An eyeliner can be one of the most important tools in your makeup arsenal. It has the power to frame your eyes and transform your look—from a subtle flick that aims to simply enhance your features, to a completely edgy and dramatic aesthetic.
Like red lipstick, the art of wearing eyeliner comes from a long line of history. From Cleopatra and the ancient Egyptian age, to the mid-century period of mod and punk looks, eyeliner has long been defining peepers to create a variety of effects. Now, there are even more options to choose from with a wide range of colors and types available.
Different Ways to Wear Eyeliner, According to Makeup Artists
Working on your eye makeup? Let some of the best makeup artists in the country show you how to wing it!
1. You can never go wrong with nude eyes and winged liner.
One of the easiest ways to wear eyeliner is to wear a classic wing with nude makeup. It’s a fresh take on an everyday makeup as the winged look adds definition to your eyes. Take a look at Jigs Mayuga completely nailing Kiana Valenciano’s understated look, creating the perfect flick to complement her matte eyeshadow, peach blush, and nude lip color.
It’s also easy to play up nude palettes even if you have a heavier, more glamorous look in mind that’s more suited to dinner dates and formal events. Gery Penaso channels some Brigitte Bardot vibes in Janine Gutierrez’s look with an extra heavy wing liner that looks retro, using some highlighter and creamy mauve lips.
A more classic mod version is Gela Laurel’s work on Sarah Geronimo. She glammed up the pop star using a classic, glittery smoky shade, complemented by soft pink lips. The retro cat’s eye that’s curved perfectly upwards along with her ponytail adds a 1960s vibe.
2. A flawless cat’s eye, tight lining, and pink lips go a long way.
Makeup newbies and fans of fresh, natural makeup should practice getting the basic wing down pat, whether it’s training your hand to stay steady, or by sticking tape to the corners of your eyes (which is one of the oldest makeup tricks in the book). If you’re a fan of Korean-inspired makeup, channel those K-drama vibes with a cute winged eye and pink ombre lips!
Even the subtlest lining can make a difference. Tight lining, or drawing a line on your upper waterline, is a classic technique that will create a fuller, wide-eyed look and create the illusion of thicker, fuller lashes. Here, Anne Curtis doesn’t look like she’s wearing much in this sweet and romantic look by Ting Duque, but the tight line plumps up her lashes, and the subtle flick just by the outer corner of her eyes adds a doll-like quality to her face.
Mikka Marcaida does a glam version of Korean makeup on Kim Chiu’s face, which highlights and complements her features. Instead of a straight brow, Mikka filled Kim’s lashes in and applied warm-hued eyeshadow on the actress’ lids. Kim’s eyeliner is gentle yet flawless, flicking upwards to make her peepers look bigger. Instead of reaching for a lip tint like the K-beauty way, Mikka takes a cherry-colored lipstick and swipes it on Kim, gently blotting and blurring its edges for a slightly gradient effect.
Anthea Bueno, who has mastered natural-looking makeup and knows how to make a client look like they’re glowing from within, has done the same to Janine Gutierrez with even subtler eye makeup, and a pink gradient on the lips using balm and lip tint. Keeping her lower eyelids bare, Anthea opens Janine’s eyes with mascara and some false lashes.
3. Don’t be afraid to pair shimmery liner with metallic eyeshadow.
Who says you can’t wear metal on metal? When you’re playing up your eyes, don’t be afraid to pile on the shimmer! The trick is to prevent the eyeliner from smudging onto the eyeshadow—if you’re using a pencil, set the liner with an eyeshadow powder that is similar in color. Even better if you’re using gel or liquid eyeliner, as those products don’t budge.
It can be a hint of color that provides some contrast to nude hues, like this metallic green eyeliner on Gabbi Garcia, as created by her go-to MUA Jason delos Reyes; it just barely flicks upwards at the corner.
If you’re game to don edgier looks, keep your eyelids in shimmery nude like what Jason did with Katarina Rodriguez, then line the entire lower lashline with a colored glitter pencil, just extending the tail on its outer corners.
4. Pair naked eyeliner with warm, shimmery eyeshadow.
A beauty trend in recent years, the naked eyeliner is one of the more risqué makeup choices as it involves outlining the upper eyelid and other areas like the inner corner, usually surrounding vibrant or colorful eye makeup.
For a more wearable, everyday take, tone it down by keeping the liner to the upper eye area and pairing the look with a nude lip, like what Anton Patdu did with Hannah Pangilinan. He was careful to keep the rest of the face smooth and bare-looking, with a skin finish foundation and a subtle glow.
5. A colored liner can add a unique touch to soft makeup.
While we love light, barely-there makeup especially for daily wear, adding a pop of color definitely keeps things interesting once in a while. Case in point: Jigs Mayuga’s editorial-ready look as he played with black and gold eyeliner, maintaining just a slight sheen on the base and a soft lip.
For a softer version that you can wear during the daytime, consider wearing the color on the upper lashline using a creamy pencil liner or a cake liner. RB Chanco makes the cyan hue work on Maris Racal with a peach nude lip, while just gently smudging the eyeliner outwards for a subtle gradient effect.
Owen Sarmiento also has his own take on the gradient but instead of smudging eyeliner on Maymay Entrata’s peepers, he piles on two shades: a darker red orange on her upper lashline, and a lighter tangerine hue just on top of it.
6. Pair those Cleopatra eyes with color on the lash line for a bold effect.
Nothing beats a classic, and a Cleopatra-style cat eye never goes out of style for its daring and sultry look that you can wear to a red carpet-worthy event or to a party. Wearing a nude smoky eye, do a modern take on the Egyptian style by extending the tail just out of the corners, and running a different color on the lower lash line.
Always a stickler for the classics, Albert Kurniawan keeps the face within a certain color range and sweeps Ann Umali’s lower lids with a shimmery eye pencil in dark brown.
Meanwhile, Nicole Cordoves takes on a more Hollywood turn and contrasts her heavy winged eye with emerald liner on her lower lash line, courtesy of Anton Patdu.
7. A dramatic winged liner can add definition to a colorful smoky eye.
Fan of the heavy glam look? A solid winged eyeliner adds more depth and definition to your “snatched” eye makeup, providing a high contrast look that’s ready for Instagram.
Fashion favorite Nadine Lustre doesn’t disappoint with her sexy, edgy meets glam aesthetic, pulling off this purple eye makeup by Jelly Eugenio. Aside from the shimmery gradient from the eyeshadow, there’s glitter sitting on Nadine’s solid wing liner, making her eyes pop even more. Jelly finishes the look with a glossy nude lip.
Looking for a sweeter version? Up-and-coming young star Kyline Alcantara wears a more youthful version of the look, with makeup artist Rodolfo Sitchon ditching the bronzer for pink shades and some highlighter. The actress looks pretty in pink, as two-toned glossy lip also adds a nice touch to the shimmery rose shades on her eyes.