It can feel like an almost impossible task, and one that ends more often than not in accepting defeat and sadly swiping away your cat eye dreams with micellar water. And if having the artistic skills to draw a straight line wasn't hard enough, there's also the matter of the moving canvas: the creased, crinkled skin around your eyes.
Just when you think you've finally nailed it, you open your eyes and realise that your once-straight line has become more of a zigzag (or even worse, disappeared altogether). It all comes down to your eye shape, which is one of the reasons that eyeliner can seem so much easier for some than others. But, the good news is, each and every eye shape can wear winged eyeliner – it's just about tweaking your application technique to accommodate for yours!
So, to find out exactly how to apply eyeliner for your eye shape, we consulted an expert. MECCA Beauty Board member Mason is a qualified makeup artist and in-store Colour Specialist – so you could say he knows a thing or two about applying winged eyeliner! Even better, because he's applying makeup on a range of clients, day in and day out, he understands the complexities that come with different eye shapes.
MECCA Colour Specialist and Beauty Board member Mason
Winged eyeliner for almond eyes
How to apply eyeliner: "A great way to emphasise the shape of the eye is to start by creating a thin line following the lower lash to the temple. This creates a beautiful lift to the eye.
"After determining the length of the wing, connect the liner back to your top lash line, stopping before the start of the iris. To finish off your liner, you can tight line (aka lining the waterline underneath your lashes) with a black or brown eye pencil."
Winged eyeliner for round eyes
How to apply eyeliner: "Many different shapes of eyeliner can work for round eyes, depending on the desired look.
"One shape people with round eyes normally love involves lining the top lash line from the tear duct to the end of the lashes, then extending the the wing towards the tail of the brow. This can then be paired with a darker bottom waterline to frame the eyes."
Winged eyeliner for monolids
How to apply eyeliner: "If you have monolid eyes and want your eyes to appear bigger, you can create a wing that starts underneath the eye, then extends straight out. This will draw the appearance of your eye out without minimising your lid space.
"Follow this by tight lining part or the full upper waterline to thicken and darken the lashes, before smudging the bottom outer corner to soften the shape of your eye."
Winged eyeliner for deep-set eyes
How to apply eyeliner: "A way to create the illusion of a brighter eye is accentuate darkness on the outer half of the bottom water line, thus creating contrast. You can follow that by flicking a small amount of liner from the outer corner, following the bottom waterline towards the brow.
"If you have slightly more hooded lids, you can smudge and soften the liner – remember to make sure it looks straight when you're looking forward into a mirror. Brown or black kohl pencils and eyeshadow can be really helpful to do this."
Winged eyeliner for hooded eyes
How to apply eyeliner: "Winged liner can help to give a lift to the eyes and create the illusion of more definition and openness.
"You can start by creating a thin line following your bottom waterline, going upwards (parallel to your eyebrow). Looking straight in the mirror, connect the tip of the liner with your lash line until you reach the end of your eyelid fold.
"Using that point, look down into a mirror and connect the liner straight down to your lashes. This will create a batwing shape, which ensures your liner looks even when your eyes are open. Follow by tight lining underneath the top waterline, which allows your lid to stay bright and open."
Winged eyeliner for upturned eyes
How to apply eyeliner: "To accentuate your eyes, keep your eyeliner on the outer half of the eye. I recommend following the natural direction of your waterline by extending your liner straight out from your lashes.
"You can then connect the top and bottom by adding a small amount of pencil or eyeshadow on the outer corner of the bottom lash line. If you like, it can also be fun to extend the tear duct inwards with liquid eyeliner, then tight lining your top lash line to connect everything."