Many women have a love-hate relationship with winged eyeliner. We love it for its fierce appearance, but we hate it for how hard it is to create.
Building a flawless cat-eye look takes patience, a steady hand, and a certain level of precision.
Despite what many tutorials will tell you, there is no universal way to achieve the look that dates back to ancient Egypt. Celebrity makeup artist Jenna Kristina has some super simple and surprisingly easy winged eyeliner tricks.
Celebrity makeup artist Jenna Kristina, responsible for Allison Williams’ fierce cat look at the Met Gala, has some super simple and surprisingly easy winged eyeliner tricks
The most classic beauty trend in history
A cat’s eye is one of the oldest and most classic makeup looks, dating back to ancient Egypt where it was favored by women like Cleopatra and Nefertiti.
Fast forward to the 50s and 60s, silver-screen sirens like Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren oozed Hollywood glamor with their flawless winged eye makeup.
Music icon and civil rights activist Nina Simone also made the alluring look relevant with her timeless elegance.
Making eyes look wider and bigger, it’s no wonder the beauty trend has been embraced by today’s biggest names.
Modern stars like Adele and Taylor Swift have appropriated the rising film, ranging from a slim line like Ariana Grande’s to a more dramatic style like Allison Williams at the Met Gala created by Jenna.
Silver-screened sirens like Brigitte Bardot ooze Hollywood glamor with their flawless winged eye makeup
Tips for the novice
A cat eye is one of the trendiest makeup looks, but it can be very difficult to pull off even after years of practice.
To create a neat wing, the go-to medium is most often liquid eyeliner, but that might not be the smartest tool for a beginner.
“I like to suggest using a pencil that has the ability to smudge but also harden after about 30 seconds,” says Jenna, who has worked with Megan Fox, Lucy Hale, Rebecca Rittenhouse and many other stars.
“It helps avoid doing damage and you’ll have more control.”
Another option for a beginner is to create a wing with shadow and a wet brush.
The expert suggests using a very sturdy angled brush and working in small sections.
“It’s easier to nail small sections of the eyeliner,” she explains.
Added: “You can also use this as a template or guide for where to place the liquid eyeliner when you feel ready. Apply the shadow or gel eyeliner, then trace the liquid eyeliner Above.
The product makes the difference
To get that super-heavy vinyl black cat look on Allison at the Met Gala, Jenna used Too Face Better Than Sex Easy Glide Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black.
She loves it for its deep color and fine bristle applicator. It also favors Maybelline Hyper Easy Liquid Liner.
For those who prefer a pencil, Jenna suggests Too Faced Killer Liner 36 Hour Waterproof Gel Eyeliner cosmetics.
She is also a fan of Maybelline’s Tattoo Studio gel pencil.
Music icon and civil rights activist Nina Simone made the seductive look relevant with her timeless elegance
Perfect the movie
“I actually start at the outer edge of the eye,” Jenna shares.
“But if that feels too overwhelming, I suggest facing the liquid liner with the narrowest point towards the hairline and pressing down gently almost like a tampon.”
For a natural look, keep the wingtip short. The further you extend the feline foil, the bolder the look.
Avoid shaky hands
To experience full control, you need to master the grip.
“Make sure your grip on the pen/pencil/brush is light, it helps with fluidity of movement,” says Jenna. ‘Think delicate and graceful.’
Although some products are easier to grip than others, “the best way to hold your hand is the best way for you.”
A steady hand is also crucial for creating a precise line on the lash line.
Always use a hands-free mirror, and some suggest resting the elbow of the drawing hand against a stable surface like a counter for support.
A sharp cat eye is part of Grammy-winning Ariana Grande’s signature look
Create a balance
To make both eyes appear symmetrical, “Always look straight into the mirror with your eyes open,” advises Jenna.
“That way you’ll know exactly what it looks like when finished.
“I always tell people not to rip your skin off, the skin will recede indefinitely and thus change the shape of the line you just drew.”
Fix mistakes without starting over
Anyone who has tried a winged eye knows that mistakes are pretty inevitable.
But instead of starting over and doing even more of a mess, dip a sharp cotton swab into the makeup remover and gently apply to the unwanted product.
If the wing is not as sharp as you would like, use concealer and a flat brush to refine it.