You're running late to the bash, the office bathroom is crowded, and you have maybe 3 minutes to change your look from career-climbing #ladyboss to head-turning #aboutlastnight. Sure, you can change your outfit, slip on heels, and swap your workbag for a cute clutch, but your face is the first thing anyone sees. That means you need to amp up your beat quickly and in a 'gram-worthy way.
While every beauty editor recommends a dark smoky eye to look party-ready, attempting that level of glam usually turns into a muddled, complicated, often-vampire-ish mess that requires concealer and Q-tips and wipes to salvage. No need for that.
Enter your new bestie, bronze eyeshadow. "But I don't wear / know how to apply / have time for eyeshadow," you say. Of course you don't. You don't record YouTube tutorials for a living and your name is not Teni Panosian. That's why you're going to use it as …wait for it… EYELINER! Stay with us here. We've tested this AM-to-PM hack over and over and it works every time, no matter where we're headed or which brand or formulation we use. All you need is a smudge of rust!
If it's your first time trying a metallic or shimmery shade around the eyes and you don't trust your ring finger's accuracy, you can swipe a small stiff-bristled eyeliner brush (like Sephora's $18 PRO Smudge Brush #11 or Morphe's $2 M213 Smudger Brush) just under the lower lash line and immediately above the upper eye lashes.
Step back, admire your newfound sparkle and how much more awake you look, and then go in again with a bit more along the outer edges for additional oomph.
Now go in with a few very thin strokes of dark brown eyeliner immediately along the lower and upper lash lines, curl your lashes, apply two coats of mascara (ideally L'oréal's Voluminous Million Lashes) and you're ready to go, looking like you didn't just spend the last 10 hours staring at screens. Can't bother with a brush? Opt for a bronzy pencil version and you can even get wingy with it.
Here's why at least one coppery shade should be a standard color in your makeup bag:
- Super flattering for all ages, skin tones, and eye shapes.
- Makes eyes look sparklier even in bad lighting.
- Easy to touch-up even in dark bathrooms or on your phone's camera at a red light.
- Allows for fool-proof application since you can use your finger to smudge it on (actually looks better a bit messy and slightly rocker-chic with dark eyeliner pencil near the waterline).
- Can be worn all year because it's a seasonless look.
- Makes any eye color pop with or without mascara.
- Can be amped up for extra sexiness layered under brown or black eyeliner.
In a pinch (or for the daytime equivalent) you can even use matte bronzer to achieve the same warmed-up eye-enhancing look.
Coppery and goldish-brown shades are really easy to find without resorting to Studio 54-era glitter. Glow up your makeup routine with any of these bronzy shadows or gel pencils and you'll thank us when you see the result ;-)
- NYX Holographic Halo Eye Tint in Gold Bar and Galaxy Glow ($4)
- Ulta Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Bronze and Copper ($4)
- Ucanbe Nude Red Eyeshadow Palette ($9)
- MAC Cosmetics Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Havana; Sea Worship; and Sweet Heat ($20)
- Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Smog and Double-life ($21)
- Beautycounter's Velvet Eyeshadow Palette in Classic ($50)
- Too Faced's Chocolate Bar Palette ($49)