In high school, I was the girl wearing crazy-colored eyeliner with my conservative plaid uniform. In college, it wasn’t unusual to see me with a smoky eye at my 9 a.m. class. I’ve always been someone who likes to go all the way with my makeup, and I've never had a problem waking up a few minutes early to apply a full face.
Lately, though, my long commute and colder temps have made me relish my time in bed, and I no longer want to wake up early for the sake of a strong smoky eye. But I still want to appear as though I’ve put effort into my look. Cue Stila Shimmer and Glow Liquid Eye Shadows ($24; sephora.com) an easy-to-use product that has me swearing off eye shadow palettes for good.
In addition to guaranteeing me compliments every time I wear them, these little rectangular shadows have seriously changed the way I apply makeup. I used to spend time selecting a palette and using multiple brushes to blend out my look—usually a matte crease shade, shimmery lid color, an inner corner and brow bone highlight, and darker shade on the outer third of my eye as liner—but now I use just this one product for equally glamorous results.
The unique applicator is similar to a large, flat doe foot, the perfect size to coat the entire lid in just one swipe. The formula itself is a liquid eye shadow; it applies wet and dries down in seconds. A thin layer delivers a sheer-but-noticeable wash of color, and a back-and-forth swipe of the wand provides gorgeous pigment that won't cake when layered. When I use powder shadows, I always prime my lids, but this product stays crease-free all day—which isn’t always the case for liquid and cream shadows.
In addition to the mess-free, one-swipe application, I don’t waste nearly as many brushes when applying my eye makeup. I can use my fingers to soften the edges of the swipe, or reach for just one blending brush if I want to keep my hands clean—I love the Artis Elite Smoke Circle 1R Brush ($36; nordstrom.com). I find that applying any of these shades across my lid or along my lower lashline creates a complete look that pulls everything together in under a minute. You do have to act quickly when blending, since the liquid formula sets soon after it’s applied, but that’s also the reason it stays all day, so it’s a small price to pay for long-wear eye makeup.
To buy: $24; sephora.com
I used to have specific palettes I loved for different occasions, but now, I find that keeping a few shades of the Shimmer and Glows on my desk gives me enough options to create as many looks as I want. During the day, the more neutral metallics like bronzy Grace and rose gold Jezebel are perfect for a wash of shimmer. At night, I opt for fun shades like Cloud, a lavender with gold pearl, or La Douce, the most stunningly wearable green eye shadow I’ve ever come across. If I’m feeling wild and have time to spare, I swipe on a second Stila favorite, Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadows ($24; sephora.com), which have the same quick and easy applicator with more of a sparkly consistency. When I apply a layer of this formula over my Shimmer and Glow, I can take a look from day to night in seconds.
What I love most about these liquid shadows, though, is that virtually anyone can use them with ease. If you’re a no-makeup girl looking for a product for nights when you want to feel special, the easy application process makes these a dream. But beauty junkies will also love the crazy pigment and color options, as well as the showstopping shimmer finish. And if you’re someone like me who wants to look great without waking up early to primp, these shadows will be a lifesaver.
Beauty – Health.com