The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Winged Eyeliner

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To

Easy winged eyeliner

Winged eyeliner is one of my favorite makeup techniques because it makes such a big impact. It’s not always easy to do, though. In fact, sometimes it’s a freaking pain in the butt. Plus, once you screw it up, it’s hard to save the rest of your makeup look.


For those days when I can’t shake the cute, little toddler hanging off my arm, or for the days when, out of pure laziness, I really just can’t get myself to even attempt liquid liner, I use this easy technique to get the same winged liner effect, but with a lot less frustration!

Rather than using a liquid or gel liner, I use an angled brush and a black or super dark brown eyeshadow like Black or Espresso from the Lorac Pro Palette because they’re easy to work with and super goof-proof.

By the way, I think the best brush of all time to use for this lazy girl’s winged liner is the MAC 266, if you happen to have one. It pretty much does the work for you.

The Black shade in the Lorac Pro palette is great!

The Black shade in the Lorac Pro palette is great!

One of my all time favorite brushes!

One of my all-time favorite brushes!

Dipย your angled brush in your shadow, then tap the brush against the side of your table to remove any excess. If you don’t do this, you’ll get all of that lovely fallout on your cheeks instead.

Next, using a pressing motion, press the shadow into your lash line. I like pressing the color instead of sweeping it because I think I get a much better, more intense color payoff.

Press the shadow into the upper lashline

Press the shadow into your upper lash line

Now, angling your brush upward, make a line as if you were continuing your lower lash line. If you follow that imaginary line, you’ll get the most flattering shape for your eye.

And I use a little flicking motion at the end of the line to make sure I get a diffused tip.

Create a line following the lower lashline

Create a line following the lower lash line

The next step is a little harder to explain, so here’s a quick video to show what I’m doing. Basically, I’m flipping my brush the other way round, and flicking it to fill in the shape of the line I want. Again, by using that flicking motion, you get a pretty diffused look, rather than a harsh line. It’s has a pretty, soft look to it.

Literally, that’s it! You’re done! ๐Ÿ™‚ How easy was that?


I will say, though, that having the right brush makes this a thousand times easier if you’re having a hard time with it. I promise.

The finished lazy girl's liner look!

The finished lazy girl’s liner look!

This is usually the liner style that I like to use on brides who request winged eyeliner. I think it looks a lot softer and prettier and isn’t as harsh as liquid liner can look.

Sometimes I’ll use a dark brown or even a plummy color, and and if I want to soften the line even more, I’ll take a blending brush and run over it a little bit.

I hope this makes your life just a little bit easier, and if you want, I also did a post on my blog called 4 steps to perfect winged eyeliner using liquid liner.

Jen Clark

Hi, beautiful! I’m Jen from Jen Leigh Beauty. Now, rather than just talking to myself about makeup, I write it down in a blog. Besides being madly in love with anything I can smear on my face (and sharing pics on Instagram), I’m more in love with my hunky husband, my sweet 2-year-old, and my fluffy fur baby. Thank goodness they put up with the madness, because I love chatting about my favorite things with people who understand the addiction.


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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Lulle says:

    That’s also my go-to technique for a soft cat-eye look! In fact I did just that yesterday for a date night. I do line the first few millimiters of my lower lash line when I do that, otherwise I get a weird blank space right at the outer corner of my eye.
    Lulle recently posted … Unboxing: Sephora Play! June 2016

  2. Chelsea says:

    Love this look! I usually use liquid liner (Lancรดme Artliner or Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen), but I’ll have to try this for a different look!

  3. Kelly B. says:

    I totally agree, the right brush makes ALL the difference! This is by far my favorite technique for applying eyeliner, it’s so easy with a good dark eyeshadow!
    Kelly B. recently posted … Sephora Play June 2016 Unboxing

  4. I love my winged liner, but I rarely use powder. It is the technique I have the least practice in. Sounds easy enough though.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Garancia Pscht Magique โ€“ Do you remember foam parties?

  5. Leah Rose says:

    I love using shadow as a liner, so easy to just blend it away if it goes wrong.

  6. anusha says:

    I have expresso in my lorac pocket pro ..Will try this for sure ..thanks!

  7. Becky says:

    I do this for brides, too! Often at a trial they will be adamant about a liquid/gel liner, but usually after trying this they go for it. It is really soft and pretty with some neutral shadow!

    Beekeyper – Latest – Nuxe Rรชve de Miel – in a stick!

  8. Yup, nailed it! And I also like that the powder makes it all look a bit softer.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief vs Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

  9. Alice says:

    WHY have I never thought of this? It looks so beautiful, is so simple and I really needed to find a softer look for my wings ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you!

    Alice | Whiskey Jars Blog

  10. Amanda says:

    BAM! You just solved a makeup mystery for me with your video. It honestly never occured to me to flip the brush the other way to fill in that line. I can’t wait to do this tomorrow. Thank you!!!

  11. Angela says:

    I am always enamored with your liner, Jen. Aspirations ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Mine never turns out right when I use a powder (but maybe that’s the brush?!) but I’ll persevere until I finally get it.

  12. Erin says:

    I do this even with colored shadows too. You can also use the same technique over liquid or pencil to set and diffuse the look a little. I do that too. It’s a great way to soften the look up for conservative work places or bridal looks as you mentioned. It’s also great for brown and grey shades to give definition without the occasional harshness a true black can give! My favorite shades to use with this was actually a Lorac shade from a long time ago, a blackened indigo. They have great matte shades that aren’t flat and the formula really lends itself to this application.
    Erin recently posted … Quick Personal Post

  13. Susan says:

    This is so wearable.
    And easier to achieve than liquid liner which always looks so dramatic.

  14. Chris25 says:

    Yes to easy wings! Thanks for the tip.
    Chris25 recently posted … Review: Lโ€™Oreal Silkissime Eyeliner in True Teal

  15. Mickey says:

    I tried this out and a new way for me to do an eyeliner. Any tips for us oily lids to keep it from running? Lids are great till 2 and then for some reason I get oily then

  16. Maddie says:

    It looks beautiful on you, but my hooded eyelids won’t allow me to wear winged liner. Curses. ๐Ÿ˜ข

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