Winged Liner. Arguably the most frustrating, yet commonly admired element of a statement makeup look. However, a good wing has never come without years of practice and many questionable attempts that have caused post-traumatic stress when Facebook kindly revisits our past at the top of our News Feed. Thanks Facebook.
But, is that ‘one-look-fits-all liquid liner’ REALLY the bee’s knees when comes to perfecting the art of makeup? We think not. *Queue music to the ears of thousands of guys and girls that have felt personally victimised by their liquid liner*
The reality is, no matter how many beauty gurus tell you to keep practicing, or to watch their 2-minute tutorial to ‘nail your wing every time’, or to buy the most specific liquid liner that will take approximately 42 business days to arrive, not all eye shapes suit a classic winged liner.
It took me a long time to realise this. I recall seeing tutorials where girls could close their eyes and just draw a straight line from the middle of their eyelid to the point of their wing and open their eyes with the most snatched liner ever. I would attempt the same. When my eyes were closed – my wing was grade A. Eyes open – my liner looked as crooked as the skid marks of a train that lost control and veered off the tracks. After enough makeup-remover-soaked cotton tips, sticky tape, and wipes, I learned that perhaps for me the classic and bold winged liner either needed to be modified or entirely avoided. This article explores some modifications and/or alternatives that could look more flattering on your eye shape.
While this blog offers suggestions, please remember that makeup is an expression of creativity and should be applied however you see fit!
Almond Eyes & Upturned Eyes
Almond eyes are typically symmetrical and offer a decent amount of lid space that rarely changes when the eyes are opened. As a result, you can really pull off any liner (#blessed). However, to truly accentuate the shape, a liner that begins quite thin on the inside of the eye and thickens toward the outer edge is ideal. If you wish to pursue the wing, a wing that follows on in line with the lower lash line will be most flattering. Almond eyes can also benefit from this eyeliner being smoked out with a darker eyeshadow for a very alluring effect.
Upturned eyes have the outer corner slightly higher than the inner corner. This eye shape can benefit from the same look as described for almond eyes to amplify the lifted effect. Additionally, upturned eyes can benefit from a lower lash line eyeliner that mimics the thickness of the upper lash line.
Round Eyes & Close-Set Eyes
Round eyes also offer a decent amount of flexibility when it comes to different eyeliner looks. With rounded eyes, the primary purpose of eyeliner would be the elongate the eye. To do so, it’s important that you avoid drawing any eyeliner on the inner corners of the eyelid. This will close off the eye and accentuate its round curvature. Therefore, start your liquid liner more towards the middle of the eye for maximum lengthening.
Round eyes are also more likely to have some folding or creasing toward the outer edge of the eye. For this reason, the skin around the eye may experience some movement when the eye is open. Therefore, attempt your liner with your eyes open and keep your wing flatter, not necessarily following the lower lash line.
If you have close-set eyes the same technique applies as you’d be attempting to elongate the eye outward. Additionally, a close-set eye could benefit from a light & shimmery pigment on the inner tear duct to further open the eye.
Wide-set eyes usually sit more than one eye-width apart. To enhance a wide-set eye, a focus on the inner corner of the eye would be ideal. Therefore, begin your liner near the tear duct and follow the natural lash line the whole way across the lid. It’s important you attempt to keep your liner at the same thickness the whole way.
Winged liner is certainly not necessary with wide-set eyes as this can elongate the eye further, however if desired, can be kept to a small flick. If you bypass the wing, you can smoke out the end of the eyeliner on the outer edge, while still keeping a similar thickness, to avoid any harsh edges. If you have slightly bigger eyes that are wide-set, you can also benefit from applying a smokey liner all the way across the lower lash line.
Hooded eyes have a fold in the skin that can rest on part of the lower eye lid. It is one of the most common eye shapes, however proves to be one of the most difficult for winged liner. With a hooded eye shape, you can flatter your eyes in very different ways. The focus is usually to enhance the eye with the illusion of more openness. To do so, you should avoid the use of dark colours in the immediate area surrounding the eye. Therefore, rather than putting eyeliner on the eyelid, use a kohl or pencil eyeliner to tight-line the upper lash line. Less is certainly more when it comes to eyeliner on hooded eyes. To further open up the eyes, curl the lashes and use a bright & shimmery pigment in the tear duct area.
Downturned eyes typically have outer corners falling lower than the inner corners of the eye. Eyeliner can be used to create a lifted illusion. Therefore, wings that are angled upward can counteract the appearance of the downturn. To do so, start your liner from the outer corner of your eye and draw a line that runs parallel to the inner eyebrow, then connect this with a standard line that runs across your lash line.
A mono-lid eye has a smaller eyelid with a less defined socket. This eye shape can benefit from less defined lines. So, scrap the liquid liner, and opt for a kohl or pencil liner. A small cat-eyed wing that boasts a triangular shape can open up the eye.
If you don’t want to ditch the liquid liner, try some eyeshadow before the liner that mirrors the shape of the cat-eye!
So that's it! We hope that this simple guide has assisted some of you in achieving the perfect eyeliner. We know it's easy to fall in to the trap of believing that every look you see on Instagram is easy and imitable. However, different faces and features are enhanced by different techniques, and no 'look' is superior to another.
If you wanted to know what lashes would be most suitable for your eye shape, don't forget to check out our previous blog: What Lashes Suit My Eye Shape?
Please feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts and/or any questions. We love hearing from you!