Makeup Artist’s Guide to Winged Eyeliner

Makeup Artist’s Guide to Winged Eyeliner

How to do a perfect winged liner when you just started your makeup artistry career?

Winged eyeliner and bold lips are the most “painful” subjects for any aspiring makeup artist. It may even take a year or two to become fully confident with lines and with eyeliner as a tool itself. As a budding artist, you have to be patient, give yourself time and practice as often as possible. 

Here are a few tips that should ease your makeup journey: 

1. Practice Makes Perfect

From the get-go, you have to practice. Friends, family, neighbours — rope any and everyone in as your models. And spend as much time practising as possible. In this process, help yourself as much as you can without compromising the comfort of your model. Where to start? Find a comfortable position, ensure you have enough light and a chair that is a comfortable height. Do not lean on the head or face of the model.

2. The Tape Trick

If you’re a budding beauty guru, you’ve undoubtedly seen the medical tape trick that was trending a while back. So if you think that it will work for you, use it. But don’t forget to help it lose its tack a little by sticking it to your hand at least once or twice before applying it to your model’s face. Forget to do this, and it will hold tight to your model’s face. This will make for a painful experience when you try to unstick the tape. And for people with sensitive skin, it can severely irritate. 

The essential part of the tape trick is to stick two pieces, one under each eye at the same angle. This way, you’ll ensure that they look the same. 

Now, before applying the eyeliner, you should assess the situation. While applying primer to your model’s face, check their eyes — observe their form and shape, consider the texture of the skin on their eyelids, etc. Are the eyelids proportional and even? Are they hooded? Is there a crease on the outer corner of the eyelid, and if so, how far does it go? Does it still allow you to take the tail of the liner to the outer corner avoiding the crease? Or is the crease going too far down?

Winged Eyeliner Tape Trick

3. The Right Products, The Right Way

It’s my observation that the easiest way for aspiring makeup artists to learn how to draw winged eyeliner is by practising with a pencil liner first. 

Below is a list of the eyeliners we’ve tried and tested. All these liners are ultra-black in colour, long-lasting and very easy to use. Of course, everyone has the tools and materials they prefer to use. And whether you’re comfortable with those I recommend is entirely subjective.

My Favourite Eyeliner Pencil

Easy to hold and predictable with a soft liquid texture and the perfect tail, Trooper by Kat Von D Beauty is my favourite. Some of the craziest eyeliner looks I’ve done were with this liner. 

Unfortunately, our options are a bit limited in South Africa, and we don’t have a retailer who stocks the Kat Von D Beauty line. However, after months of searching, I found a suitable alternative — Epic Ink Liner by NYX Cosmetics SA. With almost all the same features, ease of use and a soft texture, it’s the perfect match. I would advise you be careful not to drop it though — I accidentally did once, and it became waterish soon after that. Aside from that, it’s the ideal pencil for anyone starting their makeup journey. 

Makeup Revolution SA’s black liner pencil is rather affordable and easy to use. Just try not to turn or store this one upside down as this may cause it to stop working. 

To consider yourself a professional, you must be able to draw liner regardless of time, condition and product. Once you’ve gained enough experience and practice with this look, it’s time to graduate onto a more premium product. When you get to this stage, I recommend trying Inglot’s Black Gel Liner — it’s the longest-lasting liner I’ve used, ever. I should mention that it is also very fast-drying, making it sort of tricky to fix your mistakes. 

If your client’s eyelids have a large surface area of skin, the eyeliner might look bumpy. But, this is the price you pay for a long-lasting effect, as these sort of products are always thicker in texture. Whichever liner you decide on, this is a must-have product for any makeup artist. 

Pot Liner? 

If you prefer to use a pot-style liner, the most important thing is to invest in the right tools. An eyeliner brush from a professional set usually proves to be useless. Some people find angled brush easier to work with as it allows you to draw the tail of the winged eyeliner with one sweep. That’s why I suggest to, instead, purchase a branded brush. Trust me, it’s well worth it!

Here are a few brushes that get my approval: 

  • Inglot’s angled brush 31T will help you to draw the perfect tiny line above your lashes when needed as a base or basic liner before eyelash application. 
  • The Mac Cosmetics 210 is my second favourite classic eyeliner brush. It’s the best friend of professional makeup artists around the world, so why not make it your best friend too? This brush has the perfect texture — it’s the right balance between soft and hard; there are no surprises with this brush.

Final Thoughts

If you’re relatively new to this, do yourself a favour by preparing a small concealer brush with makeup remover before you draw the liner, so you’re ready to clean those inevitable mistakes.

You can learn all about this and so much more with our Beginner’s and Short Intensive Professional Makeup Courses all available at the Make It Bright Makeup Academy.

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