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Unless you’ve been graced with beginner’s luck or just have a particularly sharpened skill set straight from the start, learning how to properly blend eyeshadow can be a trek of trial-and-error. What’s even MORE visible than a splotch of shadow sitting on your lid—not blended and unnatural—is a smear of metallic shadow. When blending is your thing, the user-friendly qualities of a metallic eyeshadow stick can’t be trumped. These slenderized compacts apply straight to skin, making the task of picking out the right brush (or even using one) not completely necessary. Of course, using your fingers to blend out any harsh lines is still something you’d want to do, but the sticks make shimmery eye makeup almost fool-proof, anyway. From teals that double as liner to iridescent golds, here are a few that standout.
Because the shimmer in this product is extremely subtle, you can still breakout that bold lip if you want—just be mindful of complimentary colors. The color is packaged in a pointy pencil-like tip, so slender, in fact, that it can be doubled as a precise eyeliner tool. It comes in a variety of colors, but this black shimmer pencil is just what you need to make a super dark smokey eye way easier, cutting down the time you’d spend washing your brushes afterwards, too. You DO wash your brushes regularly, right? (Boots No.7 Shade and Define Pencil in Black Shimmer, $10, drugstore.com)
Less precision than the latter but with a bit more noticeable sparkle, Bobbi Brown is a pro at packaging her budge-proof (it’s said to last for about 8 hours!) creme shadow in stick form. You don’t need much to get a metallic effect, but it’s buildable so you won’t have to worry about it clumping up when you’re really going for it. In addition to your standard shadow, we like using this product lightly placed in the inner corners of our eyes.
(Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink, $29, nordstrom.com)
You can go ahead and forget all about those fears of blue eyeshadow. The key is making sure your tone has hint of another color in it (here it’s an aqua, green-ish version). Marc Jacobs’ Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks do exactly what they say they’re going to do—make your eyes glow and shimmer. Painting this stuff all over your lids will be quite the look, indeed, but with a name like “Teal Mermaid Shimmer,” does it really matter? Take it down by just lining your lower lashes with this pretty stuff. (Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick, $28, sephora.com)
Blocking creasing, Jouer makes a mighty fine creme shadow stick. It’s really easy to apply, is said to have water-resistant properties (go ahead and dive in that pool), and won’t dry up or flake off, either. It’s tip isn’t super thin, but it can still be used to apply a thicker line along your top lash line. We’re currently coveting this chocolate brown hue for a more subdued smokey eye. (Jouer Creme Eyeshadow Crayon in Baroque, $24, nordstrom.com)
A lover of neutrals will be psyched with the presentation these three colors from NYX will craft. While the pencil is offered in 9 different hues, the majority of them are soft neutrals, all of which can be doubled as eyeliner or blended with each other to create a gradient or a balanced look of multiple shades. Another plus? It’s waterproof, making it even friendlier for this summer. (NYX Cosmetics Infinite Shadow Stick, $9, ulta.com)
Not technically a stick, but hey, we’re going to sing its praises. This Giorgio Armani Beauty shadow tint comes with a lip gloss-like applicator foot that’s just as flexible and pliable as using a pencil. You’ll be surprised to find that it imparts quite a hefty opaque pigment for being shimmery. Use one of the 12 shades (yes, 12!) on your lashes, as eyeliner, and even highlighter if you’re feeling daring. (Giorgio Armani Eye Tint, $38, nordstrom.com)