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The best eye glosses and how to wear them

November 6th 2018 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment


Far from being a ‘flash in the pan’ teenage beauty crush, eye gloss is an easy peasy makeup trend that grown women can get on board with. Here’s your guide to getting the gloss, so to speak

You might normally associate a sticky eyelid with some kind of conjunctivitis type infection, but I promise you, glossy eyes are a thing, and they’re possibly the lowest effort, highest impact look in beauty in these filtered, contoured, Kardashian-crazed times. If you’re yet to dabble in shiny eye, you’re missing a whole lot of fun, plus there’s something about a gleamy lid that makes you look glowing and healthy yet doesn’t involve heavyweight highlighting or any shadow blending skill or exertion on your part. Whether coloured or clear, there’s an eye gloss look for day, night, weekend, weddings...basically every occasion is light-reflective lid appropriate, and even a quick, mirror-free smoosh on the go will have onlookers thinking you’re an expert. Not that we’re saying you’re not, but everyone loves a shortcut to fabulous.

Get the gloss(y eye)


Image: @3ina. Photographer - Hanna Hillier @hannahillierphotography, Makeup - Sophie Cox @sophiecoxmakeup, Hair - Carl Campbell @carlcampbellesalon and model Hannah Shakespeare at Models 1

Clearly you’ll need the equipment for starters, so see my shopping guide to the glosses on the market below, but if you’re reluctant to throw money at a tailored eye gloss a lip gloss can work just as well- many makeup artists rate MAC Clear Lipglass, £15.50, as a long-wearing lid gloss too.


Image: @3ina. Makeup - @wilmamua for @notionmagazine with @mariapizzeria and @disco_mode

From there, either apply alone, blending with your ring finger, or apply over a coloured cream shadow for a vinyl effect. You can use a small, flat synthetic eyeshadow brush if you prefer to diffuse gloss around the edges of lid, just whatever you, don’t go fluffy, for obvious reasons. If you want to add in some definition, follow Tom Ford makeup artist Francesco Fabiano’s smokey lead:

“Smudge a kohl pencil across the lashline, then apply an eye gloss over the top and blend. Add mascara and you’ll get a kind of rock star-esque, “morning after the night before” eye makeup effect instantly.”

There’s only one glossy no-go in Fabiano’s books:

“Wearing eye gloss over powder shadow can be tricky in real life. It can look very beautiful and intense in photos, but as the colour moves around a lot and lids can sometimes stick together, it can be a bit messy and impractical.”

Worried about gloss migration and creasing? Don’t be. It’ll happen. Go with it. Heed glossy eye expert, Glossier makeup artist favourite and all round shiny eye guru Katie Jane Hughes’ wisdom on this one:

“Guess what...eye gloss creases! I get the ‘how do I stop my eye gloss from creasing?’ question all the time, and the answer’s pretty simple- you can’t. That’s what makes eye gloss unique and different. When applying, always start in the center of the lid and work your way around the lid, because it will move around throughout the day. To move it back into place or smooth out any creases, just run your ring finger across the lid.”


Basically, messy and imprecise is the name of the game, and if this sounds a bit scary, I urge you to check out Katie’s many glossy eye creations (Instagram @katiejanehughes). There’s something for everyone, from naked gloss to baby blue sheen and glitter+gloss, and the fact that she carries all of them off with aplomb, with no photoshopping or over complicated technique involved, should serve as inspiration that shine eye is for all, regardless of age, skintone, gender or makeup inclinations.


The best eye glosses

Just a heads up: eye gloss can feel weird at first. It can be a bit weighty and sticky if you’re not used to it, but the initial cling-film feel fades and you’ll soon be so entranced by a glistening lid that you don’t give a monkeys. Plus, compared to trying to nail a liquid liner flick or red lip outline pre-work, eye gloss is a godsend. It’s basically your invitation to press the snooze button for the foreseeable. Especially appreciated as we’re going into winter, I’m sure you’ll agree. Here’s your eye gloss edit:

The Posh One


One of Katie’s eye gloss go-to’s, Kevyn Aucoin Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss, £30.50, is the high-end highway to sparkling lids. Available in psychedelic monochrome tones (choose from the space-age sounding Galaxy, Cosmic and Moonlight) each gloss has a bit of spangle to accompany the sheen.

The High Street One


NYX Lid Lacquer, £6, is technically an eyeshadow “fixant”, but I’d wear it as an all-over gloss on a bare lid, or dot a little in the centre of the lid for instant “woke” allure.

The Coloured One


With a sponge-tipped applicator, you needn’t even get your paws dirty with 3ina The Eye Gloss, £11.65. It dispenses just the right amount of eye goo at a time (glam), and the burgundy toned 503 is particularly glorious.

The Mermaid One


Iridescent pastel eyes coming up- butter London Glazen™ Eye Gloss, £15, is slightly more on the cream shadow end of the spectrum, so if you still can’t get on board with the texture of eye gloss, try this. Shade wise, it’s rose gold, mermaids and unicorn hues galore.

The Backstage One


This little unassuming black lidded pot has been doing the rounds backstage for a good few seasons now. MAC Studio Eye Gloss, £16.50, has a slightly glittery finish and delivers a transparent wash of colour that sticks around. Speaking of sticking, it is quite...sticky...but then again that’s what gives it guts.

The Gel One


If you’re after something a bit more lightweight, Yves Saint Laurent Eye Gloss Smudger, £19, ticks the levity box while still creating a nicely reflective shine. If you do want to blur out your regular eyeshadow at the edges, this is probably your best bet in that department too.

The Glossier One


Technically a highlighter, Katie uses Glossier Haloscope, £18, over lids for a instant, straight from the bullet glow over the eyes. Dew it.

The Sold Out One


Essentially a pot of gold at the end of the makeup rainbow, you’d have to be a magical leprechaun to get your hands on Victoria Beckham x Estée Lauder Aura Gloss, £30, at this point. It’s sold out, but if you do pull off a beauty purchase coup, it doubles up as gilded highlighter and all round glow-giver to make your perseverance all the more worthwhile.

The natural one


Jillian Dempsey Lid Tints, £24.50 have garnered cult status over the pond, and Katie’s Instagram is saturated with Lid Tint artistry. Its appeal lies in its broad shade range, organic ingredients and mix up of finishes. From metallic peach to translucent lilac and a smokey eye enhancing glimmery blue-black, Hollywood makeup artist Jillian has become the apple of the glossy eye world with these dainty compacts. Want.

Follow Anna on Instagram @annyhunter

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