I don't have rules, well I do but many are broken in the makeup world. The only one that I do try to follow is to have the makeup look as 3D as possible since my face is also. And, this is important in eyelining. You don't want your eyeliner to stand at the "corner" like it is waiting for some action, you want it to turn; especially important as one gets older. Eyelining that worked in your teens and twenties probably does not look the same due to the facial (muscular) structure. The face becomes more rounded and full which is inevitable. Makeup should reflect this change. If I never allowed my makeup to evolve, then I would probably still be stuck high school (which was during the stone age days)!
Types of Eyeliner
Nowadays, there are so many types of eyelining products that come in an array of colors and textures like cake, gel, cream, liquid, pencils, and felt tip marker like products. I mostly use cake because that is the easiest for me. The type doesn't matter, it is your preference. However, the different forms will give different results, especially in photographs (that involve no retouching). Cake eyeliner shows up as the most subtle. Gel gives more definiton and if used with a subtle touch can look natural or defined, if too much is applied it can look overpowering since the color is so saturated. Cream is in between the cake and gel; it can be subtle and defined without looking too saturated. Pencils are the easiest and it really varies on the amount of pigment, yet it isn't that great when detailed lining is needed. Liquid and felt tip have a strong presence on the eye. If you are looking for strong definition, these two types would be it.
I know I have covered this in my eyeshadow application posts but eyelining isn't easy for some. It does take practice and some understanding. So, like a chef who deconstructs food, I would like to deconstruct winged eyelining by using different eye shapes. Many of you may say, winged eyelining is not for you because you don't have the eye shape that makes it look right. I don't believe that. In fact, if you watch many movies and television shows, the winged eyeliner or a variation of it is used because it provides a 3D effect and on mature women it lifts the eye.
In the next pictures, I will use different eye shapes (volunteers from previous posts) to show the simplicity or the complexity of winged eyelining.
In the first sets of pictures I have Kelly (check out her spunky and refreshing blog-Jellyminxthinks), Sixxmum (check out her relaxing blog-Veganasana), Grace (check out her blog Londonmakeupgirl which reads like the first floor of a department store), and the last is me. The left side shows the lid lowered and where the "crease" is and where it ends. The end of the crease is right before it hits the orbital bone. The pictures on the right show the eyes looking straight ahead. In all the pictures I have divided the eyes into three important sections: inner corner, center, and outer corner. You see the "bulge" of the center of the eye. What gives shape to eyelining is how it is applied on the inner and outer corners of the eye. The objective is to curve the liner "around" the lid.
In the next set of pictures, I show where the eyeliner starts at the inner corner. I also show various angles and the different eyes. Why is the inner corner so important? As you can see by the various angles, the eye has shape in those variations and people will see that. It may not be a big difference at first but when you put the detail into eyelining, it adds up to a big difference at the end. 1-My eye and the inner corner area application. 2-Grace: red arrow points to the start which is the beginning of the tear duct. 3-Kelly: The eyeline stays really close to the lashline. 4-Sixxmum: When the lid is lowered, the eyeliner should be visible. If it isn't just apply more. (Upon close examination, it may end up being thicker at the inner corner than it would in the center. That is okay.)
Skipping the center of the eye, go to the outer corner. Usually, if you continue the eyeline from the inner corner; you end up following the curve of your lashline more that the curve of eye ball. Like I showed in the first set of pictures, the outer corner ends where it hits your orbital bone. Now, how much you wing up the liner and how far you stretch the line is up to you. You can go from natural to extreme. 1-I start right where the two "corners" meet (which gives it the most natural angle). The corner of the eye and the corner of crease, or as I mentioned in my eyeshadow application post; I avoid the "hinge" area. In the picture I have colored the area to avoid in yellow. 2-On Grace I show the various areas the winged look can end. 3-Kelly-the same variations. 4-Sixxmum same variations.
I continue the look by connecting the inner corner and outer corner with the center. On Grace and Kelly, I show how the eye looks with the three variations. In the first one the winged liner is just normal so lashes aren't necessary. For the last two lashes will add a different look. Now on Sixxmum I did the same variations but used a softer color of brown. But I also smudged the last two variations. And, on the last extreme variation I used a taupe brown instead and smudged to show how this method can lift the eye of a mature woman. The neutral color of taupe actually acts as any eyeshadow and really redefines the eyeshape. You can add a darker liner or leave as is. And, on myself you see the various angles and their effects.
I love eyelining, in fact for me it is a zen moment; I become one with my brush and draw the line that will define and shape my eyes. At least, I hope the line will look decent enough to enhance my overall look. I hope I have deconstructed the winged eyeliner for you to understand. Don't worry about the gap it leaves, the end of the eyeliner never touches the end of the lashline; that is where illusion of makeup meets the reality of your eyes. No one will notice it unless they are about an inch away from your eyes. So practice and have fun!
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