Winged liner… it’s the part of your makeup routine that has spawned a thousand memes. One on hand, a strong liner can be the perfect finishing touch to any eye look. On the other, it’s nearly impossible to get it perfectly even unless you have the steady hand of a brain surgeon or makeup artist!
You start off really strong and confident, smugly thinking ‘Oh yeah, I got this,’ as you nail your liner on the first eye. Then, you move on to the second eye and that’s when mayhem strikes. Suddenly, it’s as if you’re a baby using its hands for the very first time. The liner turns out all wonky, so you have to go over it again to try to straighten it up. Then, it’s way thicker than the other eye — so you have to redo that, too. Before you know it, you’ve ended up with a liner look that’s less Adele, more panda.
Thankfully, beauty brands have cottoned on to our love/hate relationship with winged liner and created products that are so easy to use they’re practically impossible to stuff up. Scroll through for our top picks:
I’ve been using this pen liquid liner religiously for about 3 years. Despite having perhaps the most unsteady grip in the world, I find it super easy to handle and it gives me a clean, precise line. The Black Magic has a nice, medium-sized tip but Eyeko also does thinner or thicker liners that are equally superb. It’s also long-lasting, smudge proof and enriched with Widelash to promote lash growth!
Shop the Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner.
There’s nothing more annoying than when you get that little space between your lash line and eyeliner. Thanks to the lash-hugging AccuFlex tip of this gel liner, that will never happen. It’s quite different to any other liner on the market so it’s worth doing a few practice goes. But once you’re used to it, it’s really easy to use and goes on smoothly. It’s also waterproof and will stay put for 24 hours (unless you take it off with makeup remover.)
Shop the Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner.
Pencil liners tend to be a lot easier to handle, but lack the intensity and staying power of a liquid liner. However, this liner from Covergirl has the best of both worlds! It goes on like a pencil but brings the drama like a liquid. We also love that it has the smudger end for when you feel like mixing it up with a smoky eye.
Shop the Covergirl Liquline Blast Eyeliner.
Sometimes, the problem with winged eyeliner isn’t the line itself — but getting the wings even! This genius gadget from Beautyblendr is a triple-sided eyeliner stencil that allows you to effortlessly create a perfect, symmetrical liner look. You simply hold it in place while you apply your liquid, pencil or gel liner and voila, your liner will look like it’s been done by a pro! It also comes in a handy carry case with a 5-times magnifying mirror — perfect for when you’re on the go.
Shop the Beautyblendr Liner Designer.
Even with all the right gear, we all makes mistakes sometimes. If you do happen to smudge your liner, there’s no need to take off all your makeup and start again. With a tool like Mecca Clean Slate Makeup Perfector at the ready, you can simply erase the error and move on. It’s like having a makeup wipe in pen form!
Shop the Mecca Clean Slate Makeup Perfector.
Need some tips for nailing the perfect winged eyeliner? YouTube beauty guru Rachael Brook shared her step-by-step guide for getting it right every time.