The Eyeliner Trick That Lifts And Flatters Every Eye Shape

Graphic eyeliner looks that consist of razor-sharp lines have been taking over Instagram feeds, but there's one graphic liner trend that is universally-flattering and beginner-friendly: fishtail eyeliner. While this eyeliner trick is trending now, it's not a recent innovation in eye makeup. Lily Keys, a makeup artist whose celebrity clients include Charli XCX, told Glamour, "It's a take on the retro [1960s] Twiggy eye. It opens your eyes and makes them appear bigger and more feminine, almost doll-like."

According to Vogue, this eyeliner trick stems back to the era of silent movies, as seen on Greta Garbo, and saw a resurgence in the 1950s and 1960s on Hollywood stars Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren. The eyeliner design added "depth and dimension," helping bring life to their eyes in still photographs.

Also known as double-winged eyeliner, MAC Senior National Artist Keri Blair explained why the trend has made a comeback, telling InStyle, "It carries so much duality: It's sexy and glamorous, and it also expresses strength and showcases one's technical prowess in the world of makeup application." 

While Keys cautions that this trick may take a few attempts to master, it's simple enough that anyone could be able to replicate it. The secret to this trick is the illusion the lines help create on your eyes.

Double-winged eyeliner elongates your eyes

It may look intimidating to replicate at first, but double-winged eyeliner can lift and elongate your eye shape. The look consists of winged eyeliner, with an additional wing extending from the bottom lashline, which results in a sliver of negative space. Jenny Patinkin, a celebrity makeup artist, told The Zoe Report, "They [the wings] can be the same length or different, and the tips can point in the same direction or opposite." The end result looks like a fishtail and helps create the illusion of wider eyes.

Celebrity makeup artist Erin Parsons further explained the illusion to Vogue, saying, "By adding the lower doubled wing, you create a 'shadow' from the lashes. [The blank space] between the wings opens the eye, and the focus is on the outside corners, which widens the space between the two eyes." Per Glamour, double-winged eyeliner has made a major comeback, partly due to the look being featured on the TV show, "Euphoria." 

To get a basic double-winged eyeliner look, make sure you're seated at a table and looking into a mirror. Place your elbow on the table to keep a steady hand. Keeping the eyeliner brush close to the lash-line, apply eyeliner on the top eyelids from the inner to the outer corners of the eyes. Then sketch in the wing portion using mini stroke motions. Repeat the process on the bottom eye. Once you master the basic double-winged eyeliner look, you can try more advanced techniques.

How to ace the double-winged eyeliner look

Donni Davy, head makeup artist of "Euphoria," recreated Maddy's double-winged eyeliner in an Instagram tutorial video, giving us major inspiration. This eyeliner look gives maximum elongation by skipping eyeliner on the middle part of your eyelid. 

Using a gel-pot eyeliner or a liquid eyeliner pen, apply a wing to the outer corner of your eye, while ensuring the brush is hugging the lash line. Stop at the midpoint of your eyelid. Lightly dot the second wing from the outer corner of your bottom lash-line and then connect the dots. Finally, apply eyeliner at the inner corners of your eyes. Use a q-tip and micellar water to clean up your lines.

For beginners, MAC makeup artist Keri Blair recommends using an angled eyeliner brush and a black eyeshadow, telling InStyle, "This way I can map out the shape and perfect symmetry before committing to it with a liquid or gel-based eyeliner." Once you master the trick, you can also try experimenting with bright-colored eyeliners. Per Vogue, makeup artist and "Glow Up" judge Val Garland recommends a two-toned double-winged eyeliner look that involves pairing two jewel-toned colors. To highlight the negative space between the double wings, Garland also likes to add a lighter color in the gap.

So go ahead and try out the double-winged eyeliner on your next night out for double the trouble (the good kind of course).