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    22 Things To Help You Get Better At (Read: Cheat) Eye Makeup

    ~Eye~ really think these'll help you out. 👀🤞🏾

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Eyeshadow primer that'll prep those lids for the shadow so the color pops and won't fade, crease, or patch up on your skin. Who stans a flawless shadow finish? Us boo!

    the tube of primer and a reviewer's finger showing the primer on their fingertip

    Promising review: "This has been compared to the Urban Decay eye primer and honestly this works perfectly as well even though it’s so much cheaper. It’s tinted and dries a bit fast but as long as you do your eye makeup right away, it stays for pretty long and shows the eyeshadows’ true colors. You just need a little dab each time so the whole tube will last a long while." —Collin L. Zollars

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    2. A neutral eyeshadow palette designed for newbies who wanna practice. It'll come with a handy guide to help you achieve different looks annnnd it'll tell you exactly what shades go where on your eyes.


    Promising review: "I have never done a smoky eye before, and I often feel like I am not good at applying makeup. I followed the directions and I am very happy. I was a bit afraid during the step where I applied the black eyeshadow, but once you blend out with the brown, it looks very nice. I would highly recommend for beginners." —Sean and Maureen C.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    3. A Revlon mini palette with designs to give you X-marks-the-spot style directions for where each color can go. You got this!

    reviewer's hand holding the palette which has eyeshadow pans shaped like the area near or on the eye where the shadow should go

    Promising review: "I’ve used this for years. There’s just something really nice about the colors. I’ve tried other eyeshadows from more expensive brands, but their colors have never been quite as flattering as this palette." —Crissy

    Get it from Amazon for $8.24+ (available in multiple color combos).

    4. A silicon eyeshadow stencil kit you could use and avoid the pressure of making perfectly lined shadow. Just follow whichever stencil you want that day and PRESTO.


    Promising review: "YES IT WORKS. This set allows you to slip on and off the shape you prefer. They're soft to touch. Just wash to clean. No sticky tape needed. At first, after the application I really didn't see anything special. I continued to blend my makeup and took a selfie before applying mascara. WOW! The look was amazing. Like I had a professional application of eye makeup. I recommend this product if you struggle with eye makeup application." —Butterfly 🦋

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    5. E.l.f. eye tape that'll turn your new nickname into "PRECISION" and give your eyeshadow an actual boundary so it isn't traveling too far toward your temple.

    the strip of tape on the side of the eye where the eyeshadow should stop
    E.l.f. Cosmetics

    Promising review: "These give me a sharp edge to my eyeshadow and help keep that eyeshadow liner tidy and perfect! If you need any kind of shadow shield or liner assist, these are exactly what you need. They don't pull on the skin around your eyes and keep all the powders off your nice clean skin. For $3, what a deal." —Galaxygirl

    Get a pack of 40 from E.l.f. Cosmetics for $3.

    6. A dual-ended creamy Julep waterproof eyeshadow pen with a cream-to-powder finish and a cushy smudger on one end so you can apply shadow with the ease of a crayon — minus the waxy look of one.


    Promising review: "So easy to use, and brightens my eyes incredibly! No powder mess to clean up on my face. Makes me want to throw out all my powder eyeshadows! This is the only eyeshadow I will ever need, as I’m trying to simplify my makeup routine. I am almost 60 years old, and this made a significant difference in my appearance, even though I do not use eyeliner or mascara. Makes my eyes pop. It’s a game-changer!" —shelly

    Get it from Amazon for $15 (available in 22 colors).

    7. A blush palette you can use to rosy up your cheeks and sweep a little color on your lids for safe, easy monochromatic glam. (Using the same blush on the eyes, cheeks, and lips is my fave go-to trick for getting around not being the best at blending shadow colors.)

    reviewer's hand holding the blush palette

    This nine-pan blush palette is literally all the blush you'll ever need! It features light and deep pink hues as well as shades in the coral family. I'm partial to the Tanga-rine (coral) and Who Gives A Flock (light pink) blushes. ALSO, the palette comes with a highlighter shade that could also be used to add shimmer to those fluttery lids of yours. This palette is from Mia del Mar, a Miami-based small business also led by a team of folks who proudly come from the United States, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, and Brazil.

    Promising review: "I love this blush palette. The color pay off is excellent on a tan girl like me. I'm able to layer or blend multiple colors. I love using the shimmer color on top of the other colors. I also love doubling this up as an eyeshadow palette..." —Michelle Flores

    Get it from Mia del Mar on Amazon for $40.

    8. And! Mented Cosmetics bronzer in case you'd like to do a similar monochromatic look with a natural shade. Mmhmm. This bronzer'll be a one-and-done for your face and lids.

    the four bronzer compacts lined up beside each other
    Mented Cosmetics

    Hear (or read!) me well: This bronzer is the TRUTH! It's the perfect added touch to the face after your foundation and concealer (or just your concealer if you go it like that, sweet face) because it adds a touch of warmth to it that gives it this just-off-vacay look. It's available in FOUR inclusive shades that should suit folks with skin tones ranging from fair to deep. EYE own the deepest bronzer shade, Out Of Office, and baby? I was never a bronzer girl before I tried it. While I still adore blush on the highest level, I'm super happy that I was first introduced to bronzer by Mented. It's perfect for my skin tone and doesn't look overbearing. I pop it on my lids when I want a cute shadow look that still gives no-makeup-makeup tease. Also, you'll be happy to know that Mented Cosmetics is a Black-owned and woman-owned brand that prioritizes inclusive shade ranges for everyone to enjoy.

    Promising review: "This bronzer is BEAUTIFUL! My makeup routine will never be the same. This is a must for my everyday looks whether I'm doing a minimal 'my face but better' look or a full-on glam face. My face shade is Out Of Office but Yacht Life also makes for a great one-color eyeshadow look. I've also used Out Of Office as an eyeshadow shade. We love a versatile product." —Ebony Ohen

    Get it from Mented Cosmetics on Ulta for $22 (available in four shades).

    9. Glow-in-the-dark eyeliner and mascara duos because even if you mess it up, it's going to look OH SO COOL.,

    Promising review: "THIS STUFF IS THE BOMB!! I work in a night club and I have fallen in love. The mascara I could live without but the eyeliner is awesome! It needs to be shaken before use or the consistency stinks and it’s patchy under the light but when used right it’s perfect!" –Kimmy K

    Get a six-color variety pack from Amazon for $23.98.

    10. LA Pure Waterproof Eyeliner Stamp because, listen, no one'll judge if you're not the best at shadow and prefer to just stick to liner. And who's going to check you if you cheat at that too? Stamps it is, then!

    reviewer with the perfect cat eye

    Promising review: "Okay, so I am as shaky as shaky gets when it comes to putting eyeliner on...but this is a miracle sent from above! It honestly is the most amazing eye makeup product I own at the moment. It is as easy as it sounds. Literally. I like that it is double-ended and you have two pens: one for the left eye and one for the right. The opposite end on both is just everyday liquid liner pen, but it goes on soooo much smoother than any other liquid liner I've tried or owned." —ˑMerkuryˑVolkanicˑ.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.97 (available in three colors).

    11. Eye makeup decals (or "stick-on beauty" as it's also called) so you can skip the geometry and color theory portion of shadow altogether and get right to the FUN and EXPRESSION.

    model on left has silver decals that look like clouds framing the eye and one on the right has deals that look like thick, animated eyelashes and lightening bolts. Cool, right?
    Donni Davy

    These babies are a collab between Donni Davy (the makeup artist responsible for the incredibly SIQ lewks on HBO's Euphoria) and the Face Lace brand — a small business based in the UK that specializes in loads of these! Behold, your secret weapon for turning up your adventurous makeup looks for Halloween, parades, festivals and more. 

    Get the cloud decals on the left from Donni Davy for $17.50, the spiked lash decals on the right for $17.50, and the lightning bolts on the right for $17.50 (each pack comes with two sheets of about 17 stickers each).

    12. An Eyescream paint job brush set inspired by baking utensils and so on-brand with all the fresh, scrumptious beats you'll whip up at your vanity. These are made specifically for eye-blending so you get every nook and cranny you need to.

    five brushes inside the lots of a makeup brush roll that's shaped like a pink and white polka-dotted apron. the brushes have handles shaped like different cooking utensils including an egg beater, butter knife, spatula, and the scraper spatula
    Beauty Bakerie

    This vegan brush set is from Beauty Bakerie, a Black-owned and woman-owned business founded by entrepreneur Cashmere Nicole.

    Promising review: "Very cute brushes. I was iffy because of the price but the brushes are pretty sturdy. I think they are metal so I know that they will last. The brush holder is also really cute and you can hang it up from the handle." —AR87

    Get the set from Beauty Bakerie at Target for $29 (comes with five brushes meant for expertly applying makeup to eyes and brows in an apron-shaped brush roll).

    13. OR beauty sponges tiny enough to apply shadow or primer to your eye area with ease. They'll also work for dabbing concealer around your top or bottom lids if your shadow gets slightly messy 😅. Because WHO is starting all the way over after doing makeup for 30 minutes already?! Not us!,

    Promising review: "These mini sponges are awesome. I bought them thinking they were the big ones, but when they arrived they were really small. I actually prefer my blenders like this now because you waste less foundation!! Really soft, great colors, and is perfect for small areas like the sides of the nose, your under eyes, and eye lids." –E

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $6.29.

    14. Fun dual-ended eyeliner stamps to punctuate those gorgeous cat-eyes with some extra personality without having to deal with fallout or re-do a bunch o' times to get it right.,

    It's incredibly similar to the regular eyeliner stamp you BuzzFeed readers can't seem to get enough of — with just a lil' more fun.

    Promising review: "The eyeliner is amazing. Very beginner friendly also❤️ Love it will order again." —Cynapses

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $14.99 (the pack will come with a heart, daisy, star, and moon stamps).

    15. Water- and smudge-proof eyeliner so you can still get a unique look with neutral colors and smooth application. Eyes don't need shadow to stand out, ya know?

    Kulfi Beauty

    The smooth liners are from a small, South Asian-owned and woman-owned brand called Kulfi Beauty — affectionately named after a South Asian ice cream. Peep what the owner had to say about the brand to BuzzFeed Shopping:

    "Kulfi Beauty is the result of my journey rediscovering the joy in makeup for myself and reclaiming my beauty for myself… Kulfi Beauty puts the South Asian community at the forefront: our skin tones, undertones, and skin concerns are all taken into consideration when formulating and developing our products. The colorful eyeliner shades that I developed are inspired by South Asian textiles and complement all skin tones." —Priyanka Ganjoo, Founder/CEO

    Get it from Kulfi Beauty for $20 (available in five colors).

    16. An adhesive shadow patch that'll be clutch if your main gripe with eyeshadow is the fallout that bullies the rest of the makeup you've perfectly applied. (It'll also help you perfect your lines.)

    one side shows three shadow patches which are shaped like half-circles and the other side shows a model holding the patches up to her eye to apply liner

    Promising review: "I don’t know how I've done my eye makeup without these my whole life! They help so much with eyeshadow fallout it’s insane! There are two stickers on them, but I only do the small top ones since I like to do my foundation before eyeshadow! They’re very sticky and sometimes take off some of my foundation but I’ve found if you first tape it on your hand then onto your face it helps!" —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon for $10.89 (comes with 100 pieces).

    17. Disposable dual-sided eyeshadow sponges you can use to blend shadow and throw out when you're done. They've got a shorter handle than most makeup brushes so they'll be easier to maneuver.

    model's hand holding the short black stick with sponges on the end. They look kinda like q-tips.

    Promising review: "Excellent! These are the perfect size for applying eyeshadow. No bacteria buildup in your eyeshadow in the container because these are disposable. A fresh applicator every day. They hold the shadow well after you swipe your container and then apply the shadow to your lids." —nicoleg

    Get them from Amazon for $6.99 (comes with 80 sponge applicators).

    18. Holographic loose pigment glitters to get super funky and sparkly with your looks for all the upcoming festivals, Halloween shindigs, concerts, b-day celebrations, and whatever else you think will call for some creative bling-a-ling — minus the color-blending fails.,,,

    Yes. I def just wrote bling-a-ling. I cannot be sued, so you know. Anywho, the review pictures of this loose pigment really tell the whole tale, no? This glitter isn't about being perfect or professional. It's about FUN. Ya know, that thing we all could use a little more of in our lives? Get into it! Soooo many reviewers stress how easy this loose glitter is to use and how much they like the glue that comes with it. Folks used this stuff on their nails, eyelids, collar bones for festival costumes, hair (since it's chunky enough to easily wash out!), and so much more.

    Promising review: "Probably one of the best value for money glitters I have ever used! I am a fulltime drag queen and this glitter gets the attention of MANY others! You can see it on and off the stage. It is so easy to put on and STAYS on. Without the sharpness of a cheap glitter this glitter is very comfortable. When i run out I WILL be purchasing my glitter from here.! THANK YOU!" —Soriah Sis

    Get it from Amazon for $6.98+ (available in two color options).

    19. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray! Uh-huh. Some of the problem with making shadow stay on longer is making sure you set your ENTIRE face of makeup when you're done. This spray'll work like no other.,

    I actually use the Urban Decay setting spray and I swear by it. It's a little pricey-icey-icey but I'd argue that it's 1000% worth the spend because 1) It friggin' WORKS and 2) A little spray goes a really long way. I typically only buy one every 7 months or so. Previously, I've tried other drugstore setting sprays and noticed zero difference in how long my makeup lasted compared to when I'm not wearing it. I've set my makeup with the UD spray for beach days, long nights out on the town, and other stuff I can't remember right now – and it's honestly never let me down. I find I have to do less "refreshing" of my makeup over the course of a few hours. Also, I have freakishly sensitive skin and the UD setting spray doesn't irritate my face which is another plus and factor in why I really don't use any other setting spray. 

    Promising review: "This stuff is a miraculous makeup setting spray! I sweat (hyperhidrosis) like a waterfall. My eyeliner and mascara run down my face. Eyeshadow rinses off as if never applied. When I use this setting spray (READ the directions!) my makeup is set and on point until I cleanse it. I use micellar water or 91-99% rubbing alcohol followed with soap and water if desired. Then, of course, I moisturize. I notice no scent. I feel this stuff is grotesquely overpriced but it has never failed. I use waterproof makeup which ran anyway and have used non-waterproof makeup. This spray sets both! Runny makeup is a thing of the past. Whether you sweat, high humidity, freaking hot, winter cold, your makeup is on point. Highly recommend. Wish it was more affordable." –Swtchks

    Get it from Amazon for $15+ (available in travel and regular size; the travel-size is actually the one that lasts me so many months, btw).

    20. Glossier liquid-to-powder Skywash that'll come with a doe-foot applicator so you can apply it to your eyes as easily as you would, say, a lip gloss!


    This stick eyeshadow is a light wash matte which means it's designed to be sheer but buildable. If you want super pigment in a single swipe, then these sticks aren't for you. HOWEVA, if you prefer the sheer look anyway so you can start really slow on your eye makeup journey or because you're just lowkey like that, then shazam baby! Here you are! This baby's also smudge-free, longwearing, and vegan.

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this eyeshadow. Really subtle but beautiful and really easy to apply." —Lauren

    Get it from Glossier for $18 (available in seven — again, buildable — shades)

    21. A (pretty massive) 42-pan eyeshadow palette because HOW ELSE do you think you'll get better at applying your eye makeup? You gotta practice babe — without blowing through a ton of palettes. This baby is under $20!

    two models arms who are fair and dark-skinned with some of the shades swatchedon their arms to show that the colors look good on various skin tones
    BH Cosmetics

    Promising review: "I found this palette once before at a random store and liked the range, so I bought it. I freakin loved it, it has so many colors, and the pigment was amazing. I used it forever because I was terrified I’d never find another one like it. Then I finally located it online and was so happy! The price is fantastic, the makeup wonderful, I’d say this palette really got me back into makeup :))" —Kennedy T.

    Get it from BH Cosmetics for $14.

    22. Aveeno makeup remover wipes for times when you try your darndest to rescue your eye makeup but ultimately have to wipe everything and start over. It happens and that's OK. At least these wipes will be super gentle on your skin.

    pack of wipes

    Your eyes and the skin around them are very delicate. You'll already be doing more tugging and pulling than usual as you inevitably move the skin with your brush or blender. If you have to remove eye makeup, these wipes are the way to go. They're made with skin-calming feverfew extract and are also fragrance-free so you won't deal with irritating allergens that make many beauty products more trouble than they're worth. 

    Promising review: "Ihave tried different brands and my face must be allergic to most of them even Neutrogena; I develop red spots on my face. This is the only brand that removes even eye makeup and mascara and is very gentle on the skin" —Nikkie N.

    Get two packs from Amazon for $10.97 (each pack has 25 wipes).

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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