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6 Creative Ways to Use Eyeshadow

You’re traveling. Or maybe you’re not super into makeup. Or, maybe you’re like me and you’re just plain lazy.

About six months ago, Ulta had a large scale 90 percent off sale on all cosmetics from Cargo. Being a beauty guru, I drove to every single Ulta in a 20-mile radius–there were three stores, if you’re interested to know–and I got everything I could get my hands on (don’t judge; 90 percent remember?) I even bought things that would never look good on me. I bought foundations in every skin color, multiple primers for lips, eyes and face, over twenty tubes of mascara and eyeliner, multiple blush and bronzer pallets as well as over a dozen lipsticks and lip glosses. However, the one thing I bought the most of? Eye shadow. There were so many canisters of eye shadow and at 90 percent off (literally $1.50 each, with full retail at $16) that I could not but help to buy every single color that I saw. I would use them for my kit, I reasoned, someone must be able to rock the beautiful blue green color Aegean.

No, AnnaBella. Just NO.

Or yes, AnnaBella. Just YES?

So, I basically robbed Ulta because I left that day with about $1000 worth of makeup for about $120 after taxes. Yes, you have read correctly. I was about to get $1000 worth of stuff for less than a fancy meal in DC. But then came my next problem. How was I going to use all of this stuff?

I gifted some of the foundation away to people that would match the colors for their birthdays. But I kept nearly everything else. I looked in my makeup tower and realized that I had a lot of stuff. Not too much, because, as every beauty guru knows, there is never too much makeup. Ever. I had to get creative. And out of the creativity came ways that I could use eye shadow that weren’t the normal use of eye shadow. This brings me back to my original point. Eye shadow is the easiest type of makeup to carry around. For traveling, this article could help those who want a finished look, but don’t necessarily want to carry around loads of cosmetics.


This is the least creative use of eye shadow since some people already do it. But it is one of the most useful. In the morning when I want to wear eyeliner but don’t necessarily want the matte black liquid look I usually go for, I pull out Cargo Columbia and my 212 Flat Definer brush by MAC and my eyeliner is done in about 5 seconds. It looks great, it’s matte and it smudges brilliantly.

Eyebrow Filler:

While I have Columbia out, I usually fill my brows with the same brush that I do my eyeliner with. Once again, it’s super quick and it matches my brows perfectly.

Pro-tip: just because I use this color as brow filler does not mean you should use this color as brow filler. I dye my hair jet black and have medium dark skin. On someone with lighter skin or lighter hair, this color may be too dark. Look for a color that is about 2 shades lighter than your hair if you are brunette or 2 shades darker than your hair if you are blonde. If you are a redhead, be careful not to get a color that is too red, or too dark.


It doesn’t work very well on my dark skin, but on fair skinned ladies, Cargo Pasadena is the perfect matte pink for a sheer finish.

Pro-tip: Since eye shadow is meant to be very pigmented, I would recommend that if you are using eye shadow as blush, use a large fluffy brush and only tap the powder onto the brush. It is much easier to add more blush than to take it off.

Super Pro-tip: if you’re more of a fan of shimmering blushes but like the color of Pasadena, add a little bit of St. Tropez or Windsor to give the shimmer without adding too much color.


Just like with the eye shadow as blush, eye shadow can work as a bronzer. Cargo has two colors that would work on most people who like a shimmer bronzer. Cyprus for darker skin and St. Tropez for lighter.


On my skin, I can easily use St. Tropez as a highlighter. But both Windsor and Toronto would work very nicely on the cupid’s bow, brow bone and cheek bone. Toronto is a satin color that has less shimmer, but can still be used very well as abase color on the lids as we as a base color on the brow bone.

Lip Color:

Here’s where I got creative. I had once read that red Kool-Aid could be used to make red lipstick. It worked pretty well, so I tried it with eye shadow too. Both Pasadena and St. Tropez make lovely lip colors when the pigments are scraped from the container and then mixed with Aquaphor or Rose Bud Salve. They make hydrating lip colors that have very even color, if they are mixed properly and evenly. If you just want to enhance the color of a lipstick or a lip pencil you already have, just pat the eyeshadow on top of that color and set it.

Pro-tip: if you want the lip color to last, I recommend making it near bullet proof by priming the lips with a hydrating foundation, or lip primer, applying the lip color and then powdering the lips with a translucent loose powder.

Super pro-tip: if the eye shadow color you have chosen is matte and you want to add shimmer to it, but don’t want to resort to a shimmering lip gloss, add small traces of Toronto, a golden shimmer color. Don’t add too much or the color of the lip mixture will lighten significantly.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

I'm a girl who loves fashion, beauty, cowboy boots and American University.
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