9 Ways to Get Gorgeous Eyes—Without Eyeshadow


We love eyeshadow. But on the runways this season, makeup artists used eyeliners, lip balms, and even blush on and around the eyes—just about everything but eyeshadow. So, does this mean you have to break up with your beloved Urban Decay Naked palette? Nope. You just need to spend a little time apart and give your shadows a (well-deserved) rest in the process. To help you through withdrawal, we present to you the coolest ways to wear eye makeup without using shadow.

Strobing creams

Blending strobing creams (which are what MAC makeup artist Monica Marmo used at Delpozo) can add tone and depth to eyes—think of it as contouring for your eye sockets. And like any good contouring, the effect is super-subtle and incredibly natural.


Blush isn’t all that different from eyeshadow, but it’s still a weird choice—especially when you consider the pink shades makeup artist Kabuki used at the Blonds. It again created contour, but this time with a pop of color. Makeup artist Val Garland took it in a different direction at Temperley London, where she used a creamy-gel blush to get a glossy peach look on the lids. This is the kind of pinkeye worth spreading.

Silver Foil

We wouldn’t usually recommend piling aluminum foil on your lids, but, damn, if this doesn’t make us want to try it out. (A safer option: Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow, $32, macys.com.) At the Holly Fulton show in London, makeup artist Sam Bryant used flakes of silver leaf between the crease of the eye and the brow for a blingy look that’s somehow not too over-the-top.

Lip Balm

Putting lip balm on your eyelids seems like a sticky mess waiting to happen, but with the right formula, it can draw attention to eyes with that slick finish instead of color. At DKNY, Global Maybelline New York makeup artist Yadim paired it with just mascara for a simple but striking effect.

Allover Eyeliner

This one requires a little sacrifice, since your eyeliner might be nothing but a nub by the time you recreate it (if you dare). We think it’s worth it. At Gypsy Sport, Maybelline makeup artist Erin Parsons literally colored in eyelids with black eyeliner, which has a very opaque, matte finish that looks like it could last all day. Smoky eye? What smoky eye?

Eye Crayons

Good news for anyone who grew up with a Crayola habit: Chubby crayons are here, and they’re really hard to screw up. In various nude shades (like makeup artist Tom Pecheux used at Derek Lam), they shape and give depth to eyes without you having to spend more than two minutes on it.

Lip Color

At Thom Browne, things got crazy—and colorful. Makeup artist Sil Bruinsmamixed four (four!) different heavily pigmented lip gloss colors to get a cool, holographic blue shade, which is extra impressive when you learn that the colors he combined were blue, magenta, white, and black.

Graphic Eyeliner

A cat eye doesn’t really qualify as groundbreaking…until it’s totally reimagined, like it was at Oscar de la Renta. Makeup artist Diane Kendal took your basic black liner, drew a cat eye and then doubled back across the crease. It’s the perfect way to push the boundaries without looking like you screwed up your liner and forgot to fix it.

( Collected )


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