12 Liquid Eyeshadows That Will Make You Set Your Powder Palettes Aside

January 23, 2024
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By: Makeup.com | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
close-up of L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Liquid Eyeshadow,NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Glow Shots Liquid Eyeshadow, Violette_FR Yeux Paint products

There’s so much to love about liquid eyeshadows—they're easy to use, extremely blendable, and can be applied on the go. What's more: These pigment-packed formulas are available in a nearly-endless range of shades and finishes, from slick, bold mattes to barely-there shimmers (and everything in between). And if you're a powder eyeshadow devotee, rest assured that learning how to use liquid eyeshadow is a beginner-friendly endeavor. With that in mind, we're sharing 12 liquid eyeshadows we're swooning over right now. Find them all, plus some of our top application tips, ahead.

Is Liquid Eyeshadow Better Than Powder?

Liquid eyeshadow and powder eyeshadow both have their benefits, but liquid formulas are better for certain applications. They tend to be richly pigmented, which means they provide intense color payoff without the need to layer to build up the color. And because of their creamy rather than powdery texture, they tend to be a great option for those with drier eyelids. Finally, you don't really have to deal with fallout when you use liquid eyeshadow: It adheres well to the skin.

Powder eyeshadows, by contrast, tend to be more buildable, which can be great for creating depth and dimension. Some formulas may have fallout, however, and they’re not really suitable for on-the-go applications.


Ultimately, when choosing an eyeshadow formula, your skin type, personal preferences, and end goal should all be taken into consideration. Does Liquid Eyeshadow Last Longer Than Powder Shadow?

Every eyeshadow formula is different, so there’s no definitive answer as to which type of shadow lasts the longest. With that being said, some of the best liquid eyeshadows on the market offer impressive wear—it’s one of the biggest perks of this type of makeup. If you’re worried about the longevity of your shadow, we suggest seeking out long-lasting, waterproof formulas that are specifically designed for all-day wear. Proper prep and application can also help keep your makeup in place (more on that shortly). Ultimately, however, your lifestyle, skin type, habits, and even the weather can all affect how long your shadow lasts. Thankfully, liquid eyeshadow is ultra-portable and can be applied without a brush—so midday touch ups, if needed, are a breeze.

How Do You Make Liquid Eyeshadow Stay On?

While liquid eyeshadow formulas are often fairly long-wearing, there are steps you can take to help get the most life out of your color. Start by prepping your eyelids: Liquid eyeshadows adhere best to clean, dry skin. We suggest using an eyeshadow primer to create a smooth base and give your shadow something to latch onto. If you have oily lids, you can also lightly set your eyelid with translucent powder before laying on your liquid shadow. 

Once your lids are prepped, apply your liquid eyeshadow in thin, even layers, allowing each layer to dry fully before adding another. This technique helps ensure you get the color payoff you’re looking for while reducing the chance of creasing or pilling. When you’re satisfied with your look, give your face a generous misting with setting spray to help lock everything into place. 

Is Liquid Eyeshadow Worth It?

“Worth it” means something different to everyone, but we’d argue that liquid shadows are absolutely worth adding to your makeup bag. And that’s for all the reasons we mentioned earlier: They’re long-lasting, portable, and incredibly easy to use. Plus, they’re versatile. You can paint liquid eyeshadow over your lids for a bold monochrome look, use a liquid shimmer eyeshadow as a topper for a hint of sparkle, or apply a few different shades and blend the edges with your finger for a soft, watercolor-like effect. 

So whether you’re looking to experiment with latte-inspired makeup or are interested in playing with pastels, you can unleash your creativity with liquid eyeshadow—which is, in our eyes, exactly what makeup is for. 

12 of the Best Liquid Eyeshadows to Try Right Now

L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Liquid Eyeshadow

If you’re a sparkle stan, L’Oréal Paris’ Brilliant Eyes shadows are a must-buy next time you hit the drugstore. The high-impact liquid glitter eyeshadow applies easily without flaking or fallout, delivering up to 16 hours of transfer-proof (and sparkly!) wear. Use the soft doe-foot applicator to swipe your favorite of the 12 shades directly onto your lids, or pat on the pigment with your finger for a soft, diffused finish. 

NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Glow Shots Liquid Eyeshadow

NYX Professional Makeup’s beloved Ultimate Glow Shots Liquid Eyeshadow collection is another must-try for shimmer lovers. The long-wearing formula comes in 21 luminous (not glittery) shades that range from earthy neutrals to electric neons. It provides up to 12 hours of flake-free wear and feels comfortable on the skin—which is why it’s one of our favorite affordable options for those looking to get their glow on.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Eye Tint Long-Lasting Liquid Eyeshadow

Liquid eyeshadows can be subtle, and this luxurious offering from Giorgio Armani Beauty is proof. The lineup includes both soft-finish mattes and sheer, pearlescent nudes that can be built up and layered for totally custom (and endlessly chic) makeup looks. Plus, the water-based formula feels comfortable on the lids and stands up to creasing. Count us in.

Colourpop Chrome Liquid Shadow

If you can’t get enough of the chrome trend, you’ll love this high-octane option from Colourpop. The multi-chrome shadow is packed with color-shifting pigments, so the hue appears slightly different from every angle. There are nine bold metallic shades to choose from, but one of our favorites is Sweetzer Ave: A soft, gold-toned pink that shifts to a dimensional olive green as you catch the light. Wear it alone or use it as a topper for an eye-catching metallic liquid eyeshadow look. 

r.e.m beauty Lustrous Liquid Shadow

r.e.m beauty’s cosmic liquid shadows are a definite show-stopper. These powerfully pigmented, waterproof liquid shimmer eyeshadowscome in 11 universally flattering shades, from soft, glimmery nudes to vivid brights and decadent jewel tones. Wear them on their own or layer them on top of your favorite cream or powder eyeshadows for a luminous finish that lasts up to 16 hours.

Danessa Myricks Twin Flames Liquid Eyeshadow

You may not be able to coat your lids in metal, but this multi-chrome liquid eyeshadow from Danessa Myricks is arguably the next best thing. The shadow’s opaque finish allows for a smooth transition of the color-shifting pigments for an intense metallic effect. We’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite shade out of the 20 available, but Mystic Fire—a sultry mash-up of cool plum and forest green—would definitely make the shortlist.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to try metallic shadow, snatch up this favorite from e.l.f Cosmetics. The gel-based formula offers buildable color with comfortable, long-lasting wear—so you can go about your day without having to worry about impromptu touch-ups.

Violette_FR Yeux Paint

Embrace the endlessly cool aesthetic of French girl beauty with this richly pigmented liquid eyeshadow from Violette_FR. It’s available in 15 craveable shades (both metallics and mattes) and delivers a soft wash of color for an effortless look. Apply it directly from the tube and blend with your fingers for a soft take on the classic smokey eye, or pack on the color with an eyeshadow brush for a bolder, more vivid finish.

Kosas 10-Second Eye Gel Watercolor Eyeshadow

Kosas promises you can create a seriously pretty liquid eyeshadow look in 10 seconds with this water-based formula available in six iridescent, sheer shades. Not only is it the perfect liquid shimmer eyeshadow for any makeup minimalist, but it’s packed with skincare ingredients like shea butter and orange flower water and helps moisturize, smooth, and visibly brighten skin. 

Glossier Lidstar Glistening Eye Glow

Give your no-makeup makeup look a (subtle) shimmery twist with this wear-anywhere shadow. The long-wearing liquid eye makeupfeatures ultra-fine shimmer pigments suspended in a buttery-smooth base. It delivers a soft wash of color with a sheer, luminous finish. There are eight stunning shades to choose from, including barely-there neutrals and slightly more pigmented jewel tones like lilac and emerald.

Gen See Mixed Media Matte Liquid Eyeshadow

If shimmer isn’t your vibe (at least not today), try this liquid matte eyeshadow from Gen See. The creamy shadow provides intense color payoff, but can easily be sheered out while damp for a softer, more blurred finish. You can even use the versatile formula on your cheeks and lips for an on-trend monochromatic look.

Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

For some sheen without full-on glitter, this viral pearl-finish shadow from Stila delivers. The lightweight formula is made with 40% water for a refreshing feel and super-smooth application. Choose from 12 stunning shades, including Compassionate (a gorgeous silvery lilac) and Starlight (a pure champagne gold).

Next: How to Apply Eye Gloss and Cream Eyeshadow—Plus, Some of Our Favorites

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