5 Easy Eye Looks You Can Do with One Shade

Complicated eye looks are fun and all, but sometimes you just want to slap on a single shade of eye shadow and be done with it. Ahead, here are a few simple eye makeup looks you can create with just one product—no fussy blending or advanced application techniques required.

All-Over Duochrome

Image: instagram.com/beautyisboring

Duochrome shadows are perfect for one-shade looks because their reflective pigments appear to change color in different lights, creating the illusion that you’re wearing multiple hues. Application is simple, too—just pat all over your lid with your finger (fingertips usually work best for duochromes) and blend out the edges.

Editor’s picks: Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Duo Chrome, Surratt Beauty Halogram Eyeshadow, Natasha Denona Mono Eye Shadow


One-Shade Smoky Eye

Image: instagram.com/celine_bernaerts

A sultry, smoky eye doesn’t need more than one shade. Choose a black or dark-colored cream eye shadow with a shimmer finish and smudge it along your upper and lower lashline. Pack on more color up to the crease of your lid and soften the edges. Don’t worry about blending perfectly—smoky eyes look great when they’re smudgy and lived-in.

Editor’s picks: Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Black Diamonds, BY TERRY Ombre Blackstar in 1 Black Pearl, BY TERRY Stylo Blackstar in Tasty Truffle or Midnight Ombre


Sheer Matte Wash

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An all-over wash of sheer matte shadow—especially in a pastel shade—looks strikingly cool and modern. Use a fluffy eye shadow brush (like UNIT 113 Eye Brush) to sweep your matte shade all over your lid. Blend the edges out a bit beyond the socket (or as close to the brow bone as you feel comfortable).

Editor’s picks: Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eye Shadow, Viseart Eye Shadow Palette in 1 Neutral Mattes or 11 Cool Mattes


Shimmer Cat Eye

Photo: instagram.com/katiejanehughes

Choose a cream or liquid shimmer shadow in a shade that contrasts with the depth of your skin. Use a flat eye shadow brush (like UNIT 119 Eye Brush) to apply the shadow in a thick wing that extends up your lid and above your crease. You can use an eyeliner brush (like Smith Cosmetics 212 Tightliner Brush) dipped in micellar water or a makeup wipe to clean up the edges.

Editor’s picks: Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise, Danessa Myricks ColorFix 24-Hour Cream Color Metallic


Contoured Halo Eye

Photo: instagram.com/beautyisboring

A one-shade halo eye? Yes it exists, and you can even do this one with any brown eye shadow or contour powder you have on hand. Pick up a bit of product with the tip of a small, fluffy brush (like UNIT 114 Eye Brush), and apply the color in the outer corner of your eye. Soften the color out and then drag it inward along the crease to carve out the shape of your eye socket. Smudge the shadow along your lashline, leaving the center of your lid bare for a halo effect.

Editor’s picks: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Powder Kit, Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder