Adele’s Makeup Artist On How To Do Her Signature Winged Eyeliner

New Zealand-born make-up artist Michael Ashton and Adele’s decade-long partnership has given rise to one of the most iconic celebrity looks in recent years: her glamorous winged eyeliner.


Now he tells Buro 24/7 how he does it.

  • Take your time and be patient when building up the line.
  • Start drawing from the middle and draw it outwards to the outer corner. Line the inner corner, then do the wing last.
  • Draw the line as close as possible to the roots of the lashes and slowly build up the thickness.
  • Bring up the line to flick up at a 45-degree angle. Use a thin cotton bud dipped in micellar water to clean up and perfect the wing.

Ashton actually likes different eyeliner formulas – from gel to liquid markers and pencil. To add dimension, he sometimes uses a mix of both black and brown liners. Micellar water also features in his arsenal quite a bit. It cleans up makeup or mistakes without any residue.

Here’s some pictorial guidance from a video he did with Lisa Eldridge! Be sure to watch the video at the end if you want to see how he does the rest of the look.


After prepping the skin, Ashton starts with eyes. First, he contours the eye slightly with a sheer application of eyeshadow.


He applies gel liner without worrying too much about the shape. The point here, he says, is to establishes the bulk of the line as close as possible to the lashes. He extends the line a little past the outer corner as the base of the wing.


To create the signature wing, Ashton extends it in a 45-degree angle upwards towards her temple. He keeps a firm grip and uses a bit more pressure to steady his hand.

Finally, he sharpens the wing with a micellar water-soaked cotton bud.


Next he darkens and thickens the line, going over it with the same gel liner.

For extra glamour, add false eyelashes and mascara!


If you’re wearing this to an evening event, you can dress up the look even further. Interestingly, he uses mascara smudged on the back of his hand to line the base of her lower lashline.



The gorgeous thick liner and unapologetic wing frame the eyes in a way reminiscent of the stars of Hollywood’s golden age. Sure enough, Ashton draws inspiration from the classic beauty of Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor and the like, referencing and reinterpreting their looks. Try it yourself!


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