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The Best Liquid Eye Shadows

KOBRIN PHOTO/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated April 2022

Creating a beautiful makeup look doesn't have to be a time-consuming task. With liquid eye shadows, you can dab on some color and head out the door with the perfect glow. We've collected some of the best liquid eye shadows for stunning, effortless looks.

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  Top Choice Best Multi-Color Set Best Cruelty-Free Premium Choice The Bold Colors
 
  e.l.f.
Opaque Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow
BestLand
10-Pack of Multicolor Glitter Liquid Eyeshadows
Haus Laboratories
Intense Liquid Eyeshadow Set
butter London
Sheer Serum Liquid Eyeshadow
Kisshine
Bold Color Cream Eyeshadow
 
Our SummaryGet rich pigment and easy-to-blend opaque glitter eye shadow.Mix and match shimmering shades in this multipack for dressed up or down beauty looks.Turn up the drama in this show-stopping color combo.Accentuate your natural beauty with this luxe sheer formula.Live life in technicolor with these bright, richly pigmented eye shadows.
ProsOpaque color, low fallout, blendable with powder and other shades. Lots of color pairing options, great for all eye colors, long-lasting. Great for quick smokey eyes, crease resistant, cruelty-free. Very neutral, easy to apply, great for rushed makeup application. Super bright pigments, long-wearing, attention-grabbing, creamy texture.
ConsChunky glitter formula, pigment fades throughout day. Must be layered to create dramatic looks. Smudges easily, pricey. Very sheer, doesn't build well. Hard to remove, takes practice.
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The Best Liquid Eye Shadows

A woman closes her eyes to show her smoky eye shadow.
KOBRIN PHOTO/Shutterstock.com

Powdered eye shadow can be difficult to blend and even harder to master if you’re in a rush. With liquid eye shadow or eyeshadow sticks, you can just smear a little product on for an instant glow-up. If you love bold looks, a pigmented shimmer or glitter liquid eye shadow will create intense color and shine without the need for glitter glue or hours of blending, while matte liquid shadows can add some color and a near-natural glow. The right product will bring out your natural beauty without adding extra steps to your routine. Look through our list and find the best liquid eye shadow for your beauty routine.

Buying Guide for Liquid Eye Shadows

A woman closing her eyes to show off her red eyeshadow.
ME Image/Shutterstock.com

Why buy liquid eye shadow? 

Sometimes powdered eye shadow just doesn’t cut it and can leave dust on your cheeks. Liquid eye shadow adheres only to where it’s applied and can be used to add deep hues or a shimmery glow. You can use it as your main color, just an accent, or even eyeliner.

What should you consider when buying liquid eye shadow?

  • Formula: If you want your eye look to last all day without fading, consider a liquid eye shadow that is crease-resistant or waterproof. These may have a thicker consistency and feel heavier on the face, but your makeup will stay in place for hours.
  • Applicator: Applicators with a flat area that is angled at the top of a rounded brush pick up the product at the tip and allow the user to apply the pigment in small sections. These doe-foot applicators are easy to use for beginners. Squared applicators are ideal for creating sharp and precise lines for cut-crease looks.
  • Opacity: Thinner formulas leave a sheer layer of pigment or glitter on the lid, which creates a soft glow and shine. If you’re looking for a bolder payoff, avoid liquid eye shadows described as topcoats or sheer. Liquid eye shadows with buildable color are ideal as they let the user adjust the pigment’s intensity.

Can someone of any skill level use liquid eye shadow?

YesIn fact, one of the best things about liquid eye shadows is that they look great on their own or blended into an eye shadow masterpiece. You can dab with your finger, touch up with a brush, or just use the shadow’s applicator, whatever you’re most comfortable with! Liquid eye shadow is super accessible and makes a huge impact.

Our Picks for the Best Liquid Eye Shadows

Top Choice

e.l.f. Opaque Liquid Glitter Eye Shadow

Rich pigment and easy-to-blend opaque glitter eye shadow.

Pros: The pigment of e.l.f.’s liquid glitter eye shadow creates a stunning, shimmering eye look. The long-wearing formula keeps the reflective glitter on your lids and off your face. This product is not only budget-friendly but animal-friendly as well with its vegan formula and cruelty-free production.

Cons: This eye shadow contains chunky glitter and will appear as such. If you are in a more professional setting, a shimmering eye shadow may be a better fit. Additionally, the pigment can fade throughout the day, leaving you with just glitter lids, so be sure to use a great eye shadow primer with this.

Bottom Line: To add a little glimmering glitter to your eye shadow, look no further. This budget-friendly liquid eye shadow by e.l.f. is great as an all-over or corner accent.

 

Best Multi-Color Set

BestLand 10-Pack of Multicolor Glitter Liquid Eyeshadows

Mix and match shimmering shades in this multipack for dressed up or down beauty looks.

Pros: Sometimes, you need options. With this multicolor eye shadow set, you can create subtle monochrome looks or daring contrasting pairings. This eye shadow box set is also a great gift for a friend, and the beautiful pigments will compliment any eye color. The formula is also buildable, so you can create the level of luster you want for different occasions. Customers also wrote that this product has almost no “fallout,” so the rest of your face will stay glitter-free.

Cons: We love this variety pack for a lot of reasons, but as with any multipack, it can be frustrating if you fall in love with one or two shades but run out of them quickly. And if you’re looking to create big, bold looks, you’ll need to apply at least two coats of the shadow, which requires patience so each layer can fully dry.

Bottom Line: This eye shadow multipack is ideal if you want to pair shades with specific outfits, enjoy experimenting with color, or just love to have options! Its price per tube is nothing to sniff at, either.

 

Best Cruelty-Free

Haus Laboratories Intense Liquid Eyeshadow Set

Turn up the drama in this show-stopping color combo.

Pros: This Haus Laboratories shadow set is not for the faint of heart. Each of the 17 color options has a pearlescent foil finish that will make your eyes stand out among the crowd. Your look will last from morning to night with these liquid eye shadows’ long-wearing and crease-resistant formula. The doe-foot applicator allows you to easily apply the product without losing opacity. If you’re looking for a more subtle look, this product can be sheered out with some blending, but our advice is to embrace the drama.

Cons: These premium liquid eye shadows have a large price tag that can throw off even seasoned beauty fanatics. Additionally, the formula is quite watery, which can lead to smudging, uneven blending, and a long time drying time.

Bottom Line: These daring duos are perfect for a big night out, but with a hefty price tag, we recommend ordering a single set to see how you like it before committing to multiple orders.

 

Premium Choice

butter London Sheer Liquid Shadow

Accentuate your natural beauty with this luxe, sheer formula.

Pros: No-makeup makeup looks are in, and this eye shadow can be a perfect, neutral addition to your minimalist beauty routine. The buttery soft serum dries to a satin-matte powdered finish. The long-lasting coat can even double as a primer for other shadows. We love this super subtle shadow for running errands, brunch with the in-laws, and Pilates classes.

Cons: When we say subtle, we mean subtle. This liquid eye shadow is very lightly pigmented, so if you like to go big, look elsewhere. Additionally, because of its pale pigments, we do not recommend this pick for people of color unless you are looking for a barely-there look. There’s also very little variation between shades, so this won’t work for high contrast looks.

Bottom Line: Not every makeup look needs to be dramatic, and this liquid eye shadow is a beautiful neutral option, no matter what shade you pick. This eye shadow is best for playing up your natural features and tones.

 

The Bold Colors

Kisshine Bold Color Cream Eyeshadow

Live life in technicolor with these bright, richly pigmented eye shadows.

Pros: Your eye shadow will be absolutely poppin’ in these bursting, ultra-pigmented liquid eye shadows. These aren’t the pastes you used to buy at Hot Topic either; this formula is velvety soft and creamy, which leads to rich, even eye makeup looks. It’s buildable, so you can pack as much or as little punch as you want. You can even add just a smidge and blend for color correction.

Cons: Because of the rich hue and unique velvety texture, these shades take some experimentation and practice to get right. We recommend playing around with it before using it for a big night to avoid reaching hot mess status. Also, those rich hues are tough to get off and may lightly stain the skin. Have some excellent eye makeup remover and know how your skin reacts to the formula before doing a full makeup look.

Bottom Line: While this super pigmented liquid eye shadow may not fit into your ordinary skin routine, we love them for the extraordinary. You’ll be sure to catch the spotlight with these bright-colored cream eye shadow pigments.

Final Thoughts

Beauty beginners and fanatics alike can benefit from the addition of liquid eye shadow to their makeup collection. With matte, semi-matte, pearlescent, shimmer, and glitter finishes, there’s truly a liquid eye shadow for nearly everyone–find the right one to make your next look into a show-stopper.

Camryn Lang Camryn Lang
Camryn Lang is a freelance writer and copyeditor that has produced a wide variety of content, from breaking news and memorial tributes to web content and fiction novels. While working on her bachelor's degree in English at Texas A&M University, Camryn led writers and editors at the nationally recognized university newspaper, The Battalion. During her free time, she enjoys reading thrillers and fantasy novels and eating desserts. Read Full Bio »
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