Beauty for Dummies: Eyeshadow as Liner

If you remember, the last time we hung out, I was becoming Benjamin Button


The ability to strategically problem solve is a character trait, I am told, that most employers look for in their employees. If you’re in a two-seater car, for example, and see your best friend and an old lady at a bus stop urgently waiting for a communal, never coming automobile to collect them, what do you do? Help the lady or your friend?

Apparently — and if you’re good at unlocking the Da Vinci code-esque proverbial puzzles of business acumen, you also know this — you do neither. Or both, rather, and get out of your car, give your keys to your friend to take the old lady home and then drop himself off.

I never quite understood why forfeiting your car was a solution that rendered all parties involved winners but maybe that’s because I’m too narrow-thinking. Alter the variables (eyeliner and eyeshadow over friend and old lady) and augment the scenario slightly so that you’re playing the Have Your Cake and Eat it Too game (you can only take one, so which do you take?) and I think I come out a champion. Why? Because I abandon the eyeliner and rescue the eyeshadow in anticipation that the filmy, colored powder could at best moonlight as one, inherently function successfully as both.

I don’t have an aversion toward eyeliner (though I do second guess this sentiment when it is being applied and at first tickles my eyelid in an endearing oh, baby kittens kind of way but then becomes a full-blown case paws-scratching-chalkboard, paltry-skin-over-cornea irritation), but in the matter of beauty and my face, I am not a woman of many products. And anything that could be deemed extraneous must go.

Today that is not eyeshadow.

After all, if you’ve got a big, fancy (or not) set of myriad colors and a mouth that produces a decent amount of spit, you’ve essentially also got every liner under-da-sun in just one compact case. As for the actual application, I do not expect you to believe that I am “good” at makeup but like I said, spit, color, brush and boom: your lids shine bright like diamonds.

What’s so great about the eyeshadow thing is that once you’re done applying it as liner (I used the so-dark-it’s-basically-black brown,) you can add the smoke effect using the very same substance, hold the oral liquid. Then your lids will look smokier than processed turkey from Katz’s Deli and like in the rectified case of the bus stop, the woman, the friend and your car, everyone comes out a winner.

Wearing a Paula Mendoza choker, Made her Think cuff, plaid shirt from Club Monaco. Eyeshadow compacts by Bobbi Brown.

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  • CDJ

    I do this with my “date night” Bobbi Brown eye/lip palette. It’s so convincing, you would have no idea that I haven’t been on a date since ‘nam!

  • Katharina

    it’s off-topic but I love your shirt and choker! 🙂

    Katharina // Katinka

  • Jill S

    I find that some shadows work better than others to do this – they’ll all turn into eyeliner, but some will stay on much longer than others…

  • Quinn Halman

    You don’t even know how much I needed this. In my 16.75 years of living, I could never figure out how to properly apply eye liner and the one time my friend did it for me I took the most selfies in one sitting than I ever have (3). And shout-out to the girl holding up the palette; you are working that cuff!

  • Secret little Stars

    I love Bobbi Brown! And although i don’t own the eye-shadow palette, I always use eye-shadow as an eye-liner – it’s quicker and smokier! 😉

    Loving the blog!

    Secret little Stars x

  • Bloomaglow

    What if we add to that, that you see your friend and old lady urgently waiting while you are rushing to an interview to land your dream job? I’m thinking of what am I going to say when I call to apologize. Oh well!!

    • Leandra Medine

      What you would do in that case is call the interviewer and let him know you are experiencing the real life version of the no-longer-hypothetical scenario that he or she will indubitably throw at you and then bam! you’re employed.

  • patricia

    I’m too clumsy with eyeliners so i sually use eye shadows instead! Nvere used Bobbi Brown, though.


  • I recently started doing glossy eyes with lipglosses…so cute! I love doing this with eyeshadow although, i’ve finally figured out that going over the area with a pencil and then following up with the liquid liner works and gives me a straighter line.

  • i prefer using eyeshadow as eyeliner. it just looks more natural. i love the bobbi brown palette! one of my favs <3


    idalia (New posts on travelling to Paris alone!)

  • mageeski

    I’ve been dying to get those Bobbi Brown palettes!


  • nikki

    its hard to watch you and i want to like you, but you are wearing a $10,000 necklace. how can we relate. you should be embarrassed.

    • sarah

      i don’t think she should. it’s maybe from her success. and then shouldn’t that be celebrated? i think we can relate to her quite well actually.

  • Tara

    Ultimate cool girl. If Chuck Norris applied makeup, he’d use shadow as liner too.

    • swashi

      When Chuck Norris wants to apply makeup, he waits and the makeup is magnetically drawn to his eyelids by gravitational forces. Chuck Norris doesn’t get made-up; makeup gets Chuck Norrised.

  • I’m all about the eyeshadow as liner. Or I’ll do a liquid eyeliner then go above that with a shadow liner, in a blue or green. Double-liner is perfection.

  • It’s actually very nice, I tend to do it under the eye too for smokey eyes. Your bracelet is absolutely gorgeous!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Quinn Halman

    I learned last night that this look doesn’t repel men so..

    • Leandra Medine

      Ohhhh. Tell us more tell us more

      • Quinn Halman

        oh god hahahah….. (I am blushing profusely)

  • Mellissa-Sue Anderson
  • Hudson Berry

    “smokier than processed turkey from Katz’s Deli”


  • The Laura Mercier Smoky Eyeliner brush is perfect for this! MAC’s Pencil brush is almost perfect just not as precise but still really useful for contouring around the eye.

  • Sarah Jayne

    Such a good idea! Eyeliners can be so hard to remove so shadows are great!

  • Your suggestions are sounding very promising. Eyeshadow as an eyeliner is something that looks innovative and different make up strategies than usually we do. Thanks for your wonderful post, I have gained some fantastic eye makeup ideas.

  • Julie Meowmeows

    I’ve been doing this for years, it works sooo well!

  • I’ve just discovered the joys of this in the last few months. The game changer for me was buying a fabulous SmashBox brush, makes the application so easy.

  • Sitta Karina

    Wow! This is interesting. Gotta try this soonest!