Monday, November 22, 2010

Makeup Monday How-To: Classic Winged Liner

I get a lot of requests for liner tutorials, so here is a quick classic: the winged eye. Step by step instructions are after the jump.

I prefer to use MAC fluidline (in either blacktrack or dipdown - I used dipdown here) and a Sonia Kashuk bent eyeliner brush. The bent shape makes it super easy and the brush is thin but dense, so you have more control of the thickness of your line. Also, I swear by fluidline - I kind of hate liquid liner - but it's completely up to you!

Step one: Apply primer. I used MAC bare study paint pot (not pictured), which acts as a primer.

Using short, dash-like strokes, apply a thin line just above your lash line. I usually work from the outside in but did the opposite here, to show about where you should start your line. I also like to line my entire upper waterline (life your lid a little and gently line) and get between my lashes (wiggle the brush between the base of your lashes to fill any gaps). Steady shaky hands by resting your pinky on your cheek. I hold my brush like a pencil and actually rest my hand the same way I would if I was writing on paper.

It's best to start with a thin line, because it's way easier to build it up than to make it thinner.

I like for my winged tip to look almost like a continuing line from my lower lash line. To find that direction, place your brush at your lower lash line, along the outer edge. Make a dot with the tip of your brush at the point where you would like the tip of the wing to end - you can make this as subtle or dramatic as you want.

NOTE: If you have issues keeping a straight line or problems achieving symmetry, it might benefit you to use tape as a guide, as seen here.

Connect the dot to the outer edge of your liner.

Connect from your inner lash line to the dot in a gradual slope (this is a continuous, straight line - it just looks curved because of my eyeball is also curved). You want the line to get thicker toward the edge and diminish toward the inner lash line, so start very close to the lash line and gradually increase the thickness/incline.

Fill in the gap and you're done! I obviously didn't line my lower lash line or remember to clean up my lower waterline, but this is the point where you do either of those things if necessary. You can clean up any mess with a q-tip and a little makeup remover.
Things to remember: 
Use primer! It will help keep your liner in place.
Buy that bent liner brush - it is the best and only $5.99.
Make the winged tip a continuous line from your lower lash line.
Keep it thin toward your inner lash line and build up and out.


  1. Thanks! :D On some days, I feel as if I have to "wing" it more or fill it in more because my eyes are uneven. *sigh* I would then start filling/winging too much and everything would look really off. Do you ever get those "uneven eyed" days? LOL

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  2. Hm, I'm in the market for a new liner after my trusty liquid pot bit the dust. How quick does the MAC stuff dry? I'm terrible and usually get it all over the place by blinking.

  3. great tutorial hun! i always love your makeup!

  4. wow, thanks for the tutorial! i will be trying this very soon.

  5. Wow! Great tutorial! Definitely will try this one asap :)

  6. Ally: It dries much faster than liquid liner:)

  7. i made my christmas list today based off of your makeup tutorials! i need bare study and the bent brush!!


  8. Great tutorial, thanks! I've been looking for a better liner brush, I'll have to go look for the bent one.

  9. This is hands down the best Winged Liner tutorial I've seen! Going to try this out for the holiday party I have to go to on Wednesday night!

    Good luck with your macbook ps. Tekserve is pretty awesome at fixing things though!


  10. wow! thanks, i always struggle with getting it right...getting that brush tomorrow!!


  11. This is really helpful! I always have trouble doing that. I usually use liquid liner but Im considering on using the same MAC fluidline.

  12. Yay Make Up Monday is my favourite.. even though its Tuesday in New Zealand before we get it. Winged liner has always been a huge struggle for me. Thank you so much :)

  13. I usually just use pencil because liquid eyeliner takes me SOO long to do correctly. I think i'm going to have to try using gel liner after everrryone talking about how awesome it is :)

    This was a really helpful tutorial, thanks for posting!


  14. great make up!!

    we are trying to find the brand of the clothes, accessories and shoes we saw on internet or anywhere. help us, or send us something you want our blog to find. it's easy and simple :)


  15. I swear by Mac Fluidline as well; I've had my pot for about two years and it still works like a charm.

    Love your blog Keiko. It's always a pleasure to observe someone as beautiful and classy as you are.

  16. thanks so much for sharing this!
    I'm always scared to do the winged eye because I thought it'd be really hard! but after seeing this tutorial I might just give it another try =P

  17. Thank you for this - I am rubbish at eyes and always worry I'm not getting it right, so this is enormously helpful. Thank you! :)

  18. You make it looks so easy!
    Another good alternative to liquid liner is a felt-tip one. I feel like I'm putting my makeup on with a Sharpie, but it's ok! I use Bourjois Liner Feutre.

  19. Thank you so much for posting this! I am always trying to do it, but I end up looking ridiculous and being frustrated...This will help! :)


  20. Thanks for that post. I'm gonna try that trick with the tape cuz i can never get the wings even!

  21. You're my hero for posting this - great tips! I've been struggling with the winged eye look for years and yours always look perfect.

  22. thanks for breaking that down... people always ask me how i do it, and i just tell them '20 years of practice.' seriously, i can make winged eyeliner with a crayola crayon.

  23. Fluidline: Purchased! Now I just have to wait for it to arrive. Oh, Keiko, I shouldn't be spending money this month with all the Christmas presents I have to buy... oh well. :)

  24. Hi! Thank-you for this! I have small asian eyes with almost non-existent eyelids (not that you don't have any!) but at least they are much more similar to mine than most others! I also struggle to do eye makeup in general so thanks so much for this easy-peasy tutorial.

  25. Thank you so much for this post! I've been struggling with doing the winged liner well using liquid liner--it just never turns out quite right. So after I saw this post, I went and got some gel liner, and it's SO much easier and looks great, especially doing it the way you do. Thanks again!

  26. Yay! This is a great tutorial! I will have to try this soon.

  27. Great tutorial! I've been failing at liquid liner and will try this instead. Love the retro look and you give easy to understand advice. Thanks Keiko!

    p.s. Also loved your red lip tutorial. Another thing I want to try.

  28. Hi Keiko!

    Just leaving a comment to say that I link this post on my blog right over here:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great tutorial and keep being fabulous!


  29. Keiko! I have failed with liquid liners of all kind, kohl pencils liner always made my eyes look smaller....this brush changed everything! I tried it without incident yesterday with stila cream liner, and it looked amazing!

    If I can do it, anyone can...thanks for the tutorial and the product suggestions. Fluidline is on my birthday list.

    Mastery of liner at 28 thanks to Keiko Lynn!


  30. Hi!

    I've been struggling to find the right liquid eyeliner in a drugstore. Revlon seems to work well.

    Do you have any good liquid eyeliner drugstore suggestions?


  31. Yes, a great tutorial. I've tried maybe three or four drugstore liquid eyeliners and have gotten horrible results. I'm thinking I will get better ones if I invest in a better liquid eyeliner. I think MAC products are really good AND at a good price point.