How to Wing It

September 14, 2009





Eyeliner wings are a performance staple. They make eyes look bigger, wide-set and gorgeous! But actually drawing those little dashes can be frustrating (and messy!). Follow these steps for flawless wings every time.




Suzanne Farrell: Classic Wings

Perfect for
: A ballet recital or any audition.


Step 1:
Give your eyelid a neutral base, like a skin-colored eye-shadow with a bit of shimmer. Tip: Avoid smoky eye makeup—it’ll overpower the clean look.


Step 2:
Before you draw the line, use a stick, like an eye-shadow brush, to gauge where you’ll create it. Line it up so that the wing goes up and out (at about a 45-degree angle), instead of being an extension of your lash line.


Step 3:
To draw a perfectly straight line, put a piece of scotch tape right next to where you want the wing. Make the dash using an eyeliner pencil, and then go over it with liquid liner. Remove the piece of tape carefully, and use it on the other eye to ensure that both wings are the same length.



Adita Gillette (and Larry Kert) in
: Double Wings


Perfect for:
A musical theater performance—especially Fosse or Halloween night!




Step 1:
To make the bottom wing, line a stick, like an eyeliner pencil, up with the lowest part of your lashes. That is your guide for straightness. Make sure the lower lash line is parallel to the pencil.


Step 2:
For the top wing, follow the lash line out slightly and sweep the line up, making a checkmark.

Use pencil on both wing checks, but go over only the checkmark with liquid liner to make it stand out.


Step 3:
Measure the space between the two wings—it shouldn’t be wider than the head of a Q-tip.


Step 4:
Add fake lashes to create more drama.


Melissa Sandvig on “So You Think You Can Dance”: Bottom Wings


Perfect for:
An edgy contemporary solo.


Step 1:
Sweep a gray eye-shadow over your eyelid, staying below the crease.


To create a bottom wing, use gray eye-shadow applied with a very thin brush or an eyeliner pencil. Draw it by following your lash line straight out about half an inch. Top lid eyeliner is optional.






Photos of Suzanne Farrell and Adita Gillette from the Dance Magazine archives.


Photo of Melissa Sandvig by Mathieu Young/FOX.


Modeled by Amy Gilson. Hair and Makeup by Tonya Noland for Mark Edwards, Inc.