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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

If you’re a beginner, or even a longtime user, you know that getting your eyeliner symmetrical is the worst makeup burden. It’s not just the wing that’s hard to map, but the outline too! How many times have you completed the perfect smokey eye just for a shaky black line to mess it all up? Don’t get discouraged! Pick that eyeliner pen back up, and let’s get drawing with these three simple hacks. 

1. Tape 

Using tape as a guide for the perfect wing is a hack that most of us know but don’t appreciate enough! If you do your base first, this hack isn’t as helpful but may be worth changing your routine. I understand the annoyance and impatience around taking extra time to add sticky rectangles to your face; I felt the same way — at least until recently. 

The best advantage of this hack is its versatility; you can use any type of liner (even eyeshadow) since the tape prevents bleeding. Instead of having to make a trip to the store and buy a new eyeliner, you can achieve even better results using products you already have at home! 

Despite its benefits, I acknowledge that tape can also be tricky sometimes. Don’t let that stop you; I can help with that too!

To line the tape up correctly, use the end of your eyebrow as a guide for symmetry. Draw the first part of your outline (closest to the lash line) directly above where you placed the tape. Then, at a downward angle, place another piece of tape above the first section, mimicking a type of scalene triangle. Now, all that’s left is to fill in the skin between the two pieces of tape, and boom: a perfect wing. 

2. Felt Tip Pen

This is less of a “hack” and more of a tip (no pun intended), but still just as helpful. Sometimes, it’s not shaky hands or inconsistent lines that ruin a look but the eyeliner itself. There are countless liners in all colors, shapes, and sizes. What I’ve learned from doing eyeliner for nearly a decade is that a felt tip pen beats all of them!

Other eyeliners (e.g. liquid, gel, kohl, etc.) typically bleed much more than a felt pen. Not to mention, it always dries quickest, reducing the likelihood of smudging and smearing. These benefits are especially noteworthy for those who don’t have steady hands, like myself. 

The only thing more important than getting the felt liner is finding the best technique. After trying tons of TikTok and Instagram hacks over the years, I’ve realized that the easiest way to achieve a perfect wing with felt liner is to let it guide you! It might sound ridiculous, but the tip is designed specifically for winged eyeliner, making it the most convenient option for users.

All you have to do is choose the starting point for your wing (Tip: check eye shape guides to find what’s most suitable for you), stamp the side of the pen down to mimic the outermost guideline, then repeat that step to make the triangular shape of your wing. After that, the final step is to fill it in. 

3. Eyeshadow 

Everyone has those days when it seems like nothing is working regardless of what you do; the feeling is even worse concerning makeup! If you’re having one of those days, this is the hack for you! 

Eyeshadow alone works beautifully as an eyeliner but can also be layered over other liners to fix any mistakes. Have unsteady lines? Eyeshadow. Made your outline too thick? Eyeshadow. Uneven wings? Eyeshadow! Smudging a black shadow over liquid or gel eyeliner can fix any flaw from your initial application. 

Instead of removing all your hard work, enhance it! You’ll slowly watch your makeup look transform from a nightmare to a dream. Adding the eyeshadow will not only achieve symmetry but smoke out your look. Even if you don’t want a dramatic liner, adding a small amount of eyeshadow will give the same results but less exaggerated. 

When using eyeshadow in place of eyeliner, you can either follow the tape hack or add it on top of your wing. Once you’ve placed the eyeshadow, use a smudge or liner brush to create a shaded/ombre look. There’s no way your wing won’t be perfect! 

Whether you use one or all three, I guarantee these hacks will strengthen your liner game. At some point, all makeup girlies have struggled with perfecting liner. Sometimes, those five-minute hacks don’t cut it! Just remember that while it may be hard, it’s not impossible. Trust me now, and thank me later! 

Mercedes Chioino

UC Berkeley '25

Mercedes is a junior at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in English. She enjoys personal writing, journalism, current events, and trends. Some of her favorite things to do outside of academic life include shopping, reading romance novels, playing with her dog, and trying new restaurants.