Adele’s Makeup Artist Shares How He Creates Her Iconic Winged Eyeliner, And Yes, It’s *Very* Simple

Nail her signature feline flicks

From Ariana Grande’s never-ending ponytail to Kim Kardashian’s strong contour, certain celebrities have nailed their beauty looks so efficiently, that now, it’s difficult not to associate them with said makeup moment. And so is the same for Adele and her signature winged eyeliner.

While most would consider replicating “Easy On Me” ballad as far from achievable, what’s to say taking a turn at her iconic cat-eye has to be as difficult?

Speaking to Page Six, makeup artist Michael Ashton had worked with Adele a decade ago, where he created the look that would actively shape the musician throughout her entire career. 

“That very first time we worked together and I put eyeliner on her, I don’t think we ever would have thought it would become so iconic,” Ashton told the publication.

Introducing by a mutual friend in 2007, Ashton and Adele met ahead of the musician’s debut album, 19, when Ashton was brought on board for his trained background in hairdressing.

“I popped over to her house to trim her fringe and she asked if I could do a quick bit of eyeliner for her before she went to meet friends,” Ashton explained. “The eyeliner obviously got the seal of approval and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Of course, Adele’s winged liner may look rather difficult to master but, Ashton says otherwise. With a client profile including, but not limited to, Hilary Swank, Keira Knightley and Penélope Cruz, it should come as no surprise that he has a few tricks up his sleeves to nail the feline flick.

“When doing eyeliner on yourself, I always recommend starting from the outer corner and working inwards. It makes the hand create a straighter line towards the inner corner of the eye,” he said.

“So, you start at the outer end of your lash line working in towards the middle, then do a fine line from the inner corner of the eye to join the two lines together. Finish by doing the flick last at an upward angle towards the temple.”

As for the dreaded two-wing symmetry, Ashton believes that it can be mastered, with enough practice.

“If you find the flick is coming a bit too far down, drag it up at a 45-degree angle,” Ashton explains. “As you drag it upwards, it will sharpen the line and give you a more elongated, lifted look to the eye.”

As for how to nail Adele’s flawless finish, Ashton credits “product cocktailing” to achieve it.

“Start by creating the desired shape using either a gel pot liner or gel pencil, then layer a long-lasting liquid liner over top to really sharpen the edge and seal the deal,” he said.


Referring to his favourite products to achieve the look, Ashton relies on Chanel’s Calligraphie de Chanel Cream Eyeliner, Kate Tokyo Super Sharp Liner Pencil and MAC Liquidlast Liner when it comes to whipping up the musician’s makeup.

For any mishaps, the Marc Jacobs Beauty global artistry ambassador recommends Muji’s cotton buds paired with Bioderma’s Micellar Water to clean up the flick and ensure sharpness is maintained.

“With mask-wearing still being a big part of our lives for the foreseeable future, eye makeup will continue to play a starring role for fall and through the holidays,” Ashton adds that he predicts “graphic eyeliner shapes, eyeshadows in luxe multidimensional textures and surprising pops of bold colour” to make waves this coming season.

“Regardless of what is trending, my rule of thumb is to do whatever makes you feel most beautiful—the best version of you.”

Keen to master Adele’s impeccable winged liner? Below, the products that Ashton recommends.

Adele makeup

Calligraphie de Chanel Cream Eyeliner, $55 at Chanel.

Adele makeup

Super Sharp Liner Pencil by Kate Tokyo, $32 at Yes Style.

Adele makeup

Liquidlast 24 Hour Waterproof Liner by M.A.C. Cosmetics, $40 at Myer.

Adele makeup

Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Cleanser by Bioderma, $20.99 at Priceline.

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