The glossy eye trend is a tricky one. There’s no denying that it looks great – sheeny, dewy eyelids just have a vibe of editorial cool that’s low-key and yet super eye catching. But there’s an inherent problem with the look. Wearing a sticky gloss on your eyelids tends to feel pretty grim.
But luckily, makeup companies get it. They know we’re desperate to look like our eyes are covered in shine, but know we can’t bear the heinous feeling. And there are products out there that can, as if by magic, help you achieve the effect of a glossy eye, without any of the headache. Truly, the beauty industry is amazing sometimes.
Two absolute workhorses in my makeup collection are from the Urban Decay Moon Dust Eyeshadow line. The whole range of sheeny-shiny shades are beautiful, but the shades Space Cowboy and Cosmic are my undeniable faves. These two shades (a beige and white respectively) apply as a wash of tiny micro glitters and give the reflective shine of wetness. Which is prettier than it sounds.
Similar in effect but with a heavier base pigment are the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows in Ritz and Birthday Girl. These both have a light brown base but are so packed with iridescent sparkle that they are essentially entirely reflective. They’re also an innovative cream to powder formula, making application with a smudge of a finger incredibly quick and easy.
If you favour an actually dewy look, though, you may prefer to opt for an actual eye-gloss. Some eye-glosses feel totally horrible (as discussed) but there are two that don’t – the Surratt Lid Lacquer in Kira Kira and the Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Dew. These are lightweight, slightly oily feeling cream shadows that are slippy but absolutely never sticky. Phew.
For a more intensely reflective look, though, I point you towards the Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadows and the Bodyography Glitter Pigments. These two products are incredibly similar – soft, bouncy, pressed pigments that offer an incredibly shiny finish. Within the two ranges, there’s no colour that you can’t find, either.
A recent reflective shadow fave of mine has been the Tarte Foil Finger Paint Trio in Lunar – the silver shade specifically. It’s a real shame these can’t be purchased as singles, because honestly, it’s all about the silver. But it’s worth buying these three just for the one: that’s how good it is. One swatch and you’ll see what I mean – it’s immediately as reflective as molten metal, looking exactly like aluminium foil on your lids
For even more reflect, though, I highly suggest the Colourpop The Thrill Of It Makeup Palette. For just $20, you get twelve pressed pans of glitter, and they’re honestly each as amazing as the last. Smear across lids with a finger for immediate glossy sparkle.
For a more subtle glittered effect, I’ve also been loving the NYX Glitter Goals Liquid Eyeshadows. These have the effect of a colourful glossy eye, by combining opaque pigment with an intensely glittery sheen. They’re also another totally glossy-eye bargain.
If you want the look of gloss but for it to last all day, I have another sneaky tip for you. You want a super reflective loose pigment, plus a mixing medium to make it last. Blending the MAC Glitter Reflects Pearl with something like the Mehron Mixing Medium gives a wash of sheen which, after drying down, won’t budge, but will continue to catch the light just so.
My final gloss-effect eye recommendation may be a little bit off the wall – but bear with me. The Rodin Luxury Lip & Cheek Oils have become firm makeup bag favourites for me – offering juicy hydrating for lips and dewy highlight for the face. But because of their high-shine, low-stickiness formula, they also work really well as a subtle eye gloss. Apply very sparingly (these things can be kinda runny) and dab in for a dewy, glowy, understatedly glossy lid.
Shop editor-approved picks to master the best gloss-effect eyeshadow look
Featured images via ColourPop
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