I've already waxed lyrical on how much I love Coco Rocha's retro-cool girl look from this episode of "The Face" and it's her dramatic winged eyeliner that totally makes the whole look. It's such a versatile beauty move that even works with a modern goth-glam aesthetic (at left) and it's so easy to do yourself. Here's how:
First off, you need the main tool, the eyeliner, and there are two types you can use to draw the perfect line: A felt-tip pen or a gel (and an angled application brush).
The pros to a pen: A single tool that's easy to grip and apply, convenient to throw in your purse and you don't have to wash any brushes after the application. Why gel works, too: Some find it easier to control and if you can skillfully fake a smooth line through numerous small dashes of color.
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. By Terry Ligne Blackstar, $43, beauty.com: This is by far my favorite pen. It's on the pricey side, but it's totally worth it. The tip is fine enough to draw the most precise lines, but just-microscopically thick enough to fill in any pesky little eye-wrinkles smoothly. (Hey, we're not all 23-year old alabaster-skinned supermodels, you know). Plus it's waterproof and won't smudge or run at all. It's like the Sharpie of eyeliners.
2. NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker, $8.99, ULTA.com: This is like the "steal" version of the above and it's one of the line's best sellers. The tip is super fine for a defined line and it won't break the bank.
3. Bobbie Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner, $22, bobbiebrowncosmetics.com: This gel eyeliner stays on like it's no one's business and the pigment is so strong. There are also loads of color options because you don't have to just stick with black.
4. MAC 266 Small Angled Brush, $20, maccosmetics.com: The angled brush will allow for precision touches of color. Just remember to wash the brush after application (baby shampoo does the trick).
5. MAC Fluidline, $15, maccosmetics.com: This long-wearing, smudge-proof gel comes in tons of cool, punchy hues. The finish is softer and more fluid, so perfect if you're looking for a thick, plush cat-eye.
How to apply:
First off, dot a primer on your eye-lids and dust a light eye-shadow over to set a foundation. Then, using a pen or gel, start off at your desired point at the outer corner of your eye—the further out and thicker for a more dramatic look, closer in and a finer-line for a subtle daytime look (although I'm a fan of winged eyeliner any time of the day).
Don't draw out one smooth line. Instead slowly fill in the line and thickness with small strokes of continuous color moving out to in. Then do the same on the other eye. Some beauty experts have complicated-sounding application tricks to make the wings symmetrical, like putting a piece of tape along the bottom of your eyelid, angling up so you can trace your wing along the edge. Me, I just go with it and hope for the best. Honestly, mornings are busy, who has time for that? I personally think a little haphazardness looks kind of grungy, model-off-duty cool. Plus you can always fix any flubs with a makeup remover swab.
Finish off with a coat (or coats) of mascara.
You can amp up the look even more by applying a light dusting of shadow—like Coco's subtle gold sheen at the top right. Or as mentioned above, go with a bold liner hue like cobalt, aubergine or teal (the By Terry one is amazing). And if you're really going for impact, lightly line your lower lashes with a soft line of eye-shadow using a flat or angled brush (like Coco's at top left).
Another cool, versatile thing about the winged eyeliner? It's striking enough to opt for a nude lip or go out all with siren red color. Perfect for day-to-night beauty transitions and all your holiday parties (and beyond)!
[Photo Credit: Walter Sassard for Oxygen Media]