Winging your eyeliner can be one of the most impossible tasks of your makeup routine, leaving you cursing your favorite liner pen and screaming toward the heavens. Luckily, the Internet will always come to the rescue, providing you with Pinterest hacks and YouTube tutorials to teach you shortcuts to winging your liner with beauty and finesse. But do those hacks truly work? Which are actually worth your time, and which will leave you rubbing your eyes furiously, desperate to start over?
When testing out these methods, we used a felt tipped eyeliner pen, specifically Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in black (Sephora, $19).
1. The Old Tape Trick
This is probably the most famous cat-eye shortcut. I've heard women swear and up and down about using tape to get the most precise line, but I've always been a little skeptical.
How it works: Apply tape to the ends of your lower lash line, reaching to the bottom of where your eyebrows end. Draw your wing at the edge of the tape, connect it back into a slight triangle, and then line the rest of your eye.
Look how pretty I look with tape under my eyes!
What We Thought:
In case you can't tell by the expression on my face, I was less than pleased by this method. First of all, it was hard to make the tape sit in just the right place under my lash line that would create a line back to my lid. For the most part, I had a line floating in space until I was able to connect it myself. Also, tape isn't that much of a straight edge! It crinkles with your eye, and it's insanely hard to get it to lay down flat. As a result, I got this jagged line (if you can see from the picture) that bends right by my crease.
It may be difficult to see, but the other side came out way too thick for reasons I'm still unable to explain. And similarly, it was a jagged, bendy line. Maybe I'm not great at this method, or maybe I'm overly critical of my eyeliner, but I wasn't a fan.
On to the next one!
2. Using a Spoon
This one comes to you courtesy of Cosmo. Up until this point, we've heard of people using the ends of butter knives for a straight edge, but never a spoon!
How it works: Use the end of the spoon to draw the straight edge of your flick from your crease to your lower lash line. To complete the swoop on the inside of your lid, place the actual spoon over your eye to get a nice curve.
What We Thought:Again, not so pleased. First thing I noticed is that it's not very pleasant having a spoon on your face. It's cold, and it presses into your eyelid in a way that really isn't very comfortable. But yet, beauty is pain, and I would have been willing to make the sacrifice if the look came out well.
But, it didn't. Spoons are even more difficult to keep in place for a straight edge than tape. When creating the rest of the swoop inside of lid, the curve of the spoon didn't match up with my eye very well, and the result is a strange, disfigured point sticking out of my eye. Also, the spoon set me up for failure with the rest of my lid, and the liner came out really jagged. Wouldn't recommend this, plus your mom may not like having liner on her spoons.
3. Drawing Your Wing Toward Your Eye Instead of Away
If you're looking for more freehand action, then Cosmo recommends this tip as well.
How it works: Instead of drawing your wing from the base of your lash line out, start where you want your flick to end, and draw toward your eye. This way, you can make your wings even on both sides, and decide the length without any mishaps.
What we thought: We're finally getting better! Drawing the wing downward gave me a lot more control on its shape and length. As a result, I was definitely able to achieve a much more precise look, even though I was doing it freehand. I was also able to avoid the crease in my eye that tends to make my liner bend. It takes a little getting used to but definitely approve!
Tip: If you want, mark two dots on each side of your eye of where your flick will end to make them more symmetrical.
4. Connecting the Dots
If you want more of a guide while making your line freehand, try connecting the dots.
How it works: Place dots strategically across your lid to make it easier to make a smooth line. When you connect the dots, fill the line in with liner and voila!
But to see it in more detail, definitely watch Eimear McElheron's tutorial!
What we thought: Love, love, love this! Look how crisp and precise that line is! Not only was it simple to make your wing when connecting the dots, any mistake you made was easy to fix because you had a stencil of what your liner is supposed to look like. This has to be the most on-fleek my liner has ever looked, and I am definitely trying this method again.
There you have it! Winged liner tricks may be a dime a dozen, but not all of them are created equal. If you want us to test any others, let us know in the comments below!