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Celebrity Makeup Artist: Winged Eyeliner Takes Years off Your Look in Seconds

And it's much easier to do thank you think...with these brilliant tips!

It truly is amazing how a little flick of eyeliner at the outer corner of each eye can be totally transformative to your look. And while applying winged eyeliner isn’t a new technique — Old Hollywood stars Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor famously wore their eyeliner this way — TikTok is making this makeup trick go viral again as videos tagged with #wingedeyeliner have garnered over 540 million views. Intrigued to learn more? We thought so! Keep scrolling to hear the age-defying benefits of the trend from makeup artists and see all the different ways that help you create winged eyeliner with ease.

How winged eyeliner benefits women over 40

Winged liner is great at any age, but especially for women 40 and older, says makeup artist Emily Gray, who has worked with Kimberly Schalpman and LeAnn Rimes. “It allows you to extend and lift the eye, it gives saggy or droopy eyelids a lift and snatches the face up and out.” Winged eyeliner also adds definition as well as a bit of contrast to really accentuate eyes.

Plus, it can make thinning lashes look more lush, says makeup artist and YouTuber Shonagh Scott. “It makes the eyelashes look a little bit fuller because it creates a shadow behind the lash line,” she explains in her how-to video below. She also insists, “whether you’re 16 or 86, it can work for you.” 

Additionally, winged eyeliner can fake the look of a canthal tilt, which factors in to your perceived attractiveness.

How to do winged eyeliner

The benefits of winged eyeliner sure sound great, but even if we’re ready to try this trend, for some of us the hesitation is more about applying it correctly. “Winged liner does require a steady hand,” says Gray. “But there’s no need to be scared to try it!” That’s because, she says, there are several hacks to achieve the perfect wing for those of us who aren’t so handy with eyeliner. And since winged eyeliner techniques aren’t one size fits all, it’s a good idea to experiment with different strategies. Here, 5 application tricks that make achieving winged eyeliner a cinch.

1. Winged eyeliner using a cotton swab

Jessica Chastain with winged eyeliner
Getty

“Personally, I use Q-tips frequently on my clientele for winged liner,” says Gray. She adds that using the medicine cabinet staple “gives you the control to really form your wing, so it looks great like Jessica Chastain’s eyeliner above. Plus, this technique “also relieves the pressure of feeling like you have to perfectly be doing a wing right off the bat.” 

To do: Draw your winged eyeliner however you would like. Then, use a cotton swab with a bit of micellar water or makeup remover to clean up the bottom part of the wing and create its sharp edge. Repeat on the other eye. For the best finish, Gray prefers the fine tip version of cotton swabs, like Q-tip Precision Tips (Buy from Walgreens, $4.29).

Check out the below video by beauty influencer and TikToker Mary Hubbard to see this tip in action.

2. Winged eyeliner using a tape guide

Eva Longoria with winged eyeliner using the tape trick
Getty

“For the tape trick, simply align a piece of tape from the outer corner of your eye to the end of the eyebrow,” says Gray. “This will provide the perfect guide for the winged liner.”

To do: Use a 1-inch piece of Scotch tape and line it up just below the lash line at the outer corner of each eye. Place it at a slight angle, with the end pointing up towards the temple, so the skin is slightly lifted. Then, use eyeliner to line eyes along the tape line, like TikToker Stefanie Fritz does in the video below. Finish by removing the tape and repeat on the other eye. Devotees of this method say it’s impossible to mess up!

@stefaniefritzxo

Trouble with winged liner? Have you tried scotch tape? You are gonna want to save this post. @brynne inspired me to try this and I have to say I’m into it. I started off with a soft wash of concealer all over the lid. Next we are laying down the tape. Take your time here. I like to line up with my lower lash line and ensure the tape is pressed down firmly and headed in a direction that is lifted. Look for both sides being even. I did a dusting of bronzer all over the lid and into the crease. Next do liquid liner or pencil liner and concentrate it on your lash line and onto the tape. Next take a flat brush or a pencil brush with a dark matte shadow and smoke out your liner. Blending in horizontally. I fluffed that out with the same crease brush that had the bronzer on it. 
Carefully holding your skin taut pull back the tape. I didn’t get it perfect but no big deal clean it up with a qtip. I add mascara then finish my face. After foundation and concealer, I take more bronzer and run it under the bottom lash line and boom! Looks like you are really talented but it’s all in the tape job. Thank you Brynne for the inspo! Would you try this? #easywingedliner #easyeyeliner #wingedliner #wingedlinertutorial #wingedlinerwithtape #scotchtapeeyeliner #brynnemarieeeemakeup

♬ original sound – STEFANIE FRITZ •OVER 40 PROMUA

3. Winged eyeliner using the spoon hack

Mila Kunis with winged eyeliner
Getty

The best tool to create the perfect swoop for winged eyeliner, like Mila Kunis has above, beauty influencers say is right in the kitchen in the form of a teaspoon.

To do: Place the bowl of a clean spoon over your eyelid. Then at the lash line, trace the curve of the spoon outward. Remove the spoon or place the handle at a tilt at the outer corner to extend and fill in the line, so it reaches the outer corner of the eye. Repeat on the other eye.

A woman using a spoon to create winged eyeliner
Bleacher Everard Photography
Woman using a spoon to create winged eyeliner
Bleacher Everard Photography

Watch the video below from TikToker Heather Connor to see how simple this trick is. 

@schnauzer.mom

it didn’t turn out quite like I wanted but practice will help. #wingedliner #spoontrick #makeuphack

♬ original sound – Heather Connor

4. Winged eyeliner using a finger press trick

Maye Musk with blue eyeliner
Getty

One of the easiest ways to create winged eyeliner is to use your finger to make a small flick like Maye Musk has above. And this technique works especially well for those with hooded eyelids. “If you want a little bit of a wing, but you just can’t do it because you have too much ‘hoodage’ hanging there, I have an eyeliner hack that is going to blow your mind,” promises 65-year-old beauty influencer Cheri Larson Burwell on TikTok.

To do: Apply a swipe a line of gel eyeliner onto one ring finger, then place the finger at the outer corner of one eye and swipe it in an upward motion toward the temple. Repeat on the other eye. Violà — it’s that easy as Burwell shows in the video below.

@maturebeautystudio

Here’s a perfect winged eyeliner hack, especially if you have mature hooded eyes. I’m using a gel eyeliner from @revantcosmetics and it works great! Check out my Bl0 for information on my Seint makeup or to get a complimentary color match. #wingedliner #wingedeyeliner #wingedeyelinertutorial #hoodedeyemakeup #hoodedeyes #hoodedeyesmakeup #hoodedeyetips #hoodedeysmakeuptips #makeuptipsforbeginners #overfiftymakeup #makeupforolderwomen#over50beauty #makeuptutorial #agingbackwardsafter50 #agingbackwardsafter60 #over60makeup

♬ Champagne Season – Troy Ogletree

Related: Makeup Artist: 2 Ways To Use Eyeliner to Lift Hooded Eyes and Look Younger Instantly

5. Winged eyeliner using the ‘kitten flick’ technique

Angela Basset with kitten flick eyeliner
Getty

For a more subtle winged eyeliner look that doesn’t extend too far out, as shown on Angela Bassett above, try a more modern take with the kitten flick, which is a miniature version of a regular cat eye wing. “It really lifts the outer corner of the eyes so you look more youthful,” says beauty influencer Angie Schmit in her YouTube video below.

To do: Line the upper lash line as you usually do, but stop about two lashes from the outer corner. Then place a blob or dot of a little excess liner at the end of the lash line. Using your finger or an angled brush, smudge the dot of liner, pulling it up toward the edge of brow. Repeat on the other eye. Tip: “You need a creamy eyeliner pencil,” advises Schmit. “Liquid liner won’t cut it because you have to smudge it a bit to get the cat flick out there.” 

The best products to use when creating winged eyeliner 

Gray says that you can use liquid or pencil eyeliners (and even an eyeshadow) to create the wing, it’s really a matter of preference. Keep scrolling to see a few recommendations from her and influencers — plus, a pick loved by celebrities.

Catrice eyeliner
Catrice Cosmetics

Catrice Cosmetics Calligraph Pro Precise 20H Matte Liner (Buy from Catrice Cosmetics, $5)

This is the liquid liner Gray reaches for when she wants to create a winged eyeliner. “I love using liquid liner for creating a cat-eye for mature skin specifically,” she says. “It’s long-wear, matte and allows you to be super precise.” She add that she prefers “liquid on mature clients because it dries quickly so it will not smudge even if you have saggy or droopy eyes.”

Urban Decay eyeliner
Urban Decay/Sephora

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil (Buy from Sephora, $25)

For those that favor pencil eyeliners, Scott recommends using this one. It’s made with hydrating ingredients like cottonseed and jojoba oils that helps the liner glide on easily without pulling on skin.

Catrice eyeliner waterproof
Catrice Cosmetics

Catrice Cosmetics 20H Ultra Precision Gel Eye Pencil (Buy from Catrice Cosmetics, $5)

This pencil is Gray’s top pick. While black eyeliner is universally flattering, she says “I love using dark brown eyeliner on lighter eye colors.” The reason why? “It’s less intense than black and still gives great definition to make eyes really pop.”

Guide Beauty Duo Eyeliner
Guide Beauty Duo

Guide Beauty Duo (Buy from Guide Beauty, $50)

This gel eyeliner and applicator kit is one celebs like Michelle Pfieffer and Selma Blair swear by. The applicator’s long handle and curved tip allows you to easily trace the upper lash line and create winged eyeliner.

Now that we’ve broken it down, winged eyeliner doesn’t seem intimidating so much, does it? So go on and get your ‘wings’ and create winged eyeliner that will make your eyes look lovely and lifted so your natural beauty can take center stage.

Related: Read This Before You Toss Out That Broken Makeup! Genius Alcohol Hack Can Fix It Fast

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