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using eyeshadow as eyeliner


How To Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner

Posted by LiveGlam on Sep 15, 2021

Can you use eyeshadow as eyeliner? The answer is a resounding “YES”!  Whether it’s a wing, a smoky smudge, or a graphic shape, we’re going to discuss how to use eyeshadow as eyeliner.

Eyeliner is one of the most transformative makeup steps, as it can adjust your eye shape, add depth, and create playful geometry. 

However, applying eyeliner can turn from fun to frustrating rather quickly, especially if you’re using liquid products. An uneven wing or smudged liquid can be tear-inducing depending on the day. All the more reason to ditch the pen and use shadow as liner! 

Using eyeshadow as eyeliner 

how to use eyeliner as eyeshadow

Okay, first we need our tools! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A small brush with reasonably stiff bristles. For winged liner, try the Morphe M158 Double-Sided Angle Brush + Spoolie. For a smudged liner, the M210 Small Chisel Brush is your best friend. Both of these are included in the August Brush Club Collection.
  • Eyeshadow! A matte brown or black shadow is a great place to begin, as the texture is easy to work with and the color clearly shows your work. ‘Secret Baegent’ from our Investiglam eyeshadow palette is perfect, (especially with a little ‘Spill the Tea’ for sparkle)! 

How to apply eyeshadow as eyeliner 

When using eyeshadow as eyeliner, you’ll often need a liquid to create a cream or paste. Something like Mac Fix+ will help the product to stay in place. However, plain ol’ water also works fine, but is less “budge proof”.

  1. Wet your brush and shake off the excess. Dab the brush into a small corner of your eyeshadow pan. 
  2. Use the back of your hand to mix the powder and liquid together to create a smooth paste. Remove the excess so that your brush is coated but not gloopy.
  3. If using a flat, slanted brush, press the edge into your lash line, angling the brush downward into the lashes. Press it along the lash line to create a thin yet opaque line. Build it up to be a little thicker at the outer third of the lash line. 
  4. If using a pencil brush, angle the brush out to the side and use the side edge of the bristles to draw small strokes along the lash line.
  5. If you’re aiming for a wing, angle the liner toward the outer corner of your eyebrow. Be brave and go for it, you can always tidy the line with a Q-tip soaked in makeup remover. 

If you’re looking for a smokier, smudgier look, simply use dry eyeshadow:

  • Load up your brush and tap it on your hand to remove the excess. 
  • Wiggle the brush into the lash line and extend the shadow up onto the lid slightly. 
  • Use a cotton round or piece of paper to create the outer wing shape by laying it on the face. 
  • Smudge the dry shadow against the edge of the paper/cotton to create a clean cat-eye/wing without depositing shadow onto your cheek. 
  • Use a clean, fluffy brush to blend the upper lash and voila, a smokey eye with no pencils involved. 

Note: To preserve your eyeshadows, you can also dab a dry brush into the pan then dab it into a little droplet of water or mixing medium on the back of your hand. However, I like a messy eyeshadow palette, as it means I’m getting good use out of it!


Now you know how to use eyeshadow as eyeliner! Get in front of the mirror and have a play. Use different colors, textures, and finishes to create unique looks. Perhaps a shimmer silver wing or a pale pink matte floating liner? 

Grab yourself some new brushes with the LiveGlam Brush Club so you can become your own personal makeup artist. Each month, a sweet little package of 3-8 brushes will arrive at your door. You can customize your monthly collection to make sure you’re building a varied and pro-worthy collection. We’re all about options here at LiveGlam. Skip or cancel at any time! 




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