The 30 Best Cut Crease Eyeshadow Looks That Create Unreal Definition

yara wearing cut crease eyeshadow look
@nikki_makeup/Design by Cristina Cianci

You've probably heard the term cut crease—it's one of the most popular eyeshadow application techniques. But...what exactly is it? When you use the cut-crease technique you're essentially combining a light shade of eyeshadow, followed up by a line or "cut" placed in the crease to showcase definition and in return help the eyes appear wider, and more awake. If cut-crease eyeshadow looks are what you're after, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up some seriously gorgeous cut-crease looks right off Instagram that will undoubtedly inspire you for your next makeup look, (or several) and got some application advice from professional makeup artist Hayley Noel. From soft and natural to daring and dramatic, these looks will have you swooning in no time regardless of the occasion.

01 of 30

60's Vibe

Re-create a 60's vibe cut crease look by using pastel hues like the ones shown here. Pastel green is applied on the lids while a deeper grey tone contours and enhances the crease. Makeup artist Hayley Noel says "To really sharpen the look and clean up any mistakes, I’d dip a tapered side of a beauty blender in a bit of makeup remover to extend and define the eyes’ outer corner" to help achieve this look.

02 of 30

Smoked Out

A smoky cut crease look might be what you need for just the right amount of drama and flair. You can create the crease contrast by using two shades from the same color palette that vary in intensity to ensure you see the contrast well enough.

03 of 30

So Mod

A touch of mod inspired by Bridget Bardot, clean classic lines, and black and white tones create this stunning cut crease look that's absolutely going up on our inspiration board.

04 of 30

Everyday Beauty

A bronze cut crease looks suitable for any day (or occasion) for that matter, the varying tones of soft and deep bronze create an earthy vibe we love for daytime makeup wear.

Try using Scotch tape as a stencil to create sharper cut crease looks like this one.

05 of 30

Feline Fine

A subtle feline click with liquid eyeliner paired with neutral shadow tones creates a gorgeous cut crease look that makes a statement at the same time. Makeup artist Hayley Noel points out, "For this look, I’d dip a pencil brush in a darker shadow and trace along the crease to outline the eye. I’ll even add some shadow to the lower lash line for more drama, and a 1960s effect."

06 of 30

Orange Dream

Color lovers unite, this dreamy orange cut crease shadow look creates an out of this world contrast that showcases one of the happiest colors we know. Bold, bright orange and soft sherbet orange shadow shades blended on lids are all you need for flawless execution.

07 of 30

Dark Purple Beauty

Cut crease looks don't always have to look the same. The varying shades of purple in this look (lighter on the lid, and deeper tones surrounding the crease) showcase how subtle cut creases are so beautiful. The smoky wing extending outward creates stunning detail, too.

08 of 30

Bejeweled Beauty

Using tiny jewels to contour the crease is a unique way of showing off your cut crease shadow look, the delicate details blended with smokier earth tones and abstract liner are truly a work of art.

09 of 30

Chic Silver

Rock a silver cut crease that's elegant, you can opt for whichever shade of silver you like whether it has shimmering sparkles or more of a frosty finish.

Makeup artist Hayley Noel advises, "I always like to start a cut crease with a layer of concealer on the lid and up to the brow bone. I prefer using a shade or two lighter than my skin tone. This way you get the brightness at the center of the lid. Any bright shadow you layer will really pop."

10 of 30

Goth Doll

Metallic finishes and colorful shadows create a smoky cut crease look that utilizes jewel-toned amethyst hues to boot. Get as creative as you like with your color choices, the options are endless.

11 of 30

Soft and Dreamy

The dreamiest and most natural of cut crease looks, this soft eyeshadow pairing of earthy tones shows that cut crease trends can be classic and simple. Soft ivory pink on the lids cut with warm shadow tones in the crease along with liquid eyeliner to create a gorgeous winged liner has us taking serious notice. Giorgio Armani Beauty Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil ($30) is an excellent choice for waterline eyeliner that will stay put.

12 of 30

Add Some Glitter

Looking for a reason to get festive? Add glitter to your cut crease look for the ultimate glam effect. Rich black eyeliner defines the eyes while glitter on the lids is cut with black shadow in the crease.

13 of 30

Sugar and Spice

Frosted and shimmering shadow on the lids with rust colors cutting the crease makes us think of a sugary sweet treat reminiscent of a cinnamon bun or snickerdoodle cookie. Blending the warmer colored shadow towards the brow helps to tie the look together so the shadow looks cohesive throughout.

14 of 30

Yes To Gold

Creativity wins again with this dreamy gold metallic accent in the crease, cutting ever so eloquently when worn with pink and grey.

15 of 30

Celestial Chic

Cut crease eyeshadow isn't just for one type of eyelid, you can create cut crease looks on anyone when your imagination takes over. For instance, creating cut crease looks for monolid eyes consists of building a crease with a darker color and accenting with lighter, airier shades on the lids as seen here.

16 of 30

Contoured Cut Crease

Cut your crease with contoured eyeliner to make your look daring as ever, the eyelashes and liner in the waterline take this look to the next level with precision and flair.

17 of 30

Earthy and Elegant

Elegant earth tones with rich chocolate browns strike again in this beautiful cut crease look. Minimal shadow on the lids and detailed deep contour in the crease just works so well together, don't you think? We love the tiniest highlight detail placed on the inner corners of the eyes.

18 of 30

A True Dream

Soft moonlight colored eyeshadow looks like a dreamy cloud on the eyelids, while deeper grey tones cut the crease and contour to perfection. Finish with a few coats of your favorite mascara for gorgeous, voluminous eyelashes.

19 of 30

Lashes and Contour

At first glance the eyelashes might be all you see yet there is a subtle and unique cut crease shadow look that is so beautiful, you certainly won't miss it. Natural shadow colors create definition while the lashes add depth and balance.

20 of 30

Caramel and Creme

Soft caramel and creme tones give this cut crease look everything it needs to be. With defined eyebrows and fantastic eyelashes, we give this cut crease eyeshadow look an A+.

21 of 30

It's All Peachy

Peach tones help create a cut crease eye look, paired with glowing skin, the thinnest of eyeliner, and nude lips, everything works together here for the very best

22 of 30

Golden Emerald

Golden eyeshadow paired with emerald tones give this jewel-toned cut crease look some extra flair—the contrast between the two stunning colors is a lovely example of how to wear color in a chic, modern way. This eyeshadow palette from Fenty Beauty has a beautiful selection of gold and green hues.

23 of 30

It's All Glossy

A touch of gloss added to shadow and a minimal line cut above the crease to add definition, this shadow look is complete with a gorgeous winged eyeliner and sheer highlighted skin.

24 of 30

Cut Crease and Glow

So much is happening here that we absolutely love, glowing skin along with a dramatic cut crease look is ideal for any special occasion you might have. The winged eyeliner and cut crease together are two total show-stoppers.

25 of 30

Bronze Light

Shimmering and sultry bronze eyeshadow makes way for a delightful cut crease look that has just enough sparkle and gloss. Deep crimson lips make this look all the better and more desirable.

26 of 30

Angel Eyes

The light reflects on this cut crease look in the best way possible, glitter shadow on the lids, and deep tones blended in the crease is a beautiful balance of color and texture.

27 of 30

Bold and Beautiful

The smokiest of eye looks can showcase a cut crease in the best way, the different colors used here inspire us to create multi-faceted eyeshadow looks that let our creativity soar.

28 of 30

The Eyes Have It All

Navy liner and moss green shadow combined together are one of the dreamiest combinations we've seen with it comes to cut crease looks. The two tones together really create a gorgeous shadow look that looks stunning on her skin tone.

29 of 30

Rose Gold Gilded Lids

Rose gold tones on the lids and softer highlight under the brow creates a subtle cut crease eyeshadow look suitable for every day.

30 of 30

Going Green

Solid color eyeshadow like this olive green choice is one of the easiest ways to create a cut crease, as the natural skin tone above the crease creates enough contrast between the two colors. Blend the shadow on the lids until you've got the desired color and intensity you're after.

Learn More: Here's How to Tell Which Eye Shape You Have (And the Best Makeup Tips for Each Shape)

Related Stories