Now that we're all slowly (but surely) navigating our sights away from overdone, hard to replicate, FaceTune-inspired Instagram makeup, it's time a few of the biggest makeup techniques follow suit. The cut crease—a popular eye shadow application that differentiates between the lid and the crease of the brow bone—is one of those dramatic looks that made it big on social media, with difficult-to-follow tutorials and awe-inspiring time-lapse videos.
But you don't have to say goodbye to it entirely, even if you're after a more natural look. Kelli Bartlett, the director of artistry and education for Glamsquad, explains: "This look has become popular because it redefines the eye shape, creating a defined lid and crease. Eye shapes that are more smooth or hooded can create dimension to the eye with this technique. It is very artistic and can be a great way to incorporate dramatic colors into your look. Oftentimes, a lighter color is used on the lid and a darker color on the crease—creating depth."
"However, the way to keep it from looking cheesy is to use neutral tones and blend, blend, blend," she says. "If you want to dial up the drama and channel Twiggy, use a white on the lid and a black on the crease."
Keep reading for the easiest way to get the look.
Step 1: Begin by priming the eye with a neutral eye shadow primer, like MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre ($22). The goal here is to "blank out" the eyes' natural tone and provide an even canvas for eye shadow.
Step 2: Use a small paddle brush (Barlett suggests MAC 213 Fluff Brush, $25), and press a light shimmery-toned shadow (try Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, $54) from your lash line to just shy of your crease. This will reflect light and add a highlight to your eyelid.
Step 3: Use just the tip of a small tapered fluffy blending brush (like Make Up For Ever 216 Medium Precision Eye Blender Brush, $25) to layer on a darker-colored shadow into the hollow of your eye socket. Choose a color that is slightly gray in tone for ultimate dimension. The goal here is to create the hollow of the eye socket.
Step 4: Swish the eye shadow brush in a windshield-wiper motion, layering more if you'd like to create a more dramatic look.
Step 5: For that super-bold, Twiggy-like look, use an eye pencil to define your crease (Bartlett suggests Nars Eye Liner Pencil, $24). Then, using that same windshield-wiper motion, go in with a small blending brush. It's important to blend up and not smudge the line of differentiation.