How to Do a Winged Eyeliner: A Beginner’s Guide

Image of closed eye with winged eyeliner being applied image of closed eye with winged eyeliner being applied

The winged eyeliner craze is a makeup trend that’s stuck around since its advent in the ’60s. Creating a bold, beautiful, wide-open look, the cat’s eye is a mainstay in many women’s everyday makeup routine. But for as sharp and sultry as the winged liner trend might be, the process of achieving it can often feel clumsy and ungraceful.

It’s true - creating the perfect cat’s eye can be a challenge, mainly because of the precision and symmetry it requires. However, with this beginner’s guide, you should be able to nail the look each and every time.

Choose the Right Liner

Of course, the first step to creating the perfect winged liner look would be to choose the right product. There are loads of different kinds of eyeliner formulations out there - from pencils and crayons, to gels, and of course, liquid liner. They all have their fair share of benefits and drawbacks, but what you should really be interested in is a formula that produces sharp, crisp lines without the risk of smudging.

The Westmore Beauty Wing Effects Liquid eyeliner is a great choice for makeup newbies and for more experienced cosmetic veterans. This formulations glides for smooth, seamless lines that create a gorgeous smudge-proof winged liner look.

Mark Out the Tail End

Using the straight end of a makeup brush (or a spoon, or a pen, or anything similar, really) mark out where you want your cat-eye to end. To do this, simply angle a straight line from your left nostril towards the outer corner of your left eye. Then take your eyeliner pen or brush and mark a dot where you want the winged liner’s tip to end. As a general rule, the higher you mark, the bigger, darker, and more dramatic your cat’s eye will be.

Image open eye with winged eyeliner being applied

Line Out the Outer Edge

Now that you have a marker for the tip of the liner’s tail, you can line out the outer edge of the wing. Take your eyeliner and create a line that runs from the marker down to the outer corner of your eye. If it helps, you can close the eye you’re working on to even out the surface of your skin. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this point, so don’t worry if there are a few uneven edges here and there.

Close Off the Wing

There should be a single line running down from your marker to the outer corner of your eye. From here, you can close off the eyeliner wing by starting back at the marker and then drawing a line down to the center of your upper lash line. By now, you should have what looks like a rudimentary, unfilled cat’s eye.

Fill Out the Space

Use your eyeliner to fill out the space between the two lines you made. This should black out your cat’s eye to give you an idea of what the outcome should look like once you are finished. If you’re happy with how it turned out, then you can continue by connecting the inner corner of your eye to the middle of your lash line with a line. Doing this widens the eyes and creates a bigger, bolder look that exudes that signature doe-eyed aesthetic.

Clean It Up

Nothing says cat’s eye like ultra-sharp and crisp lines that are free from smudges and crookedness. If you weren’t able to draw out completely straight lines free from little nicks here and there, you could always go in with a cotton bud. Dab the end in an eye cream solution and gently clean the edges.

While it might seem like a good idea to use makeup remover, the formulation will probably be too good for the job, removing parts of the winged liner look that you might not want to be erased. If you feel you need a little more control, then you can take a wet wipe wrapped around your finger, and then clean out the edges by running your nail over any smudges.

Tube of Westmore Beauty's Wing Effects Liquid Eyeliner

The Cat’s Meow

The winged liner look isn’t as complicated as most people make it seem. Creating bold, beautiful, and dramatic eyes, the cat’s eye trend is something everyone can nail - with the right kind of technique. So, go ahead, give it a go, and step up your everyday makeup routine with a bold, classic eye look.