5 Alternative Uses For Eyeshadow

Anya Mer


It’s no secret that we’re total eyeshadow hoarders. While we may have the intentions to use every single shadow in all the palettes we’ve ever talked ourselves into buying, there are always a few shades that get very little to no play. Luckily, eyeshadow is a super versatile product that has a multitude of different uses. From bronzers to blushes to liners, shadow can be repurposed to mimic a variety of beauty staples. So pull out those neglected shadows, dust them off and keep reading to learn our tips on how to reintroduce them into your everyday beauty regime!

Contouring Powder
For a super defined contour, use a matte brown or taupe shadow and a small, dense blending brush to carve out the hollows of your cheeks, define along your jawline and shade at your temples. Then use a larger, fluffy blush or contour brush (like this one from Real Techniques) and a light bronzer to blend out any harsh lines you created with the shadow. Alternatively, for a lighter bronzed glow, use a matte brown shadow (about two or three shades darker than your natural skin tone) and a large bronzing brush. Shade lightly along your temples, cheekbones and jawline.

Lip Tint
You can easily create a customized lip tint with two simple products: clear lip balm and a loose eyeshadow. Pick a loose shadow that’s finely milled (the more finely milled it is, the smoother the texture of the lip tint will be), and make sure to break up any visible clumps. Using a clean mixing surface, combine a nickle-sized amount of balm with a little bit of the eyeshadow. The more shadow you use, the more pigmented the tint will be. Apply to bare lips for a sheer wash of color or over lipstick for added shine.

Whether you’re a fan of jet-black liner or like to experiment with color, using shadow to line your lids is a great alternative to using conventional liners. For a defined cat-eye look, combine your shadow with a spritz of mixing medium (like MAC’s Fix +) and line eyes as usual using a dense angled brush for a sharp wing. For a softer finish, try smudging the liner close to your upper and lower lash line and then blending out slightly with a fluffy brush. Avoid using excess product when smudging the shadow, unless you’re going for that whole Taylor Momsen raccoon-eyes vibe.

Eyebrow Powder
As an alternative to eyebrow pencils and waxes, try using a matte eyeshadow to fill in your brows. Grab a shadow a shade or two darker than your hair color and an angled brush to get started. Use a brow wand to comb your eyebrow hair in an upward and outward motion. Pick up a small amount of product on your angled brush and using short strokes, begin to fill in your brows to your desired shape. Make sure to use short, defined strokes as this will help us mimic the appearance of actual brow hair for a more natural look. Once you’re done make sure to set the powder with a clear or tinted brow gel to keep your brows in place all day!

If you’re like us, you probably have a bunch of ‘they looked different enough’ champagne-toned shadows buried in the bottom of your makeup drawer. Well pull them out and try switching them in for you favorite highlighter! Using a fan brush, dust a little bit of a neutral shimmery shadow on the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, on your cupid’s bow and under the arch of your brow. Just make sure to use a light hand when applying the product for that ‘inner glow’ sheen.