What Are Your Winged Liner Woes?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup, Too Faced


I’ve been thinking a lot about winged liner (a.k.a. cat eyeliner) lately.


More than usual.

Maybe it’s because of all the liners that’ve been launching lately, like the colorful Too Faced Sketch Marker Liquid Art Eyeliners at the top.

How often do you think about winged liner? How often do you wear it? And what are your winged liner woes and struggles? I’d like to help.

Are your wings always uneven? Are your lash lines always a different thickness? Whatever your winged liner woes, tell me about them in the comments. Maybe I can help. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I love the winged liner look, and have managed to get my wings pretty even and shapely, BUT my eyes/eyebrows are just too asymmetrical for it to really look nice on me. Oh, well.

    • Karen says:

      My eyes are asymmetrical too! My left eye is smaller than my right and slightly more hooded, and my right eye is bigger, has more lid space and sits higher up. It’s a challenge to get them to look similar (you’re not alone!).

      I do a whole bunch of little cheats to make both my eyes appear symmetrical, and I found them through trial and error. I started by varying the line width on each on; since my left is smaller, I have to make that line slightly thinner. On my right, I have to increase the angle of the wing just a touch.

      A good way to tell if you’re on track is to take picture with your phone, one with your eyes open, and one with them closed, whenever you do winged liner. Over time you’ll be able to see what you do naturally, and then experiment with different line widths, wing angles, etc.

      HTH! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Erin says:

    My eyes are deep set and slightly hooded so it’s almost a no-go on me.
    Erin recently posted … Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser

  3. Agata says:

    I have been wearing winged liner all the time recently. Mine are always uneven but I have definitely gotten much better. And I am really happy to see this colorful eyeliner trend!
    Agata recently posted … Are Beauty Subscriptions Boxes Worth The Money??

  4. Ania says:

    My problem is that I have long and curled eyelashes even without applying any mascara and I just can’t get there, close to my lash line. Also I have this strange thing where one lash grows above the other, I don’t know, like I have two rows of lashes in some places, it,s weird. I always end up having this really thick, uneven line that makes my eyes look smaller. And don’t get me started on the wing part, because it’s the disaster πŸ˜‰

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ania,

      You could try holding your lashes down with the handle of a makeup brush with one hand while you apply your winged liner to keep them out of the way while you’re doing your thing. Close your eye, gently push down the lashes with the handle, and then line your upper lash line. When you line that upper lash line, don’t forget to get in between the lashes as well (it’s easiest to do this with a liquid liner, because the tip is so fine), so that the line looks solid.

      If you have a tendency to draw too thick lines, one thing you can do is do your winged liner first, then eyeshadow second (if you wear shadow). That way, you can draw your line, then correct it if you need to (soak a pointed Q-tip or an angled brush in some makeup remover and remove some off the top). Apply your eyeshadow. If a little bit gets on the liner, don’t worry, just reapply do darken it again.

      For wings, it really helps to set the angle first with a product that’s easy to move and easy to remove, like a eyeliner. You can run the tip of an angled brush across a pencil liner, then use that to draw an outline of wings. Correct the angle if you need to with a Q-tip or an angled brush. Once you have the angle set, then go over it with something more opaque, like a gel or liquid liner.

      Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Shannon says:

    Your tip awhile ago to try applying liner with eyes OPEN has made a huuuuuge difference for me & my eyeliner frustrations! Now I can almost always get my lines nice and balanced πŸ™‚ I tend not to do wings too often since I mostly use twist-up pencil liners which I never sharpen… so crisp lines aren’t typically my go-to, ha. I tend to shy away from structured looks (like winged liner) because it’s harder to disguise your mistakes.
    I do have some trouble making the flick on my winged liner look right, though… I’ve recently realized that I shouldn’t bring the line all the way to the outer corner of my lid before swerving up, because it makes my eyes look droopy (something you mentioned recently, as well!) but I haven’t quite mastered exactly *where* to bring it up. I’m scared that my winged eyeliner game is gonna look all Amy-Winehouse-y, but usually it’s so understated you can hardly tell it’s winged at all. Maybe I need to get a felt tip liner, and just freakin practice more.

    • Karen says:

      Yay! I’m so glad those tips helped. With some practice I bet you’ll be able to figure out where that wing should lift up. If you need a recommendation for a felt tip liner, Clinique makes one that’s fabulous. It’s affordable, super dark black (they also have it in brown), doesn’t make your eyes water, and is super sturdy (yet easy to remove). I also like that it’s shiny but not too shiny.

  6. Angela says:

    I have a bit of a hooded eye (heavy fold??) and when I do my wing, it always looks wonky when I open my eye as it’s tucked under the hood LOL. I’ve been trying to start the line along my lower lash line instead to kind of avoid the problematic area, and using a very light hand with black eyeshadow to map it out (or even leave as is with a faint trace of a wing) seems to help keep them even.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angela,

      I have a bit of a hooded eye situation as well; on some days, my left eye looks very hooded compared to my right. On those days I tightline my upper lash line, then start the wing at the very end to avoid that tucked in look. Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any other questions! HTH. πŸ™‚

  7. Brittany says:

    I have gotten pretty good at winged liner. I have pretty small eyes, so I love the look for making me look like my eyes are a little larger than they are. I find that it helps if I do the wing first and then sketch out my line and fill it in. πŸ™‚

  8. Jennifer Miller says:

    Sadly I cannot wear winged liner. I have a tremor in my hands and it always ends up looking like I applied it while using a jack hammer. It’s not for a lack of trying however…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Have you ever tried bracing your elbow on a table or counter top while applying eyeliner? Some mornings when I have too much coffee and get the shakes I have to do this in order to get a decent line. Sometimes I even prop my body against a way to reduce the movement.

  9. CrystalCandy says:

    I rarely wear eyeliner! I loooove the cat eye look, but one of my eyes is hooded and the other is not.. so it’s very tricky to get my wings even on both eyes.
    CrystalCandy recently posted … Urban Decay Razor Sharp Liquid Eyeliners

  10. Pamela Haddad says:

    Thanks for all the tips above. My wings are still a work in progress, but I am trying. Mostly they’re uneven. But I have a navy liner from Mally with a super stiff brush on one end that seems to help me clean up afterwards. Enjoy the rest of your day! btw, I couldn’t find Sundays with Tabs this weekend. Did I miss it or was Mr Tabs on hiatus? Thanks!!

  11. Chris25 says:

    My eyes are both prominent and deep set. I have to lift the line at the end because there is a hollow at the corner of each eye and my eyeballs bug out as well. It’s weird to figure out lol.

    Here is a post that kinda shows what I mean: https://themakeuptrain.com/2014/01/04/eotd-makeup-challenge-pop-of-color/
    Chris25 recently posted … Tuesday Talk: Self Care Sessions Vol. 5

  12. My issue is usually the product and tools. I’m still looking for the perfect black pot/gel liner, not hard like some of them tend to be. I just bought the Tarte Tarteist one to try since I love their clay pot one (limited edition colors). Liquid liners, I prefer felt tip over brush but then have had many that seem to dry out so you would be in the middle of your wing and boom, a dry patch which tends to ruin your flow. Even when storing them upside down. Now I’ve found KVD’s Tattoo Liner and it’s my new holy grail. Finding the right brush is another issue if I’m using a gel pot liner. Some aren’t pointy enough, some too stiff, angled but too soft, etc, so I’ve been trying different ones with different products. My eye wrinkles tend to mess it up too, so I would do my inner corner and it may spider out into my lines. #themakeupstruggleisrealwhenyoure40
    makeupbykifana recently posted … Made-Up: Swatch Comparisons with Jeffree Star Scorpio

    • Lorraine E.R says:

      The best pot liner & brush combo I’ve found are the L’oreal gel lacquer liner. The included brush is a bit different from the usual drug store little brushes that come with gel pots. You can kind of squish the tip to get it really flat/thin and sharp if you want.

  13. nai says:

    Your winged eyeliner posts are so well-timed for me! You only need to check my IG to see that I haz winged eyeliner probs. I’ve always had one eye that was slightly hooded and the other that was not (I called them my Asian eye and my haole eye, lol). But as I’ve aged, both have gotten more hooded. On a bad day, the wings come out more like handlebar moustaches. =(

    I watched a gazillion YouTube videos and tried a number of techniques. The one you do, where the wing angle is straighter to compensate for the hood, helps a lot. I also now line less of my upper eye than I used to.

    Also, if I’m tired, my Asian eye becomes even more hooded. On those days, I don’t even attempt a wing.

  14. MariaLuisa says:

    I used to wear winged liner all the time. But now that I am 41, my eyes are way too hooded to wear it.

  15. Efrain says:

    Well I don’t wear eyeliner a lot but one thing I found is that because I have a sort of hooded eyes (I’m not sure if I can call my eyes like that because I have a fold on my lids like Asian but in a really little way).

    What I do is go with a thick line and a flick which goes next to the fold, that way when my eyes are open you can see the color and the flick and when you blink you have a badass Amy Winehouse’s lines.

  16. Kate & Zena says:

    My eyes are slightly asymmetric (which everyone’s are) but mine is getting mine at the same height if I freehand them! (Let’s face it, I don’t like busting out my tape every time I want to do a winged eye.) I can make them even, I can get the flick right, but I can forever not get them at the same height! My right is always lower than the left! It’s SO FRUSTRATING!

  17. Gina B. says:

    I don’t even try Ms. Karen!!! They told me at Sephoria that I’ve hooded eyes, and my eyes are so big that I would need to only do part of my eye. I love a cat eye, but I’ve never done it. I’m scared. I’ve lined them with black pencil but never liner. I don’t even know where to begin!!! I’ve watched a ton of video’s and still don’t know how. Now since the girl at Sephoria told me to do a partial, I’m really scared to do it, how would I start to do a partial cat eye?


  18. Symmetry! Definitely symmetry.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | MAC Fulfilled Plushglass

  19. Fancie says:

    Rocking a wing is like second nature to me but I always struggle to make them even. My right eye is always more angled while my left eye always comes out more straight. Like Cleopatra style. Lol it burns me up every time because I have to fix one to get them to match each other with an even angle. I don’t know why it always happens this way lol
    Fancie recently posted … Take a Sweet Dose of Pink with Anastasia!

  20. Rachel R. says:

    I have really deep-set, slightly hooded eyes, so winged liner can be tricky. I have to go pretty dramatic and at a steeper angle than most people. I cheat and use tape to get the angles the same.

  21. samantha says:

    My eyes angel down at the outer edges and I find that I either look a little crazy if the wing goes up too high or look sad if I follow my natural eye line. I love the look on lots of people, and have tried lots of tutorials – but just find it unflattering! Sadly.

  22. Y. says:

    Hey Karen! Just what I was thinking πŸ˜‰ my right wing always comes out perfect but the left is always slightly uneven :/ I’ve tried to even them out but they’re never perfect :/ Until now I was doing a basic eyeliner pencil with eyeshadow on top to set it (but found out it smudged horribly in humid summer weather. ) I’ve tried gel but could not find a perfect black. And I’m not good with liquid eyeliner at all :/ any recommendations?

  23. Khristina says:

    I cannot freehand my cat eye. The only way I can get it done is by using tape as a guide. Doing this, my liner has a sharp edge.

  24. Lorraine E.R says:

    Hi Karen! These look so tempting.
    I would love to do a cat eye with dramatic wings every day! Unevenness can be a problem but the biggest issue for me is they always seem to wipe off…I have hooded eyes so idk maybe that’s the problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge