How to Get Glossy Lids, Our Fave Summertime Eye Makeup Trend

If you haven’t heard, glossy lids are the summer beauty trend of 2018. They’re effortlessly cool (or, at least, they look effortless), and are great in pretty much any color, from understated nude to holographic pink. If you’d like some tips to recreate your own version without getting too messy (because combining gloss and powder can be a sticky nightmare), don’t look any further—we’ve got all the info you need right here. But for the pros out there who already have it down, stick around for some extra beauty inspo: all these beautiful glossy lid photos are straight from the HC Beauty Pinterest board!

1. Prep your eyes

Priming your lids is always important, but especially with a look like this. Your eye makeup will probably be sliding around a fair bit, so you want to do everything in your power to try and keep it in place. Rank & Style recommends the NYX Professional Makeup Proof It Eyeshadow Primer, which is budget-friendly and will make your shadow color pop even more (which is crucial, since glosses can end up muting your shadow). Plus, the waterproof formula makes it perfect for summer.

Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State University, explains her take on dewy lids: “I don't use eyeshadow primers, because most of them have a tint in them and don't work with glossy lid looks. Plus, most eyelid primers are designed for matte/metallic eyeshadow looks anyway.” The NYX Proof It primer dries clear, but Chelsea also recommends Covergirl's Outlast All-Day Primer and NYX's Pore Filler. Both are technically face primers, so you can get double use of them. Win-win!


2. Start with something sticky

The best lids actually take two coats of gloss—one underneath the pigment, and one on top. “A sticky/tacky eye cream or gel is crucial for making glossy lids work because it gives the shadow something to hold onto,” Chelsea shares. “Otherwise, if you have naturally oily lids like me, your shadow can move/run, especially if it's windy or humid outside.”

Eye gel or cream will also help you avoid that dreaded patchiness, especially if you’re using a brighter shade and you want it to be ultra-pigmented.

Chelsea speaks well of The Body Shop's Elderflower Cooling Eye Gel, but if that’s a bit pricey for you, we at HC Beauty also found that a small amount of Vaseline works like a charm underneath shadow.


3. (Optional!) Add some white

If you’re planning on using a more muted nude or taupe, you can skip this step. But if you’re planning to go for a pop of neon or a darker color, New York Magazine suggests starting off with a white shadow underneath so your final look will have extra pigment.


4. Now pack on shadow

Byrdie recommends avoiding shadows with big chunks of glitter, but some fine shimmer will help you get an even wetter, glossier effect. Feel free to have fun with it; this is where you can try out those neon shades you may have been too scared of earlier!

Of course, not all shadows are created equal. Chelsea warns against reds and oranges when aiming for a glossy lid. “In general, reds/oranges are difficult pigments to replicate inorganically, which is why it's difficult for makeup brands to get the formula right,” she says. This can lead to some dreaded patchiness—but if you find a shade that works for you, feel free to rock it!


5. It’s gloss time (again)

Here’s where things get even stickier. But when we say gloss, be warned: we do not mean lip gloss! Eyelid glosses are their own products, and they’re one we recommend actually shelling out some money for, instead of using any old lip gloss as a substitute.

“Using the same product on your lips and your eyelids basically cross contaminates the bacteria from your lips/mouth to those on your eyes, which can make your eyes especially susceptible to bacterial infections,” Chelsea says. Safety first, collegiettes.

Eye and face glosses, however, are perfect to put over shadow, despite being a bit more expensive. Refinery29 suggests trying out the M.A.C. Studio Eye Gloss, which comes in a variety of colors: some with slight pigment that you can build over your shadow, and some darker hues to intensify your chosen color even more.

Into the Gloss also vouches for the M.A.C. Gloss Coat, which you can also use as a highlighter; this one is clear so your eyeshadow will catch the light without being covered up. Get the Gloss also put forth the NYX Lid Lacquer as one of their top contenders, an opinion seconded by Chelsea, making it a great drugstore option.

Just take your gloss of choice and pat (don’t swipe, or you’ll move around the shadow!) gloss over the lid. When you’re done, your eye makeup will be Instagram-ready perfection.


6. Don’t overlook your lashes

The final step: mascara, as usual. The potential problem with gloss is that it makes it just about impossible to rectify mistakes, so be careful. “It's important to place a piece of paper or spoon directly behind your lashes (without pressing it against your eyelid, of course),” Chelsea advises, “to keep any rogue mascara particles from landing on your eyelid.” The business-card mascara trick is one of the oldest in the book, so use it to make sure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

Bonus: No time? No problem!


If you’re on the go and don’t have time to deal with so many steps, you can achieve a similar version of this look with about as little effort and as few products as possible. The Milk Makeup Eye Vinyl has been raved about by both New York Magazine and TotalBeauty and it’s easy to see why—it comes as a click pen, and can achieve a glossy eye effect with just one product. It won’t be super pigmented, but it’s the perfect introduction to the glossy lid.


And there you have it! Now that you have all the tips and products you could need, you can start creating your own glossy lids, and maybe even post a selfie or two on Instagram. If you do, be sure to tag @HerCampusBeauty!