Acing the winged eyeliner is a task that almost every woman has struggled with; even makeup pros once grappled with these meager little rascals. So really, do not deem yourself an amateur who will never learn, because as much as we refuse to admit it, we’ve all been there—standing in front of the mirror, with one wing in flight and the other on a downward spiral.

But, you know what can make a difference? Practice. Loads and loads of it; and, of course, the right hacks.

I, for one, was a noob in the eyeliner department for the longest time. However, I persevered, and although I can’t say I’m an absolute pro now, on a good, ‘steady hand’ day I can get that winged liner 73.25% on point about 8/10 times. Those many hours of stalking beauty vloggers and trials and errors in front of the mirror have finally paid off. Here are five tried-and-tested hacks that work, every single time! 

Choose Your Eyeliner Wisely

Eyeliner bobbi brown yves saint laurent nars

  1. The highly pigmented, matte finish of a gel eyeliner is best for long-wear use. Most gel eyeliners come in a pot which is applied using an angled brush. Now, many people find it hard to perfect the winged liner when left to their own devices (in this case, it is the brush), and that’s why this Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner (buy here) (a gel pencil liner) is such a must-have. It basically does the job of the gel pot without the hassle of a brush and gives the finish of a liquid liner. An all-in-one, I must say. Although, I should mention that gel liners often tend to become dry and have a pull and tug effect on the skin. Thus, when investing in a gel liner, be sure to buy one that is smooth and equally moisturising.
  2. The precision of a professional is one that a liquid eyeliner helps you achieve. Slightly trickier than the gel or the pencil, one you’ve mastered the liquid liner you’ll never use any other! They can come as a felt-tip liner or a brush-tip liner. A felt-tip liner, like the Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Automatique (buy here) is rather easy to control, compared to a brush-tip liner which many ladies struggle with (Cue: Raccoon/Panda eyes). Both tips have a similar effect, however, the felt-tip is recommended for creating thicker lines and flicks.
  3. As a beginner, the pencil eyeliner is going to be your saving grace. It’s the easiest to apply and is perfect for newbies. The NARS Night Series Eyeliner (buy here) will help you create the flawless winged tip without having to reach out for the makeup remover to make corrections. The only problems are, the colour pay off on pencil liners isn’t as good (not that definitively dark), and they tend to smudge so they’re unsuitable for long-wear.

Now, Some Seriously Awesome Hacks To Nail The Winged Eyeliner


Scotch Tape
This trick works like a charm. It will help you get the sharpest and slickest finish for not just the bottom, but even the top of the wing (overlap two tapes to create the perfect angle).

Connect The Dots
When your skill level is average but you don’t want to risk it, dotting the upper lid to the desired shape and then pulling a line through it is a safe bet you should be making. Also, consider this the next step towards going pro. Soon you’ll be freestyling, you little genius!

Business Cards Get The Job Done
When pro-beauty YouTube sensation Michelle Phan tells you that business cards can be used to perfect, not just your eyeliner but your mascara, contouring, and eyebrows too, you take notes. An upgrade to the scotch tape trick, you need this multi-purpose hack in your life right now!

Tight-line, Not Eye-line
Winged liner out of your league? Try tight-lining instead. Applying pencil eyeliner in the top inner lash line gives the illusion of an eyeliner without any of the mess. Just make sure the point of the pencil isn’t too sharp; a rounded head is gentle on the eyes and easy to go over and over with until the colour saturation is to your liking.

Here’s A Q-Tip
Eyeliner gone rogue? Rest at ease, the Q-tip is here to save the day. Even a pro can mess up sometimes but if you’re confident about going in freestyle, do it, we say! Just keep a Q-tip at hand; dipped in makeup remover, it will help wipe out any mistakes, strays, or eyeliner transfer on your lids.

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