If you work incredibly well under pressure, you're probably a pro at winged eyeliner, and, hey, I'm happy for you. Really. But if you're like the rest of the world that breaks out in a nervous sweat as soon as as you pick up a liquid liner, you've come to the right place—this is a safe space for your cat-eye troubles, and we're going to get through this together.
Getting the perfect winged liner is kinda like curling your hair: Everyone has their own way of doing it. So if you've tried one technique before and failed miserably, don't give up just yet. The right tutorial for your eye shape and skin type might just be in one of the YouTube videos, below. Watch and learn.
How to do winged eyeliner with dots
Tip: First, create your wing with a felt-tip liner, which has less pigment and is better for mistakes. Then, trace over it with a liquid or gel liner to deepen the color.
Sometimes, it's not the flick that's the hardest part. If your lash line always seems to look like you did it on the back of a speeding bus, try this dot trick to keep your line straight and consistent in width: Make an outline of the cat-eye shape first by tapping tiny dots along your lash line with the very tip of your liner. Then, go back and connect them.
How to do the perfect winged eyeliner with tape
Tip: Fix mistakes with a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover or concealer.
No matter how much you practice, you may need a little help getting an ultra-precise, crisp line—and that's where tape comes in. Stick a one-inch piece of makeup tape (or Scotch tape, in a pinch) underneath your bottom lashes and angle it based on how dramatic you want your flick.
Then, with your liquid eyeliner, trace along your lash line, following the edge of the tape to create a crisp wing. Once the liner has dried, slowly remove the tape, and voi-freakin'-là. You've got yourself a flick so sharp, you could cut something.
How to make your winged eyeliner even
Tip: To check if your flicks are even, look in the mirror and tilt your head back a bit to see them both at the same time.
If you can never get your flicks to look even or if your angles are way too acute or obtuse (who says you can't apply high school math to the real world?), try using your bottom lash line as a guide.
After lining the top of your lashes, create the flick by thinking of the line as an extension of your bottom lash line. Follow that same invisible angle with your eyeliner, drawing the flick straight up to get perfectly even wings. Now that you have the bottom of your wing outlined, connect the tip of the flick to the line along your lashes, and fill it in.
How to do winged eyeliner for hooded eyes
Tip: Rest your elbows on a flat surface to steady your hand before drawing your cat eye.
If your eyeliner tends to get covered by your eyelid when you open your eyes, try this angled eyeliner trick. Instead of creating an even, thin swoop of liner across your lid and up to a flick, you'll need to draw a little rectangle shape at the edge of your eye, first, to make the liner visible.
After drawing the rectangle (trust me; the tutorial makes it easy to copy), extend the edges into a flick. The whole point of the weird rectangle situation is to create a little hump that gives the illusion of a perfectly curved wing that won't be covered by your hooded lid. It might take a little practice to get used to, but hey, isn't that why you're here in the first place?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.