Of all the makeup techniques we have to contend with, eyeliner is undoubtedly the trickiest task – particularly when its of the elusive, often rage-inducing winged persuasion. It can feel impossible to get those cat-eye flicks even, and an unsteady hand can result in disaster and ruin the rest of your makeup.
The good news is that every single winged liner aficionado – even cat-eye enthusiast Madison Beer – had to start somewhere, so you can bet that even the pros have made their fair share of wobbly, unsightly mistakes. Those that didn’t give up found tricks to simplify the difficult process, making it easier to do quick eyeliner looks that are sharp and clean, every single time.
Thankfully many are willing to share, which is perhaps why #eyelinerhack has racked up more than 313 million views on TikTok. Here are some of the best eyeliner shortcuts we’ve seen on the platform that actually work.
1. The Sponge
This hack, as demonstrated by Huda Kattan, involves taking any angled makeup sponge, applying a touch of liquid liner to the edge and delicately swiping it across and outwards at the outer corner of the eye. It’s said to leave the perfect wing in its wake, which you can then trace over for extra definition.
2. The Triangle
User @rinalmomen’s technique is probably for intermediates or those with a slightly steadier hand. It involves drawing an initial line from the outer corner of the eye outwards. Next you draw another line from the edge of the first flick inwards – all the way to the middle of the lash line – before filling in the gap. You’re then able to draw a tiny triangle shape beneath that wing and fill in that space too, before cleaning up any mistakes with concealer to create the sharpest line. Apply lashes and mascara, then tightline some black liner through the inner corners of your eyes to give the illusion of one uniform flick.
3. The Powder
Creator @kamilabrav0’s hack is almost foolproof but it involves using a few extra products, including translucent powder and brown eyeshadow. Apply the powder with an angled sponge below the eye area first, as a type of barrier for where you want the liner to go. Next, using an angled eyeshadow or eyeliner brush, apply a little brown eyeshadow along the bottom waterline outwards to create the tail of the wing. Then all you need to do is trace over the eyeshadow with your black liquid liner, and carefully brush off the excess powder. Done!
4. The Lashes
One of the most popular eyeliner hacks of the moment, this trick involves applying your false lashes first, rather than after your winged liner. Start by drawing a straight line up and out from the edge of the eye. Then, take your false lashes and connect the end of the lashes to that line – not along your lash line, like you usually would – leaving a triangle shape of empty space to fill in. Now take your liner and fill in the gaps for the perfect cat-eye.