Because why not?

Beauty Breakdown - Winged Liner.

7 August 2014
Winged Liner. Two words that can instill a feeling of dread in any woman.


Almost every time I apply makeup to another woman she asks for wings and it's no surprise really, if you're in to makeup then you have definitely seen some of the amazing creations online and even more important, the before and after shots of what a wing can really do to the eyes.

Winged liner is the easiest way to give an almond or 'ideal' eye shape to anyone, when a makeup artist is applying makeup we generally use corrective techniques to shape the face, we want an oval face shape and almond eyes because these are considered visually perfect and appealing. Don't shoot the messenger please, I didn't make these rules, go talk to Vogue if you have an issue with what I'm saying here.

When it comes to creating an almond shaped eye on someone who doesn't naturally have that eye shape it doesn't come down to just eyeliner, the types of eyeshadows you apply and how you apply them is also important but that's a post for another day, winged eyeliner is just one step but it is the easiest way to give the illusion without spending an hour on just your eyes. Today I'm going to show you how I like to apply winged liner on myself and other people, this method is easily interchangeable and I encourage you to practice not only on yourself but on friends as well.

Mastering winged liner isn't actually difficult, the method I use is extremely straight forward and if you have good tools they will do most of the hard work for you, the reson I encourage practice (and not giving up when you don't get it perfect during your first 20 tries) is because the practice stage is where your hands and your tools learn to be best friends, your brush only knows how to do one thing; apply product. Your hands need to learn how your brush applies that product in relation to what your hand is telling it to do via pressure and movement.

My method uses a gel liner and angled brush, I don't use a liquid pen because they aren't foolproof for me and my hands just don't get along with them as well as they do with a brush.

Step one is prepping the eye, this is where you want to do all your eyeshadow fanciness and you may also like to tightline and line your waterline, I do these at the end because I can never decide if I really want or need it before I have my wing in place.


If you have hooded eyes like me you will find this more difficult than others unfortunately, the trick here is to have a slightly strange shaped wing so that when your eyes are open it looks perfectly smooth.. You'll see more in the photos towards the end but the same methods apply until we are finishing off the look.


Now we are ready to start applying the wing. What I like to do is load up my angled brush with gel liner to start and then looking straight ahead in to a mirror I take my brush and following the angle of my lower water line I press the brush on to my skin, I don't move the brush at all, just press it on to the eye.


Next I apply a little more product to my brush and starting at the inner corner of my eye I press the brush along my lash line, again I don't move the brush other than to press it on the lash line, lift it away, and press on the next section, until my whole lash line has been lined. On my right eye I can drag the brush right across in one fluid motion, and in time you will be able to do that as well but since my left eye is more sensitive to touch I use the pressing motion, this prevents my eye from closing by reflex and reduces the risk of me fucking this step up. You don't have to be super precise with this step, the one part that you want to look the best is the inner eye because after this we won't be touching that part of the liner again so take your time and breathe.


This is a very attractive photo of me trying to watch what I'm doing in my camera viewer while getting this step right. This is the first step where you are actually going to move your brush but don't fear! The angle of the brush will do all the hard work for you, if you know how to move your upper limbs you will be able to do this. With more product on your brush place the brush on your skin where you laid the initial guideline for the flick, I like to tilt my head back and look down my nose like a snobby bitch in to the mirror and position the brush about 2/3 to 1/2 of the way down the wing guide line and then all you do is drag the brush across to meet the lined section on your lash line.

If you look at the picture above you will see the arrow showing the direction to drag the brush, I like to hold my skin but I don't pull it too tight, it's just enough pressure on the skin to prevent it from being pulled along by the brush when you move it across the eyelid. The angle of the brush will do all of the work for you, there is no need to turn, tilt or move the angle of the brush.



Here we are with the semi-finished results, this is when you spot clean your brush, put it down and take a step back to see what needs fixing, decide if you want it thicker (repeat the last step starting with the brush just a little higher up on the flick guide line), perhaps the line isn't as smooth as you hoped (apply a tiny bit of product on your brush and go over it again, an uneven line is usually due to product buildup on the brush or the gel liner drying up too much, just spot clean and take some fresh product from the pot) or maybe you have a perfect line apart from just a little spot that is ruining all of your wonderful work (take a makeup correcting pen and gently wipe over the offending area until it has been worn away).


Now If you have hooded eyes like me this is the shape you will be aiming for, to achieve this I just went back in with fresh product on my brush and instead of dragging directly across to my lash line I dragged across and then slightly down, creating the flair in the wing, we do this because a small part of the wing is hidden when our eyes are open wide and it can look unfinished, but having the flair just where my crease sits helps to mask that and when my eyes are open....


We have perfection.

You should note that although the slight flair in the previous picture looks quite obvious, it's not quite as apparent in person, 99% of people won't notice it and if someone does just go on a 20 minute spiel about the the technicalities of winged liner, they will either be impressed that you know what you're talking about or keep their opinions to them selves in the future.

If you didn't line your eyes earlier then you can go ahead and do it now if you want, it's also time for mascara and brow grooming. If you happened to use a makeup correcting pen then you may want to go in with a small brush and touch up any eyeshadow or foundation that was also removed, patience, patience, patience.

This wing can be tweaked to suit your preferences too, once you have the basics down you will quickly see how you can change the length or angle of the wing, the thickness of your line and more importantly (and the most fun aspect) playing with different colours!

If you're wondering about my favourite brush for applying winged liner; it's the Manicare Angled Brush and my favourite gel liner is Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink.


Let me know in the comments if you have a fool proof way of applying winged liner with a liquid pen, I have one I love but I just can't make it work for me!

Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying. Items marked * were sent to me for trial and consideration, all other products were purchased by myself and I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Integrity Always..

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4 comments on "Beauty Breakdown - Winged Liner."
  1. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Hailey. Your post was straight forward and easy to understand, plus the photos are so helpful. I will certainly be stealing your method, I am actually looking forward to trying winged liner, rather than being daunted by it xx

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    1. You're so welcome Indie!! Hopefully this really will prove useful for you, it can be really daunting trying to work out how to get nice smooth lines and the right angles and it is a difficult area to practice on because removing makeup from the eyes constantly can become painful but with some basic guidelines it's quite straightforward and it's just a matter of getting use to the motions :) xoxo

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  2. Hailey hon, this is one of your most BRILLIANT posts - good lord, have I been struggling with wings for my hooded eyes or what? They always end up looking wonky, but you my darling have provided the solution. A million thankyous from moi ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Kat, dealing with my hooded eyes was the most difficult part for me and learning to adapt the shape took quite a bit of time and many mistakes but once you have the general rules in place it's quite easy to try different angles to see what works, that flair in the wing is definitely the trick and depending on how heavily the eyes are hooded you may need to make it a bit more pronounced but practice will make perfect and anyone can wear a wing when it is adapted to their eye shape!

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