Winged Eyeliner for Hooded & Small Eyes: Techniques and Products

tutorial winged eyeliner for small hooded eyes how to techniques and products recommendation best brush liner
When it comes to makeup there are some things that are difficult to master: false lashes and eyeliner. They can both ruin your entire day makeup if you get them wrong. Gel liner is much easier to apply (for me) but I prefer the look of liquid liner. Liquid liner has a steeper learning curve, but it's worth it. It lasts and lasts and looks jet black. Now, the whole eyeliner ordeal becomes even more difficult when you have small and/or hooded eyes. My eyes aren't severely hooded (there's still some lid showing) but I have to be careful not to make my line too thick or else it'll get covered in the fold and transfer to my lid. Eyeliner application is a very personal thing. It takes time and practice to find a technique (as well as products) that works for you. I'm going to share mine with you in case it ends up being just what you need.


When it comes to mastering eyeliner, the tools are as important as the technique. There are a bunch of wonderful eyeliners in the market nowadays. One of my favorite liquid liners is the Bourjois Liner Pinceau because it has a super thin brush that allows for precision and is great for small eyes. A fellow blogger gifted this to me years ago and I've kept repurchasing it since. 

If I'm going to be using gel eyeliner, my favorite brush to apply it with is the MAC 210 Precise Eyeliner Brush. I searched high and low for the perfect eyeliner brush for small eyes and this earned the "favorite" title. It's firm and really tiny, smaller than most eyeliner brushes in the market. (I should probably do some sort of comparison post in the future.) Now on to the technique...

tutorial winged eyeliner for small hooded eyes how to techniques and products recommendation best brush liner
tutorial winged eyeliner for small hooded eyes how to techniques and products recommendation best brush liner
Note: My lids are more hooded than they appear in this picture. (Trust me, I feel your struggle fellow hooded-eyed people.) I tend to squint and tilt my head up a bit when I take pictures for this blog so the makeup can be appreciated better. I exaggerated the squinting/tilting for this post so you could see what I was doing more clearly. :)

Personally, I like to do my winged eyeliner this way because I find it more flattering for my eye shape. There's a bunch of ways of doing it, a lot look good (some better than others), and there isn't just one correct way to do it. Here's mine...

1. The common rule for winged liner is to trace and imaginary line that extends past your bottom lashline in an upwards direction, towards your brow. However, I think this isn't the best method for small or hooded eyes because: a) the wing gets hidden or distorted by the crease and b) it visually pulls the eye upwards too unnaturally. So in order to elongate the eye and keep your hooded lids from interfering with the wing, move that imaginary line a few centimeters away from your eye (i.e. the lilac dotted line in the image above).

2. The next steps have an interchangeable order. Some people find it easier to do the entire wing last, some like to set a guideline for it first. I prefer doing the latter. So go ahead and mark where your imaginary lilac dotted line would go with your eyeliner.

3. Line your lid by following the natural shape of your eye. The line should either be uniform in thickness or thinnest at the inner corner. 

4. Connect the eyeliner on your lid to the wing guide line, fill it in. Because we shifted our wing a bit away from the eye, you'll have to fill in a bit of horizontal space near your lashline (more than you would if you had followed the traditional method). This helps visually elongate the eye.

To see a full face picture of the eyeliner in action, go check out this makeup look or browse my makeup looks tag.

And that's the method I like to use! Is it much different from how you do your eyeliner or is it the same?

xx Coco

19 comments

  1. I completely agree with you on this technique! I very much apply it in a similar way and extend my line out a bit. I like to think of my eyes more as sisters because my eyes are uneven. One has a double eyelid while the other has almost a triple (weird extra fold in the corner of the eye). Not detectable by many but when drawing a winged line it is horrible haha. But starting out further helps to avoid the crease and helps the eyes appear larger so overall it's a win-win.

    Great photo and step by step tutorial :)

    Cindy | www.cindyhyue.com

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    1. That's awesome, Cindy! I find it fascinating how everyone does their eyeliner a certain way for certain reasons. One of my eyes is slightly more hooded than the other so I tend to do the liner on my left eye a bit thinner to make it look even. Other people probably don't notice these things we see. xx

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  2. I'm definitely going to try to move my wing a few centimeters away from my eye! Thanks for this post. I also need to start getting used to liquid liner because my hands are so unsteady that's why I prefer using gel and a brush but I've go to keep practicing!

    Wendy xx
    madein97.blogspot.com

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    1. Hope it works out well for you! Gel liner is wonderful. It was my fave for years. I like how it's much easier to use. I think I also switched because my gel liner pots were drying out too quickly x

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  3. This is how I do my wings as well! Took me a while to figure it out but I'm happy I can do a decent, visible wing now haha

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    1. Oh my gosh! Ines. Hadn't heard from you in a while. Hope you've been well :)

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    2. Aw I'm doing good, thank you! I've not been doing the rounds around blogs as much as I used to but I still enjoy reading them. I feel like a lot of people has gotten disenchanted from the blogging world in general.

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  4. Ooooooh, I'm such a novice when it comes to liner! Thanks for this tip! My eyelids suuuuck so much, they're hooded but also sort of monolid-y? Basically my entire eyelid recedes under my browbone flab LOL. I will try out this technique though! I usually use gel liner because it's easier to apply, and always have to do a pretty thick wing so that it can be seen! -_-

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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    1. Haha. Well, it takes such a long time to figure out what's best for ones eye. I hope this works out for you or some sort of variation of this method :)

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  5. This is different from any other eyeliner method I've seen. Hooded eyes do make that wing difficult, and I've had trouble with my wing getting hidden in the hood as well. Next time I do eyeliner, I'm going to have to give this a try. Thanks!

    Amber
    amberbutbetter.blogspot.com

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    1. Yay! Hope it works for you too x

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  6. GREAT Tutorial!

    xo
    lipstickvillain.com

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  7. This was honestly so thorough and helpful. I've gotten so good at everything else, even falsies, but winged eyeliner just wasn't working. Using an automatic pencil isn't too bad for me just liquid causes me trouble!
    Omnivogues

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  8. Bourjois Liner Pinceau is one of my favourite's too. I use gel liner a lot with a thin brush, I like to do winged liner for a quick look, really good tutorial love xo

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  9. I've always struggled with winged liner because my eyes are both small and hooded. The transfer situation is just the worst so I try to avoid doing liner most of the time! Personally, I like to create the line only 3/4 of the way across my lid as bringing it too far in can really close off my eyes. And honestly, the line gets lost anyway.

    Rebecca | morerebe

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  10. This technique makes so much more sense! I have extremely hooded eyes and not much lid space, so winged eyeliner is usually a no-go for me. I'll have to try this out and see if it works better

    -Katy
    skinstuffbykaty.blogspot.com

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  11. I can't thank you enough for this post! I've been struggling to find a good way to do a dramatic wing with my hooded eyes and I think this is exactly what I need to do.
    I've been doing a baby wing because that way I don't have to deal with the crease but if I move it over a bit the same way you do it should work.
    Yay!

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