Wing Your Eyeliner

(We’ll teach you how.)

By Carly Phillips

You might not remember everything about your adolescent years, but there was probably eyeliner. That’s when it started, the desire to grow up and keep growing. You morph into a teenager, and the black pencil is ready and waiting.

The Egyptians depended on it, cool girls lived by it and 1990s emo bands rocked it. There were smoky eyes and cat eyes. There were boys and girls. There was glitter, liquid and pencil.

It was the extra edge, and most people can remember when they applied it for the first time. That thick, colored line haphazardly drawn on an eyelid, and the impossible feat of trying to make both eyes look the same. But, just like anything else, practice makes perfect.

“When doing eyeliner, I tell people to hold a mirror under them, or if they are looking in their vanity mirror, to tilt their head backward so they can look down to line their eyes,” says Kaitlin Mingione Hutchinson, senior education consultant at Sephora inside JCPenney in Cape Girardeau. “You want to do small strokes, rather than trying to do a harsh line from beginning to end, which is easier to mess up. It’s kind of like connecting the dots.”

Mingione Hutchinson gives Annabelle Aubuchon, a product consultant at Sephora, a winged look as she explains different ways to make the application easier.

“When you’re doing a wing, typically I would regularly line the eye first, but what is easy for a beginner is stamping,” Mingione Hutchinson says, referring to an eyeliner technique used to perfect the wing involving connecting small, dashed lines along the eyelid rather than drawing a solid line from beginning to end. “You just follow your lid and stamp and then you follow that to your lash line, and then you extend it as far as you want.”

The type of eyeliner you go for depends on where you prefer to place the liner on your eyes, or even the look you want to exude.

“There are two main eyeliner types to choose from, a pencil or a liquid,” says Pati Carr, beauty manager at Sephora. “Typically, when using eye liner on the top of the eye, you want to choose a liquid or pencil. While using eyeliner on the bottom of the eye and waterline, you want to stick to a pencil with either a gel or kohl formula.”

Another thing to think about adding is color.

“I feel like people think they can’t use colored liner, and they definitely can,” Mingione Hutchinson says. “You almost want to think of a color wheel. If you have green eyes … use a purple. Annabelle has blue eyes, so she’d use oranges, reds or a kind of pink.”

“A woman with brown eyes came in and she had olive eyeliner on,” Aubuchon adds. “It was so beautiful.”

The application of eyeliner is not something you “get” over night. Learning a few tips and tricks, becoming familiar with your own eye shape and asking an expert for help are a few things you can do to get started.