I discovered the power of winged liner by accident 5 years ago. Back then, I was a junior in high school performing in the drama club’s spring musical, Xanadu. I was cast as the show’s villain, Melpomene, a very dramatic and fabulous character, which meant the makeup had to be on point.
At the time, I wore very minimal makeup and did not have much of an interest in it either. Because of my lack of ability, a cast mate of mine agreed to do my makeup throughout the run of the show. However, on the second night of the run, something unexpected happened (welcome to theatre) and my cast mate was unable to do my makeup. There I stood staring at myself in the mirror with a liquid liner pen in my hand while my theatre comrades were running around like headless chickens behind me. Could I do it? Not only could I do it but could I get it to look good enough in time to get my costume on and be ready for curtain call?
Hell, I had to. Melpomene is not a “wingless” type of chick. She would never be seen without a fully glammed face. The audience’s interpretation of my character was at stake here! I had to do it. I had no choice.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is no high quality photo of my work that night but I can guarantee it probably sucked. However, I do remember feeling a certain way after completing the liner – absolutely entranced. I couldn’t stop looking at myself in the mirror because I had never seen myself look like that. I felt so fierce! So classic! I had no choice but to try it again and again and now, it is one of my go-to looks.
I wish I did have photos from those first days of wingin’ it to show those of you who think you can’t master the wing that we all start as amateurs! Over the years, I have gotten better with controlling what type of wing I want, from skinny and sharp to thicker and retro. It’s takes time people!!
So that was my wing story – hope you all enjoyed it. Now I want to move onto how I create my winged liner currently. I have tried tons of products over the years but I have finally found my go-to’s.
To achieve my wing, I start by applying Makeup Forever’s Mattifying Primer on my lids. I have an oily complexion so preventing midday smudging is a must! Then, I create the inital line with Maybelline EyeStudio Gel Liner in Blackest Black using the pixel-point eyeliner brush from Real Techniques. I use this to get the thickness and basic shape of the wing down. Next, I go in with the NYC Liquid Liner in Black to fill in any empty spots and get the wing nice and precise. Finally, I like to line my waterline with L’oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner in Carbon Black to make the wing seamless with my eye.
These are just my preferences – you really have to try out different products and techniques to figure out which works best for you. But, I do encourage all of you to keep practicing even though you think you suck. Just BELIEVE!
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