Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Using Eyeshadow for Eyeliner

Ever since I started doing makeup some 10+ years ago. I'm pretty sure the #1 question I've been asked, is how I apply eyeliner to make it look blended. Especially lately, since I've started this blog, I've had at least 1/2 dozen requests about eyeliner techniques. I'll try to get to a few others that I have up my sleeve in later posts, but today I want to touch on how to use eyeshadow as eyeliner. A lot of people think that since you can buy something specifically to line your eyes, that that is the one and only way to do it! I'm going to give you 3 reasons why I think using eyeshadow is BETTER than using an eyeliner pencil/pen/gel/etc:
  1. You can save some $. Just buy an eyeshadow palette that has a good range of colors that you can use for lots of different looks. Chances are that there will be some good eyeliner shades in there!
  2. Your eyes look bigger when you use eyeshadow instead of eyeliner. 
  3. Some people get carried away, and don't emphasize their eyes properly. Eyeshadow is more forgiving when it comes to making your eyes look like your eyes only better!   
A huge pet peeve of mine is seeing ladies wear eyeliner ALL THE WAY AROUND THEIR EYES!! With a liquid eyeliner. NO!!!!!! Do not do this I beg you! Our eyes are the most gorgeous things on our face. Think of them as a work of art. would you frame a work of art with a thin, bold, tacky frame? Instead, frame them with a dark shadow that is (gasp) three times the width of that eyeliner pen that you use. I promise it will look better! That being said, there is a  way that you can gracefully use that liquid eyeliner, so don't throw it out. I'll try to get to that in a future post.

Below, I've taken a very horrible shot of my own peepers to demonstrate the difference between lining with eyeshadow vs. lining with a liquid eyeliner. On the Left, I used a dark brown eyeshadow with the elf defining eye brush, only taking the shadow about 3/4 of the way from the outer corner to the inner corner. And on the right I used a liquid eyeliner all the way around my eye. Can you see how on the Left, my eye looks softer and bigger than on the right?

Another way to use your eyeshadow as liner and have it look more nighttime/smokey is to use a pencil eyeliner (NOT liquid), and then blend it with an eyeshadow that goes with it well (you can use a black eyeliner and blend it out with a charcoal eyeshadow for example). Or, you can also use a waterproof pencil eyeliner in your waterline (space between your eyeball and your eyelashes), then blend a coordinating eyeshadow underneath your lashes.

One thing that you want to keep in mind as you do your makeup, is that the outer portion of your eyes always needs to be darker than the inner portion UNLESS your eyes are very far apart. So, using a light shadow around your inner tear duct is another great way to open up your eyes.

There are lots of ways to use your eyeshadow as a liner. Try out some different ways on your own eyes, and let me know if you notice a difference in how your eyes look! Also, if you are more interested in my other tip/tricks of eyeliner, comment!


  1. awesome post - I have never really liked the look of liquid liner on my eyes! I really like the idea of using shadow for a liner and am definitely going to give this a try. I tried it once a while back but I really didn't have a good brush so it didn't come out so good. what do you use for a brush?

    1. I really like the elf defining brush. There is a link to it in the post. You can get it a Target, and it's only $1! I have multiples of this brush, and I use it for liner pretty much every day. There are other options, though. You can use a simple eyeliner brush as well, just build it up and blend more.

  2. I started doing this about a year ago for a softer look. My problem is that it just doesn't last very long. Do you have any tips for getting the eyeshadow as liner to stay on longer?