Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: All You Need To Know

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If you’re new to the makeup game, here’s all you need to know on the difference between eyeliner vs eyeshadow.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the eyeliner and eyeshadow section at the drugstore? It can be tough to decide which product is right for you. People who are new to the makeup game are often undecided when it comes to eye makeup, especially eyeliners and eyeshadows.


Pro makeup artists (and enthusiasts too) often interchange eyeliner and eyeshadow – using eyeshadow to line the eyes, and using eyeliner to create shapes and designs that the regular eyeshadow can’t achieve.

But at the end of the day, these are two makeup products that go hand in hand – you simply cannot compare both of them!

Eyeliner Vs Eyeshadow

So, what is the difference between eyeliner vs eyeshadow? Eyeliner is a product that is used to define and enhance your eyelids, but it can also be used to create cut creases and more. It comes in either a gel, pencil or liquid form, and is applied to the lash line.

Eyeshadow, on the other hand, is a product that is used to enhance your eyes. It comes in a variety of colors and textures, and can be applied to the eyelid, crease, or brow bone. It comes in powder or cream.

Which Do You Apply First?

Some people prefer to apply eyeliner first, and then apply eyeshadow on top. Others prefer to apply eyeshadow first, and then use eyeliner to define their lash line. There is no wrong way to do it – it’s all about what works best for you.

So, which product should you use – eyeliner or eyeshadow? The answer depends on your needs and preferences. If you want to create a dramatic look, eyeliner is the way to go.

If you want a more natural look, eyeshadow is the better option. Ultimately, it’s up to you!

For the perfect look, we suggest applying your eyeshadow first, and then using your eyeliner to enhance your eyelids and to create winged lines.

Below, we compiled our favorite eyeliner vs eyeshadow products to help you choose one that’s ideal for you.

Our Top 3 Eyeliner Picks

1. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (Gel)
Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: Bobbi brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
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Cult favorite beauty label Bobbi Brown never disappoints with its impressive range of makeup products, and their Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in particular is well-loved by makeup enthusiasts. This gel liner lasts for up to 8 hours and it is waterproof too!

We find that gel eyeliners are easy to use to achieve that perfect smokey eye. The formula is highly pigmented, and can deliver dramatic looks that won’t fade easily.

2. KVD Tattoo Waterproof Eyeliner (Liquid)
Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: Kat Von D Tattoo Waterproof Eyeliner
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If you’re a makeup enthusiast, then you already know that Kat Von D’s eyeliners are legendary. Kat Von D herself is a celebrity tattoo artist, and her eyeliners are inspired by the tattoo industry – creating sleek, precise lines with long lasting formulas.

This vegan and cruelty-free black liquid liner is smudge-resistant with an ultra-fine brush that you can use not just for winged eyeliners and for the inner corner of your eye but also for body art, faux freckles, and more.

3. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner (Pencil)
Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide ON Waterproof Pencil
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Pencil eyeliners can either come retractable or sharpened, and they’re a great alternative to gel and liquid eyeliners, especially if you don’t have a steady hand.

Eye pencils are also great to use when applying product to your lower lash line, as you won’t need to wait for it to dry. In addition to this, they’re also great to use if you’re going for smokey eyes.

This pencil liner from Urban Decay comes with an impressive range of 29 colors so you can make your own unique looks.

It’s also paraben and cruelty-free, and made with hydrating vitamin E, jojoba seed oil, and cottonseed oil.

Our Top 3 Eyeshadow Picks

1. Tartlette Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette (Matte)
Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: Tartelette Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette
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Tarte is a game-changer in the beauty industry with their Amazonian clay-infused powder formulas. The Tartelette Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette comes in 12 gorgeous matte eyeshadows that are perfect for everyday wear.

If you don’t have this cult favorite yet, this palette deserves to be on your makeup kit!

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette (Satin)
Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette
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For a satin finish, we love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette. It comes in 14 different colors, all with satin finish so you’ll be able to create a softer look.

When it comes to powder eye shadow, ABH is one of the top beauty brands to check out. Their eyebrow products are very impressive as well!

3. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow (Cream)
Eyeliner VS Eyeshadow: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow
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Cream eyeshadows are slightly new to the game, but most people have warmed up to them pretty quick. The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow can be used not just for your eyes, but it can also be used to highlight your cheekbones and line your lower lid.

It comes in 31 different color choices and finishes so you can experiment with different looks. For a smoky look, they also have matte eye sticks.

History of Eyeliner

Eyeliner has been around for centuries. In fact, eyeliner was first used by men in ancient Egypt! They would use kohl eyeliner to define their eyes and make them look more masculine.

Kohl eyeliner was made from a mixture of soot and lead, and it’s still used to this day in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Modern eyeliners these days are made with safer ingredients, and they come in different forms: gel, liquid, and pencil. Black eyeliner is still the most popular one, but more and more beauty companies are pushing out eyeliners in vibrant colors so that people can use them in different ways.


More importantly, modern eyeliners now come in forms that will enable you to create either a thin line or a thick line, depending on how you apply it.

History of Eyeshadow

Like eyeliner, one of the earliest recorded uses of eyeshadow were in Ancient Egypt, but it’s also been said that eyeshadow also originated in China, where women would apply it to their eyelids to enhance their beauty.

Eyeshadow in Ancient Egypt was made by using kohl powder, while in China, eyeshadow was made by extracting juice from leaves and flowers.

Today, eyeshadow color comes in a variety of shades and textures, making it the perfect product for creating any look you desire.


Nowadays, eyeshadow comes in bright colors too! Shimmery eyeshadows have a glossy finish, while matte shadows have a flat finish.

Shimmery shadows are more eye-catching than matte shadows, and while cream eyeshadows provide more coverage. Matte shadows are ideal for everyday wear, while shimmery shadows are perfect for special occasions.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use eyeshadow as eyeliner?

Yes, you can use eyeshadow as eyeliner. We recommend taking either an eyeliner brush or a slim eyebrow brush and using that to apply your shadow in the corner of your eyes.

Can I wear eyeliner and eyeshadow at the same time?

Of course! You can definitely wear eyeliner and eyeshadow at the same time. In fact, many people prefer to do this because it helps create a more dramatic look.

What is the difference between liquid eyeliner and pencil eyeliner?

Pencil eyeliners are easier to apply than liquid eyeliners, and they are also less likely to smudge. Liquid eyeliners provide a more precise line than pencil liners, which is often preferred for a cat-eye look.

We hope you found this article on eyeliner vs eyeshadow helpful! If you’re still looking for more beauty reads, check the posts down below.

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