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Confession: I’ve never been much of a makeup brush person. I always apply foundation with my hands, and when it comes to eye shadow, I usually dab leftover highlighter from my cheekbones onto my lids. But when Birchbox Discovery Specialist and resident makeup artist Nathaniel Yordan recommended Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Colors, I was intrigued (he’s also a former Laura Mercier employee, so I figured he knew the brand’s eye makeup). The pitch? The sticks are a cinch to use, they don’t crease the way other cream shadows can, and they’re truly blendable.
I put three of these gorgeous colors to the ultimate eye makeup test: sultry smoky lids, no brushes required. As you’ll see, the experiment was a resounding success! Here’s how to get the look using just your fingers.
Step 1: Apply a light color along your brow bone. I chose Seashell, a golden shimmer, because of its light-reflecting properties. Then use your ring finger to gently blend it up towards your eyebrow and down into your crease.
Step 2: Next, apply a single color all over your eyelid. This should be darker than the highlighter color, but lighter than the shade you’ll use in the crease. Feeling adventurous, I used Orchid, a pretty purple, because I thought it would accentuate my blue eyes. Although purple might seem like a bold choice for a smoky eye, the color was more subtle than I’d originally anticipated, and I got a ton of compliments on the final look.
Step 3: The hardest part about adding color to the crease is the placement. My trick, thanks to Nathaniel’s advice: create a V-shape at the outer corners of my lids with Sapphire. The top leg of each V followed the crease up to the halfway point of my lid, while the bottom leg was about half that length and extended along my upper lash line. I then used my ring finger to dab and pat the color in place (rubbing moves the pigments around too much), until I was happy with the look. I did go back and apply a little extra Orchid on top to help blend the colors more seamlessly.
Step 4: No eye makeup look is complete without a little liner. To add some drama, I went with a bold kitten eye using a kohl pencil. Of course, the final touch was a healthy dose of black mascara. Look Mom, no brushes!