Despite what many makeup tutorials might tell you, there’s no one universal way to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner. Since everyone’s eyes are uniquely shaped and beautiful, your ideal winged eyeliner method and eyeliner products should be, too.
So how do you determine the best way to nail your cat-eye? We've rounded up the best tips from our Chief Makeup Artist Ash K Holm to apply winged eyeliner for every eye shape, so you can determine the best eyeliner product method for you (without needing a Holm’s steady, makeup artist hand). Plus, we’ve thrown in a few super-simple and surprisingly easy winged eyeliner hacks for all eye shapes you can use in a pinch.
Cat-eyes and winged tips are meant to be fierce and unique as the person who wears them, so above all, you have fun while figuring out which winged eyeliner look fits you best!
About the Expert:
An upturned eye shape is defined by the slight upturn at the outer corner of your lash line. The key to mastering your perfect winged eyeliner for this eye shape is to create an extra-graphic wing to draw attention to your eye’s natural feline shape.
For this eye look, try a gel liner (like this jet-black ONE/SIZE Point Made 24-Hour Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Bodacious Black) or a liquid liner pen to draw the outline of a scalene triangle (remember those from high school geometry?) on the outer corner of your eye, along your upper lash line. Then, extend one leg of the triangle down to your bottom lash line, filling in the resulting blank space with your liner to create your wing.
Finally, take your eyeliner game to the next level by lining your upper lash line all the way into the inner corner of your eye. But you don't have to stop there! Extend the liner down to your tear duct, creating a tiny point for the ultimate siren cat-eye look.
Feel free to play around with different colored eyeliner on your upper and lower lash lines, too, for a fun twist on this bold eye look.
Hack #1: “To make your eyeliner extra sharp, pick up a clean angled brush with some concealer, and sweep it under the wing,” says Holm.
The ideal winged eyeliner for downturned eyes should lengthen and lift up your lash line. To do this, look straight ahead and identify where the center of your eyelid is (it's usually around where your pupil rests when looking straight). Begin lining your line starting from the center of your lash line, moving outward towards the outer corner of your eye, with your eyes still open.
Then, extend the line upward to the outer edge of your brow (the further you extend, the bolder the look). Fill in the tapered wing to your desired thickness. While you can certainly line your bottom lash line and the inner corner of your eye to emphasize your eye's downturned shape, leaving these areas without eyeliner will create an elongated and lifted winged eyeliner look.
Hack #2: For an on-point wing that’s practically impossible to smudge, use a longwearing liquid eyeliner pen, like BELLE EN ARGENT Fine Print Liquid Liner in Black. And of course, you can always use your go-to full-coverage concealer to clean up any smudges and sharpen the lines on your eye look.
If you have a small lid space, sometimes called a monolid, you can easily enhance the strong lines of your eye shape by lining your upper lash line with short, feathery strokes.
To build your winged eye look, being at the inner corner of your eye and work your way to the outer corner while keeping your eyes open. Once you reach the end of your upper lash line, taper the line outwards and upward. “Take the tip of your liner or angled brush, and place it at the last eyelash,” says Holm. “Then drag it in an upward direction, aiming toward the tail end of the brow.”
To finish off your eye look, start a new line at the outer edge of the lower lash line and connect it to the wing on your top lash line, filling in the shape as much as you like. We recommend a felt tip liquid eyeliner for this look, like PÜR On Point Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Pen, to create dimension-building strokes. Top with a few swipes of mascara and a swipe of eyeshadow for an effortless winged smoky eye.
Want to give your round eyes an extra-accentuating boost? Make your eyes pop by drawing a line close against your upper lash line, from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner of your eye, angling slightly upward at the end of your lash line.
For a natural winged eyeliner look, you'll want to keep the wing tip short, stopping it right about where your natural crease ends. This will be just the right amount of feline flare to give you a stunning cat-eye look. Choose from a liquid liner, gel eyeliner, or eyeliner pencil, depending on your desired look, and you can even bring your liner into your waterline for an extra boost of boldness.
Hack #3: For a smudge-free, straight line, use the “connect-the-dots” method. It’s a super fun and easy way to make applying eyeliner a breeze.
If you have an almond eye shape, there are a variety of different methods you can take for building your winged eyeliner look.
One method is the classic "outside-in" liner technique from our eyeliner guide). Simply start by drawing a straight line from the upper outer corner of your eye to the center of your upper lash line, angling down as you go. Draw another line just underneath the wing on your outer corner to form a winged tip. Fill in the rest of the line across your eyelid, keeping your eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible.
Another option is the “inside out” trick. To use this technique, begin your eyeliner at the center of your upper lash line, extending it out and up toward your eyebrow as you go. Then, angle another line from the point of your wing down and across your lash line until it connects to create your winged tip.
Hack #4: For an ultra-precise line, use a piece of paper or tape (even a Post-It!) to create a border on the outer corner of your eye. If you do decide to use tape, though, you'll want to make sure it isn’t too sticky to avoid pulling on the sensitive skin around your eyelids. When in doubt, place it on the back of your hand, and lift and remove it a few times to dull the stickiness first.
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