Winged Eyeliner Throughout History, Plus 4 Ways to Wear the Trend

Winged eyeliner, also referred to as a “cat eye,” could be the most classic beauty trend in history. It was even part of Cleopatra’s beauty routine v since it was believed by the Egyptians as a way to ward off the “evil eye.” Eventually, drawn-on “wings” made their way to Hollywood in the ’50s and onto the eyes of Brigitte Bardot, Anna Karina, Sophia Loren, and—full circle—Elizabeth Taylor in the film Cleopatra.

Retro style icon Dita Von Teese’s signature winged eye helped boost the trend’s popularity in more recent years, and now that celebs like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Angelina Jolie are sporting the look. All to say: there’s no argument that a cat eye is a timeless makeup effect. It’s perfect for any eye shape, and it always makes eyes bigger, bolder, and more noticeable. The look is so versatile, you can wear it casually, on its own, for the day or intensify it with shadow and bold lashes for a dramatic evening statement. Any type of liner works, too, whether it’s in pencil, liquid, or gel form—it just depends on your preference

1: Subtle

There’s the flirty-yet-subtle thin upward flick, really close to the lash line.


On the flip side, it’s also fun to go much more theatrical with your lines and make them thicker and more illustrative, depending on what effect you want. Think of how Amy Winehouse famously sported an extreme, super-thick flick that complemented her ultra-teased bouffant.

3: Bat wing

There’s also the “bat wing,” an edgier take on the cat eye that’s distinctly heavier at the ends, which is great when you want to bring on the inky black.

4: Double wing

You can also try a double wing, a fun variation a la Red from Orange is the New Black (below) that feels at once sophisticated and little bit punk

All you’ll need is a steady hand and some patience to channel the look of your favourite silver screen goddess—plus Sayeeda Eye Liner.

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