Ariana Grande's "signature eyeliner technique" relies on her nails

A craftier cat eye trick we never did see

Editor / August 22 2022

Winged liner is a staple for a tonne of celebs, we're well aware, but few do it better (AKA sharper) than Ariana Grande. And yes, though it's highly likely that a pro has performed cat eye magic on her many times, she's actually quite the eyeliner master herself. So how does she do it?! Not without modesty, that's for sure! In a recent TikTok video created for Selfridges UK, Grande started with a disclaimer: "I don't know if it's a good technique," the r.e.m. beauty founder confessed. "I didn't promise that, but I said that I'd do it." Fair!

"This is how I do my eyeliner; I'm just going to wing it," she said (great joke, we know) as she held the skin taut around the eye area to allow for easier application. "I know I'm not supposed to yank, [but] just for now," she added.

Some people start by lining the eye, but Grande goes straight in with the wing first, drawing downward toward her outer corner rather than actually 'winging' or flicking outward. Clever! She's damn good at it too; it only took her two strokes of her trusty felt tip (one directly to the outer corner, and then another slightly below to thicken the wing up). She definitely deserves bonus points for nailing said technique with outer corner lashes already applied; not easy!




However, it was after her general wing application that the real magic happened. While the eyeliner was still damp enough to move, Grande used the top of her long nail to wing it out further, allowing the tapered tip to neaten, sharpen and elongate the tail of her cat eye. Crafty, right?!

She was pretty pleased (and justifiably so) with her handiwork. "Bloody hell; I've done it," she joked in the British accent she'd adopted for the video. Even icons know how hard it is to nail winged liner!



But because she's a relatable queen, Grande did admit to slightly struggling with symmetry. "Woah, different vibe on this side," she laughed mid-application. "Hey, buckle up, we went somewhere. We went somewhere else on this side, this one's going to a different place."


Honestly, both sides looked pretty damn phenomenal to us, but if eyeliner isn't the great equaliser, we don't know what is. "It went well once and that's what the fun part is," Grande said in closing, and honestly, true. We need that on a motivational t-shirt; we'll be wearing it every time we apply as a reminder that not every day can be an even eyeliner day.

Main image credit: @arianagrande

Want more Grande-inspired beauty tricks to try? Here's why her green highlighter is taking over TikTok...

Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.

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