THEY say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, which makes eye makeup… the stuff that makes our soul look and feel so much better? Let’s call it window dressing.
There are so many eye makeup options to choose from online, so we’ve narrowed down the best eye makeup, based on the top customer reviews and most exciting new launches.
Eye makeup can be divided into a few different categories, from eye shadow (powder or cream, palettes or single shades), eye liner (liquid or pencil), mascara and brow groomer (do you prefer a gel, pencil or powder?).
While many of the makeup products we rely on (concealer, foundation, primer), are about banishing blemishes and perfecting our complexions, eye makeup is more about creativity and fun.
You don’t need to change a single thing about your work ensemble when going from the office straight to a date, but if you apply smokey eye makeup, then your look suddenly transforms to something sexy and sultry.
While many are happy leaving the house without a sweep of blush or lipstick, eye makeup is different: many women won't go anywhere without their favourite mascara or their brows done.
The first rule of successful eye makeup application? Apply a primer so that your makeup remains smudgeproof – and can stand the test of time.
Brows have recently become the most important part of any woman’s makeup routine: brows do frame the face, after all. Pick the right colour for you with a pencil or shade that’s close to your natural one.
1. Best eyeshadow palettes
- Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette, £43 at Escentual – buy here
- Huda Beauty Neon Orange Obsessions, £27 at Cult Beauty – buy here
- Revolution Re-Loaded Velvet Rose Eye Shadow Palette, £4 at Superdrug – buy here
Everyone's become a bit obsessed with eyeshadow palettes of late, and rightly so: they give a choice of colours you can wear individually or blend together, they allow you to create certain eye makeup looks, like a nude eye or a smokey eye and they also get you out of your comfort zone, encouraging you to try colours you'd never dream of buying as solo shades.
Urban Decay's Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette – with blendable, buildable nudes – is an item of cultish obsession and devotion that's widely considered a must-have staple in every woman's everyday beauty arsenal.
Huda Beauty's palettes are Internet and beauty editor favourites, and the brand's new neon palette range is described as "summer in a palette" which "blends like a dream" – this palette is a must for any beachy occasion, festivals, and trying out neon brights.
On the budget end of the spectrum, you can't go wrong with one of Revolution's palettes: this Re-Loaded Velvet Rose eye shadow palette has 15 metallic and matte shades with gorgeous colours that will get you through any festive season parties in style.
2. Best eye liner
- Benefit Roller Liner Liquid Eyeliner, £19.50 at Harvey Nichols – buy here
- Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, £16 at Eyeko – buy here
- Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner, £20 at Bobbi Brown – buy here
Maybelline Tattoo Liner Gel Pencil 900 Deep Onyx, £4.99 at Superdrug – buy here
Eye liner creates instant drama and is an opportunity to show off your artistry, whether you're drawing a thin line across the top lashes or perfecting a feline flick.
Benefit's fine line liquid eyeliner has a precision tip for natural-looking lid lining or a dramatic cat's eye effect, plus it's smudgeproof and waterproof.
Another liquid eye liner with a similar cultish following, Eyeko's Skinny liquid liner contains algae extract to stay put all day and is super user-friendly with its precision nib, making it easy to apply in thin or thicker strokes.
Bobbi Brown's Longwear Gel Eyeliner has been an industry favourite for years: it comes in a selection of sophisticated shades, including emerald green and violet purple, and applies easily with your favourite brush.
As one fan declares: "The best eyeliner I have ever bought and this includes extremely expensive brands. It stays on all day and looks as good at the end of the day as it did at the start."
If you like a pencil liner, Maybelline's Tattoo Liner Gel Pencil comes with a built-in sharpener and promises to last for 36 hours, through sweat and more.
3. Best mascara
- Too Faced Damn Girl! 24-Hour Mascara, £12 at Cult Beauty – buy here
- DIOR Diorshow Waterproof Mascara, £25.20 at Escentual – buy here
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Unlimited Mascara Black 01, £10.99 at Superdrug – buy here
Maybelline Great Lash Volumising and Thickening Mascara, Blackest Black, £4.19 at Amazon – buy here
Mascara is widely considered a 'can't leave the house without' makeup product – even by those who don't really wear much makeup otherwise.
The best mascaras won't clump and will leave lashes looking long and voluminous, and there are many different wands and formulas out there to choose from.
The current Internet and beauty editor fave is Too Faced's Damn Girl! 24-Hour Mascara, a must for fans of the brand's Better Than Sex mascara – Damn Girl! has a creamy mousse formula made from whipped melting waxes and polymers that leaves lashes looking thick and curly, without weighing them down.
Plus, it's been pre-pumped with air so you can just apply and go. For those after a fake-lash effect who like a full brush, Dior's catwalk-ready Diorshow Waterproof mascara is great for sensitive eyes and leaves lashes looking thick and lustrous.
L'Oréal's Infallible Unlimited Mascara uses an innovative bendable wand to ensure the utmost precision in your application, which works to lengthen, define and separate lashes.
If you're looking for an 'old reliable' mascara that suits anyone and everyone, Maybelline Great Lash has been the best-selling mascara in the USA for nearly 50 years – a tube sells every two seconds. It delivers an intense, thick colour that lasts.
4. Best brow groomers
- Lime Crime Bushy Brow Pen, £16.45 at Lime Crime – buy here
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo, £24 at Cult Beauty – buy here
benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil, £22.50 at Look Fantastic – buy here
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Brow Pencil Dark Brown 1, £3.99 at Superdrug – buy here
Everyone knows that getting your brow game on point can be a game changer – in fact, having your brows groomed to perfection means you can often leave out a lot of the other makeup in your routine on a day-to-day basis since good brows instantly frame the face and draw attention to the eyes.
Microblading is on the rise, but for those who want a more casual brow solution, there are plenty of fabulous gels, pencils and powders that will instantly give a sparse brow some oomph.
Lime Crime's vegan and cruelty-free Bushy Brow Pen is a winner: the pigmented, super-thin brush allows you to draw in individual hairs for a super-natural looking brow that fans consider "perfect" with an "excellent hold."
Brow maestro Anastasia's Brow Powder Duo can be applied with a brush, blends easily and is smudge-proof, plus it contains nourishing vitamins C and E to help condition brows, while Benefit's mechanical brow pencil is waterproof, long-wearing and has a precision pencil tip and spoolie for blending.
Rimmel's brow pencil and brush combo delivers great grooming and shaping powers in its waxy pencil and is a steal at under £5.
Enjoyed our round-up of the best eye makeup you can buy in 2020? We've also picked out the best eyeliner, eyeshadow and waterproof eye makeup remover.
Sun Selects Beauty is also stocked with recommendations of the best products for your hair, including hair masks, conditioner for damaged hair and hair oil.
Find all our Sun Selects round-ups here.
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