How to get perfect winged eyeliner, every time
Admit it: how many of you clicked through to this post thinking I was going to be showing you how to wear thick red eyeliner?
It was a lot of you, wasn’t it? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but this post is actually just about the regular kind of winged eyeliner: the kind of winged eyeliner I’ve been wearing now for most of my adult life* – so you’d think I’d have gotten pretty good at applying it by now, wouldn’t you?
(*Not constantly, obviously. I mean, I do remove it at night…)
You’d be wrong about that, though, as it happens. I mean, sometimes I manage to do a fairly decent job of applying my eyeliner. Those are normally the times when I’m not planning to go anywhere, so it doesn’t actually matter what my eyeliner looks like. Other times, though, I can spend what feels like DAYS trapped in an endless cycle of painstakingly applying eyeliner to one eye, then totally messing up the other one, then going back to the first one and trying to make it look the same as the second one… then having to go back to the SECOND one to try to make it match the first. The end result? I look like a panda. Who’s been punched in both eyes. Awesome.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I’d assumed I’d probably spend the rest of my life like this: with wonky eyeliner, which looked a bit like it had been applied in the dark, by a small child. With a crayon. Then, one fateful day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when up popped an advert for these guys:
Now, I wouldn’t normally be into a product with an exclamation point in its name, but I was intrigued by these. As you can see from the photo, they’re basically eyeliner stencils: the idea being that you stick them onto your eyelid, colour in the gap, and then peel the stencil off to reveal the perfect winged eyeliner. The advert was accompanied by a short video of a model applying the stencils, and by the time I’d gotten halfway through watching it, I had eBay open in another browser window, looking for a set of my own.
I discovered I could buy a starter set of these for just £2.09 (Which is a strange kind of price, isn’t it? Not £2.10, but 2.09. Interesting.), so I figured I had nothing to lose (well, I mean, I had £2.09 to lose, but I was willing to take the risk), so I ordered them, and, around a week later, they arrived. (You can also buy packs of 80, and – SPOILER ALERT – I will be.)
So! The stencils came in a single pack, and I was quite confused at first, because the photo on the front suggested the pack would allow me to achieve various different eyeliner looks, but all of the stencils looked exactly the same to me. Eventually I worked out that that’s because they ARE all exactly the same: you just achieve the different looks by altering the placement of them on your eyelid. So, if you want a thin line, you place the stencil close to the lashline, if you want a thicker line, you place it further away, and so on. This means there IS still the opportunity to mess up, and get two different styles of winged eyeliner on each eye (Yes, I’ve done it, and yes, I’ll do it again.), but… actually, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what they look like when you apply them:
I don’t really know why I felt the need to demonstrate this, to be honest, because it’s not like you can’t see how they work from the product shot. I can’t even tell you just how long it took me to get these photos, though (OK, I can: it was a LONG time. A really long time. For some reason I just CAN’T get the camera to focus properly when I take close-up selfies. And yes, I could just ask Terry to do it, but while he’d take the photos, he wouldn’t really be into taking all 5,000 of the photos, which is roughly the number I need to take before I get a photo of my face I don’t hate. So THAT’S out.), so I WILL use them.
Anyway, as I was saying, you stick the stencils onto your eyelid, and make sure you have the placement you want for the look you’re going for. I worked this out purely through guesswork, but it’s pretty easy, really, and it’s also quite fun to experiment, so have at it. The next step is to simply take your eyeliner (I used Maybelline’s Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner in brown here. I have a feeling liquid or gel eyeliner will work better with these than pencil would, but I always use liquid eyeliner anyway, so I’m possibly biased…), and fill in the blank space. This was easier than I’d expected it to be: I’m pretty clumsy, so I felt sure I’d manage to mess it up somehow, but it’s really pretty foolproof, and when you peel off the stencil, you’re left with…
Blurry selfies! Yay!
OK, OK: I really wanted to get some awesome, clear, sharp photos to show you what the liner looks like when it’s done, but as I said, camera issues. So I had to resort to selfies, and I hope you get the idea anyway.
So, the verdict? Well, as I said, I’m impressed enough to already be planning to buy the full set when these ones are used up, so I think that sums it up, really. On that note, I think the stickers are supposed to be single-use, but I’ve found that if I carefully replace them on the card when I’m done with them, I can get at least a couple of uses out of each. What’s interesting about using them, though, is that, as well as making winged eyeliner super-easy, they’ve also helped me see where I’ve been going wrong all these years, so I find I do a better job of it even when I’m not using the stickers. Who knows: maybe there’s hope for me yet!