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Winged Eyeliner Tutorial

Updated on February 12, 2013
Winged eyeliner look created using an eyeliner pen
Winged eyeliner look created using an eyeliner pen

Liquid, Pen, Gel, Pencil - choosing the right liner for you

There are many different formulations of eyeliner around, from the classic pencil and liquid to newer gel and pen formulations. Choosing the right eyeliner for the look you want to achieve is crucial as different formulations achieved different looks! For example kohl eyeliner pencils are excellent for a smoky, smudgy look but they are not brilliant for a sharp, crisp and defined look.

Eye Liner Pencils

These usually come in Kohl or Kajal formulations and are either traditional pencils or newer mechanical pencil styles, the latter are great if you are always losing your pencil sharpener! They come in a whole host of colours, including shimmer and glitter.

Eye Liner Pens

These are like felt tip pens for your eyes and come in a variety of styles from chunky marker pen styles such as Barry M's Wink to finer more precise tips such as Lancome's precision point liner. Again it depends what look you are going for as to which style you choose, chunkier ones tend to be easier to use but if you want a finer, more precise look you are best with a precision tip. Pen liners tend to give a bold look similar to liquid liner but not quite as intense, in my experience they are easier to use but you may need to layer them to achieve a bold look, such as the one shown above, which I created with the Barry M Wink.

Liquid Eyeliner

The classic winged eyeliner look is usually done with a liquid liner, which offers the boldest look but can be trickier to use than other formulations, but once you get the hang of it it becomes second nature! Liquid eyeliners tend to come with either a brush applicator, which I prefer, or a stick type stylus end. Whilst black is the most common colour more brands are offering liquid eyeliners in a range of colours, from subtle to bright shades. For a classic Marilyn Monroe style look Liquid eyeliner is the best choice.

Gel Eyeliner

A new formulation that has become more popular in recent years, gel eyeliners are long lasting and allow you to use a variety of different brushes to create different looks. They are much easier to find these days and many budget brands such as Maybelline do their own versions alongside luxury brands such as Estée Lauder, MAC and Bobbie Brown. Some come with their own brush but these often aren't the best quality so I'd recommend investing in a good eyeliner brush, which you can also use to apply powder eyeshadows as a liner too. A bent angled brush, such as Sephora's, is a good all rounder, making it easy to get down to the lash line. Flat brushes arse also good and make it easy to do a flick.

Different types of eyeliner

Different types of eyeliner from
Different types of eyeliner from | Source

Winged Eyeliner Tutorial

This is a basic tutorial on how to create a winged look, which can be done using any of the formulations above. For beginners I would recommend an eyeliner pen or a gel as these are the least messy! It's best to apply any eyeshadow or primer you want to use before you apply your eyeliner. The look below was created with a liquid eyeliner but the steps work with all eyeliner types!

You will need

  • The eyeliner of your choice (and brush if using one)
  • Some cotton buds/pads and eye makeup remover or cleanser
  • Some black mascara to finish off

Instructions for winged eyeliner

  1. Take your eyeliner and draw a line, as close to the upper lash line as possible towards the outer edge of your eye, don't add in a sweep just yet and don't worry if it's not too straight. You might want to steady your elbow on a table if you wish.
  2. Neaten up the line and make it thicker if you wish, fill in any gaps and even out any wobbles. For a good winged look make the line thicker towards the outer edges of your eyes. Use a cotton bud or pad soaked in eye make up remover to remove any mistakes, when you are happy go to point 4.
  3. To do the winged eyeliner ends first draw one line, starting from the end of the line you have so far in a small upwards sweep (see picture), you can keep it like this if you like the look of it or if you prefer a bolder, chunkier look head to step 5.
  4. Starting from the bottom outside corner of your lashes, draw another sweep upwards to meet the end of the first sweep (see picture) you should have a little triangular-ish shape
  5. Fill in this triangle with eyeliner and you're done! Neaten up any smudges or wobbles with a cotton bud and finish off with your favourite mascara and some smudgy eyeliner under your bottom lashes if you wish. For extra thick looking lashes you can apply liner (not liquid as it will sting! but gel, pencil and pen are o.k) on the underside of your lashes. You can experiment with different angles and sizes of sweep until you find a look you like!


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