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How to Use Eyeshadow as Eyeliner

Make your eyeshadow pull double duty as the perfect complement to your lash line.
October 12, 2022

Whether you’re short on eyeliner, stocked up on old eyeshadow palettes you never use, or have a favorite shade of eyeshadow you’ve been dying to see on your lash line, there are a number of easy ways you can turn any eyeshadow into an eyeliner. The best part is, you’ll only need a few products to experiment with different eyeliner-centric eye makeup looks — without running out to purchase any new makeup.  Read on for four ways to make eyeliner out of eyeshadow.

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1. Add Some Water

Never underestimate the power of a little  water — this is probably the easiest and most convenient option to transform eyeshadow into eyeliner. Just run your angled brush under a bit of tap water, then pick up your favorite shade of eyeshadow with the brush. It’ll chalk up into a paste-like consistency, which you can easily swipe across your upper and lower eyelids just like you would a liquid liner.

2. Use Setting Spray

If you’ve got some makeup setting spray like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray in your beauty arsenal already, this is another good option for turning any powder eyeshadow into an eyeliner. Just soak your brush with a few spritzes of your go-to setting spray, swipe across your eyeshadow shade of choice and you’re done.

3. Grab Your Eye Drops

Yes, that’s right — you can also use eye drops as a mixer. It makes sense when you think about it: eye drops are already eye safe, likely in your medicine cabinet, and also easy (and precise) to dispense. Squeeze a few droplets onto your brush then dip into a shadow and apply like a regular liner. 

4. Use Your Eyeshadow As Is

Even if all you have available is a single shadow and a brush, you can still make eyeliner out of almost nothing. While it’s true you won’t be able to get a super sharp liquid liner-esque look, you can achieve a smudged eyeliner effect, which is just as good. We recommend using an eyeshadow with a creamy or gel consistency, but really, any shadow will do — cream shadows will just be extra easy to blend and smudge. Simply dip your angled brush into your shadow color of choice and smudge it across your upper lid and underneath your lower lash line.

3 Different Eyeshadow Shades to Try Out As Liner

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to test out your favorite eyeshadows and see how they look as liners. Below, we’ve got five shade suggestions that are sure to have everyone asking where they can get your eyeliner—and you get the satisfaction of telling them it’s totally custom.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow

This eyeshadow’s gel-to-powder formula means it’ll be easy to use as eyeliner, and the 20 colors range from matte to shimmery in finish. While this eyeshadow can also be used with a finger, try using it with a brush for more precise eyeliner application.

L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow

When using eyeshadow as eyeliner, you definitely want something that will last all day, and this option is made to last from morning until night. You also won’t need to worry about any cakiness, as the velvety texture is smooth. 

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eyeshadow

These curated quads provide a multitude of options for eyeliner looks —from bold blues to neutral olives — so you can mix and match to your heart’s desire.

Next: 3 Tips For Doing Kitten Eyeliner

Photographed and edited by: Témi Adebowale, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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