in the inner corners of the eyes, try starting in the center of the eye like Lily Collins does here. This can help to open up the eye area while still allowing you to experiment with a double wing. 

To actively illuminate the inner eye you left liner-free, you might even try dabbing on a bit of a white or champagne-hued eyeshadow to create a highlighting effect. 

7. Dreamy Diagonals 

A photo of Alicia Vikander with a graphic eyeliner outline
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

If you've mastered Lily Collins' minimal double wing and feel ready to boost the intensity of the look, try keeping the outer wings the same, but adding liner to the inner corners of the eyes. This unique spin on cat eye makeup is a coveted cross between a classic Cleopatra-inspired look and a cutting-edge graphic style. 

8. Color Blocked

A photo of  Camila Mendes with yellow rhinestones and a turquoise double wing eyeliner
Photo by Neilson Barnard

Kick this look's intensity into high gear by swapping out black eyeliner for a colored alternative entirely. Here, Camila Mendes takes the eyeliner style to the next level by also adding complementary-colored rhinestones to the inner corners of the eyes. If this isn't the perfect festival makeup inspo, we're not sure what is.

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About the author
Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated May 31, 2021 12:00 AM