Don’t just wing it.
It’s easy to get obsessed with perfecting the winged eyeliner look; you know that if you nail the end result, it’s going to look fab.
But it’s also true that the stages of applying eyeliner can potentially be an emotional roller coaster. So first, make a smart decision when you’re choosing an eyeliner to use. Then take a deep breath; the world is not going to end if you screw up the line of that all-important swoosh. In fact, these eight hacks will help take that pressure off by providing genius ways to get a flawless look.
I should know — I tried all of them. And always, I kept this concept in my back pocket: if I messed up, I could turn the full-on winged look into a far more attainable smokey one…
The Connect-the-Dots eyeliner hack is a pretty straightforward hack that’s kind of guaranteed to work. I was feeling anxious about being able to draw that nice even line in one fell swoop, and the dots create a road map. Con: I used to love Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and the sound of Pee-Wee Herman singing “Connect the dots / La la la la” got stuck in my head.
2. Let’s spoon
With the famous spoon hack, you’re using the straight edge of the spoon to create the bottom part of the wing, and then the rounded part of the actual spoon to do the curve. It works, but if you’re pressing the spoon against your temple for all it’s worth like I did, it’s gonna leave a mark.
3. Down to business
The idea of the business card hack is to use the edge to create the line of the wing. I felt a plastic card, like a credit card, would work better. To totally nerd out, I used my library card.
4. Tape it
I was surprised at how well scotch tape worked to make a dramatic wing. You can use one piece of tape for a straight line, but I created a sort of stencil by using two pieces of tape to leave a point where I wanted the wing to be, and then I filled it in. The process gave me a sort of glamorous old-Hollywood DIY face-lift type feeling, if that makes any sense. If you do this, please do not get the tape over an eyelash, because it will hurt.
5. Wipe out
One Reddit user’s winged eyeliner hack went viral: draw your eyeliner on as messy as you want, and then fold a makeup-removing wipe and swipe up to streamline it. There are some potential pitfalls here — I got a little smudgey — but if you practice, this could be just the ticket for honing the winged look, and also taking the pressure off yourself to get the perfect line the first time.
6. Hashtag smokey
For some reason I was psyched to try the hashtag hack; the idea of drawing a hashtag over my eye seemed fun. Then you smudge the hashtag, which ideally creates a smokey wing. However, it’s not really necessary to draw an actual hashtag — I found myself trying to really nail it, and then I was like, Why? I’m just going to smudge it. It does make for a nice smokey eye, though.
7. Throwing shade
Combining eyeshadow and liner makes for a very sultry eye, and blurs the line (both literally and figuratively!) between the winged look and the smokey look. Needless to say, you do not have to stress about drawing a perfect line when it comes to the hashtag and the eyeshadow hacks. You can also have fun by matching your fave color of eyeshadow with a similarly colored liner.
Featured image via shutterstock.com.
Comment: What’s you foolproof trick for cinching winged liner, every time?
Luisa is SHESAID's beauty writer and a New Yorker who has been writing and editing professionally since 1997, when she started working at New York magazine. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, New York, USA Today, Family Circle, Glamour, and many more. Follow Luisa on Twitter.