November 29, 2022

Portrait of BIPOC Woman Wearing Dramatic, Graphic Eyeliner

Applying eyeliner is truly an art form in itself: the smooth glide of a pencil across the lid, the powerful flick of the wrist, the trial and error of perfecting the wing—it takes patience and time to master the necessary skills. And once you’ve learned to yield the mighty liner, it’s time to let your creativity run wild.

With its bright colors, geometric shapes, and endless possibilities, graphic liner is the perfect way to up your eye game and show off your artistry. It’s a trend so broad and approachable that even an eyeliner novice can nail a graphic liner look with enough practice. Whether you’re looking for a challenge or just wanting to switch things up, keep scrolling for a round-up of 25 seriously stunning graphic eyeliner looks.

01of 25

Chrome Liner

Danessa Myricks’ line is truly made for makeup artists. Need proof? Look no further than this look. She used her Colorfix Pigment in Blackout ($18) to fill in the brows and create that extra-large wing (we’re all about a multifunctional product), followed by a swipe of her Twin Flames Liquid Eyeshadow to create an epic double-wing moment.

02of 25

Skyliner

Celebrity makeup artist Alexx Mayo calls this ombré liner moment his “skyliner” look. “I started with a dark blue liquid liner and created the outer wing,” he explains. “I then used a mid-tone cyan blue and finally a pure white in the inner corner. The key is to use a very fine paintbrush to create the crisp line and to work in sections.”

03of 25

Tri-Liner

For those of you who’ve mastered winged liner, why not go for three? Makeup artist Ash K Holm added two wings to the lower lash line to keep the lid from looking too heavy. With a more natural-looking base, the pop of color really shines, while the strong wings lift the rest of the face.

04of 25

Colored Wing

Katie Jane Hughes might just be the queen of graphic liner, and this simple colorful wing is the perfect way to mix up your usual look without going too big. We’re especially fond of the green-blue shade she chose—it feels daring but safe. Struggling to get the perfect flick? Fear not: KJH’s Instagram is filled with tips and tricks for nailing your wing.

05of 25

Smudged Halo

According to makeup artist Allan Avendaño, this is a great graphic liner look for beginners—the smudged liner just above the crease leaves some room for error. To create the arch, he applied a black gel liner pencil (specifically Haus Laboratories’s Eye-Dentify Gel Pencil Eyeliner in Punk, $18) to the crease using a liner brush. He then blended it out with a pencil brush, repeating the process until he reached the desired opaqueness.

For affordable, high-quality brushes, he suggests the Real Techniques Artist Essentials Kit, which features both the liner and pencil brush, plus three other face brushes.

06of 25

Go Thick

Take graphic liner to the next level by playing around with line thickness, as seen here on Doja Cat. Makeup artist Ernesto Casillas used pops of thick blue eyeliner to contrast a thinly lined, cut-out cat-eye look. Keep the rest of the look muted to really let the eyes do the talking.

07of 25

Criss-Cross

Warning: Do not attempt this look without some serious shadow primer. We love the way Cherish Brooke Hill played with the space between the lid and brow bone with this genius criss-cross liner moment. Keep in mind, liner this intricate requires a steady hand and a lot of patience.

08of 25

Rocker Chic

Believe it or not, makeup artist Diane da Silva created this rocker-chic look freehand with Eyeko’s Eye Do Liner ($10). The award-winning liner is an industry favorite thanks to its long-wearing formula and soft felt tip—making it a great choice whether you’re going for a little flick or attempting this absolute masterpiece.

09of 25

Thick Flick

Sometimes a simple flick of black eyeliner is all you need, as evidenced by this look on Thomasin McKenzie. The chunky black liner paired with the white-rimmed waterline and smudged brown liner on the lower lash line is a subtle wink to ‘60s style, without feeling too costume-y or gimmicky.

10of 25

Go Green

To create a dynamic, precise graphic liner look like this one, makeup artist Samuel Paul Morales suggests pulling the skin taut while using the eye pencil to avoid skin tugging.

11of 25

XXL Liner

Take the thick black liner from the ‘60s to the next level with XXL-liner rimmed eyes. Add a pop of white into the inner corners and create a subtle wing to really highlight those thick, black lines and open up the eyes.

12of 25

Polka Dots

Mayo says the inspiration for this Lizzo look was equal parts Beyoncé circa 2011 (when she released her album 4) and Yayoi Kusama’s iconic polka-dotted artwork. He stamped on the dots using the opposite ends of different-sized liner brushes and followed up with Charlotte Tilbury’s Feline Flick Liquid Liner pen for detail work.

13of 25

Neon Liner

Everything about this Danessa Myricks look is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The clean, glowy skin perfectly complements the bold neon liner moment. Myricks used shades from the neon collection of her fan-favorite Colorfix Pigments to sculpt out the eye and line just above the crease.

14of 25

’60s Inspired

Few people rock a liner like Ariana Grande, and this look is giving us serious ‘60s vibes. The key to getting those super thin, crisp lines? Go slightly thicker than you want at first, and follow with some concealer or makeup remover (dealer’s choice) on a straight-edged liner brush to clean up.

15of 25

Stacked Cat Eyes

KJH makes another strong case for the triple-lined cat eye with this look. The key here is perfecting your baseline—then use it as a guide for the following two lines. Keep the second and third wings thinner (about half the width of the original line) to keep the liner from creeping into the crease.

16of 25

Gummy Bear Fantasy

This “gummy bear fantasy,” as Mayo calls it, makes an amazing case for experimenting with color. To make the colors really pop, he used water-activated pastel cake liner on both the eyes and brows. And that blue-pink contrast? Perfection.

17of 25

Freehand It

Not feeling a bold color? Stick to black liner and experiment with shape and placement instead, as seen here. Holm created this look on the spot without any planning beforehand. She simply freehanded the liner and let it lead the way.

18of 25

Floating Liner

Amping up a look is so easy when you involve neon shades. Using an angled liner brush and the Danessa Myricks Cushion Color in Electric Sun, Avendaño placed the floating line straight out. To find the right spot to place the liner, he simply had Madison Pettis open and close her eyes a few times. Finally, he added black liner directly under the neon line to really make it pop.

19of 25

Ying-Yang Style

A moment of silence for the absolute artistry here. Frequent collaborators Doja Cat and Casillas clearly know a thing or two about graphic liner. The ying-yang-style liner adds a seriously unexpected twist to what would otherwise be a relatively simple look.

20of 25

Negative Space

Take negative space liner to the next level by recreating this epic look by da Silva. Using Freck Beauty’s Lid Lick Fluid Eyeliner ($16), create two freehanded blob shapes—one spanning along the lash line and above the crease, and a second smaller one along the lower lash line. Since there are no straight lines or precise shapes, it leaves a bit more room for error than more technical liner looks would.

21of 25

Go Dark

While the gray pencil originally used to create this look is sadly no longer available, any smooth-gliding, long-lasting liner pencil should yield similar results. For the black liner, Morales used Inglot’s AMC Eyeliner Gel 77 ($21), which he says has the deepest black color and the longest lasting formula out of any liner he’s ever used.

22of 25

Modern-Day Twiggy

We’re obsessed with this modern-day-Twiggy look on Ariana Grande. Holm created this mod-inspired eye exclusively using products from Ariana’s r.e.m. beauty. She started with the Midnight Shadows Matte Liquid Eyeshadow in Totes ($16) and the Midnight Shadows Palette in Babydoll ($24) to lay down a wash of color and add depth to the eye. She lined the eyes with the At the Borderline Eyeliner Marker ($19) and then added tiny white dots using the At the Borderline Kohl Pencil in So Mod.

23of 25

Light Catcher

Dubbed “the light catcher,” this graphic liner look plays with negative space in a seriously cool way. Using the Nabla Cosmetics Cutie Palette ($24) and her very own 25-Piece Brush Set with Spectrum Cosmetics (a Byrdie favorite), KJH created the oversized wing around her lid. The super-fine, art-inspired liner brushes in her set (particularly brushes 09, 22, and 24) are key to nailing a difficult look like this. After all, an artist is only as good as their tools, right?

24of 25

Two-Toned

Go two-toned with a matching liner-shadow look like this one by da Silva. Add a wash of shadow all over the lid, up to the brow bones, and blend. Add liner just above the crease in a slightly different shade (lighter or darker, either work), and voila: You have a look.

25of 25

Deconstruct It

To create this deconstructed negative-space liner look, Samuel used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in YEYO ($22), a metallic white shade. The key to this look though, according to Samuel, is using a pointed cotton swab dipped in eye makeup remover to clean up any mistakes and sharpen the lines.