How to Do Perfect Winged Eyeliner

By Mary Elizabeth Hurn

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We love dramatic winged eyeliner for both dance performances and a night on the town. But getting the right angle (and getting each eye to match) can be tricky. Here’s how to get it right.

Sharpen Up. First things first: If you’re using pencil liner, you’re not going to get a clean line with a dull nub. Make sure your liner is as sharp as when you bought it. We love this adjustable sharpener from Nars. It works with any size pencil and stores shavings so you won’t make a mess backstage.

Get the Right Angle. The tape trick is a surefire way to get a clean, even line. You angle a small piece of Scotch tape under your eye, angled toward your hairline before applying liner. The downside is you need to reapply your foundation to the area under the tape after you remove it. But for eyeliner newbies, the results are worth it.

Overdo It (Then, Clean it Up!). Sometimes it’s easier to remove than apply. Go big with a thick black line. Then dip a Q-tip in eye makeup remover and erase what you don’t need until you have the shape you’re looking for.

Find the Right Line. No matter how great your makeup application skills are, if you’re starting off with an old, chalky liner, your cat eye will still look drab. Here are a few of our favorite products:

Fake It ‘til You Make It. Still can master the cat eye? If all else fails, Sephora makes a decal (yep, basically a sticker) that you can apply quickly and easily. It even comes with glue to make them stay put through your longest performances