Can You Use Gel Eyeliner As Eyeshadow?

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Have you tried on three to five different gel eyeliners originally purchased for your cat eye before finally settling on the perfect one? So, now you have several gel eyeliners, and you don’t want them to go to waste. Can they be used as eyeshadow? How? We have investigated the topic for you and found out some answers.

Surprisingly, gel eyeliners can be converted into eyeshadow. All you need to do is prime the eye, apply the gel eyeliner, and blend in the product.

Truthfully, it is easy to use gel eyeliner as eyeshadow once you know the proper steps. But keep in mind that gel eyeliner can smudge. Don’t worry; the process doesn’t have to be too complicated. Keep reading to find out more.

Gold shining manicure nails with black smoky eyeshadow. Can You Use Gel Eyeliner As Eyeshadow

How do you make gel eyeliner into eyeshadow?

As a cross between pencil and liquid, gel eyeliners are ideal for manipulating the product before it sets in. This leaves room for error, which is great!

Can You Use Gel Eyeliner As Eyeshadow

In fact, it’s okay not to be perfect when applying gel eyeliner. Just follow these steps:

  1. Start with clean, dry skin.
  2. Moisturize your skin. Wait at least five minutes.
  3. Smooth on eyelid primer to your eyelids. Wait for one to two minutes.
  4. Generously apply gel eyeliner to the upper lids.
  5. At the eyelid crease, blend in the gel eyeliner with a blending brush.
  6. Loosely apply setting powder to the gel eyeliner.

Overall, using a blending brush is key to applying gel eyeliner as eyeshadow without being perfect. Of all the steps listed above, this is probably the most important one. After all, we’re human and prone to error!

Here are some great eyeshadow blending brushes. Even though they were not specifically designed for gel eyeliner, you can use them for this, too. Click here to see them on Amazon.

However, you cannot blend the product appropriately without starting with a clean base. It will just smudge! Keep reading to learn more.

How to prepare the face

woman washing her face against a white background

First, you need to cleanse your face. Clean skin is important because makeup products likely will not adhere to the skin if there is a barrier present. Follow these steps:

  1. Cleanse your face with your normal, everyday cleanser.
  2. Pat your face dry with a towel.
  3. Massage moisturizer onto your face. Wait for five minutes.
  4. Apply sunscreen as needed.

If you have an oily complexion, then it’s especially important for you to remove dirt and oils, which act like barriers on the skin. Instead of sticking to the skin, the gel eyeliner will mix in with the dirt and oils. Before using makeup products, clean your face as you normally do.

Moisturizing is just as important as cleaning your face. Before applying makeup products, you should hydrate your skin. If you have oily skin, then this might be a challenge. Check out our article, “Moisturizer Makes My Face Oily – What To Do?” to find out more.

While five minutes might seem like a long wait time, you should allow this time for the moisturizer to thoroughly hydrate your skin. Trust us, your skin will thank you for many years to come. All in all, five minutes is a small price to pay.

CeraVe has a product that thoroughly cleanses the skin without removing hydration. Click here to see it on Amazon. Voila! Now you have a fresh palette for makeup.

Does gel eyeliner smudge?

Yes, gel eyeliner may smudge if not applied appropriately. And we’re talking about the bad kind of smudge, not the fun kind that involves blending makeup. Smudged and bleeding eyeliner is cool if you’re going to a Halloween party. But this look is not so cool if you’re going on a date.

Thus, having clean skin and applying primer and powder are important. Don’t overlook them! It doesn’t take long to apply primer and powder. Just remember to apply them at the right times:

  1. Apply eyelid primer before you apply the gel eyeliner.
  2. Apply setting powder after you apply the gel eyeliner.

Not only should you put eyelid primer on the eyelids, you should apply a small amount below the lower lash line, too. This will help prevent concealer from creasing and eyeliner from smearing.

By the way, it would be such a shame to do all this work only to have remnants of your beautiful gel eyeliner on your bottom lid. Check out our article, “9 Ways To Keep Bottom Eyeliner From Smudging,” to find out more.

Additionally, it is a good idea to use primer specifically designed for eyes because it is stickier than regular primer. Thus, it can grip eye products easier. Thank Me Later is an excellent eyeshadow primer. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Woman applying eyeshadow, beauty make-up

Setting powder is another important step to preventing smudge. Generally, the powder is meant to set the gel eyeliner in place. If you’d like, you can choose translucent setting powder. Alternatively, you can select a glittery shade that matches the gel eyeliner. It’s up to you!

Do you have to wet gel eyeliner?

macro shot of woman with blue eye looking away, black eyeliner and mascara.

No, you do not need to wet gel eyeliner. Gel eyeliner already has water inside of it, though not as much as liquid eyeliner. Regardless, you don’t want to alter the consistency by adding more water. As long as it is not expired, gel eyeliner contains enough liquid to use it as an eyeshadow. If it’s expired, then no amount of water will make it easier to work with. Instead, it will look crusty and faded.

Speaking of which, you should discard any expired gel eyeliners. Instead, buy a new set of gel eyeliners, like the ones above. With one purchase, you will have 20 color options to choose from. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Sometimes the gel eyeliner dries up too quickly way before it’s expiration date! In this case, you may want to add a small amount of water to the product. But it’s best to use sterile liquid, such as eye drops. Many eye drops can be found over-the-counter.

Here are some eye drops to you can get without a prescription. Click here to see them on Amazon.

However, if you are going to use eye drops for your makeup, then you should not use the same eye drops for your eyes. You might accidentally contaminate them with bacteria. Instead, label the eye drops intended for makeup so you can differentiate between the vials.

How to apply gel eyeliner without a brush

Sometimes, you are on the go and do not have a makeup brush to apply your gel eyeliner. Although this is not ideal, it’ll be fine. Aside from a brush, you have a couple of different options. You can use a smudger, or you can use your fingertip.

Sometimes the gel eyeliner comes with a built-in smudger, like the Maybelline one above. It is made of a spongy material. Click here to see it on Amazon.

A few smudgers are made of silicone. They’re very hygienic and easy to clean. Best of all, they won’t hold too much product, which may remove pigment.

In fact, you can use multiple silicone applicators for your makeup products. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Last but not least, you can use something you won’t leave at home–your fingertip! Follow these simple steps:

  1. After preparing your face, wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Apply a pinprick sized amount of gel eyeliner to your fingertip.
  3. Dab a small amount of eyeliner to your upper eyelid.
  4. Apply the eyeliner in tiny sections until you have thoroughly covered the upper lids.
  5. Gently dab setting powder over the gel eyeliner.

Typically, the key here is to go small and go slow. Be careful because the fingertip is less precise than a brush. Also, too much pressure from your fingertip may remove the product.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it is perfectly acceptable to use gel eyeliner as eyeshadow. Certainly, eye makeup can be expensive. This is especially true for gel eyeliners. And it’s not unusual to have a few of them lying around the makeup drawer. You might as well use them to your benefit.

So, don’t let your products go to waste! Once you know the process, it’s easy to convert gel eyeliner into eyeshadow. It’s just like applying regular eyeshadow. But don’t skip the prep! In the eye makeup process, washing, hydrating, and priming your face are crucial steps to prevent smudging. In addition, you can add eye drops to gel eyeliner if it’s too dry. Otherwise, don’t add water unnecessarily.

Furthermore, you can use sponge smudgers, silicone smudgers, or your fingertip if you don’t have a makeup brush available. Recall that smudging is vital to blending the whole look together.

We hope this article helped you. Have fun creating a fantastic look with your gel eyeliner!

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