The Pros and Cons of Glossy Eye Makeup

Victoria Moorhouse


Glossy lips may have taken a backseat since Britney Spears stopped singing “Baby One More Time,” but since then, the consistency is taking a claim in another area of cosmetics, your eye makeup. Glossy, creamy products added to the areas around your eyes enables you to add a dose of sheen to your look without the rich pigment of shimmering metallic eyeshadow powders. It also contributes well to an overall dewy, fresh look. Makeup artists backstage at New York Fashion Week have used it in seasons past (as well as at this year’s Carolina Herrera show) to give models the appearance as if they just stepped out of water while maintaining a put-together look. We can wholeheartedly admit that there’s not many beauty products that are able to successfully take on that feat.

While cream-based products usually reach popularity in the spring and summer seasons for their long-wear, melt-proof, sweat-resistant consistencies, the dewy look is an all year favorite that’s finally getting the recognition it deserves. But like any trend, its pros come along with cons and requires low-maintenance but specific application tricks. Before you try it out, take a look at this roundup of tips, pluses and minuses so you’re prepared to get it right.

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  • It pumps up whatever color shadow you already have on. Whether it’s a charcoal grey or a purple, the light-reflecting element of glossy, creamy eye products create a sheen to the consistency of the product you already have on your lid.
  • When it comes to application, we’re not sure this look could get much simpler. Using your ring finger, apply the product (whether that’s a cream shadow, eye gloss, or a tiny bit of moisturizer) by dabbing it on your lid, whether it’s on your lash line or your entire lid.
  • It can be used to blend different colors together. It will mix the two colors together to create that desired third color.
  • The fear of overdoing it with shadow when you have a bold lip is real. To prevent from applying too eye makeup (too much of a good thing, that is) when you’re wearing a super bright lipstick shade, reach for a subtly pigmented product or try the tiniest bit of Vaseline.
  • Ever heard of a multiple? With some research, many products can be doubled for your lids. If you’re not quite ready to go for an intense lid, reach for a dewy chapstick or lip balm product—just make sure it’s safe to use around your eyes! Using Maybelline’s Baby Lips as a dewy shadow is a trick we’ve spotted backstage at New York Fashion Week shows for years.


  • It will move. It’s a little slippery by nature, and while it will stick to your skin, it will also move around on your lid. If you’re wearing a shadow shade underneath this type of product, this could take the pigment away from the place you desire. For this reason, it might not be the best makeup choice to make if you know you’ll have little time for touch-ups.
  • It’s sticky—and if you have any tactile frustrations with makeup, this could get on your nerves. If you have longer blunt bangs that fall below your brows, your strands could get stuck in the product, similar to what happens when it’s windy outside and your tresses get stuck to your lip gloss.
  • When applied to thick, it’s could look globby, so make sure you spread it out and only pick up a modest amount with your finger or brush.

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