One of the beauty trends I’ve been seeing all over my Instagram feed and in magazines is glossy eyelids. Sometimes referred to as “glossy eyes” or the “wet eye look”, the premise is — you guessed it — eyelids having the appearance of a wet, glossy texture. I love when a trend’s name makes perfect sense, don’t you?
Glossy eyelids are inherently uncomplicated – it’s literally like lip gloss but for your eyelids. It takes a few seconds to apply and can make either a small or big impact on your entire look depending on what you want. As a bonus, many of the products are balms with added ingredients to soothe and soften skin.
Here’s more about the beauty trend of glossy eyelids, including the best makeup for your budget and how to pull off the look yourself.
The Best Glossy Eye Makeup for Every Budget
While some makeup artists have been creating this look forever with a smudge of Aquaphor or Rosebud Salve on the lids, now there are specific products sold to get the look. Most are available in a clear or sheer formula, but there are some colored versions out there that do the job of an eyeshadow and gloss in one.
Here are my picks for glossy eye makeup over and under $25. (Most can even be used on other parts of the face, too)!
Glossy Eye Makeup Under $25
Morphe 2 Gloss Pop Face & Eye Gloss – This $12 eye gloss looks just like the lip gloss tubes of my youth. The never-sticky formula gives your eyelids a fresh and dewy finish. This is perfect for those looking to start small with the glossy eye trend.
Eyeko Galactic Lid Gloss – If you’re looking for a product that adds the gloss with some color, then this is for you. The lid gloss comes in 5 shades (mostly neutrals and metallics) and adds the perfect amount of shimmer and shine to eyelids. Just apply to lids and pat with fingers to blend out.
Glossier Balm Dot Com – This cult favorite, do-everything balm is typically used on your lips, but you can really use it anywhere (including your lids). A bonus? The scents available — including cherry, coconut, and mango.
Glossy Eye Makeup Over $25
Gucci Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière – This all-over gloss can be used anywhere on your face to create a luminous light effect with a gel-like texture. The pot is the perfect size to lightly tap your finger into and apply gently on your lids to get the desired wetness you’re looking for.
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Eye, Cheek & Lip Cream Pigment – This long-wearing (24+ hour) cream formula comes in a few glossy colors, including clear, black, and the pretty natural pink shown in the collage. As a bonus, you can use it on your lips and cheeks too for a monochromatic look.
Kopari Starry Eye Balm – This balm doubles as skincare and makeup. This silky, nourishing, coconut eye balm delivers a dose of caffeine to de-puff and illuminate tired eyes when used under your eyes. It adds a hint of shine when applied directly to th eyelids (alone or layered over an eyeshadow).
Tower 28 Beauty SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlight Balm – If you’re looking for a glossy eye look without any shimmer or glitter (which sometimes can be hard to find), look no further than this product. This clear highlight balm is free of shimmer and glitter for that no-makeup makeup, glassy, luminous skin-effect.
How to Wear the Glossy Eyeshadow Trend
I personally think anyone can pull off the glossy eyeshadow trend, it’s just about doing it in the right way. If you want to take baby steps, start out with a clear gloss and then work your way up to colored glosses. Here are a few ways to wear glossy eyelids from the runway.
Ideas for Wearing Glossy Eyelids
- Go all-over monochrome. The easiest (but still chic) way to wear this trend is to make it a monochromatic look. Apply the same color/product all over the face – cheeks, lips, and eyes. If you’re worried about looking too glossy, you can use a damp beauty blender sponge to lessen some of the shine.
- Keep it clear. To keep things simple, apply a little bit of a clear eyeshadow gloss or shadow to the lids. By keeping the rest of your face shine-free and neutral (think, a matte face and some simple pink cheeks like the photo above), the eyes stand out just enough without overwhelming your face.
- Soften a smokey eye. If you can pull off dark shadows and a smokey eye, adding a little bit of gloss over the top softens the look. I still wouldn’t wear this look to the office for your next board meeting, but I think you get my point.
How to Apply Glossy Eye Shadow
- Prep lids with your favorite eyeshadow primer and let it dry.
- Gently tap the product on with your fingertips. If it doesn’t look wet or glossy enough, you can add more layers.
- Try to stay away from your crease as to avoid cracks in your eyeshadow. Most glossy eyelid looks only go up to the crease and not over it for this reason.
- If you want to apply some color separate from the gloss makeup product you’re using, apply the primer first, then the color, and then the gloss last.