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Have you ever seen those memes about liquid liner? “Never ask a a person with winged eyeliner why she’s late.” By now, my girlfriends know that if I show face at brunch with a bomb winged look, that cat-eye is 100% responsible for pushing me back a few extra minutes. But it’s all in the name of beauty!

Mastering winged liner — a bold and iconic style when executed right — can be a tricky skill to get down. Luckily, Life & Style is breaking it down, step-by-step, for all the neophytes or experienced makeup-doers who might need a bit of guidance. Whether you’re a fresh newbie or a skillful artist looking to improve and master the skill, keep reading to find out how to execute the perfect winged liner.

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What You’ll Need

Eyelash curler

Liquid liner


Step 1: Start with a base

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Stephanie Osmanski

Before shot with eyebrows concealer, primer, and foundation on the face.

Different people obviously have different preferences when it comes to prepping the face for makeup. Some prefer to do the eye makeup first, so you don’t have to worry about fallout. Others start with a base of face makeup. Here, I started with filled-in brows, primer, concealer, foundation, and basic contouring.

Step 2: Use an eyelash curler

Using a hair dryer, apply a tiny bit of heat to the eyelash curler. Once its temperature is up, apply it to each of your lashes, pumping a few times for height and drama. Curling the lashes first will ensure that it’s easier to ascertain the angle of the liner.

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Stephanie Osmanski

Feature above is the eyelash curler from Tarte.

Step 3: Measure where you want the wing to end up

Hold the liner at the end of your bottom lash line. The wing is going to start here and travel diagonally toward the end point of your eyebrow. While the wing isn’t physically going to stretch all the way up to meet end point of the brow, it should be in line with it. Start mapping out the angled line, as thinly as possible, while ensuring that it is angled perfectly toward the brow.

how to do winged eyeliner 3
Stephanie Osmanski

I used Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner to create the wing.

Step 4: Draw from wing tip to middle of the eyelid

Start at the tip of the wing and carefully draw a straight line toward the middle of the eyelid. It doesn’t have to be perfect (yet) — as you can see in the photo below, it’s still a bit messy at this point. You can always clean it up later by adding a thinner, longer wing, or adding thickness to the top.

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Stephanie Osmanski

Step 5: Color in the triangle the two lines make

Right now it should look like two lines meeting at the lash line — like an open, blank triangle. Fill in that gap by coloring it in with liner, adding as much thickness as is your preference. Clean up the tip of the wing by either making it thicker or lengthening it further toward the brow.

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Stephanie Osmanski

Step 6: Follow along the lash line

The worst is over! Now, continue the wing by following the natural lash line, adjusting the width and thickness to your preference as you go. If you make a mistake, you can always clean things up by using a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover or by adding a bit of concealer to messier spots.

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Stephanie Osmanski

Step 7: Apply mascara

Set the look by applying mascara to the top and bottom lashes. I used Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! 4-in-1 mascara on both the top and bottom. If you’re interested in applying false lashes, now would be the time to incorporate that. I finished off the look, as seen below, by applying bronzer, blush, lipstick, and highlighter — which you can learn how to do step-by-step here.

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wingin’ around 🦋 #part2

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