Eyeliner Substitute

Shadows are the perfect substitute for eyeliner.

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Your hair is tousled, your outfit looks slammin’ and your makeup is just about done. Just one problem — where is your eyeliner? With only minutes before you have to run out the door, a substitute for your AWOL eyeliner pencil is a must. It’s times like these when a girl needs to get creative.

Dry Eyeshadow

When you’re in a fix, eyeshadow is your friend. Who knows? You may even decide that you like the look better! Choose a shade and run it along your lash line, using the tip of a sponge applicator. Use your finger to give the line a smudge for a smokey look. Experiment with different shades of eyeshadow, mixing and blending the colors together until you find your ideal color. The deeper the eyeshadow shade, the more dramatic the look.

Wet Eyeshadow

For a look that lasts all day, dampen an eyeliner brush with water. Dip the damp brush into the eyeshadow and draw on your eyes. Loose powdered eyeshadow works best for this particular eyeliner substitute. Pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and pick up the color with the damp brush. The result is close to that of an eyeliner pencil or liquid liner. Feel free to mix and match shades just as you would with the dry eyeshadow procedure.


Mascara is the perfect substitute for days when you have no eyeliner in sight. Simply open the tube and pull out the mascara wand. Run an eyeliner brush along the wand, lifting off some of the wet mascara, and line your eye as you normally would. If you are in a fix and the eyeliner brush seems to have run away with the pencil, use a cotton swab. The line will be thicker, but the smudge will look hot.

Taboo Substitutes

Although you may feel tempted, never use anything as an eyeliner substitute that is not recommended for use around your eyes. This goes for magic markers, ink pens and henna dyes. The repercussions can be devastating and include infection and loss of vision, which require immediate medical attention. Avoid using an eyeliner substitute or eyeliner pencil on your lash line. Doing so increases the chances of irritation and infection — and no one wants that.

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