How to Use Eye Shadow as Eye Liner and Brow Filler

Neutral Eye Shadow Palette

When it comes to my beauty routine, I like to be efficient. But just because I like to wear a full face of makeup doesn’t mean I want to spend 30 minutes in the bathroom every morning, so I’m always looking for shortcuts.

Not long ago, I shared my easy eye makeup tutorial, focusing mainly on eye shadow application. Today I want to show you how I use one neutral eye shadow palette as eye shadow, eye liner AND eyebrow filler.

I tried to take photos of the process, but that was pretty comical. Do you know how hard it is to take photos of your own makeup application!?


I need an assistant, seriously.

So finally I resorted to a video. I KNOW. Two videos this week! WHAT has gotten into me

I know that not everyone has the patience for video so here is my best attempt at showing you what I do in pictures. Unfortunately the palette I use is no longer available so I would recommend this one. It has several shades of brown as well as the black that I use for eye liner. Or I’m sure you can use your own if you have a good neutral palette already.

So you already know how I do my eye shadow. I won’t go through that again. After I finish that, I take a small brush (I love this Laura Mercier smudge brush, although you can probably find something similar for cheaper) and apply the black eye shadow right into my lash line, as eye liner. I love how you can make it as subtle or as bold as you like.

The key is to get it right into the lash line, which makes your eyes appear larger and bolder. I also go into my lower lash line with a lighter color — usually a shade that I used on my eyelids. Then I usually take my blending brush and sweep across it to make sure it is set. Be sure to wipe any fallout off your cheeks. This is my best attempt at showing you the eye shadow applied as eye liner. I took about 50 pictures to get this one.


Then I added three coats of mascara. I always apply three coats. The first coat is very faint. Then I wait about 30 seconds while it dries (that’s when I apply my lipstick or eyebrows) and go back and do a 2nd coat. Then after I finish up the rest of my makeup, I do do one final coat of mascara. If you wait for each coat to dry, it usually doesn’t get cakey. One other crazy thing I do is apply eyeliner to the upper rim of my eyelid — like actually under the lashes. This really pops the eyes.

with eye liner

Finally, the brows. I use one of the darkest brown shades of eye shadow and use the same smudge brush to gently feather in my eyebrows. It is super easy to correct with a Q-tip if you get out of the lines, and it really does stay all day. It’s so much more subtle and natural looking than a pencil.


How awesome is that!? And it really only takes me about 5 minutes to do my eyes this way.

The key with eye liner — no matter if you use a pencil, liquid or eye shadow — is that you apply it right into the lash line so there’s no eyelid showing between your eye lashes and the liner/eye shadow. Then blend so it looks natural.

With the eyebrows, make sure you stand back and look at the finished face. Use a Q-Tip to contour the eyebrows and make them as natural as possible.


What’s your favorite eye makeup tip?

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13 Responses

  1. Thank you for this post. I’m very make-up challenged, and I’m trying to improve. Your eyes look amazing! I will try the eyeliner trick. Thanks!

  2. Oh, LOVED this tutorial!! Thank you for the video tutorial too- I watched the whole thing and now I need to run out and get that eyeshadow 🙂 Thanks, lady!

  3. Thank you for this post! I have been using a liquid liner for the staying power but I end up looking a little like a crazy person because I either have a toddler pulling on my arm and messing up my line or it’s just too harsh. I’ve tried your shadow technique for a few days now and I love it!! I already had Urban Decay’s “Naked” palette which is similar to the one you have and it has been perfect. Love it!

  4. Hi Jo-Lynne, I really enjoyed this brow tutorial. I was wondering what eye shadow palette you used in this post. I loved the colors. Thanks so much!

  5. Loved the tutorial. I’ve been using eyeshadow as eyeliner for years. It’s so much more flattering than a harsh line. I checked out your eyeshadow tutorial as well…..learned a lot. Thanks so much!

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