How to Master Winged Eyeliner in the Time It Takes to Say “I Do”

First things first: Winged and cat-eye liner are not the same thing

Photo by Christopher Velasco

Winged liner—the signature come-hither look made famous by Brigitte Bardot—seduces with its flirty and feminine wiles. And from the red carpet to the aisle, its eye-opening appeal knows no bounds.

We could go on and on about this timeless trend, but before we do, let’s clear up one thing: Winged and cat-eye liner—while both ionic—are not the same thing. The former is all about the upper lid, whereas the latter focuses on the top and bottom.

“This is definitely a sexier approach to take for your wedding. It’s for the bride who wants something really glamorous and elegant,” says celebrity makeup maven Katie Jane Hughes. Ready to give it a go? Follow these steps for perfectly lined peepers:

1. Spritz a MAC 219 Pencil Brush ($25, available at Macy’s) with Prep + Prime Fix+ ($26, MAC) and dip it into the corner of your favorite shadow.
2. Mix it into a paste on the back of your hand. Stare straight into a mirror. “Soften your face in a sort of doey way to make muscles relax, so your eyes are in their most natural state,” says Hughes. Begin making tiny etch marks out and up toward the corner of your brow.
3. Next, connect the wing by moving in toward the lash line. (The more you can keep your eye open, the better.) Mist your brush and go back in to fill in gaps and make it even.<br/>4. Carefully and gently work your way from the outer corner to the inner tear duct, making sure not to tug your eyelid. “Always have pointy Q-tips on hand to clean up any mistakes.”
5. Refine with concealer and set with powder.

Now that you know how to pull off winged liner, take a gander at these gorgeous, wedding-ready variations of the familiar flick.

Metallics are a great alternative to a neutral shade or black,” says Hughes. MAC's Copper Pigment (pictured above) is great for medium skin tones. If you’re fair, opt for silver. Rich gold complements deep complexions.

Multi-Use Pigment in Copper, $22, MAC

This gorgeous wing is sure to make all your wedding guests green with envy. For less-intense color, opt for a dry eyeliner brush and powder shadow. (Just keep in mind, it’s a slower build and takes longer.) “To give it more depth and definition,” says Hughes, “wet your brush, dip it into the shadow, and go over the entire root.”

High Pigment Wet and Dry Eyeshadow in 30 Matte Pine Green, $8, Kiko

For something a bit softer and less graphic, we love this smoky wing. And the gilded touch below the bottom lashes is just so gorgeous. “Use a fluffy pencil brush to kiss on gold powder, like a romantic tear, and blend it out,” Hughes instructs. “Then, I apply concealer on either side.”

Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Edgitorial, $49, Marc Jacobs available at Sephora

Black liquid liner is a sultry staple. For this one, Hughes suggests starting at the inner corner and working your way across to get that smooth, polished line. Here’s a tip: Extending the line outwards elongates eyes. More thickness at the pupil makes them appear wider. For a more doe-eyed look, you can make the line a little fatter in the middle.

Lash Domination Ink Liner, $19, BareMinerals available at Ulta

Ready to rock? “Craft the shape with a pencil. Then blend the edges with a brush to get it gauzy and ethereal.” Finally, use a glitter liner at the root and to fill the wing without taking away softness.

Khôl Eyeliner, $20, Jillian Dempsey; Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Punk Rock, $20, Urban Decay available at Sephora

When it comes to creating this fierce wing, a felt-tip liquid liner (and a set of faux mink flutters) is the way to go. For a sexy effect, smudge a sparkly copper shadow under your lower lash line.

Magical Ink Eyeliner, $9, Kiss Professional; Luxury Palette in the Dolce Vita, $53, Charlotte Tilbury; Faux Mink Collection in Little Black Dress, $6, Kiss Lash Couture available at Walmart

How stunning is this dusky blue wing? Wet your trusty liner brush, dip in iridescent twilight shadow, and run it along your upper lash line. Finish with a few coats of black mascara.

Ready 14.0 Eyeshadow Palette, $45, BareNaturals available at Nordstrom; Monsieur Big Mascara in Black, $25, Lancôme available at Sephora

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