For the vast majority of us, mastering a flawless cat eye every day is already a challenge on par with running a half-marathon before work—a whole marathon if you count both eyes. So consider us the bearers of good news when we tell you that makeup artists agree: Liquid eyeliner has no place in your summer eye makeup routine.
“We like to go ‘less is more’ with the skin—that makes it cool to give the eyes a little wash of color,” explains celebrity makeup artist Brittany Spyksma (who, we can personally attest, is an expert in summer eye makeup). Instead of inky eyeliner pens, Spyksma recommends filling your summer eye makeup collection with waterproof cream shadows you can easily buff on with your finger. “A little metallic on the lids is also super fun!” she adds. All in all, summer eye makeup should be about light, sweatproof formulas and fun, breezy looks.
Keep scrolling for 10 easy summer eye makeup looks to master—no liquid liner needed!
Summer Smoke Out
With a soft, diffused application, this look offers the perfect amount of smoke for summer. To achieve the look, layer a thick, smudgy line of Nudestix Magnetic Matte Eye Color in Matte ($26) over Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Burnish ($29).
Who needs liquid liner when your eye shadow is this dimensional? We recommend using powder shadows for this look, like those in Urban Decay’s Naked3 Palette ($54). To re-create it, blend a shimmery gold shade from the inner corner to the middle of the upper lid and a matte pink at the outer corner. Sweep a line of copper above the crease, and finish off with a thickening mascara, like BareMinerals’ Revamped Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara ($19).
Pretty as a Peach
A copper lid with peach glitter underneath? Yes, please. E.l.f.’s Best Friend Eyeshadow Duo in Peach Squad ($3) is a two-in-one product that offers everything you need to nail this look. Use the cream shadow all over the upper lid; then sweep a line of glitter from the inner corner to about halfway into the bottom lid.
How gorgeous is this ultra-sheer wash of lilac pigment? Paired with a gold lip, it creates a stunning yet unexpected night-out look. For a similar eye look, try RMS Beauty’s Eye Polish in Magnetic ($28).
High Sheen Lids
Glossy lids and summertime pair together like peanut butter and jelly. There's truly no better season to sport high-sheen lids. To achieve the look, simply mix a dab of Vaseline with Glossier Play's Lidstar in Slip ($18) and pat it all over your lid.
This citron-green eye look packs some serious sparkle. Try applying the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Shadow Single in Emerald Metallic ($12) on the upper lid as a base. Then pat MAC’s Loose Glitter in 3D Brass Gold ($22) into the lid, crease, and brow bone, making sure to lighten up as you go to create a gradient effect.
Eye shadow and liner become a distraction when you’ve got lashes this bright. Re-create the look with Benefit’s They’re Real Lengthening Mascara in Blue ($25).
Go for something unexpected with a white statement eye. A silvery-white shadow like NARS’s Eyeshadow in Isla Bonita ($19) contrasts beautifully with darker skin tones.
This bright aqua-blue lid screams summertime. Just swipe Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Deep End ($22) across the entire lid to radiate cool-girl vibes.
Here’s another glossy highlighted eye we love. Try dabbing Becca Skin Love Glow Glaze Stick ($28) in the center of your lids to achieve this dewy look.
Next up: Learn how to apply eye makeup for your eye shape!