At the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in June, one look that stood out was the winged eyeliner look. Spotted on actors Bipasha Basu, Genelia D’Souza and Sonakshi Sinha, among others, this eyeliner shape is clearly enjoying its moment under the spotlight.
This look isn’t a major change for the sultry Basu, but it’s new for Sinha and manages to transform D’Souza.
Traditional Indian dancers have always used dramatic eye make-up to convey expressions better. They use the winged eyeliner look liberally. Earlier Bollywood heroines such as Vyjayanthimala, Asha Parekh and Hema Malini sported it on screen as well as off. In the West, actors Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot made this a very popular look; Angelina Jolie has now made it a signature look.
“The winged eyeliner look is universally popular because it is a very clever trick for brightening up droopy or tired eyes. It’s pretty and glamorous. When the line angles upwards it instantly makes you look sharper and more awake but a rounded eyeliner shape only serves to make you look a bit flat,” says Ojas Rajani, a make-up artiste for L’Oreal Paris who has also worked on actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s look for a large number of films and ad campaigns. “I’d recommend using gel eyeliner to get the look,” he adds. “When you use a kohl pencil, you face a number of issues.
You need to sharpen the pencil, sometimes it’s too sharp and pokes you, and a lot of times girls end up with raccoon eyes when it gets all smudged,” he says. “Gel eyeliner stays put throughout the day—it is leak-proof and smudge-proof and the look is much sharper.”
According to Rajani, the trick to a winged eyeliner look is to get the flick or the tail sharp. Using an angled eyeliner brush is best. Start from the outer corner of the eye. Create the wing tip first and then follow your lash line. The brush should automatically give you the perfect tilt. “This look could also be more sexy with some shadow or glitter on top. You could always smoke it up a bit with some colour,” he says.
(Left to right) Sonakshi Sinha (Hindustan Times) and Amy Wineshoue (Getty Images).
“A winged eye can also go terribly wrong,” cautions Marc Boss, a South African make-up artiste. “Ultimately, it all depends on your eye shape. Done incorrectly, winged eyeliner could completely close up the eye instead of opening it out and enhancing it, and make you look squint. You have to know exactly which point to place it at and how far to pull the wing out,” he says.
The latest gel eyeliner on the market is L’Oreal Paris’ 24 Hour Superliner. Priced at Rs 750 and available at cosmetic counters countrywide, the intense black eyeliner comes with a brush for easy application and is waterproof. A classic piece is MAC Cosmetics’ Fluidline gel eyeliner, priced at Rs 1,000, available in a range of shades, and to be applied with brush Nos. 209 or 210, which cost Rs 1,100 each. A purse-friendly option is the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama gel eyeliner, available for Rs 375, brush included. If the prospect of wielding a brush is daunting, the look can be achieved with the Lakme Eye Artist Pen, Rs 375, a felt-tipped pen that comes pre-filled with liquid liner.