Kim Carpluk

7 Easy Steps To Nail Your Winged Liner

By
Share
Ad failed to load

If makeup is a science, then eyeliner is like chemistry. It's impossible to understand until you learn the appropriate laws of nature and physics. Then, it's smooth sailing (HA, get it?). Same goes for winged liner. Out of all of liner looks, how to do a cateye is the easiest to botch and end up more Rock Raccoon than sexy feline. If that's you, no judgment at all, but just follow these seven easy GIFs to correct your course.

It would be dope to be inherently born with the knowledge of how to contour our faces and over-line our lips. But, luckily, all makeup techniques can be learned. It may take patience, and it may take practice, but I promise you don't have to be Leonardo da Vinci to successfully line your lids. Really, a cateye flick involves more math than art, anyways.

As I always say while teaching others how to do makeup, there are 50 ways to get to Florida. You can walk, you can drive, you can take a plane, you can ride a unicycle, etc. It's not that any way is wrong, it's just that some ways are quicker and easier than others. So if you have an eyeliner routine that works for you that you can achieve in half a second, then keep doing it! But if your GPS to Florida is simply broken, or you're looking for some new short cuts, then stick with me and we'll get you to Disney World in no time.

Ad failed to load

1. Tightline

Giphy

So before you even pick up any product, let's talk about how the heck we're going to get that liner into our lashline.

Ad failed to load

There are two major liner faux pas that will literally sabotage your cat eye before you have a chance to even get to the wing. The first is closing your eye completely and shoving the liner in there, hoping that you'll get to your lashline. At the best, you'll miss the waterline completely and see a nude gap under your black liner. At the very worst, you'll see a super bumpy line, like you swiftly decided to do your liner while riding a Six Flags roller coaster. When you close your eye, the skin bunches up a bit, which means the liner will not glide evenly over skin.

However, the second major liner mistake is pulling the skin into oblivion. A lot of people tug their skin to the side to make it taught to successfully and totally fill in the lashline. It makes sense, in theory. But when the skin snaps back, the wings will appear to be at a totally different length and angle than they were when you first applied it. It can totally sabotage your look. Plus, the skin around the eye is very thin, so overtime this trick can literally stretch it out. Not fun.

Instead, hold your mirror directly in front of you. While looking into the mirror, just tilt your head back a bit. All of a sudden, the whole lashline is exposed and the skin is pulled a bit tighter so you won't see any gaps in your line.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

If you're sensitive, like me, and you're using a freestanding mirror, then you might want to place your pointer finger directly behind the lashline and lightly press upward. This action will reveal your waterline so you can fill it in a bit more easily.

But for today, I'm holding my mirror, so we shall make due.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, $20, Sephora

Now, we tightline. This means we want to get as close in to the waterline as possible. The waterline is the fleshy bit right underneath your lashes. Tightlining makes our lashes automatically look fuller and it prevents any weird nude gaps from showing once we apply the cat eye.

Ad failed to load

Because your waterline gets, well, watery, you might want to use a waterproof pencil. I'm using my handy dandy Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero. Definitely use a pencil or a gel pot over a liquid. If you are even able to get the liquid close enough to your waterline, the second it gets near your eye, you run the risk of it bleeding into your eye. It's not a cute feeling, trust me.

Using little dashes between the lashes, starting at the outer corner, work toward the inner corner. Dashes will prevent your line from suddenly trying to travel up to outer space. Even pro makeup artists can't do it in one fell swoop.

2. Create The Angle

Giphy
Ad failed to load

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $20, Sephora

I created the first wing using my best bae, Kat von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. Pro tip: start small, y'all! It's easy to add more product, but it's much harder to take it away once it's there. Point the thinnest part of the applicator tip toward where you want the thinnest part of the line and lightly press the applicator against your eye in small, swiping motions. This is just to create the angle you want to follow as you build your liner.

Imagine an invisible line that continues upward following the angle of your bottom lashline. That's the perfect angle for your cat eye.

Ad failed to load

Don't try to just flick the liner upwards. You have no control over the line that way and the wings may end up very wonky like a sad, sad baby bird. Instead, start outward and drag the line in toward the outer corner of your eye. That way, you have total control over the length and the angle.

3. Connect To The Center

Giphy
Ad failed to load

Connect the point of the wing to the center of the lashline. Again, work in slow, dash-like motions. It's easy to add more, but it's much harder to take it away once it's there.

You want the line to get smaller as it gets closer to the inner corner of the eye. If you taper off the thickness of the wing at the center of the eye, you'll still be able to see the eyeshadow on your lid while the eye is open.

4. Extend To The Inner Corner

Giphy
Ad failed to load

To finish off the line, connect it to the inner corner of the eye. I point the thinnest part of the brush toward where I want the thinnest part of the line, which right now is the inner corner. Then, using small strokes, I connect it toward the center of the lashline.

5. Repeat On The Other Eye

Giphy
Ad failed to load

I quickly applied the liner to my other eye using the same steps. Pretty self-explanatory.

6. Even 'Em Out

Giphy
Ad failed to load

So most humans have asymmetrical eyes. I, for example, have an extreme case of this. My left eye has much more lid space while my right eye has barely any lid space. So that means even if my liner is perfect with my eyes closed, when I open them, there's a good chance it will look totally different on both eyes. Generally, I have to make the liner on my left eye bigger so it optically looks the same as my right.

When I'm done with the liner on both eyes, I'll stare straight ahead and look for any imperfections in the liner. Then, I'll adjust so both wings look the same with my eyes open. This is why it's good to start small with your wings because you may have to add more length or height to the wing. Because we don't walk around like zombies with out lids closed, it's much more important that the wings look the same with the eyes open.

If you make a mistake, it's honestly NBD. Just use a Q-tip or a small liner brush with a tiny amount of eyeshadow primer to clean up any mistakes. Primer will remove the bit you want without emulsifying everything around it, like makeup remover would.

Ad failed to load

Word to the wise: don't sweat the small stuff. We will always see little mistakes and errors that no one else would ever. If you hold your mirror a good foot away from your face and it looks perfect, then it is perfect. Most humans won't get any closer to your face and, if they do, I promise you your liner is not the first thing on their mind.

7. Bonus Step: Tilt Your Eye Upwards

Giphy
Ad failed to load

So you don't have to do this step, but, if you have a naturally downturned eye like me, then this might be helpful.

If your eyes are downturned, that means outer corner or crease of your eye extends downward, which can sometimes make us downturned folk look a little tired or sad.

To combat my downturn-ed-ness, I line the outer third of my bottom lashline with my pencil liner. This enhances the cat eye shape and helps to optically tilt my eye upward. It takes two seconds but makes a big, big difference.

Ad failed to load

If the first time isn't a charm, then the second or third certainly will be. It's just like riding a bike. You might skin some knees at first, but once you learn, you'll never forget.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

These Subtle Red Flags Could Mean You're About To Get Sick, So Here's What To Do

When you're constantly on the move, it can be easy to miss the signals your body is trying to send to you about how you're really feeling. Knowing how to tell you're getting sick isn't necessarily a complicated process. It's more about taking the tim…
By Caroline Burke

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

I Tried Vegan "Spacepaste" & It Looks Like Straight-Up LED Lights On Your Face

As you might have noticed, 2018 is the year for glitter. So many brands have been releasing shining, shimmering formulations like they're going out of style. We're not even halfway through February, and Lemonhead LA has already launched the best glit…
By Kim Carpluk

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Everyone Is So Thirsty Over This “Photo” Of Obama With Facial Hair

It's been a hot minute since President Barack Obama left the Oval office (though it feels like ages), and a lot of us miss him dearly. After leaving the White House, the 44th president remained out of the public eye for a little while, decompressing …
By Daniella Bondar

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas

7 Subtle Red Flags About The Way The Person You're Dating Treats Other People

You've done it. Against all odds, you've found the seemingly perfect person. All of your dates have been amazing, filled with endless hours of deep conversation and sweet affections. And how is it possible that you have, like, everything in common? T…
By Lily Rouff

Opal Hair Is The Latest Color Trend & It's So 'Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century'

If you were a fan of the unicorn highlighters or mermaid hair hues that took over 2017, then you’re in for a treat. A new beauty trend has arisen and it's as fantastical as it gets. These photos of opal hair color prove that too much rainbow is never…
By Ariana Marsh