Eye Shadow Sticks Are the Unsung Hero of Effortless Makeup—These 14 Are the Best

Eye Shadow Sticks Are The Unsung Hero of Effortless Makeup—These 15 Are the Best


Who What Wear

Confession: I'm wildly intimidated by eye shadow. I've been wearing makeup for close to two decades and can navigate foundation, blush, and highlighter with the best of them, but when it comes to eye shadow, I'm way less confident. A single wash of color is no problem, and I've even got mad liquid-eyeliner skills, but the second I'm trying to execute a smoky eye or anything more advanced that requires traditional powder eye shadows, I start to feel out of my depth.

As an avid lover of makeup, I just need to be able to follow the creative whims that crop up in my head on a daily basis. To this end, I've been unwinding at the end of my workday by applying a full face of makeup, simply for the sake of practice. (And looking snatched just to go to walk my dog is the most hilarious flex.) In a recent EOD makeup session, I found myself playing with an old favorite product, the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadows ($29). I was stunned at the pretty eye shadow look I was able to create using them and have since been using them for everything from shimmery sheer lids to smudgy, smoked-out looks. They're soft, super-pigmented, and so dang easy to use. My fingers are the only tools I really need to spread and blend the hues, but going in with a couple of brushes to smooth the colors together and really carve out my crease has worked like a charm every single time.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow



I know this isn't a new revelation—celebrity makeup artists are constantly singing the praises of liquid and cream makeup products for the most stunning looks—but eye shadow sticks are game changers. Just peep the glowy, shimmery eye makeup look above that I executed using them exclusively. Whether you're a makeup pro looking to mix it up or a beauty novice in search of an impossibly easy way to add a pop of color or shimmer onto your lids, eye shadow sticks are the answer. I ride hard for the Laura Mercier ones, but there are so many other conveniently housed cream shadows out there, too. Keep scrolling for the best eye shadow sticks money can buy.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow Stick

Shade shown: Dusty Mauve

Bobbi Brown makeup is all about artistry from start to finish, and these cream eye shadow sticks are no different. You can expect intense color payoff and a budge-proof finish that can stay put for up to eight hours.

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eye Shadow Pencil

Shade shown: Golden Quartz

This chubby stick makes application that much simpler, whether you're looking for allover lid coverage or a metallic line along your lashes. Even better, the shades are perfectly mixed with specific eye colors in mind so you can easily identify your perfect match.

Nyx Jumbo Eyeliner Pencil

Shade shown: Rust

This blendable eye shadow crayon comes in such fun colors. The shade comes out so saturated, even when applied to the lower waterline.

Nudestix Nude Metallics for Eyes

Shade shown: Nude Metallics

This set of Magnetic Luminous Eye Color pencils is perfect for mixing, matching, and blending out the perfect combination of metallic nudes. The kit comes complete with a sharpener to keep the sticks edged and ready for action.

Surratt Beauty Smoky Eye Baton

Shade shown: Vapeur Mauve

Everything by Surratt Beauty is so luxe. This elevated and functional stick is double-sided, featuring a creamy liner on one end and a matching satin eye shadow pouf on the other, making it the perfect one-step tool for dramatic eye makeup looks.

Chanel Stylo Ombre et Contour

Shade shown: Rouge Noir

The pointed tip of this creamy, long-wear pencil can be used to line the eyes, while the flat edge can cover more surface area in a single swipe.

About-Face Shadowstick

Shade shown: Acidic

If you're looking for a selection of fun colors in both matte and metallic finishes, look no further than singer Halsey's makeup brand, About-Face. I'm obsessed. (See below for proof.)

About Face Shadowsticks



Shiseido Kajal Ink Artist Shadow Liner

Shade shown: Kabuki White

Here's another eye shadow stick with the genius addition of a built-in blending sponge and detachable sharpener. Both graphic, sharp lines and more diffused washes of color are possible.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint

Shade shown: Curvaveous Coal

This stick offers sheer yet buildable washes of color for that no-makeup makeup look.

Pixi Endless Shade Stick

Shade shown: Matte Cocoa

It's the pigment for me.

E.l.f. Cosmetics No Budge Eyeshadow Stick

Shade shown: Rose Gold

This metallic eye shadow is creamy and blendable, but once it dries into place, it really stays put. And you can't beat that price tag.

Alleyoop 11th Hour Cream Eyeshadow Stick

Shade shown: Charcolit

This stick of easy-to-spread pigment is meant to be smoothed onto the lids with your fingers, and it couldn't be easier to do it. For a precision hit of eyeliner, keep the tip sharp with the built-in sharpener.

Tarte Quick Stick Waterproof Shadow & Liner

Shade shown: Mauve Luster & Black Liner

Talk about a two-in-one. On one end, you get a lustrous, shimmery lid pigment while the other end houses an actual eyeliner so you can make it all happen in just a few seconds.

Up next: Anya Taylor-Joy's SNL Beauty Looks Were Epic—Here's How to Re-Create Them

Related Stories