How To Make Liquid Eyeliner from Mineral Eyeshadow


Have you given up on eyeliner? Maybe drawing a fine line on one of the most delicate spots on your body has proved to be too much effort except for special occasions? I know, me too. I love a creamy pigmented eyeliner pencil, but the downside to a nice buttery formula is that it’s tough to get the point fine enough to create a look that doesn’t scream “Hey I’m wearing eyeliner!” across the room. I wind up with a thick, uneven application most often. The worst is when you go to all that trouble and then look in the mirror seven hours later to find that half of it has worn off, leaving the bits of color that are still there looking extra haggard. Why did I bother?

But here’s the thing—eyeliner can really enhance your eyes in a magical way. If all you do is the most bare-bones makeup look—a bit of concealer here and there and a coat of mascara—the lightest application of eyeliner can pull the whole thing together. Tight lining is great for this, but again—it’s not a long lasting solution, at least not on my eyes. With the right product and the right beauty tools, things get interesting.

Lately, my eyeliner game is on point since I co-opted a few mineral powder eyeshadows and a fine angled brush. With a little bit of water, mineral powder eyeshadow transforms to a liquid eyeliner with a soft powdery finish that’s more natural and lasts all day.

While this probably sounds way more involved than just using a pencil, stick with me—it’s incredibly easy and so worth it. Here’s what you need: mineral powder eyeshadow and a fine angled brush—the finer the tip the better. Here’s what you do: use the lid of the eyeshadow pot as your mixing palette. Dip the tip of your brush into the mineral powder and scoop a tiny bit onto the lid. Dampen the angled brush with water and mix with the mineral powder on the lid, creating a small amount of liquid color. Line your eyes, hugging the lash line closely. Voila! The liquid makes application quick, even and painless—no tugging at delicate skin. Bonus: this is hands-down the longest lasting “eyeliner” I’ve ever used.

The brush is critical to success here. I have a few angled brushes for eyebrows that are too thick for this purpose. My absolute favorite choice is the W3LL PEOPLE Angled Eye Brush. It’s a high quality, uber tiny brush that is easy to manipulate and perfect for this job. For the mineral eyeshadow, I also love the W3LL PEOPLE Elitist Eye Shadow Powder in Golden Mocha or Matte Eggplant, and the Capitalist Brow Powder in Matte Espresso works great, too. I plan to try a few options from Alima Pure soon.

Would you use mineral eyeshadow as an eyeliner? Share your experience in the comments!

7 Responses to “How To Make Liquid Eyeliner from Mineral Eyeshadow”
  1. Naomi says:

    Absolutely would do and have done this. I always struggle with getting the *exact* right colour / shade of eyeliner I want. (My excuse being that, as a fair-skinned blonde, I have to be uber-careful about using anything too dark or harsh as it makes me look either like I’m a six year old raiding my mum’s make up drawer, or I’m interviewing for a job that involves wearing very little clothing.) I don’t like anything too harsh or dramatic for myself and using eyeshadows has given me waaaaaaaay more options than if I limited myself to the actual eyeliners out there. Even when I was happily (ignorantly) using all my dirty brands (oh MAC, how I did love thee!). It also allows for a more foolproof blending / shading from a line through to the dry shadow.

  2. fern says:

    Good tip!! I do this every day over a pencil eyeliner (powder, pencil, and brush are all Alima Pure) and it’s fantastic…

  3. Geri says:

    I gave up pencils a long time ago when a MAC artist showed me how to use eye shadow as eyeliner. I don’t wet the brush-I use it dry and also tight line with it. The shadow doesn’t last on the skin part where you tight line (what is that area of the eye called?!?!?) but even after it wears off the powder stays on in between the lashes so it makes your lashes look really full naturally. I tight line my entire eye with black or dark brown and then regular line the outer 1/3 of my eye with the same or different color eye shadow. It does take the right brush-I still use the MAC angled brush but as it’s wearing out I will have to try the W3ll People brush. BTW-the W3ll People Eye Shadow #87 Luminous Taupe all over the lid is AMAZING with black tight lining-have received many compliments-just the right amount of luminosity. I plan on trying some more of their colors.
    Love this blog and all contributors!!

  4. Renata says:

    Yes, it is a great thing to do, I have been doing it since I watched Holistic Habits video about a year or so ago. Works great every time, and I am saving tons of money by doing so, because the liquid eyeliners tend to dry out pretty fast, and I’ve yet to find natural eyeliner that I would be really happy with! Like you said, the good brush is a key to this. Great post! Loved every single blog post here :)

  5. Nicolle says:

    I love this on its own or to make my creamy liner stay put – I do a little of the loose, mineral eyeliner over the pencil and voila! All-day wear with natural pigments.

  6. Yes I’ve been doing this for years, though it does tend to wear off more quickly and not for when I want a super black line.

  7. nicolem says:

    I have used both loose and pressed powder with water for eyeliner in the past and occasionally still do. However, I have gravitated back to the (sadly dirty) liquid liners in various fun colors. For winged liner, the powder just fades much too quickly. While liquid liner will crumble a bit on me, it has much better staying power for wings. Any recommendations for clean liquid liners (hopefully in fun colors as well as black and brown?) All I seem to see are pencils, which I don’t like using….

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