How To Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner – Easy Guide

If you want to experiment and change up your look a little, then using eyeshadow as eyeliner is one way to do it. In this article, we will examine how to use eyeshadow as eyeliner.

How To Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner

The key to using eyeshadow as eyeliner is using a good quality eyeliner brush, which should have a pointed tip and bristles close together. Moisten the brush with a little water then dip into the eyeshadow of your choice. Now apply to achieve the look you want.

Eyedrops, setting spray, and an angled brush can also be used to help transform eyeshadow into eyeliner.

Can You Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner?

Yes, you can absolutely use eyeshadow as eyeliner. With the right tools, you can enjoy the versatility of your eyeshadow by using it as an eyeliner.

Why Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner?

Eyeliner can be used on the upper and lower lashes to enhance eyes or even manipulate the shape of the eye. It can add depth and make lashes appear fuller.

And all of this can be achieved using your trusty eyeliner as eyeshadow.

Using eyeshadow as eyeliner can change your look. 

It can help you achieve a softer eye. It also gives you a wider range of colors to experiment with.

You can also use an eyebrow pencil as an eyeliner if you’re looking for a more subtle look.

How To Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner

How To Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner

We have outlined a few things to be aware of or consider when you have decided to use your eyeshadow as eyeliner:

The Look

Depending on the method you choose, you can achieve different looks when using eyeshadow as eyeliner. 

Sleek And Defined

  1. Moisten the brush then get a little of the eyeshadow onto it.
  2. Using the back of your hand, mix this together until a smooth paste forms.
  3. If using an angled brush, press the edge into your lash line and angle it downwards into the lashes. If using a pencil brush, use the side of the bristles to make small strokes along the lash line.
  4. Start at the inner corner of your eye and work your way out with the liner.
  5. If you want to achieve a sleek wing, angle the brush so that it is going towards the outer corner of your eyebrows.


  1. Get some eyeshadow onto your brush and tap to remove any surplus (this may work better if your eyeshadow has a creamier consistency).
  2. Place the brush onto your lash line and work it across.
  3. Lay a cotton swab or piece of paper onto your face to help create the wing shape (if that is what you are going for).
  4. To catch any excess shadow and stop the smudgy look migrating into messy, wipe the shadow brush against the cotton swab or paper.
  5. Now use another brush (a clean one) to blend, blend, blend! This brush can be a similar size or you could use a fluffy blending brush for eyes which is a little bigger than the liner brush.

How To Moisten

Using water to moisten the brush in order to make the eyeshadow into a paste is absolutely fine- it is quick and convenient. 

However, there are other options below which might give your eyeliner a little more staying power:


This is a good water alternative to moisten your eyeliner brush. They are safe to use in the eye area and you are likely to have them easily accessible. In addition, they are easy to apply to the brush with the applicator nozzle.

Setting Spray

You can also use a setting spray to dampen the eyeliner brush. If you already have this in your make-up kit, then this is a good option. 

Spritz the brush until it is damp then get going on working that eyeshadow in to a paste.

Mixing Medium

Using a mixing medium to mix with the eyeshadow is another way to achieve a paste that is easy to apply as an eyeliner. 

This works especially well if you are using a glittery eyeshadow as the tacky consistency of this gel keeps the glitter components in place.

Coconut Oil

Is there anything this versatile oil can’t do? It appears not! Not only can it be used for hair, skin, and teeth, but you can also use it as part of your makeup routine. 

Mix it up with your powder eyeshadow and apply it as eyeliner.

The Brush

You can use any brush small enough to apply the eyeshadow as eyeliner. However, an angled brush might be the easiest to use and give you the best results.

A pencil brush can also be used. It can give you definition and precision but can also be used to soften and smudge harsh lines.

Ensure the brush you are using is clean, or better again, unused previously. 

When using a brush like this so close to your eye, you want to be sure to avoid bacteria getting into the eye and causing infection.

Best Colors To Use

You can, of course, use whatever colors you please! However, some darker colors may work better when used as eyeliner. Colors like brown, black, dark purple, and dark green work well.

Preparation and Finish

It can be beneficial to prepare the area where you are applying the eyeshadow as eyeliner. 

By this, we simply mean apply a little eye primer. 

This will just give a nice smooth base on which to apply the eyeliner and it prevents the eyeliner from drying out. It also helps bring out the color of the liner.

After you have applied the eyeshadow as eyeliner, it is a good idea to keep your eye closed for a short time to let it set in place. 

It would also be helpful to set it with a little translucent powder- this will help minimize smudging.

Related Questions

Can You Use Mascara As Eyeliner?

Can You Use Mascara As Eyeliner

Yes, you can, and this can be a good way to minimize your makeup kit if you want to travel light or just reduce the number of products you consume. 

You can use an angled brush to apply mascara as eyeliner. The thicker consistency of mascara means that it has more staying power too.

Can You Use Lipliner As Eyeliner?

The answer is a resounding no. You should never use lipliner around the eye area. 

Although eyeliners and lip liners have almost identical ingredients, what they differ in can have significant effects. They differ in pigments and color additives. 

Eyeliners are formulated specifically to be used around the eyes which means they are safe for that area. 

Lip liners are formulated to be safe around the lip area but aren’t necessarily safe for use around the eyes.

Using a lip liner in the eye area could lead to irritation of the eyes- this is best-case scenario. 

Worst case scenario, using colorants that have not been approved by the FDA for use in that specific area could lead to blindness. So, we strongly advise exercising caution.

Can You Use Brow Pencil As Eyeliner?

Yes, you can. Your eyebrow pencil can be used as you would use your eyeliner which is very handy if you want to streamline your makeup bag for travelling, or in general.

Make sure the eyebrow pencil is sharpened- this will make the process of applying it to your lid easier.

So, there you have it. If you fancy mixing up your makeup routine a little, or you’ve just run out of eyeliner, have a go at using your eyeshadow to define and emphasize your eyes. 

You may just be pleasantly surprised by the results.