Glossy Eye Makeup at Home
- Our recommendations are independently chosen by our editors and contributors. We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through any of our affiliate links. This commission is not paid by our viewers or subscribers.
Annie Walton Doyle is a writer based in Manchester, UK.…
Trying out editorial makeup is intimidating. High-fashion looks require a ton of technical skill. Plus, they can be simply “too much” for day-to-day life. Enter the glossy eye. It’s a look that’s just the right amount of “out there” while still looking super pretty and wearable. The best part? It’s very much achievable at home. All you need are the right products and some sneaky application tips to ensure you don’t end up in a literal or figurative mess.
One caveat before we begin: a glossy eye is, by nature, a mutable look. This means it’ll never look as perfect as it does upon application. Creasing, smudging, and smearing are all par for the course with this one. Accept this as part of the fun, or end up disappointed later. Okay, let’s begin.
Grab The Gloss
Firstly, a clear gloss on bare lids is a surprisingly pretty take on a no-makeup look. If you want to upgrade your usual BB-cream-and-brow-gel combo, a smear of Vaseline across the lids will help them look juicy and hydrated. Plus, it’ll catch the light in a subtle yet undeniably cute way! Vaseline isn’t sticky, but it can feel a little greasy if you over-apply, so keep it light. This won’t give you the most high-shine finish, but it’s a great option for beginners.
Secondly, if you want a glass-like finish you’ll need a bonafide gloss. Two great glosses of the moment are the Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Gloss and the Maybelline Shine Shot Lip Topcoat in “Clear Vinyl.” The former is specifically designed for eyes, so it has a slightly softer, less grippy texture. The Maybelline is undeniably sticky, so bear that in mind. But it’s also a total bargain and offers an unbelievably reflective finish.
Feeling bougie? Next up on the list is the Kevyn Aucoin Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss. It’s incredible with a price tag to match. It has a similar texture to Vaseline, in that it is more slippery and emollient than thick and sticky. Along with the glossiness of the product’s base, it’s also jam-packed with iridescent white glitter, meaning you can double up on shine.
The Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color Glow in “Illuminaughty” is like the Haloscope on steroids. It’s like a super shiny balm filled with an iridescent sheen. For a more affordable option, the ELF Beautifully Bare Highlighting Stick is also incredible. The shade “Fresh Morning Dew” is that elusive clear highlight shade, offering a natural shine. If you want to look exceptionally well-moisturized and rested, a dab of this on your eyelids will do the trick.
It’s frowned upon in the glossy eye community, but I for one am not opposed to applying a dab of lip gloss on the lids. To avoid potential issues though, ensure you go for a formula that doesn’t have any plumping properties. Only apply a tiny bit too. My favourite lip-to-eye gloss is the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in “Fenty Glow.” Apply it to your lips, too, for an easy monochromatic look.
To elevate your glossy eye, you might want to opt for a shade with some colour. The Surratt Lid Lacquers are amazing for this. They give a buildable wash of colour along with a high-shine finish that’s surprisingly long-wearing. The shade “Komuji” is a perfect everyday bronze, but “Kira Kira,” a holographic white, is the real star of the show.
Lastly, for a lighter wash of colour, the Jillian Dempsey Lid Tints are too pretty for words. My favourite is “Lilac,” which does what it says on the tin, but “Bronze,” “Smoke,” and “Dew” are all workhorses in my makeup collection.
Annie Walton Doyle is a writer based in Manchester, UK. She typically writes about beauty and other "personal aesthetics," with a healthy dose of both social commentary and stupidity. When not touching makeup, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature, and mysteries. Find her on Instagram @anniewaltondoyle.