I’m a Beauty Editor—8 Easy Eye Makeup Looks That Always Get Me Compliments

It’s 2023 and the era of elaborate, complex, multi-step eyeshadow looks is officially over. It’s true. As makeup trends in general lean towards the minimal, low-key, and natural-looking, it only makes sense that eye makeup trends would follow suit. Gone are the days of over-elaborate multi-shade looks that required an army of eyeshadow palettes to create—and in is a more effortless (and thankfully much simpler to apply) easy eyeshadow look.

This will be welcome news to those who don’t have 20 minutes to spend perfecting their eye makeup look in the mirror every morning (me), or a desire to rock up to work with a face of full glam (also me). So yes, you can finally clear out the excessive collection of eyeshadow palettes and brushes that you’ve been hoarding since before lockdown. The latest eyeshadow trends are all about ease and effortlessness, so instead you can turn to the likes of cream eyeshadow sticks, multitasking products like blusher and bronzer, and adopt a swipe-and-go approach. You can even let your fingertips to do the blending!

To give you some inspiration, I’ve rounded up eight easy eyeshadow looks that you can pull off without the help of a professional makeup artist. Scroll and screenshot.

Over the past few years my makeup routine has gradually streamlined and my makeup bag now features a refined edit of multitasking products that serve more than just their primary purpose. Cream blushers and bronzers in particular are perfect for using as eyeshadow—they’re easy to apply, long lasting, and tie your look together by perfectly complementing your cheeks.

This cream blush stick is a must have if you have an on-the-go makeup routine. Cut down on space in your makeup bag by utilising it as an eyeshadow as well.

Warm-toned pink shades like this one serve to makeup eye colour pop—especially if you have blue or green eyes. Use your fingers to pat and blend onto your lids.

Just because an eyeshadow look is easy, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Cream and liquid eyeshadow are perfect for monochrome eyeshadow looks like this one. And if you do want to make a statement or get a bit more creative, simply opt for a bolder, brighter shade over a neutral one. 

Available in a wide range of shades, these liquid-cream eyeshadows from Half Magic also serve as eyeliner. They’re super easy to apply and incredibly longlasting—just be sure to blend before they set.

Eyeshadow application literally doesn’t get easier than this. Just swipe across your lids and you’re good to go. Zero blending required.

Smoky eyes will always be on trend, but these days, they’re no longer quite so intense or elaborate as they used to be. In fact, you only need three shades to recreate this look. A warm brown blended over the lid, a cool-toned grey smudged along the outer lashline, and a pop of shimmery metallic in the inner corner. Effortless.

Created in collaboration with celebrity makeup artist James Molloy—someone who knows the key to a good smoky eye—this quad features shades that lend themselves perfectly to a subtle smoky eye.

Four cool-toned neutrals for an easy smoky eyeshadow look. Use the pale taupe shade to add sparkle to your lower lashline.

Just like glossy lips and low-rise jeans, matte eyeshadow is another ’90s makeup trend that’s made a comeback this year. This is great news for those seeking easy eyeshadow looks—matte shadows are typically much easier to blend than shimmers, and don’t result in annoying glittery fallout. To keep the look fresh and modern, use cool-toned shades that sit a little lighter than your natural skin tone.

This palette totally nails the brief for a ’90s-inspired eyeshadow looks with its selection of cool-toned matte shadows—plus a couple of shimmers thrown in for good measure.

If you prefer a warmer-toned look, opt for this palette instead. It has everything you need for a one-wash matte look—or for creating a simple smoky eye.

This year, eyeshadow trends have been less about colour and more about texture. Matte and shimmery eyeshadow looks might be the more obvious candidates, but a glossy finish is super cool and modern. Personally, this is a look I’ve been wearing all summer long—and it’s so easy to achieve. Apply wiith your fingertips and either stick to just a clear gloss on its own or layer it over a wash of colour for double the impact.

Ask any makeup artist which eye gloss they use and it will undoubtedly be this one. Easy to apply, longlasting, and non-irritating—it ticks all the boxes.

The lipgloss-style applicator on this one makes it really easy to use. Plus, you can also use it as a lip gloss or cheek highlighter, too.

The latte makeup trend is already well documented, but it’s easy to see why it went viral—and has stayed so. This incredibly low-effort look is all about relying upon warm-toned brown shades that softly sculpt, add subtle definition, and create depth, while still looking really natural.

Merit’s Solo Shadows are my favourite thing in my makeup bag right now. The cream-to-powder formula is a dream to use, packing on the pigment in one fell swoop.

This latte-inspired Dior eyeshadow palette has all the options, whether you want a one-wash wonder or a multi-blend look.

Who said that eyeshadow had to go all over your lid? This is a super simple look–and another one that leans into the multitasking makeup trend Simply use an angled liner brush (dab it in some water for extra hold) to lift shadow from a palette and trace it along your upper lashline. The result? Just a hint of colour and/or sparkle in less than a minute. Easy, peasy.

The deep ocean blue and sparkling shimmer in this Tom Ford palette serve perfectly as eyeliners.

Thanks to its fine tip, the applicator on Glossier’s cream eyeshadows allows you to trace the ultra-shimmery formula across your lashline without the need for an extra brush.

Sometimes you do want a makeup look that delivers just a little more impact, but that doesn’t mean things have to get complicated. Shimmer eyeshadows are a great way to add a little more drama without the need for multi-step tutorials or complex blending techniques. As this look proves, a wash of metallic eyeshadow paired with bold cat-eye liner is the ultimate combination for an easy eyeshadow look.

Beauty Bay’s ultra-pigmented eyeshadow palettes easily stand up to their more expensive counterparts. Don’t be intimidated by the wide range of shades—if you like to have options at your fingertips (literally), this one has plenty of options, all of which work perfectly for a single shadow look.

The sponge applicator on this sparkling cream eyeshadow hugs the lids and glides across skin, making it so easy to apply.

Next Up: I Have Hooded Eyes, and These Are the Eye Makeup Looks That Work for Me