I Tried Fishtail Eyeliner: Step-by-Step Photos


Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Audrey Noble

Graphic eyeliner is a bold and simple way to create an aesthetic look. From floating lines to the adorable cat eye, there are countless options to choose from if you want to step up your eye makeup game. But one is currently sinking into everyone’s For You pages and has – minimal makeup known – very fascinated with this fishtail eyeliner look.

Fishtail eyeliner, aptly named, as celebrity makeup artist Neil Shipley told POPSUGAR, is a double-winged liner that mirrors itself on the upper and lower lash lines. “The eye acts as the body of the fish, while the ends mimic the traditional goldfish tail,” says Scibelli. Although it may seem complicated, he assures that it is simple enough even for a makeup beginner to do. (Plus, you can customize it, and there are many variations of the look.)


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You’ll first want to get the right products. Scibelli suggests a long-wearing liquid liner to reduce bleeding or smudging, and you should choose a felt-tip liner so you have more control when drawing those fine lines. I decided to stick with one color, a classic black, and grabbed a Kaja Wink Stamp Eyeliner Pen ($29).

Starting at the inner corner, I drew a straight line along the upper lash line. When I got to the outer corner, Scibelli asked me to lift the liner up to create a wing. Then, from the highest point of the wing, I drew a line down to thicken the wing and create a triangle, which he says will serve as the top of the fishtail line.


Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Audrey Noble

Then it’s time to adjust the lower lash line. Scibelli says I can basically repeat the same steps I did upwards, starting at the inner corner and lining the lash line outward. I chose to start from the middle of the lower lash line—I personally felt it was too hard to define the bottom perfectly—but instead of moving the liner up, I flipped it down to create a ‘mirror effect’ for the wing on top. Then I thickened it up by connecting that point back to the corner of my lower lash line to get this triangular shape. Et voilà – The look of the fishtail liner was complete.

The best part about this trend is that you can do it however you like. You can make triangle shapes thick or thin. You can mix bold colors or stick to classic black. If you make any mistakes, don’t worry; It’s an easy solution. Scibelli says you can use a tapered Q-tip dipped in micellar water (he likes Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar All-in-One Cleansing Water ($10) to clean any smudged lines.

This took less than five minutes to achieve, and I only drank micellar water once. The result is a gorgeous eye look that’s just as basic. You’ll catch me wearing this look in the fall.