As far as makeup looks go, it doesn’t get much more classic than winged eyeliner. Unfortunately, makeup looks also don’t get much more stressful than winged eyeliner — but the best eyeliners for wings can make the process go a lot more smoothly. When we’re talking wings, we’re talking control: Felt pens with semi-firm tips are easier to apply than fiddly liquids with long, thin brushes; and their fine, pointed tips produce that sharp, clean point you’re going for. Felt tips tend to be less wet than true liquids, too — meaning, less messy and more forgiving — and if you pick a good-quality pen, you’ll get the same intense pigmentation and oil-slick finish that you would with a liquid. Or, another option: Try a pot of gel liner and an angled brush. Gels have great staying power, and their creamy textures glide like a dream. Plus, the angled brush will basically do all the work for you, wing-wise.
Whether you’re using a pen or a gel, be sure to choose a waterproof formula. That way, you can avoid the absolute devastation of your wing smudging, or wiping off entirely, over the course of the day.
Easier still: Choose any of the best eyeliners for wings, listed ahead — and make liberal use of pointed cotton swabs and micellar water to get that point extra-sharp.
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1. Best Drugstore Eyeliner For Wings
With almost 25,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this NYX Epic Ink Liner might be the most-loved liquid eyeliner on the site, period — though customers especially love this under-$10 steal for drawing on clean cat eyes. The semi-flexible felt tip, ultra-dark color, and smooth glide all help with that. And that tiny, precise tip? Ideal for a super-sharp wing. Many customers opt for this vegan, cruelty-free liner as a less expensive alternative to the cult-favorite KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner (and many end up loving this even more).
Relevant review: “It basically fits all of the requirements I would want in my perfect eyeliner. It’s affordable, extremely black, opaque, easy to use, waterproof, stays on for a long time, and the tip is quite thin so you can get wings as sharp as a sword.”
2. Best Prestige Eyeliner For Wings
This stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is a perennial favorite among makeup artists and beauty editors. And, according to 12,000+ five-star Amazon ratings, it’s well worth the splurge. One Amazon shopper reported that their liner looks “perfect every time” with this, which is exactly what we want to hear about a liquid eyeliner. The pigment glides on fluidly and intensely, so you won’t see any skips or need to retrace your line, and it dries down to a gorgeous, high-gloss finish. This comes in several colors other than black — including neutrals, like brown, as well as bolder shades, like pink and dark green — so it’s a great choice if you want to get experimental with your look.
Relevant review: “Stila is the absolute best liquid eyeliner I have ever tried. It doesn’t fade, or crack and stays on through sleeping, or tears. Very very smudge proof and it does not flake AT ALL […] It’s also easy to clean off at the end of the day. No hard scrubbing to get it off, makeup wipes will take it off easily. It’s amazing for creating perfect wings.”
- Available shades: Alloy, Dark Brown, Intense Black, Intense Jade, Intense Labradorite, Intense Smoky Quartz, Midnight, Paradise Pink, White
3. Best Gel Eyeliner For Wings
If you’d prefer to go the gel eyeliner route, the highly rated Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner is a safe bet. This creamy gel applies like butter, and it leaves behind an incredibly intense, true onyx pigment. Despite its creamy texture, this locks in as soon as it dries, and Amazon reviewers with oily lids report that it never transfers or smudges. It comes with a small eyeliner brush, but for drawing wings in particular, you’ll get the best results with a stiff, angled brush. This one from wet n’ wild is a popular pick, and it costs just over a buck on Amazon.
Relevant review: “Winged liner? Never easier. Just a thin line… Perfectly done. All because of how easily this slides on without getting everywhere.”
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