You can use your eyeshadow as eyeliner. And hey, no steady hands needed!
I had no idea that not being allowed to wear makeup growing up would turn me into such a resourceful person! As a teenager, I was using eyeshadow as eyeliner before I even owned an eyeliner. It was a crusty one-and-done eyeshadow my older cousin was about to toss into the trash when I volunteered to use it. Score!
But these days, as a grown-up, that resourcefulness serves me well because even though I can wear as much makeup as I want, I don’t always have everything I need at my disposal at all times. Other times, a girl just wants to experiment with makeup.
So using eyeshadow as eyeliner isn’t just about scarcity. There’s more to it. It’s a beginner-friendly way to get started on using liquid eyeliner because you have much more control over the application and you’re very unlikely to create a mess.
Additionally, you can also use eyeshadow on top of eyeliner which is actually a method you can use to set your eyeliner to prevent eyeliner smudging and make it last longer.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying something or you simply don’t have eyeliner, or you’re trying to repurpose your unused eyeshadow palettes, you’re going to love this.
Keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial on how to use your eyeshadow as eyeliner.
What You Need
Ideally, your eyeshadow that you want to substitute for an eyeliner has a matte finish. And if you’re going for the mainstream eyeliner look, the colors should be black or brown.
That being said, there is no reason for you to avoid going for a colorful look. In fact, using high-impact eyeshadow colors like burgundy or dark green can be a fun way to experiment with your eye makeup.
An angled eyeshadow brush is a very small, densely bristled liner brush. This type of brush allows you to draw lines on the eyelid just like your eyeliner.
It also allows you to create winged eyeliner looks. But if you don’t have a brush like this, anything small, and dense, such as a lipstick brush, will work just fine.
How To Use Eyeshadow as Eyeliner
Step 1: Prep Your Eyelids
Before starting your eye makeup, consider priming your skin using an eyelid primer. This creates a smooth surface on the eyelid and allows for easier application as well as long-lasting makeup. I usually don’t do this.
But know that eyeshadow tends to fade more quickly than an eyeliner. So if you prefer long-lasting, fade-resistant eyeliner, consider using an eyeshadow primer to prep.
Step 2: Wet the Brush
Run your clean angled brush under water and wet or dampen it. A damp brush will make it easy to pick up the eyeshadow. Don’t worry, it’ll dry down eventually but the wetness helps with the application.
On a side note, some people prefer using a setting spray to dampen the brush. You can try that too, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have sensitive eyes.
Step 3: Start From the Inner Corners
Now, dip your wet brush into the eyeshadow pan to get some product, and draw a thin line on your eyelid as close to the lash line as possible.
Just like it is with your eyeliner, start drawing from the inner corner to the center or from the center to the inner corner.
Once that part is done, make the line a bit longer and drag it toward the outer corner. While you’re defining your eyes, dampen the brush and dip it into the pan as much as necessary to pick up more pigment.
Step 4: Add a Wing
If you’re going for a bolder look, you can try adding a wing too. The good thing is that compared to regular eyeliner, you have a better chance of creating the perfect cat eye with this method.
You can go as slowly as you like, build the color as much as you like, there’s no smudging, and you can very easily fix any mistakes.
This is actually why eyeliner newbies first apply eyeshadow as eyeliner and then go over it with eyeliner. It’s easy! If you end up not liking the look you’ve created, simply dampen a cotton swab and go over the eyeshadow to clean things up.
Step 5: Finish with Mascara
Once you’re convinced that you’ve got your eyeliner in place, move on to mascara. Apply several coats to create drama or go for a softer look.
Remember that eyeshadow is not as transfer-proof as actual eyeliner. So it’s always a good idea to set your makeup with a setting spray.
So this is how you can apply your eyeshadow as eyeliner. As you can see, it’s actually more fun and much easier than using eyeliner. From here on, you can try further experimenting.
For example, once you’ve created the eyeliner look you like, try a different eyeshadow like a glitter eyeshadow. Use your wet brush again to apply a little bit of glitter on the wing or all over the eyelid.
You can also consider applying the same eyeshadow on the lower lash line to create a more dramatic look. You can try tightlining if you have an eye pencil.
I apply it on my upper lashline for better eye definition and to make my mascara look darker. Below is my after photo!