If you love the look of slick, winged eyeliner but struggle when it comes to application, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting it right first time, every time. From choosing the right product to perfecting your flick, we show you how…
Step One: Choose Your Tool
If it’s the glossy, fluid flick you’re after, look for a liquid liner. These come in pen-style applicators, which are great for beginners as they are super easy to control. Or, if you want to achieve a sharp and precise finish, try a brush applicator, which has a finer tip and so allows you to get very close to your upper lash line and create a more accurate wing. Plus, you can add more product to the brush for a more intense look. For a pigmented but matte finish, use a gel formula like Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner. This can be applied with an angled brush and goes on slightly thicker with more of a textured finish. Gel formulas also have great staying power.
Step Two: Choose Your Colour
Black is of course the classic colour for a feline flick, but for a twist on the trend, try a brown (particularly flattering for blue eyes) or purple (great for complementing brown, green or hazel eyes). Navy blue can also work well as a softer alternative to black for those with blonde hair.
Top Tip: Instead of trying to create a winged liner in front of a mounted wall mirror, use a smaller handheld mirror and hold it just below your nose so you are looking down into it, as opposed to directly opposite your reflection. Casting your gaze downwards slightly gives you more space to create your wing, especially if you have smaller or hooded eyes. A smaller mirror also allows you to hone in and really focus on your eyes as opposed to seeing your face in its entirety.
Step Three: Ready, Steady, Flick
The trick to creating a flawless flick is to steady your elbow on a hard flat surface or rest your pinky finger on your cheek and grasp the liner between your index finger and thumb for ultimate control. Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, who created our campaign images recommends letting the skin on the eye go where it wants to go, as opposed to pulling the skin taught. This way the liner is more likely to sit where it naturally should in relation to your eye, and less likely to smudge or transfer when you start to move your face.
Step Four: Map Out The Liner
Begin by mapping out the liner along your upper lashline in sections. Start by placing a dot directly above your iris, and a second dot half way between the outer most corner of the eye and the iris.
Step Five: Connect The Dots
Join up the dots in two small movements to create a single, solid line.
Step Six: The Flick
For the flick itself, start at the lower lash line and drag the liner out at the corner of the eye towards the end of your eyebrow. To complete the look, trace the liner back towards the outer corner of the eye.
Top Tip: To clean up any mistakes or sharpen the line, Katie suggests dipping a pointed cotton bud in a rich face cream instead of makeup remover and gently removing any unwanted product. Doing this will ensure any excess liner is picked up but without disturbing too much of your foundation or base product underneath.