This Liner Trick Instantly Lifts The Eyes & Makes Them Look Wider
You don't have to be an advanced makeup expert to give graphic eyeliner a go. Sure, these intricate designs may take a steadier hand, but thanks to the scores of beauty tutorials on (what else?) TikTok, it's now easier than ever to master various liner looks. And if Euphoria has taught us anything over the past few years, it's that you don't need a posh excuse to rock a full-glam face beat. Go ahead and dial up the drama—eye gems and all—just for the fun of it.
One liner technique, in particular, has set many hearts aflutter—not only is it incredibly easy to learn but it also elongates your eyes and makes them appear wide-awake. Here, a tutorial for the beloved double liner.
How to nail double liner.
A "double liner" look is exactly how it sounds: Instead of one basic flick, you're adding a second parallel line to create some negative space. (Some also call it "fishtail liner," as the shape resembles the floating body of a fish.)
"The fresh take on a feline flick is equal parts classic and futuristic," says makeup artist Alexandra Compton, product development manager at Credo. Futuristic, thanks to the geometric, graphic elements; classic, thanks to its timeless, bold edge. "It's safe to assume Cleopatra totally rocked this style of eyeliner," Compton adds, and it also bubbled up in the K-beauty space around five years ago. Its most recent skyrocket is largely due to the elevated iterations on Euphoria (don't worry, no spoilers); you may have noticed Lexi Howard—portrayed by Maude Apatow—donning fishtail liner during the Season 2 finale.
And as we referenced above, these sculpted lines effectively lift and widen the eye area, a helpful trick that flatters any eye shape and makes it pop. There are tons of ways to spice it up (we'll explain more below), but the foundation of fishtail liner really only takes a few steps:
- First, choose your liner. For a sharp, graphic look, Compton suggests a liquid liner with a felt tip. "With a quick flick of the applicator, you'll be able to achieve graphic lines with ease," she says. "For a lived-in, sultry vibe, opt for a creamy eyeliner pencil to glide on your wings and soften them to your liking by diffusing them with a blending tool." Find our favorite selects here.
- Next: "Create a wing on the top of your lash line, lifting up toward the brow." It's just like your standard cat-eye—see here for how to master the basic flick.
- Then create a second wing starting from your lower lash line and extending it up toward the brow. This second line should sit parallel against the upper wing so you have some negative space between the two lines.
- Clean up any rough edges with a micellar-water-soaked cotton swab, and use concealer to create more contrast and make the wings extra sharp.
From there, you can elevate the look however you please—that's what makes this liner look so versatile and playful. "The real fun of a fishtail liner look comes from the unlimited number of innovative ways in which you can experiment with product types to achieve different color and textural elements," Compton says. For example, she recommends using a bright-colored liner to make the orbs pop (like this blue liquid liner from PYT), tapping on holographic glitter pigments to add some drama (Exa's Light Show Color Melt Pigments are especially eye-catching), or coloring in the lines with a vibrant shadow.
If you're a graphic liner novice, double or "fishtail" liner is a great place to start. "The result looks intricate and tedious, but it is quick and easy to master," notes Compton, and there are tons of ways to make it your own.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.