17 July 2015

Liquid Liner: Tips and Tricks

When I read about what beauty bloggers love and hate, liquid liner is usually among the top 3 "hates." I don't hide my love for liquid liner, so I like hearing about why it's so despised.

Arguments range from how time-consuming it is to its difficulty, but several people I've talked to add that they would like to learn to use liquid liner better, "if only." So I'm here today with a pictorial of how I do my winged liner, and a few things I've learned!

Learning to use liquid liner is all its forms was one of the first things I tackled when I started getting into makeup about three years ago. I began with pen-style liners, and went on to the kind you dip. I'm back to liner pens, and I do like them better.

Right now, my favourite is the Dolly Wink black liquid liner, closely followed by the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. I find that brush tips make it easier to do that really fine point. But in the pictorial below, I'm using the stila Stay All Day liner in Dark Brown, which has a felt tip.

I always start with the wing. Draw a straight line from your outer corner outwards, a little bit past the crease. Longer lines will end up a more dramatic look than shorter wings. In the photo, it looks curved because of the curve of my eye. TIP: Tilt your head back a little and "trace" the line of your last lash (if it's been curled). This first line doesn't have to be pretty!

Then, I draw another straight line, this time from the outside towards the eye, making a triangle. I find the line I want to follow by imagining a line from the tip of the wing to my pupil. Again, my straight line looks curved because I have droopy lids. TIP: A narrower triangle creates a finer flick, and a wider triangle (ie. past your pupil) creates a more dramatic winged liner look.

I'll line the rest of the eye like I would with pencil, and start from my inner corner. I keep the line thin near my inner corner and widen it gradually until it's the width I want, usually starting from my iris. Then fill in the triangle. At this point, it's a little funny looking. TIP: Don't close your eye entirely while doing your liner. You need to see how high up your lid you want to go!

Finally, I touch up the inner corner to define it more. See the difference around the outer corner in the last two pics? To beef up the liner where I need it, I'll tilt my head back a bit and draw from the wing inwards. TIP: If you have eyes like mine where the crease is very close to the lash line, drawing a thicker line defines without looking like too much because the crease is a natural "edge."

One last TIP is to do the wing and "triangle" on both eyes at the same time to ensure they're even. Tilt your head back and draw the wing on one eye and then the other. Then make sure they're even! I tend to make my left too steep, and it's easier to remove a single line than the whole thing.

With some practice, I've used these steps to ensure even winged liner in under a minute for both eyes. Hopefully, they're some help to you too!


  1. Ahh you make it look so easy! I love how your liner is curved here for extra "flick". I'm a big fan of liquid liners, but still have not mastered the perfect cat eye -__-

  2. Thank you!! I used to do the look every day for 2 years?? So I've gotten really used to it. Practice really makes perfect!

  3. this was actually super helpful -- i find sketching out the shape to be way less of a commitment than building the wing right away!

  4. Thanks! I like starting with the wing because if I mess up, it's less to clean up!

  5. A makeup artist i used to work with told me always to map out the wing with eye shadow because you could easily wipe it away. It was always genius when she did it, but I'm too lazy for that I think. I only use that trick when I have to put someone else's makeup on!

  6. I can never master the triangle looking the same on both eyes :( My bf always says my eyes look even more not symmetrical after I try to use liner to make them symmetrical haha.

  7. Prreettty! Yours has a "flirty" cat eye look to it! I love liquid liners for when I'm going out or just doing a bold cat eye. I prefer a less precise look for every day look.

    Raincouver Beauty

  8. Close enough is good enough? LOL. I have asymmetrical eyelids so that's why my liner always ends up so thick. But then they look more matchy after, when my eyes are open!

  9. Thank you!! I used to use pencil liner, but then I got into the habit of smudging it and it ended up always looking too 90's grunge LOL. Liquid liner prevents me from looking like I slept in my makeup ;)