Hello. It’s me, InStyle’s beauty director. I was wondering if you wanted tips from makeup maestro Michael Ashton, the global artistry ambassador for Marc Jacobs Beauty and the genius behind Adele’s amazing cat-eyes. Yes? That’s perfect because Ashton shared his tips, techniques and favorite tools to score this classic beauty look.
Let’s start with the obvious: Mastering winged eyeliner takes practice, so maybe follow along with these steps on a sleepy Sunday afternoon when you have no plans and a few cotton swabs soaked in makeup remover at the ready. Now before you pick up a pen, Ashton suggests getting your shadow set first. “I find eye shadow helps to create a more even texture on the lids, which means you get a sharper finish to the eyeliner.” Try swirling together a mix of soft, shimmering neutrals (think champagne and rose gold) over lids, concentrating the darker shades along the lash line and diffusing upward.
When it comes to applying the eyeliner, some pros suggest sticking a piece of tape on your lids to guide the tip of your pen to symmetrical results. If you go it free-handed, Ashton suggests using a super-fine liner (like Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon, $24; marcjacobsbeauty.com) to achieve detailed precision in sketching the desired shape. Take the pen and nestle the tip into the roots of your lashes at the inner corner of your eye. Slowly glide the point over upper lashes (you can do this in one long swoop, or in little dashes, whichever feels most comfortable). “Build thickness gradually,” he says. So trace over your work, slowly bulking up the line with each pass.
Now the secret to making the shape look sharp and graphic—and also ensuring it stays where you placed it: Use a pointy waterproof liner (like Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $30; sephora.com) to trace over your work, “intensifying and refining the line,” Ashton says. “Finish by winging out the end of the liner into a perfect tapered point.”
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If you've just done all this work in preparation for a big night out, let's get some insurance: Take a soft eyeshadow brush and dip it into translucent powder. Run the brush lightly over your liner (over your upper and lower lash lines). Wait a minute then use the clean brush to dust off any excess powder. This will keep your liner from running down your cheeks. You're welcome!