TikTok makeup trends seem to come and go so quickly these days that it can be discouraging to try to master one, just for it to fall out of style as soon as you finally nail the look. One trend that's so easy your can practically do it with your eyes closed is the "finger liner hack," which helps create a smokey wing in seconds, for beginners and pros alike. Ahead, everything you need to know about the hack—plus, I put it to the test.
In a pursuit to create a simple technique that anyone struggling with pencil liner can use, makeup artist @bexcxmpbell went viral on TikTok with her finger liner technique, which is basically as easy as finger painting—just way more precise, and (obviously) with eyeliner. The technique calls for spreading a wing onto the tail end of your eye with a simple swipe of your forefinger, as opposed to spending minutes finagling a pencil or liquid liner around each eye.
Quick-and-easy beauty is always in, which is why applying concealer or dabbing on lipstick with your fingers never really went out of style. Makeup artists will often say that your hands and your best tools, and the finger liner trend is just another example of this sentiment. Finger liner works the best with pencil liner, which is notoriously difficult to flick into a winged shape if you don't have a ton of experience. Not only does using your finger create more control, the warmth of your hands melts the liner that can otherwise be too dry to glide across the skin for a properly smoked-out look.
In her video, Bex explains, “you’re going to put your finger right at the corner of your eye, and wherever you can feel the pressure, that’s where you’re going to put your pencil liner.” Then, you’ll want to use an eyeliner (any color will work here) to draw a dot onto the high-pressure spot on your finger. After that, place your finger back on the corner of your eye, and drag the eyeliner outward and upward until you’ve made a wing that’s long enough for your liking. Et, voila, finger liner.
If you’re having trouble finding your finger-dot placement, however, Bex posted a follow-up video that recommends placing a dot of liner to your outer corner as opposed to directly to the finger, and then dragging the liner into a wing. (Also: make sure to wash your hands first! Hands harbor an endless number of bacteria, and spreading those bacteria to your skin and eyeballs can lead to breakouts or infection.)
Have you ever cried while wearing makeup, wiped your eyes hard, and then noticed that what was once your mascara is now your winged liner? Well, that’s what’s at work here. Although the idea of spreading an eyeliner from your finger to your eye seems easy (and despite the fact that Bex's entire routine lasts a mere 15 seconds) I personally had a ton of difficulty placing the liner in such a way that it starts exactly at my outer corner.
Furthermore, since I applied a large dot of liner onto my finger to swipe a wing on, I noticed that I couldn't figure out the right amount of eyeliner to place onto my finger to create sharp wing (I ended up with a hovering blob each time I tried this technique).
However: the moment I placed a dot of liner directly to my outer corner and swiped the product outward, the hack worked instantly. I did notice that the line itself wasn't as pigmented as I'd like, but it's a great technique for creating a guide for where to pack on more liner for a bolder finish.