How to Do Winged Eye Liner

Oh, the famous winged eyeliner. One of the most popular eye makeup looks, yet, also known to be one of the more difficult techniques to master. While it seem a little tricky, especially if you are a beginner, it’s quite simple once you get the hang of it and Red Apple Lipstick has you covered because we are going to show you exactly how to do a winged eyeliner look.

Whether you are a pro at makeup or just getting started, we are sharing some seriously great tips and tricks that will help master this beautiful winged eyeliner technique, no matter your eye shape.  

What Is A Winged Eyeliner?  

Winged liner is an eyeliner technique applied on the top lash line of the eyes just like regular eyeliner. Unlike regular eyeliner, however, it is extended past the outer corner of the eye slightly curving into a pointy flick or wing.   

It’s most often confused with cat-eye liner, which is a type of winged eyeliner, but they are 2 different eyeliner techniques.

Cat-eye liner, which is usually not too thick, is done by applying liner just like you would for a regular winged eyeliner, but the extended tip (which is straighter rather than being flicked) is then filled in to connect to the bottom lash line, creating a triangle shape. The liner is then extended onto the bottom lash line, but only on the outer corner, giving the look of an actual cat-eye.  

Winged eyeliner, on the other hand, is usually applied only on the top lash line. It is a straight line that extends past the outer corner, flicking at the end to create a wing shape. A winged eyeliner does not always connect to the lower lash line and it can be done thin or thick.   

When To Do A Winged Eyeliner?  

Applying a winged eyeliner can give the eyes a sultry, dramatic look to them. So, if you are trying to draw attention to your eyes, a winged eyeliner will do the trick.

Did you know, though, that a winged liner can do more than just give drama to the eyes? In fact, the purpose of winged eyeliner is to enhance and improve the shape of the eyes. Do a winged eyeliner if you want to make the eyes look bigger and longer, to add more symmetry, or to add definition.   

Yes, this technique can seem hard, even challenging at times. The truth is though, this technique can be a lot easier than you think. The key to achieving the perfect winged liner is a little practice, of course, but even more important is knowing your eye shape. Let’s go over the different eye shapes before we talk about how to do winged eyeliner.  

Eye Shapes:  

  • Almond Eyes- oval-shaped with narrow, pointed inner corner and slightly turned up outer corner.  
  • Round Eyes- shaped like doll eyes having a prominent crease and white area around the iris, not appearing connected from the top or bottom lid.  
  • Small Eyes- appear smaller compared to the rest of the features on the face and have a smaller gap between the lashes and brow bone.  
  • Close-Set Eyes- having a smaller gap in between the inner corners of the eyes.  
  • Wide-Set Eyes- opposite of close-set eyes, having a wider space in between the inner corners of the eyes.  
  • Upturned Eyes- outer corners of the eyes are tilted upwards while having a more noticeable lower lid than the top one.  
  • Downturned Eyes- outer corners of the eyes are tilted downwards, pointing to the cheekbones.  
  • Hooded Eyes- having a heavy brow bone and a deep set-crease due to an extra layer of skin drooping over the crease. Eyelids are not visible when the eyes are open, this being because they retract into the crease.  
  • Monolid (single eyelid) Eyes- not having much a, or any, visible fold (crease) which usually separates the eyelid into 2 parts, eyelid and brow bone. Because there is no visible fold, it appears as a single lid. Sometimes also referred to as Asian Eyes.  

How to Do Winged Eyeliner.  

Now that we have discussed what exactly is winged eyeliner and when to do it, let’s talk about how to do it. First, you have to pick your eyeliner formula. There are three main liner formulas available, liquid liner, gel liner, and eyeliner pencil.

Liquid or gel liner is great for a super bold and dramatic liner but tends to be harder and a bit messy to work with. If you are a beginner, you may feel like you do not have much control when using a liquid eyeliner or a gel eyeliner. Pencil eyeliners are easier to work with giving you more control, and are beginner-friendly!   

Look for a pencil eyeliner that is not too soft or too hard, you want something soft enough where you don’t have to tug on the eyes to apply it. However, you don’t want a pencil that is too soft because then you will not have max control over how much product you are applying.

RAL Eye Liner Pencils are the perfect formula, they have the right softness without being overly soft, plus, they won’t irritate the eyes as they are hypo-allergenic. (They come in 5 color options!)  

Noemi’s Suggestion: If you want to use a pencil eyeliner for its ease of use but also want a dramatic look, use the black RAL Eye Liner Pencil to do your winged eyeliner using an angled brush, like the Angled Eye Brush, to smooth and wing the line out. Then, top it off with Black Magic eyeshadow to darken your winged liner and give it a darker and more dramatic look.  

Start by Applying Your Eyeshadow Makeup or Base   

After you have chosen your eyeliner formula, you want to first go ahead and apply your eyeshadows if you will be using any. For a simpler eye, you could always just apply eyeshadow primer and then a base color to the lids. Then it’s time for the winged liner.   

*The following steps are the general basic way to apply a winged eyeliner. It will work with whatever formula of eyeliner you decide to use.  

Apply Liner  

Start by applying eyeliner on top of the upper lash line as you would to line the eyes. Use small, thin strokes to start, and then build-up to the thickness you desire your liner to be.  

Wing Your Liner Out!  

Now it’s time to wing out the liner. Use your lower lash as a guide to get the right angle. Imagine that you’re trying to extend the lower lash line. From that angle, extend your line to wing it out. Once you have done that, you can then fill in to the thickness you want. 

  • Tips for Almond Eyes: Start applying eyeliner from the inner corner, thinly lining across to the outer part of the upper lash line. Once you get to the outer third part, start building it up a bit thicker. Wing your liner by extending from the very tip of the outer corner, stopping your tip just about where the crease of your eye starts.   
  • Tips for Round Eyes: To elongate the eye, draw your liner on just about two-thirds of the way starting from the outer corner. Flick the liner from the outer corner, your wing should be the same length as the tip of your eyebrow. You can also do this in reverse, starting from the outside corner and drawing your liner at an angle going downwards towards the outer corner of the eye. Then continue to apply the liner inwards and stop at the center of the lid.   
  • Tips for Small Eyes: To create the illusion of a bigger eye shape, try a double-winged eyeliner. Apply a winged line following the general basic steps on the upper lash line and then do the same on the bottom lash line, flicking a small wing slightly in a downward angle instead of up.    
  • Tips for Close-Set Eyes: To help the eyes look wider, start applying your liner from the outer corner in thin strokes going just three-fourths of the way. For the wing part, you want to extend the liner out by drawing a line starting at the outer corner. Then join that back to the existing liner line to create a triangle, filling that in. To help open up the eyes even more, apply also a highlight shade of eye shadow on the tear duct area such as ButtercreamChampagneInnocence, or Sand Castle.   
  • Tips for Wide-Set Eyes: Start your eyeliner at the inner corner working your way to the outer corners, maintaining the same thickness across the upper lash line. Wide-set eyes do not need the liner to extend out, just flick the end of the liner at the outer corner upwards, creating a small triangle shape tip.   
  • Tips for Upturned Eyes: You will want to apply eyeliner to both top and bottom lash lines. Start with thin strokes, then thicken the outer edge of the bottom lash line. Add a small wing to the top liner and then, using thin strokes, connect it to the bottom line. 
  • Tips for Downturned Eyes: Start your liner very thin at the inner corner of the eye, thickening just a bit towards the outer corner. Wing the liner out with an angle towards the temples, or crease, not extending past the tip of your eyebrow.   
  • Tips for Hooded Eyes: The trick for hooded eyes is to make sure your liner is visible and not get hidden by the lids. To ensure this, start with the wing part. Create your wing tip where the hood of the lid starts and work your way in, towards the inner corner of the eye. Start applying your liner with thin strokes, then work up to the desired thickness. 
  • Tips for Monolid Eyes: Monolid eyes should either do a very thin winged eyeliner or a very thick and dramatic winged line. Thin Line- start in the middle of the upper lash line, drawing little thin strokes towards the outer edge, extending at the tip with a thin wing. Then, go back and fill in the inner part of the lash line, connecting to the middle part. Thick Liner- start with the thin liner and continue to add layers to thicken until the lid is covered.  

Take your time, you do not want to rush through this, you want to get both sides as even as possible. Do not worry if you make some mistakes, have uneven edges, or have some smudges along the way, you can always use a cotton swab dipped with makeup remover (or moisturizer) to clean up your liner. Cotton swabs are your best friend when doing winged eyeliner.  

 Winged eyeliner can be a little intimidating, even appearing difficult. We are sure, though, that if you follow these tips, you will be a pro at applying winged eyeliner in no time.   

Frequently Asked Questions:  

What is the point of winged eyeliner? 

It enhances and improves the shape of the eyes. It can make the eyes look bigger, longer, add symmetry, and definition.   

Is winged eyeliner still in 2021? 

Yes! It’s among one of the most popular eye makeup trends. 

Do you put eyeshadow on before winged eyeliner? 

You want to apply eyeshadow first and then your eyeliner. 

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