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College Beauty Awards: All the Trending Eye Makeup We Loved in 2020

Raise your hand if, in quarantine, you’ve barely worn eye makeup or mascara most days? Same. But now that the school year has begun again, we say: let’s get back into it!

Below is curation of eye makeup that will spark your love for shimmery looks and complex cat-eyes again.

Worth the Hype Mascara

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NYX, walmart.com, $5; shop now

This mascara is a bestseller for a reason. It’s highly effective in volumizing and lengthening, and it gives the effect of false lashes in an instant. The most exciting feature is that the brush tapers at the tip, so you can get those finicky inner and outer eyelashes not reached by the wide part of the wand.

Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara

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Lancôme, sephora.com, $25; shop now

Waterproof mascara that doesn’t melt off during the day but easily comes off when you want it off? Groundbreaking. Monsieur Big will be your waterproof ride-or-die for high-volume lashes and a formula that puts humidity and sweat to the test. It also has some of the softest fibers, so the mascara doesn’t ever feel dry or crusty.

LashBlast Volume Mascara

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Covergirl, walmart.com, $6; shop now

In the realm of cult-y mascaras, LashBlast comes out on top. Known for its impressive volume, its the best affordable option for big and bold, fluttery lashes. The super solid black never goes out of style, and you can always use this for increased definition around your eyes.

Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

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Stila, sephora.com, $22; shop now

This waterproof liquid liner has earned every ounce of hype bestowed on it. It has a tip that’s easy to use, even if you’re a newbie for cat-eye looks or complicated swoops. We’re big fans of the “Intense Black” shade for smokey looks.

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

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Urban Decay, sephora.com, $22; shop now

This color range is just so fun. Nothing feels more whimsical than painting a bright pink or shimmery cobalt onto your eyelids. As colored liners have because more in vogue, you’ll want one — or three — of these in your arsenal. 

Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

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Benefit Cosmetics, sephora.com, $24; shop now

This brow gel has been around since before brow gel was even really a thing, AKA before Boy Brow took the world by storm. But this OG does not disappoint, and with the impressive shade range and tiny brush, it feels so custom. The tinted gel has impressive adherence, and it fluffs up all your brow hairs, baby or long.

Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil

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Maybelline, walmart.com, $7; shop now

For more defined brow looks, you need a pencil with an intentional point to shape your hairs to your liking. This Maybelline pencil has a slanted tip that mimics the growth and shape of real eyebrows, so you can swipe a few on in the morning and fill in your shape, easy-peasy.

ColorStay Crème Eye Shadow

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Revlon, walmart.com, $10; shop now

This creamy eyeshadow is *chef’s kiss*. Soft and milky shadows are a beauty vestige, especially as the world moves further in the direction of glowy-only looks. These shadows, in particular, come in matte or shimmery finishes, and the pigment makes a difference in your look, even if you just use a tiny tap of it on your lid.

Phantom Spacepaste Glitter

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Lemonhead.LA, getlemonhead.com, $22; shop now

After trying a bajillion of them, we’ve finally found the perfect eye (or all-over your face) glitter. It won’t crease, cake, or settle into the lines of your face — even if you get sweaty and greasy. It comes in many glimmery and playful shades, but our favorite is “Phantom Spacepaste” for all the Euphoria vibes.

Super Shock Shadow

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ColourPop, colourpop.com, $6; shop now

Anything from ColourPop is go-to for budget-friendly shoppers that love high-impact pigment. And with the affordable price of these shadows, you can stock up on all you want and create a whole rainbow of color on your makeup shelf. As the description says, and which we heartily agree with: “one swatch and you’ll fall in love.”

Artist Color Eye Shadow

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Make Up For Ever, sephora.com, $17; shop now

For intense color payoff, you need an assortment of these shadows by Make Up For Ever. The color collection is wide and playful, perfect for creating vivid looks or blending together an abstract art painting on your eyelids.

Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

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Anastasia Beverly Hills, sephora.com, $42; shop now

Oh, Soft Glam, we love you girl. This palette contains pinks, champagnes, roses, and browns for an ultra-feminine and romantic feel. It’s a must-have for fall looks and pumpkin patches, or LDR date nights on Zoom.  

Queen of Hearts

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Coloured Raine, colouredraine.com, $42; shop now

Queen of Hearts is Coloured Raine’s best-selling palette because these shades are so versatile and ideal for day or night looks. If you’re into turning your lids into vibrant peacocks of color, these shades blend so nicely together. Even if you’re new to complex eye looks, you’ll feel at-home with these!

The Warrior

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Juvia's Place, ulta.com, $15; shop now

The golds and browns in this collection feel like a contour palette for your eyes. And while rich earth tones compliment everyone’s skin, these are known for boosting radiance too. You can use them in just about any look, and easily build the pigment on for a more intense color payoff.

Gina was formerly the Beauty & Culture Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw content and strategy for the site's key verticals. She was also the person behind @HerCampusBeauty, and all those other glowy selfies you faved. She got her start in digital media as a Campus Correspondent at HC Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she graduated in 2017 with degrees in English and Theater. Now, Gina is an LA-based writer and editor, and you can regularly find her wearing a face mask in bed and scrolling through TikTok.
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