Making Faces

Making Faces: Demistifying the Cat Eye Liner

Hi, I’m Annamarie and I’m a makeup artist!  A year ago, I started a feature on my blog called The Daily Face.  The idea is this: I create a makeup look on myself, photograph it and share with my readers exactly what products I use and the steps I take to achieve the look.  Some of my looks are glamorous, some looks are crazy, some looks are complicated, but even more of them are super simple and easy to recreate!  The only hard-and-fast rule I follow is that makeup should be fun for everyone, no matter how much or little you wear.

I’m going to begin by breaking down the cat eye or “winged liner”, as it is the base of so many other makeup looks.  A lot of women are intimidated by winged liner.  I understand – it takes practice and patience to master.  But with a little effort, these tips should help you on your way toward the perfect cat eye.  I’ve broken down the liners into 4 different styles, which I took the liberty of naming for clarity.

The ’60s Wing:

60s eyeliner

First, line the inner rim of the upper lid from corner to corner.  The inner rim is that weird part under your lashes.

Next, apply as you would normal liner by dragging the eyeliner brush from the inner corner of the eye outward along the lash line.

Then, using the thin point of your eyeliner brush, trace a line from the outer corner of your eye moving upward and out past your eye on a 45 to 55 degree angle.  This line will be the bottom edge of your wing and the tip of the line will be the tip of your wing.  It will be a guide as you apply more liner.

Now, starting from the outer tip of the wing line, apply liner moving inward until it meets the liner along the lashline.  This may leave you with a sort of open wing at the outer corner of your eye, depending on your eye size and shape.

Fill in that wing and touch up areas that don’t fluidly connect.

When I apply this type of liner, I do it in steps using short strokes to build up to the look.  Once everything looks even, I extend the tip of wing a little more.  Leave the bottom of the eyes bare.

This sounds like a lot of steps, but is much easier than trying to apply a winged liner in one fell swoop.


The Low Wing:

winged eyeliner

Follow the first two steps of the ’60s wing.

Then, trace a line outward on a 180 degree angle from the outer corner of the eye.

Next, connect the liner on the lash line to the tip of the wing line by dragging your eyeliner brush outward toward the tip.  Notice that this wing only goes out, it does not go up like the ’60s wing.

The Half Cleopatra:

Follow all the steps of The Low Wing.

Then apply liner on the lower inner rim, but only on the outer corner (to about 45% of the way in).

Next apply liner under the lash line and drag outward until it meets the point of the low wing.  This will make the wing slightly thicker.


The Cleopatra:

cleopatra eyeliner

Follow the steps of The Half Cleopatra.

Then line the entire inner rim of the lower lid.

Finally, extend the wing out a little further to get the dramatic Cleopatra look.

I used MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack (a gel liner) and the MAC 263 angled brush for these looks, because I find it easier than liquid liner for people to apply on themselves.  If you’re brave (BE BRAVE!) and want to use liquid liner, I suggest using liquid liner from The Body Shop – no kidding, it’s the best.  Apply it to your top lid along the lash line as straight as possible without making yourself crazy.  Then take a damp Q-Tip and drag it lightly along the top edge of the liquid liner.  If you are using liner from The Body Shop, doing this should result in a much straighter and smoother edge.  Make dramatic wings and use the Q-tip to get the tips of the wings super pointy.

  • Meghan O’Keefe

    Besides all of this being important and pertinent information to my life (I’m constantly trying to figure out eye liner), please also elaborate on the Parent Trap secret handshake. Can you handshake with yourself?!?

  • Vanja Nastic

    I am so happy you made a tutorial on this and have shared it on this website because I have actually been thinking about finding a great video or tutorial to do this! so thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to do this! its a relatively simple makeup trick but makes the biggest difference!

  • Christine Elizabeth Jacobson

    Eyeliner aside, I love your eyebrows. Not over plucked and incredibly natural.

  • Kristen Haynie

    I sooo needed this! Thank you!

    It’s amazing how just the difference in the eye liner can make such a dramatic difference in the way your eyes look!

  • Christine Knauf

    I wear the 60’s wing and the low wing looks quite often and although you’ve listed the product you use…I’m still wondering how to keep the liner on the inner rims of my eyes. I always have to re-apply several times through out the day. Is this liner waterproof? And if so how do you get it out of your rims when you’re done?

  • Lindsay Jones

    Anna, I’ve been following your tumblr for years! So excited to see you here!

  • Stephanie Berger

    Do you have any eyeliner brush recommendations?

  • Camille Day

    I say this in the spirit of constructive criticism: demystifying. If “demistifying” was a word, this would not be how it’s used.

  • Nikki Lourdes Alfonso

    I tried the 60’s wing this morning! You’re right; so much easier to do it in steps than try to do it in one fell swoop. I feel prettyyy.

  • Jane Ess Gee

    yes, what about those brows? what do you do for them?

  • Sasha Sirozh

    Great tutorial!
    I’m about 5 minutes away from taking my makeup off and trying these…
    I use gel eyeliner too, from Maybelene. It’s great, and lasts AGES. I mean, I worked 9-10 hour shifts in the scorching Spanish summer heat with it, and it… STAYED. It’s incredible for really great price.
    Now to the makeup wipes!!!

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