By now, a lot of people know Kosas's story: a clean line of makeup products created with a zero-waste philosophy in order to simplify and minimize cosmetic essentials. Sheena Yaitanes, the founder of Kosas, started with just four lipsticks, (which snagged a win in Byrdie’s Eco Beauty Makeup Awards 2019). After later launching cream blushes, bronzers, powder duos, and tinted face oil (a favorite among beauty editors and consumers alike), the brand has continued to expand its product offerings to include something really unique: 10-Second Eyeshadow.
When it first launched, these eyeshadows marked something very different for the brand. Yes, there are many key elements of the Kosas ethos present: clean beauty, skin-caring makeup, eco-friendly design. But, the boldly impactful colors and shimmers are something that Kosas' fans have not seen before. Read on for an honest review of Kosas's new liquid eyeshadow.
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Best For: Quick and easy (but impactful) makeup looks
Active Ingredients: Jojoba oil, orange flower water, galactoarabinan
Potential Allergens: Orange fruit extract, potassium sorbate
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand: Kosas is a clean beauty brand known for cutting-edge formulas for the face, lips, eyes, and cheeks (there's even a natural deodorant in the range). It's available at Sephora and on Kosas.com, as well as select retailers.
About My Complexion: Fond of high-impact pressed pigments
Upon looking at the clear tube filled with fluid, I was trepidatious. I’ve never put purely liquid color on my eyelids (at least not on purpose), so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m used to pressed pigments and high-intensity shadows applied with a surgeon’s precision, but I have a fond naiveté for new products and formulas, especially with brands I have a real love for. I also travel a lot, so brushes and shadow palettes always take up most of the room in my makeup bag.
How to Apply: Shake, swipe, and blend with finger or a brush
The 10 Second Eyeshadow is a water-based, fast-drying formula with a doe-foot applicator that comes in eight shades. The packaging is reminiscent of that of a lip gloss. The fluid component is meant to minimize creasing and give a washed effect with high-impact color. Kosas calls the shadow “skincare for your eyelids,” due to the jojoba oil and galactoarabinan (a plant-based hydrating antioxidant). In the packaging, the colors separate in suspended water, so like a glow stick, shaking vigorously before use is a must. The tints blended together, and I could see clearly what color was going to be on my eyes.
The directions are simple: “Shake well before use. Sweep over clean, dry lids and blend with finger, doe-foot, or shadow brush to the desired color.”
Perfectionists beware: Yaitanes explains to me that her 10 Second Eyeshadow isn’t for those seeking exactness, “[It’s] about letting go of skill, perfection, and technique, and embracing the joy of color. It’s a liquid, so you almost have to surrender to it. It’s the reason people choose watercolor as a painting medium, and why we are drawn to the end result. Its beauty is in its freedom. Let the color drip where it may."
The Results: Intense, buildable coverage with a little transfer
Without using primer, I swiped the doe-foot applicator straight from the tube. My lids felt wet. I quickly padded the product in with my finger, and it dried almost immediately. The pigment is intense, and the coverage is buildable. Most importantly, it does dry as quickly as it promises.
The pigment is intense, and the coverage is buildable. Most importantly, it does dry as quickly as it promises.
While there is some transfer with the glittery shades, the whole ethos of the product is about fighting off perfection. In the vein of effortless summer glam, this quick, easy shadow definitely speeds up my routine, and it even inspires me to take on a relaxed attitude with my makeup (at least a little).
The Value: A hefty price tag compared to similar products
Be forewarned—these pretty shadows are on the pricey side. They usually retail for around $28 for .20 fluid ounces. Though these shadows perform beautifully and deliver buildable coverage and intense pigment, they're certainly expensive. When compared to similarly-priced powder eyeshadows, these will run you more over time because you're bound to run out more quickly. Other liquid shadows on the market, like Glossier Lidstar and Skywash ($18) are more affordable, but maybe not as high-impact.
Our Verdict: No-makeup makeup feel with a bold color selection
If the idea of eyeshadow that applies like no-makeup makeup but looks like, well, makeup appeals to you, this is a can't-miss product. The price tag is high, but it's easy to apply and delivers serious pigmentation that lasts pretty well with limited transfer.