Eyeliner is a beauty product so intertwined with Latina culture, history, and identity that it has become the subject of so many Latinx memes, Instagram posts, business taglines, and products. From the days of the Chicana pachuca (the 1940s and ’50s) and Old Hollywood, to chola and Latinx interpretations of mod ’60s liner, to those razor-sharp ’80s and ’90s wings, to the looks of today, it’s evident that it would be hard for us to live without our beloved eyeliner.
We’re always looking for inspo on how to interpret these lines and wings in new or old ways, so we did some beauty research, and put together a great mix of vintage eyeliner looks from yesteryear and the latest interpretations that hit the 2019 and 2020 runways. So, grab your makeup bag, sharpen your pencils, and get ready to try out these 30 stylish ideas.
Geometric ’60s Chola Liner
Eyeliner in the 1960s was all about geometric lines, negative space, and using black and white liner/shadow to create graphic looks (and a cut crease). This photos is of Latinx Mary Ayala, from the Maravilla Projects in East L.A., who completed her eye look with fierce parallel lines.
Soft Shadow Liner
Sometimes, we want to wear an eyeliner wing, but don’t necessarily want a black liquid line, or a liquid line at all. This pretty liner was done with eyeshadow, making the look softer, smokier, and more natural.
A particular aesthetic we love that has also burst back into the latest of beauty is that exaggerated eyeliner look of the ’60s that we recently saw in that throwback, L.A,. Chola photo. Twiggy was synonymous with the fad and took it a step further with drawn-on lower lashes to complete the rounded, doll-like look.
Angelic 1979 Chola Liner
As with any beauty trend, you can choose how much, or little, you go with it. How extreme you make the look, or don’t. This photo, from 1979, and taken by Rachel Thompson (according to Veteranas and Rucas), appeared in a magazine. The first look is so bold, yet angelic in its halo-like qualities. The eyes and brows are whited out, and the eyeliner is geometric but more subtle than other eyeliner looks. Finally, the blush and lip color is obvious, but the hue itself is a rosy flush.
Bold Halloween Liner
Granted, this is a Halloween eyeliner look, but it is still badass. The idea for 2019 and 2020 is strong, look-at-me eyes, and that means liner that is totally out of the box. A good tip to tone down this look a bit is to forgo the super long line in the front (you can always, of course, adjust the look anywhere according to how bold you want to go).
Neon and other bright colors aren’t going anywhere (in fashion or makeup), and they’re wonderful for adding some oomph to your everyday wings. Swap out basic black, navy, or brown for colors like neon pink, orange, or yellow. If you want to anchor the look, you can always line a pop of color over a line of black. This technique is called stacking.
1960s The Ronettes Eyeliner
The idea in the 1960s was to wear eyeliner so bold that you could see it from a mile away. The lips played the opposite role, painted in neutral colors like nude, peach, or white. Girl group The Ronettes wore a super cool, bad girl liner that was winged and wrapped around the eyes. This look, completed with sky-high beehives, would serve as inspiration for other artists, including Amy Winehouse.
1970s Chola Stark Shadow Liner
The cholas of the ’70s took the bright, black and white, grey and white, and brown and white graphic eye makeup from the ’60s and brought it into the next decade. This photo shows how in this look, the eyes are whited out, except for the crease of the eye, where a floating eyeshadow liner is emphasized in grey. The 1970s also saw the addition of exaggerated blush and matching lips.
Modern Mustard ’60s Mod
This fun makeup look from 2017 is an homage to the ’60s and its major eye aesthetic that we have been referencing. But it has been updated with an on-trend pop of bright yellow, making it look more modern and less an exact replica of a vintage creation. That’s the fun of makeup. You can take bits and pieces from the past, and meld them with the latest fads for something fresh and unexpected.
’80s Gothy Chola Vibes
The next look takes us into the 1980s. Strong liner is still the name of the game, as it has been up until today. But the extension of the eyeliner past the inner corners of the eye and the shadow (paired with burgundy lips and pale skin) give this chola look an added layer of a goth vibe.
Super Bold Amy Winehouse Liner
Amy Winehouse took the dramatic look of The Ronettes — tall beehives, inky black winged eyeliner, and vintage outfits, and used it as part of her own aesthetic. Winehouse’s liner took the makeup product to its limit though — it was long enough to go past her eyebrows, super thick, and incredibly bold.
Dotted Lower Liner
This season is all about doing new things with your eyeliner. You have probably already mastered your liquid wing, but perhaps want to try something different to add something cool and expected to your makeup look. Just add a couple of cute dots right under your lower lash line, with your liquid liner, and instantly your aesthetic takes on a futuristic feel!
On-Trend Pretty Pearl + White Eyeliner
We have already reported how pearls are a major accessory for the season; they have even extended into makeup looks. Makeup artist Beau Nelson used white eyeliner, which will be a major trend for Spring 2020, to create a striking wing on Kristen Stewart. A row of pearls was added for that on-trend touch of glam. Rhinestones on the eyes will also be a makeup trend to look for next season.
If there was ever a time to experiment with eyeliner colors, it’s now. Neon, metallics, primary colors, and more are taking regular liner to different levels, and the trend is just going to continue. Purple and pink are two colors that will be in style, but you don’t have to go too bright or feminine. These liners pictured above are the perfect example of more muted yet rich (and great for fall) colors that add a bit of the unique, without going into daring territory.
1966 Sophia Loren Eyeliner Hack
Sophia Loren’s graphic winged liner is iconic. When researching this article, we discovered that not only is it a cool makeup look, but it is also a beauty hack! If you look closely, you can see that she purposefully extends the liner and lashes on to make her eyes look longer and larger. This particular photo is from the 1966 film, Arabesque.
Fishtail eyeliner lets you have the fun and cool effect of having two wings on your eye instead of one. It looks cool in all black, but if you want to tone down the bold look a bit, you can opt for a white liner for one of the lines. It is also fun to mix and match black liner with other colors, as well as other color combinations to create various looks. Note: You can also create a fishtail by wearing one line on the bottom lash line or waterline.
If you like the dotted eye look we showed previously, you could create another cool look by wearing a wing exclusively made up of polka dots. You still get the drama and swoop of a wing, but in a unique, retro meets the future kind of way.
’70s Super Dark, Super Thick Chola Eyeliner
This photo of Amie from Torrance, was taken in the mid-1970s, and it features the often doll-like exaggeration of Cholas makeup from that era. The brows were super skinny, and the eyeliner super heavy and thick. The finishing touch was spiky lashes. These even appear to be drawn on the bottom).
A big part of the graphic eye trend of the ’60s and right now is what’s called floating eyeliner. It means there is a negative space between the eye and the liner. Sometimes it’s a line across the crease of the eye or a triangular shape on the corner. Other times, the negative space creates the liner itself. Or it can be a completed wing with open space, like shown above. The trend shows that now is the time to think of your liner looks in terms of geometry.
1960s Sharon Tate Eyeliner
Late actress Sharon Tate did the ’60s graphic eye look but in a much softer, natural, boho way. She wore the liner/shadow in brown instead of black and white, and the aesthetic seemed more ’70s, even though it was achieved during the 1960s. It is a great alternative for those who want to try out this vintage look but don’t want to go too bold.
If you want to flip your liner on its head, why not try underliner? It’s exactly as it sounds — liner applied to the bottom of the eye. This can be a pop of color under an eye that has neutral shadow on it, a color on the bottom while the top is lined in black, or just a wash or swipe of liner on the bottom lash and/or waterline. Purple underliner will be a beauty trend for Spring 2020.
Maria Felix Drama
We couldn’t do a roundup of eyeliner looks worth recreating without mentioning the iconic Mexican actress Maria Felix, and her equally iconic cat-eye. A bold sweep of black liner was an important part of her fierce aesthetic. This photo, most likely taken in the 1960s (based on her eyebrow and eyeliner) shows how an extended wing, paired with some liner on the bottom, will make your gaze more intense.
We briefly touched on this look earlier, but stacked eyeliner is always a great way to take your everyday black eyeliner up a notch. You can pair with white for a striking, yet neutral aesthetic, or have fun with colors, metallics, glitter, pearls, and other materials.
Corners Only Eyeliner
The classic winged liner can take on a whole geometric, futuristic look by simply omitting some parts of the original line(s). This eyeliner features just the outer corners or wing portions, and the striking quality is upgraded even more by it being in bold, cobalt blue.
Sparkly eyes are on-trend, as they’re also a perfect choice now that the holidays are here. Sweep on a simple metallic line, or go all out and feature a huge sweep that takes up the entire lower lid. Whether it is in gold, silver, copper, rose gold, or a metallic version of any color, the metallic liner is instant luxe.
Another current trend you’ll want to take note of is smoky eyes. While you can go for a mysterious, moody look that can take up the majority of the eye, a sleek and more precise look means packing all that drama into a wing.
The trending idea now for eyes is to go big or go home. This doesn’t have to mean eyes overloaded with color or product, however. This graphic eyeliner is striking in design and color, but it is balanced out by all the skin that you’re able to see on the eye. A little bit of warm brown shadow or liner appears to complete the lower line and the blue is also used to frame a reddish-brown filled eyebrow.
Whether you’re paying homage to ’90s grunge, ’20s flappers, rock ‘n’ roll, or just want to live on the wild side, perfectly executed smudged liner will always give you a badass look. Although it has plenty of historical ties, the aesthetic is also going to be a beauty trend in Spring of 2020.
Glitter eyeliner will add instant glam to your makeup look. You can wear it alone or stack it over black liner. Now that it’s holiday season, it’s a perfect way to add that necessary bit of shimmer and shine that end of year looks are known for.
Geometric eyeliner doesn’t have to be over the top. This look is an everyday, glam wing until it takes a sharp left turn and is left hanging in mid-air. This abrupt end is just enough drama to make this a striking look, but demure enough to wear on a random day.