A Rockabilly Winged Liner Look: This Eye Look’s Mine, So I Walk the Line

Published in: Eyes, Face of the Day (FOTD), Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To

Rockabilly Winged Liner

I “walk the line” with my go-to Rockabilly Wing!

You know I love makeup (duh), but what you may not know about me is that I’ve always been into the rockabilly/psychobilly music scene.

Everybody luuurves Johnny Cash, but I also adore Empress of Fur, the Nekromantix and Tiger Army. Sadly, 1950s-inspired hairstyles and outfits are challenging to keep up with on the day-to-day, especially as a professional and a mom, so I most often indulge my affinity for this “look” by applying a nice big winged cat eye.


When Nicole and I talked about teaming up to show you our tips, tricks and techniques for all things “cat eye,” I immediately knew what I wanted to feature: my go-to Rockabilly Wing! Long before I started my own blog or possessed more makeup than I could choose from on a daily basis, I always had a good black liner in my collection to rock this look quite literally every day.

My arsenal of “tools” has grown exponentially, but somehow I can’t quit this classic.

Grab your favorite liners, put on your favorite vinyl and get ready! 🙂 I’m going to show you how to Walk the Line.

I keep a close watch on this wing of mine,

I keep my cat eye flicked out all the time, 

I pick a long lasting liner formula to bind,

This eye look’s mine…so I walk the line.

Rockabilly Winged Liner

Tools of the trade: (L-R): Scotch Tape, Clio Waterproof Pen Liner in Kill Black, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, Tarte So Fine Microliner, Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Liner in Black, Cynthia Rowley Liner in Black an Laura Mercier Black Karat Baked Eyeshadow

Ah, the good ol’ “Scotch Tape trick.” To be honest with you, for an age I thought this was a bit of an absurd application method. Nowadays, though, while I don’t find this to be practical when I’m applying a small wing, I do gravitate to it for efficacy and clean lines when I want a “go big or go home” cat eye.

I start by angling the tape toward the point at the end of each eyebrow’s wing (using the end of your eyebrow as a guide will help you keep both wings even).

Then I take a creamy pencil liner (my favorite is Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Liner in Black $18), and smudge it along my lash line and the top of the Scotch Tape, ending the smudge where I want the wing’s point to stop.

The best part of this is that you can be as messy as you want! Now isn’t the time for perfection. You’re creating a general blueprint for a look you’ll clean up later.

Once both eyes are smudged and complete, I take a gander at how even the two wings look in the mirror. If I’m satisfied, I gently remove the scotch tape and begin to clean up the cat eye — sharpening lines and pulling the overall look toward the inner corner of my eye — with a liquid liner pen. Like many other liquid liner lovers, I can’t get enough of Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liners. These are some of the best liquid liners I’ve ever had the pleasure of using, and Trooper, which retails for $19, has never let me down.

Rockabilly Winged Liner

Step 1: Applying a rough outline of my Rockabilly Winged Liner with a liner pencil and the aide of Scotch Tape

Rockabilly Winged Liner

Step 2: Scotch Tape removed, I touch up my messy pencil liner with liquid liner to create a more precise wing.

My favorite part? Sweet, even winged liner satisfaction! Thanks to the Scotch Tape and the liquid liner precision work, I’m left with two even, lash-thickening wings that aren’t quite Winehouse but are totally Rockabilly chic.

I very often leave it alone at this point and run some matte brown through my crease for definition…

Rockabilly Winged Liner

Matte black Rockabilly Wing perfection

Rockabilly Winged Liner

Matte black Rockabilly Wing perfection

But who ever said that you had to leave well enough alone? Why stop at matte black winged liner when you can jazz it up with a little shimmer? I don’t personally like too much overt glitter, so Laura Mercier’s Baked Eyeshadow in Black Karat ($25 each) has long been a subtle, yet shimmery, eye lining favorite of mine.

I dip a precision lining brush in a mixing medium (MAC Fix Plus and Inglot Duraline both work, but warm water is a girl’s inexpensive best friend) and wet the shadow, then paint it over the black liner I’ve already applied. The pre-applied black provides a base that makes Black Karat pop, and the result is shimmering but daytime-appropriate winged perfection.

How to do a rockabilly winged liner look

Step 3: For added oomph, I like to take my Rockabilly Wing to the next level with Laura Mercier’s Black Karat Baked Eye Shadow and a liner brush.

For the extreme Rockabilly Wing, this method has always been my best friend. Even on low key days when I just want a slight wing to go with my shadow look, I’ll first prime with pencil, and then go in with liquid. It makes creating the shape more approachable for beginners who are intimidated by the precision that liquid liner often requires.

So, cool cats, how do you walk the line? Do you apply your liner freehand, or use a guide to create your wing? I’m always looking for tips and tricks on this “signature” look!

Jessica Revitte

Jessica is a Project Manager by day and a mommy, soon to be wife, avid reader and makeup lover in the in between times that really count. You may remember her from her former beauty blog, Getting Cheeky. Jessica is stepping out of beauty blogging “retirement” as a creative outlet and is eager to write about makeup, once again bringing her signature cultural, literary and historical twist to the table. See what she’s been up to these days, with and without makeup, on Instagram.


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So far, 18 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chelsea says:

    I love this, especially with the addition of glitter!

  2. I apply my liner free-handed, but it is always a lot smaller than this one. If I do a really big wing, I try getting them even with scotch tape.
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  3. Becky says:

    This looks really beautiful on you – the glitter on the liner is really flattering!


  4. Never in a million years could I get my eyeliner like that. Love the look though. The glitter is so pretty!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Fashion DIY | Customizing a floppy felt hat

  5. Anna says:

    Wow! Beautiful!

  6. Fancie says:

    Looks gorgeous!! I love the touch of shimmer too. I have to try this look soon
    Fancie recently posted … Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks Now Half Off!

  7. Rachel R, says:

    Love the glittery cat eye liner!

  8. Sara says:

    What lipstick are you wearing? Loooove

  9. Lancy says:

    Loved your winged liner look, Jessica! I’d never loved glitters on my eyeliner but this one definitely is a winner.

  10. Mary says:

    What color and brand is the lipstick??

  11. Amanda says:

    I’m catching up on MBB posts and I love this look, Jessica! I also have to second the love for Tiger Army – one of my fave bands of all time. Finally got to see them live earlier this year 🙂

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