An exciting feature to any Vintage Inspired or Pinup Makeup look is the characteristic Winged Eyeliner or otherwise known as the ‘Cats Eyes’ of the 1950’s. This is a Makeup look that the stunning Marilyn Monroe mastered & made her own. Vintage Winged Eyeliner is achieved with the use of Liquid Eyeliner & a little bit of practice. Creating those perfect flicks with your Eyeliner seems like a tricky task at first, however with a little bit of practice you will have mastered the look in no time.
There are two main types of Liquid Eyeliners that are the most effective in achieving the Winged Eyeliner look. These are the Gel Eyeliner & the Pen Eyeliner. Gel Eyeliner is typically in a pot or in a jar & is accompanied with a fine tip eyeliner brush. Pen Eyeliner has a fine firm point just as a felt tip pen does. Both Gel & Pen Eyeliners are just as effective as each other for Vintage styles. It really does just come down to your own personal preference & which Eyeliner achieves the best results for you. So go ahead & experiment with both. You never know until you give it a go!
Let us Begin
Once you have applied your beautiful Foundation & Eye Shadow it is time to begin with the Eyeliner. Look straight ahead into the mirror to ensure your Eye Shadow is evenly shaded & blended. If your Eye Shadow is not evenly shaded or blended it can create the illusion of your Eyeliner being uneven or patchy.
Perfecting the Point
If you are using a Gel Eyeliner ensure that the brush is clean & free from any cakey build up that could transfer to your eyelid. If you are using a Pen Eyeliner draw two straight lines on the back of your hand, this is to ensure that the tip is still accurate & fine. If the tip isn’t take a tissue & a small amount of warm water to wipe the Eyeliner tip clean. Repeat the test on the back of your hand. Well taken care of brushes & products will make your eyeliner a great deal less difficult to apply.
NOTE: Make it a rule to clean your Eyeliner & Mascara after each & every use. Doing so will help to lessen the chance of any nasty bacteria forming that could damage your pretty eyes. This is especially important if you wear contact lenses like I do.
- Look straight ahead into the mirror; ensure that your chin is slightly raised & that your pupils are fixed straight ahead with your eyebrows relaxed. This will allow your eyelids to almost create a mirror position to each other.
- Decide how high you would like the final point of the wing to be on the outside of the eye (avoid going past the end of your eyebrow).
- Once you have decided on the position take the tip of your Eyeliner & place a small dot in the desired position. Do the same on your other eye.
- Step back for a moment to check that the dots are even in terms of height & length in accordance to the eye. This is a vital step in getting your Eyeliner even & to finish at the same point.
- Now take your Eyeliner & place another small dot on the inside corner of your eye lid. This will be the point at which your eyeliner will begin. Step back & ensure that your eyeliner is even. Traditionally vintage eyeliner begins in the inner most corner of your eye. But of course you can do what works best for you.
- Look straight ahead into the mirror again, place a small dot above the most middle point of your pupil at a height & thickness that you desire your Eyeliner to be. However do remember it is a great deal easier to start with a thin line & work your way up to a thicker line rather than having to remove any excess Eyeliner. This middle dot will create the highest point for your arch. You now should have three dots on each eye.
Connecting the Dots
If you have a shaky hand steady your hand by lightly resting your elbow on a table or place the base of your hand on your check bone. But don’t anchor either of these too solidly as you will still need to have some flexibility to move back & forth easily across your eyelid. If you do get any wiggly lines don’t worry too much, you can come back later to correct these.
- Take your eyeliner tip & place this on the inner most corner dot, with short small strokes following the natural curve of the eye begin drawing outwards towards the middle dot. Start this line low & as close as possible to your lash line. Doing this will avoid any gaps between your lashes & your Eyeliner.
- Once you have met the middle dot pause to check the evenness of the line. Continue on towards the outside dot using small even strokes as you did before. Don’t go past the final outside dot. Repeat on both eyes.
- Now step back, check for any unevenness, correct any wiggly lines. Even up or thicken the line if necessary.
A lovely friend of mine recently gave me some advice “Remember that your eyes are sisters not twins.” Therefore you must not worry too much if your eyeliner is slightly different in thickness. We are often our own worst critics, chances are no one else will notice if your Eyeliner isn’t perfectly identical on both of your eyes.
NOTE: If you accidently create any smudges or ridges in your eyeliner take a fine cotton tip & lightly dip it into some Eye-Makeup remover. Gently erase away any mishaps. Touch up your Eye Shadow & Eyeliner. Now it is as good as new!
Wonderful Winged Eyes
Now that you have your Eyeliner line it is time to create the signature vintage thick wing on the outer most corner of your eye (refer to the below image as a guide if necessary).
- Place the point of the Eyeliner above where the white of your eye & the pupil meet.
- With one steady sweep of the Eyeliner move it downwards to where the Eyeliner line meets the outer most point. Using one steady sweep of the Eyeliner will create a more defined line to the top of the wing. You should now have a curvy triangle like shape that curves upwards towards your eyebrow. Once again the height & thickness is completely up to you.
- Fill in the space inside the triangle with eyeliner, carefully avoiding going outside of the lines.
- Repeat this process on the other eye & ensure they are both even in thickness & height.
You did it! Step back from the mirror and admire your fantastic Winged Eyeliner that you just created!
NOTE: If the wing has not come to a fine point touch it up with some Eye Makeup Remover on a cotton tip, then redraw the tip of the wing in the correct location.
Allow your eyeliner to settle for a moment as if can often absorb some of your Eye Shadow. If this does happen, delicately retouch the patchy areas with more eyeliner. Now apply your mascara.
A wonderful little tip to enhance your Winged Eyeliner is to apply two or three extra coats to the outer corner top lashes to intensify their length and enhance your Eyeliner Wings. But be careful to not get those lovely eyelashes clumpy.
Winged Eyeliner can really make your eyes stand out & create a very feminine over all look to your makeup. Experiment & don’t be disheartened if you don’t always get your Eyeliner perfect each time. There are always going to be those days when your Eyeliner just won’t go the way you had hoped it would. Just like other makeup products you can have a great deal of fun with different Liquid Eyeliner colours & textures, there is green, blue, pink, gold, glitters & the list goes on. I often use a silver Liquid Eyeliner during Burlesque to create a more metallic look to my eyes but stick to my trusty black Eyeliner for everyday makeup.
Some of the Products that I use to create my Vintage Winged Eyeliner:
(I tend to mix & match my Eyeliners & Mascaras a great deal, but the below products are my current favourites)
Too Faced Cosmetics Eye Shadow Primer
Too Faced Cosmetics Mascara “Lash Gasm” in Black
Lancôme Gel Pot Liner in Deep Black (Not available in Australia or New Zealand)
Chanel Slanted Eyeliner Brush
Clarins Eye Shadow Smudge Brush (For blending out any wiggly lines)
MAC Penultimate Eyeliner Pen in Rapid Black
Clarins Water Proof Eye Makeup Remover
Dior Show Mascara (Waterproof) in Black
Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real” Mascara in Black
MAC Makeup Brush Cleaner
Bloom Glitter Eyeliner in Lucky Star Glitter
As always lovely Pinups I truly do hope this blog helps you when applying & perfecting your Vintage Inspired Eyeliner! I love reading your amazing feedback, so please feel free to email me if you have any questions or would like for me to feature something in my blog for next time.
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Miss Ruby Ribbons x