The winged eyeliner tricks makeup artists swear by

Creating the perfect cat eye is easier than you think

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / May 25 2017

There’s a popular meme that states: “You have to act cool, calm and collected around liquid eyeliner because it can smell your fear.” And for many, that statement rings very true. The constant battle we have with messy formulas and wonky lines that result in smudged and uneven flicks is no laughing matter.

That’s why we turned to three makeup artists from Elizabeth Arden, Revlon and Bobbi Brown to get the lowdown on how exactly to achieve the popular eye makeup look that so many of us have difficulty perfecting. Here’s what we learnt:

#1 / Study your eye shape

To begin with, Revlon’s Australasian Makeup Director, Melanie Burnicle says it’s important to “become familiar with your eye shape” to determine the ideal shape and length of your cat eye. For example, if your eye shape is quite rounded she suggests taking “the liner down the outer edge [of the eye] as it will drag the eye down not up,” making it appear elongated. Alternatively, if you’re looking to make your eyes appear bigger, plan to extend your wing up and out.

#2 / Start with a guideline

Additionally, Elizabeth Arden National Makeup Artist, Stephen Gaskett recommends sketching “three small lines with a sharpened pencil first” to create a guideline for where to draw your line. “Measure how far out the wing should go; do this with a pencil on a diagonal from the point of your nose to the corner of the eye,” he explains. For this, we'd recommend using Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Smoky Eyes Pencil in Gunmetal as the charcoal shade will enable you to create the perfect soft and subtle outline.

#3 / Use small strokes

Once you’ve created the outline for your wing, Burnicle says to look straight ahead into the mirror and “start your line in the middle of the eye before gently moving towards the inner corner.” Bobbi Brown Pro Artist, Alphie Sadsad also says it’s important not to try and create the line in one stroke and instead recommends “working in smaller strokes, connecting each time to create the full line.”

#4 / Get the perfect flick angle

Once you’re ready to draw your flick, Gaskett suggests tracing your outline with liquid liner to create “a thin diagonal line to form the wing. Then make a straight line from the inner eyelid” to connect with the end of your flick, completing your look.

In addition to mastering the technique, the product you use is also important to help you get the perfect line. Some of our favourite felt-tip liquid eyeliners are Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, L’Oréal Paris Superliner Perfect Slim Eyeliner and Estée Lauder Little Black Liner.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

L’Oréal Paris Superliner Perfect Slim Eyeliner

Estée Lauder Little Black Liner

If you prefer applying your winged liner with a gel formula, we'd recommend either the cult-classic Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Revlon ColorStay Crème Gel Eyeliner or IT Cosmetics Liner Love.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Revlon ColorStay Crème Gel Eyeliner

IT Cosmetics Liner Love

Have the flawless cat eye look perfected already? Here are three easy steps to master a classic smoky eye.

Image credit: Getty

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.