Style

One-Minute Trick for Pretty Eyes

eye crayon

Last year, I discovered a beauty product that completely simplified my makeup routine and I haven’t looked back since…

I dig a good bright lip, but I’m an eye makeup girl first (I’d take mascara to my desert island). Done-up lids instantly make me look more fresh and awake — especially in shades of brown, which look lovely on pretty much everyone. I used to brush on a combination of three dark to light eyeshadows and eyeliner to make my eyes pop — but my new routine takes me less than a minute.

All I do is swipe a bronze eye crayon across my lids back and forth a few times, add some mascara, and I’m good to go. Just like they do for children, the thickness of the crayon makes application super easy and controllable — there’s no worry about messing up. I usually fill everything in from my lash line to the crease. And sometimes, for a night out or if I want a more dramatic look, I’ll smudge it to create a smokier eye.

Eye crayons are like a creamy combo of eyeshadow and eyeliner: You get the vibrant pigment (it’s buildable, so the intensity is up to you), but never the raccoon eye smudginess of a liner or the creases or unwanted flecks of powder shadow. And, even though it takes seconds to apply, it lasts all day.

Here are three eye crayons we’re loving at different price points:

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Stick, $8.99
This stick easily creates a sexy look with just a few smudges. The color is rich but also a little glossy, so it’s easy to blend to achieve the boldness you’re after. There’s no smearing or running — a key for a dark eyeshadow.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, $30
With thousands of five-star reviews all over the Interwebs, we must be on to something. This stick has just the right amount of subtle shimmer and comes in a bunch of great browns. We also like the size of the tip, which is exactly the width of the line you’ll want to draw on your lids. Definitely foolproof.

Sisley Paris Phyto-Eye Twist, $50
This one is a major splurge, but if you’re like me and you’ll use it every day, it may be worth it. Not only does it come in a wide range of gorgeous shades (I use Topaz), it’s made with plant-based ingredients like green tea and camellia, so it protects the delicate eyelid skin. Plus, it twists, so you never have to deal with sharpening.

Since I’ve streamlined my makeup routine, not only am I out of the house way faster every morning, I’ve also been racking up the compliments. Win win.

What is your eye makeup routine? Will you try one of these? Have you already? Do you have a time-saving beauty product?

P.S. A two-minute hair twist tutorial and a skin-saving mask.

(Photo via Zara.)

  1. Great post! Never thought of using eye shadow, going to have to try it sometime. Thanks for the tip :)

  2. I definitely would like to try more eye crayons. I tend to just use a natural eyeshadow when I want a simple eye look!

  3. Love this. Multi-tasking make-up crayons that can be used for eyes, cheeks & lips are fantastic.

  4. Too pretty! That’s my go-to eye trick when I’m in a rush, but want some definition. I especially love the shadows with a little bit of shimmer!

    xo, Sofia
    http://www.thecozie.co

  5. Anna says...

    The dr Perricone shadow is the perfect taupe for me!!!

  6. Sue Kissel says...

    Clinique Chubby Stick in fudge. Perfect

  7. heather says...

    I love the bobbi brown shades in goldstone, golden bronze and golden pink. I’m also a big fan of the giorgio armani eye tint. Foolproof and lasts all day, ! Whereas I sometimes have to smudge the bobbi brown. PS laura mercier make the exact same product – sarah jessica parker wears hers every day ;-)

  8. Jacy says...

    Went out and bought the Rimmel crayon, and it just slid right off. Urban decay primer potion does the same thing. I had put the crayon on over my MAC paint, it usually works like a charm.

  9. June2 says...

    mac eye khol in PowerSurge is the best bronze I’ve found for my brown eyes…love it, though it does best over a primer if you’re in hot weather.

  10. Joanna Tsay says...

    I hardly ever wear makeup now (new mother of a 16-month-old) but when I do, it’s super quick and minimal. The only thing I put on my eyes is Nars Pro Prime eyeshadow base if I want it to last, and then MAC paint pot in Groundwork. That’s it. That, plus dark brown eyeliner and mascara, has been my go to eye makeup for the past 2-3 years.

  11. Kate says...

    It would have been awesome to see an actual picture of this.

    • Laura says...

      Agreed!! Trying to figure out what these actually look like on a real, non-model

  12. Julie says...

    NYX jumbo eye pencils in Iced Mocha and Yogurt are my two favorite eye products. I use Iced Mocha as a subtle eyeliner, or I will apply to whole lid up to crease and smudge around. It looks great on its own, and it also works well as a base to powder eye shadow.

    • Laura C. says...

      I have NYX jumbo yogurt too! You are right, they work so well!

  13. It’s so funny how something as little as using a base colour for your eyes can complete and compliment a look so well. For me, when I’m in a rush and I can’t do a full smokey eye, I pick many colour from any of my eye palettes and blend it into my crease. Add some mascara and voila! Mission complete.

    Alexis xoxo

  14. LindyO says...

    Bought the Rimmel today in Bad Ass Bronze. LOVE! What a great bang for your buck. As always, thanks for the great beauty tips.

  15. Neha says...

    You know what I’d like to know? I want to know how to get that lipstick only look, when you wake up a skin that needs exfoliating and there are random dark hair on my face? I just want to have that bright lipstick on my face, but there is so much already going on there!

    • June2 says...

      Vegans have gorgeous skin – glowing and healthy looking…maybe try that?

  16. Marissa says...

    I have fair skin, blonde hair, and big “protruding” eyes, so the bronze is a bit much for me for every day wear. I use bare minerals prime time eyelid primer everyday in a similar way, though! It has a nice shimmer to it and controls my greasy lids. In the evenings, if I’m going somewhere special, I use that same exact Rimmel crayon to fancy things up a bit– maybe with a little liquid liner.

  17. Great… I’m jubilant by reading your post about eye makeup. I’m working women so sometimes I need to skip my sleep my sleep at night. Due to that I had dark circles and my eyes always looking like dull. I hope tips and guidance will help me to get out of from these problems.

  18. Clau says...

    Oh Megan, You are making me a make up convert! First the glossier Generation G (I wear it everyday) and now I have to try this…Ha!

  19. Yes!! My sister thinks I’m crazy for this, but I use a Tarte (toxin free) bronzer crayon on my eyelids every single day. Sometimes plain, other times as the perfect base color.
    But I think using the same color on lids and cheeks makes it all seem a little more natural.

  20. Bea says...

    Any non toxic eye crayons out there?

  21. Julia E says...

    I’ve been thinking it would be cool to be able to like/heart someone’s comments…. a quick and easy way to add a positive note without having to comment… ?

    • emily says...

      I heart this

    • MH says...

      Yes! I would love this, too.

    • EL says...

      +1

  22. Colleen says...

    I have a clinique sample eye crayon and lip crayon and I love them! BB cream and some mascara and I’m out. I’m a mom ;)

  23. Andrea B. says...

    I just got into eyeshadow crayons and am so happy I tried them! I highly recommend the sephora brand crayons. They make a nice range of colors, all which seem to be quite pigmented but somehow can wear pretty sheer as well as more dramatic. They aren’t too expensive either, compared to some of the fancier brands. I just brought two of the crayons on a vacation to Paris, because I didn’t want to pack a ton of makeup, and I didn’t miss having any other eyeshadows.

    I heard that the NYX jumbo eye crayons are great too!

  24. Amazing! I just wish one of these are shipping to the Philippines. hehe

  25. Cazmina says...

    Yes I love eye shadow crayons! The one I use is another affordable one: L’oreal Colour Riche crayon in ‘smokey taupe’. I just roughly draw it on all over my lid (from the lash line to the crease) then smudge the edge with a finger, and run it 3/4 of the way under my bottom lashes. It’s like a very subtle smokey eye, precision is not necessary, and it takes about 30 seconds to do.

  26. Paula says...

    I’m stopping by the drugstore on my way home to pick up the rimmel one!
    Question: do you pair it with brown mascara or black? I’ve never tried the brown one but given that you use brown liner, maybe it’s a thing?

  27. Tina L. says...

    I have very sensitive eyes and the Laura Mercier Caviar sticks work so well for me. I love Amethyst and Moonglow. I also use Tuxedo (black) close to my eyelash line as a eyeliner (and then smudge it). It doesn’t budge all day/evening when I am wearing it, the color is so pigmented, it’s a breeze to apply, and comers off with my regular eye makeup remover. One of the best makeup products I currently use.

    • Jenny says...

      I just read somewhere that Sarah Jessica Parker swears by those Caviar sticks too! I need to try them.

    • Anne says...

      Just found the holiday set with I believe all those colors for $38.00 at Cosbar.com. Thanks for the recommendation

    • Lisa says...

      I also love the cavier stick. I am budget-buyer, but let myself splurge a bit on this.

    • Jeanne says...

      Another recommendation from me on the Caviar Sticks. My gf, who is a MAC artist, was doing a smoky eye on me. I’m shy of really bold shades and was kinda worried. She convinced me to give it a shot and wow. It’s crazy blendable so you can tone it down or build it up easily. Once it sets, it’s there all night. I have olive skin and use Cocoa and add Tuxedo along the lash and crease if I want drama.

    • Rachel S says...

      Another thumbs up for the Caviar sticks! I love them. I have them in several colors but the dark brown (can’t remember the name) is my favorite. The dark colors look dark in the stick but when you apply them, they blend so well that you can make them as sheer or as bold as you want. LOVE!

  28. Emily says...

    Do you blend it near the crease at all? I’ve tried anot eye crayon, but was never really sure where to stop. Stopping at the crease makes it seem like it would be a harsh line…wondering what this technique would really look like in person.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Usually I don’t blend since it’s a subtle color, but if it seems like too harsh of a line, I’ll smudge it out with my finger a bit.

    • Emily says...

      Thanks…I think maybe the color I have is too dark for my pale skin? I definitely have to blend, will try a lighter color next go around!!

  29. julie says...

    A very similar great budget option: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo (small potted eyeshadow) in the color Bad to the Bronze. Pretty much impossible to mess up. Swipe a fingertip in and across each lid, blend out with the same fingertip. Very flattering and easy tone!

  30. Jenny says...

    I’m a big fan of these $10 LOC shadow sticks: https://www.birchbox.com/product/19577. So easy to swipe on and seriously stays put. I like the “Impress Me” shade for day and “Nite Owl” for evenings.

  31. Abbie says...

    I wonder if in the future you might consider a different approach to headlines like this. “Trick for pretty eyes” – I’m being nitpicky here – implies that our eyes aren’t “pretty enough” without a “trick” and coming off this incredible weekend of female empowerment I’m trying to get away from using language that inherently describes myself and other women as naturally “less than.”
    “A trick for quick eye enhancement” or “Make those gorgeous peepers stand out!” are two cheesy but quick examples of how I’m trying to improve my own word choice.
    Love you all. Thanks for amazing advice as always.

    • Sara says...

      Kudos Abbie for spotting this – we’re getting too used to such language, and a little attention and care might go a long way! Hurrah!

    • Lisa says...

      Really? This is one thing that is so wrong in the world. Everyone is so sensitive to every comment. We have taken political correctness to the extreme. We are talking about eye shadow here people :)

    • Michele says...

      I agree with Lisa.

    • Lorange says...

      I don’t think of this as “political correctness.” Words do have power and I like Abbie’s suggestions.

    • jules says...

      Seriously? There is no “less than” here. It’s eye shadow. It’s not like she said “Makeup to Catch A Man” or “Make Yourself Worthy Of Being Seen in Public.”

      It is a trick – it’s a quick thing to do.
      It is about pretty eyes – that’s the effect. It’s not high-drama editorial.
      No women are being judged.

      The POV here is very inclusive, non-judgey and style-for-self — it’s also definitely on the low-key but decidedly feminine side.

      The world is one massive microaggression if you want to see it that way.

    • Emily says...

      I agree that language matters, but I think the language used here is completely fine. Also, if we are constantly policing what our well-meaning peers say and write, it begins to stifle communication. Anyways, from a logical standpoint, saying a particular makeup look is pretty does not exclude that other looks (e.g., wearing no makeup) are not ;)

    • Sara says...

      Thank you Abbie

  32. I got one of these in a deep olive green from my Birchbox, once. And every single time I wore it, people would stop me to tell me I had gorgeous eyes… thanks for the reminder that it’s time to restock. ;)

    • S James says...

      Curious as to which brand your green crayon is?

  33. Tess says...

    For those looking for a natural alternative, Juice Beauty makes an eye crayon! I’ve never used it but I love their cleanser and moisturizing oil.

    • A natural option was exactly what I was scanning the comments for – thank you Tess!

    • Thank you! I only use really natural make up now so ill check this out. This post reminds me of the bronze crayon I lined my eyes with as a teenager and loved. Have to try again!

  34. Chrissy Shea says...

    Kiko in shade 06 is my holy grail here. It’s definitely a dupe for the Laura Mercier caviar sticks, and stays put all. day.

    • Jade says...

      I too love Kiko eyeshadow sticks. Number 38 is a favourite of mine! I find they are a great dupe for the Terry Ombré Blackstars which are a definite splurge. The shades Frozen Quartz, Bronze Moon and Misty Rock are incredible though. They don’t budge or crease and are a lovely luxury for those willing to invest.

  35. Laura says...

    Thanks for this! I’m a make up novice, so I’d love to see before/after pics or even a video so I understand exactly what you mean.

    • Marianne says...

      Same here! When I read “like a kids crayon”, I imagined myself smudging it all over my eye like the make up newbie that I am.

  36. j. says...

    RMS Beauty has eyeshadow that comes in a pot that’s also good and pretty foolproof. I just dab a tiny bit on my finger and tap it all over the lid – you don’t need a lot and actually it seems to look better if you don’t use too much – it seems like it will last forever since I use so little every day. I use a mauve-ish color called Magnetic which is pretty! Then I do under eye concealer and mascara for every day, plus Revlon’s long-wearing brown eyeliner sometimes.

  37. Nina says...

    Intrigued BUT would like to see a before and after photo. It’s kind of hard to picture it with just one photo of a girl looking down.

    • Danielle says...

      I agree! I like beauty recs but this just seems like a post to put some monetary links. Let’s see the real girl with the real products that she uses!

    • Aga says...

      Yes! I was also reading the article thinking that I’d like to see a picture of your eyes with and without! :)

    • amanda june says...

      great idea! i do love the rec — i am also an eye makeup person, but i feel like my eyeshadow and even eyeliner (unless i use gel/cream) are gone half a day later — sometimes i wonder why i bother :) some great recs in the comments too! but some more photos and/or simple tutorial would nice.

  38. Emily says...

    I want to see this on Megan!

    • Emily says...

      I think that is what was so nice and personal with Caroline reviews. she would have pictures of her with the different products instead of a stock photo.

  39. I use a taupe-y crayon from Almay for fancier occasions. For every day eyeshadow I use a technique similar to what you’re describing but dip my finger in a 24 Hr Color Tattoo Metal pigment pot from Maybelline in the shade “Inked in Pink.” The shade is really flattering with my brown eyes and really creamy but not oily. Easy eyeshadow is the way to go!!!

  40. Nicky says...

    I’m looking for something subtle but pretty for interviews and I think this is perfect! Thanks, Megan!

  41. Julie says...

    My vet was wearing something like this when I took my cats to get their shots this weekend, haha! I thought it looked so dramatic and pretty and kind of grubby in the best way. So fun. Will have to try.

  42. So with you on taking mascara to the desert island, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve worn eyes hadow! I’m a liquid eyeliner on top lid and (a lot of) mascara on my upper lashes type of girl. But now I’m interested in trying these crayons out!
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  43. Anna says...

    This is so funny, this was my go to fancy eye when I was a senior in high school. I would do regular eyeliner (badly), then go over it with a bronzy crayon- this smudged the liner in a good way and made it look intentionally smoky. Any recs for a green/eco eye crayon?

  44. Julia says...

    The Sephora fat eye pencils are cheap and come in a million colors. Great texture.

    • Traci Barr Segal says...

      The Clinique Chubby Sticks are terrific and easy to use. Lots of Latte looks good with my brown eyes.

  45. Mallory says...

    This looks great! Quick enough to add into my routine. I’m pretty lazy and untalented with makeup, so I’m always looking for easy, fast tips.

    My routine now is 3 products: Revision Skincare Intellishade tinted moisturizer, Blinc mascara and YSL Kiss & Blush in mocha garconne on lips and cheeks. Takes about 2 minutes and sad to say it’s usually done at red lights on my way to work >_<

  46. Hi!

    As always, it really is a pleasure to read your blog. I have a question outside of this article. You seem to use a lot of images that are not made by your team. Do you contact the person before posting them on your blog or do you simply put the credit at the end of your post?

    Just really curious since I have a blog myself. :)

    Thank you!

    Frédérique

    • I’ve never tried using eye crayons, but I love this idea. I used to spend so much time on my eye makeup, but ever since adding a second baby to the mix I have zero time for makeup!! I am absolutely trying this!

      Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  47. Mullica Zudsiri says...

    I have definitely used the Rimmel. I also have used Nature Republic’s Eco Crayon (which since you guys are in NYC can easily find), and Clinique’s Chubby stick, and NYX inifite shadow sticks.

    BUT I’ve since moved on to more natural alternatives. Favoring RMS eye polish.

    • June2 says...

      Please don’t leave us hanging! WHAT are your natural alternatives? Thanks in advance!

    • gladmama says...

      Yes! Please.

  48. I never wear eye makeup but i’m trying to be a grown up so anything that makes it easier is riiight up my alley.

    xo, brittany
    http://www.notablob.com

  49. Amy says...

    I love how easy these eye shadow sticks make my routine… my favorites are by Julep – Eyeshadow 101. They come with a little sponge smudger on the bottom which makes it so easy to blend! I have 7 different colors of these lil guys. http://www.julep.com/eyeshadow-101.html

  50. Jessica says...

    Has anyone with super greasy lids out there tried it? The only thing I can wear reliably on my lids is liquid liner. Maybe with primer? Thoughts?

    • Karen Greenwalt says...

      Use a primer! Eyeshadow used to barely last a few hours on my eyelids. I swear by the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. And my sister recently told me that she likes the Smashbox one even more. :)

    • Jessica,

      Urban Decay makes a product called Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It’s a game changer.

    • Carrie says...

      I have greasy lids too, shadow sticks like these slick right off in less than 1hr. Urban Decay Primer Potion really is the best and tube of it lasts for an eternity.

    • Jade says...

      I know everyone here are recommended the urban decay ️Primer – I used that for years before swapping to the ️️NARS Proprime smudge proof eyeshadow base and will not look back. The ️️NARS one comes with a doe foot applicator (like a lip gloss) so it is super easy to use and even though it looks quite white it blends out to nothing so irrespective of your skin tone or whatever colour eyeshadow you put on top it is suitable for everyone.

  51. Meghann says...

    I’ve also been doing this for awhile now. It’s so easy and fool-proof! However, I find the bronze creme sticks too intense, and prefer a more subtle shade, with an illuminating effect. The Clinique Chubby Stick eye tint in “Bountiful Beige” and “Grandest Gold,” as well as Drew Barrymore’s Flower cosmetics eyeshadow chubby in “Daffodil with it” are favourites.

  52. Love this idea so much!! (without being creepy) Is it possible to see a pic of you post-bronze swipe?!

  53. Kara says...

    Would love to know what shades you recommend in each product! Dying to try this now – thanks!

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      I have and love the Sunlight Gold color in the Bobbi Brown stick (http://bit.ly/2jaHMcU), but I’m eager to buy Shadow or Stone after seeing so many pretty light brown eyelids on people lately.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Stella loves the Rimmel Bootleg Brown and I use the Sisley Topaz :)

  54. SKB says...

    The Laura Mercier caviar eye sticks are amazing too! Cocoa and Moonlight are my go-to shades. Easy to swipe on for daytime or build up the color for the easiest smokey eye ever!

    • Maggie says...

      Seconding the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks! I have a few but use Plum most days, starting off with a thickish line near the lashes, which I then smudge out a bit with my fingers, and then I go back in and do a thin line. The done/undone effect is super flattering to my green peepers, if I do say so myself!

    • Those caviar eye sticks are AMAZING. I was surprised they weren’t mentioned! They don’t budge ALL DAY. I have the gold one :)

  55. Kiley says...

    I might have to re-visit the eye shadow crayon! I tried them about five years ago and they never looked quite right on me; too cakey and thick. My eye makeup routine now consists of foundation as under-eye concealer, powder eye shadow & mascara. Gel liner if I’m needing to look extra awake.

    • V says...

      Interesting, I didn’t have good luck with RMS eye polish – creased immediately and very little color pay off for me.

  56. Cynthia says...

    I have sensitive eyes, and I’ve been using the Clinique Chubby Sticks for over a year. I can go from sheer to bold, and these crayons turn up like a lipstick, so no sharpening is involved. I like to rub my ring finger over the stick and then apply it to my eyelids. I have the Lots o’ Latte, Ample Amber, Lavish Lilac, and Bountiful Beige. They are $17 each, but you get a lot for your money. I put a primer on my eyelids, and the color lasts all day.

  57. Mags says...

    Yep! I started doing this in the spring. When I started traveling for work more frequently, I was hesitant to take any powder makeup , because I dont want it to break and end up all over everything. I found the Clinique chubby stick eyeshadows, and I love them- a quick scribble across my eyelids and a smudge with my fingers, and I’m ready to go. I love the bountiful beige shade, and looking forward to trying more.

  58. Another vote for the Bobbi brown stick here- makes even my super tired eyes look better so it must be good!

  59. Linda B. says...

    Thanks, Megan. I never wear much makeup, but I feel like I can do this.
    Can you tell me what shade you use in the Rimmel?

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Stella loves the Rimmel Bootleg Brown!

  60. M says...

    I love that Bobbi Brown stick! I have blue green eyes and I wear “Golden Pink” every day. It’s a perfectly subtle neutral on my pale skin and makes me look very awake. It was first recommended to me by a Nordstrom employee when I started working and now I’ve been wearing it for five years!

  61. Alice says...

    I never wear anything on my eyes and always look tired. This is just what I needed today! How do you guys always know? :-)

  62. Megan says...

    Yes! I have been using eye shadow crayons too. As someone who hates taking too much time to get ready in the morning, I love how easy and quick eye shadow crayons are. NYX brand in yogurt is m favorite right now.

  63. Hande says...

    I have incredibly sensitive eyes, so intricate eye makeup has always been something I’ve admired on other women. But given the right product, I can do something simple. Thank you for these suggestions! Do you know if any are formulated for sensitive eyes?

    • Emily says...

      I SO second this question! I have the same problem, and it’s a huge bummer and I’ve wasted $ on so many mascaras, liners and shadows that just make my eyes red and weepy. Also, when you say swipe “across my lids back and forth a few times” do you mean just in like one line along your top-lid lashes or more like filled in, upwards towards the crease like you might do with traditional eye shadow?

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I usually fill everything in from my lash line to the crease. xo