A Worldly Tip on Winged Eyeliner

Some have lipstick, others have the blazer. But for me, there aren’t many looks that are complete without winged liner. 

I feel the classic, black cat eye fits my aesthetic and adds a nice edge to even a more reserved office outfit. I’ll sometimes wet an angled flat brush and dip into buttery shadows for abstract liner looks. Any way you finesse it, winged eyeliner is a versatile accent with an abundance of applications. There’s also an abundance of ways to screw it up (as I’ve learned personally). 

Let’s put my trials, and the many errors that accompanied them to good use. Keep reading to dive tail-first into this 3-step Worldly Tip on winged eyeliner. Why tail first? Read on to find out!

Step 1: Draw the tail

The first, and most important step. This alone should make it far easier to end up with even wings on both eyes. Even further, I always draw the tail on both lids before continuing the process; you can use your first tail as a point of reference. Apply less pressure as you define the end of your tail for a crisp and tapered finish. A lighter touch at the tip will dispense less product. 

Note – My favorite type of eyeliner product is the felt-tip marker. I’ve tried gels, pencils, and powders alike; I feel the most control with a marker. Stila’s Stay All Day waterproof liner is the best I’ve tried so far!

Step 2: Close the tail

The hard part is done! Nonetheless, you still have decisions to make. Do you want a more bold wing, or something subtle just to accentuate those lashes? Closing the wing from its tip to the center of your lid will determine which direction you go with effect. I recommend starting small, because you can always thicken it up later. 

Note – Correcting once you’ve gone bandit-mask with your liner is challenging, but not impossible! I’ll wet a q-tip with makeup cleansing solution to form an eraser of sorts, and once I’m satisfied with the wing’s general shape, I touch up the edges with a micro-concealer brush using my tried-and-true Benefit concealer.

Step 3: Finish the top of your lid

All that’s left is to bring your liner from the lid’s center to your inner corner. Once you’ve filled your outline to the desired intensity, you’re finished! 

Note – For the detail-oriented who aren’t satisfied with your skin peeking through at the lash line, just hit it with a liner pencil! This method isn’t for me. My eyes tend to water and smudge pencil when I apply there, but for the stronger-eyed, line away! Press your favorite highlight or a fun shadow into your inner corner for pazzazz. 

Yes, it can be that quick and easy! Practice makes perfect. Winged liner is muscle memory for me at this point, and the tail-first trick revolutionized my routine. What is your go-to makeup hack? Let us know below—we’d love to try it out for another Worldy Tip.

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