Here’s How to Use (and Love) Liquid Eyeshadow

Victoria Moorhouse
liquid eyeshadow story


Much as we love eyeshadow, we can’t help feeling defeated by it sometimes. From the blending to the creasing to the constant mess—it’s enough to make a girl want to go bare-lidded. Or it was, until now.

There is a way to make applying eyeshadow easier—and no, it has nothing to do with spending $35 on a primer. The answer is making the switch from traditional powders and creams to liquid eyeshadows. Though they may seem intimidating, these shadows are actually the easy-to-use makeup miracles your eyelids have been dreaming of.

You’ve probably seen them in the drugstore by now and may have mistaken them for lip gloss. Most of the time they’re packaged in almost the same exact way, doe foot applicator and all. And when it comes to how to use liquid eyeshadow, things couldn’t be simpler.

“The shadows can easily be applied by your fingers and you don’t have to worry about spill off,” explains makeup artist and Director-at-Large Romy Soleimani. “Also the texture is much smoother than a powder, so getting an even application is simple and fast.” She also notes that because they’re self-setting, you don’t need to worry about applying primer beforehand, and they tend to be long-wearing. Mid-day touch up? Nah.

To apply it, all you really need to do is dip the little applicator in the tube to collect product and then dab it on your lid. From there, Soleimani says you can blend with your fingers for an intense application or with a brush—she recommends Japonesque’s Eyeshadow Fluff Brush ($16,—for a more sheer look. And if that’s not enough to get you excited, think about the fact that you can easily fit this product in your pocket. You don’t even need that makeup bag.

Here are our favorite liquid eyeshadows—get ready to get those lids glowing!

wander beauty liquid shadow

Photo: Wander Beauty

Wander Beauty Exquisite Eyeshadow ($26,

Former Victoria’s Secret Model Lindsay Ellingson really knows her makeup. This liquid eyeshadow from her company Wander Beauty is formulated with Green Tea to soothe your lids as it gives you a pop of color. If you’re not into a fully shimmery eye makeup look, just dab it in the inner corners of your eyes for a little glow.

rimmel scandaleyes

Photo: Rimmel

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint ($6,

This is one liquid eyeshadow formula with a big metallic color payoff, and it makes getting that shimmery eye makeup look easier than ever. An even bigger bonus? It only rings up to about $6.

ellis faas eyeshadow

Photo: Ellis Faas

Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes Eyeshadow ($36,

Liquid eyeshadow formulas can double up as highlighters, too. Solemani suggests using the Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes Eyeshadow in E108 for this purpose. Dab a bit on the apples of your cheeks, on your cupids bow, and below the brows.

armnai eyeshadow

Photo: Armani Beauty

Armani Beauty Eye Tint ($38,

We’re big proponents of this shadow formula—a little goes a long way and it really helps to brighten up your eyes. Gold Ashes is one of our absolute favorites to use as highlighter, but a blue hue like Minuit is perfect for a darker smokey look.

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