As much as we love intricate, over-the-top eye makeup, there’s a lot to be said for something you can achieve in a few short minutes. Even the most accomplished makeup artists have a few quick and easy eye makeup looks at the ready for their clients, and we thought it high time we share some of the tricks of the trade with you. Best of all, you don’t need to be a makeup artist, beauty blogger or even particularly adept with an eye shadow brush to do them at home. (Trust us—they will still end up just as Instagram-worthy.) Thanks to some of our favourite influencers and celebs, there’s no shortage of inspiration to get you started on your journey to eye makeup mastery.
We’ll keep it real: There might be a couple of cat eyes involved. Don’t be scared—they’re easier than they seem and can be transformed into about a zillion different variations. Once you master the technique, you’ll be doing them constantly (promise). That said, there are plenty of other stunning ideas—from subtle shimmer to graphic pops of colour—for the cat-eye averse.
Read on for 13 of the prettiest, easiest eye makeup ideas that can be done in just five minutes or less. Whether your skill set is advanced or you’re looking for a new everyday look or sultry date-night inspiration, you’ll leave here with at least one idea. Plus, we’ve shopped out the must-have products that will help get you started.
Wearing a bold shadow gives the impression that you put effort into your look, even if you, well, didn’t.
More often than not, a ring of rocker-like black liner does the trick, as Lily Aldridge shows here.
If you can apply eyeliner, you can re-create this simple yet statement-making look.
Applying this universally flattering colour all around the top and bottom lids give you a day-to-night smoky eye that may be too intense with other, darker shades.
Applying two contrasting but complementary colours to the inner and outer corners of your eye couldn’t be easier, but as Halsey demonstrates, the look screams “party.”
A touch of gloss on your lids catches the light, bringing attention to your eyes with hardly any effort at all.
Once you’ve perfected your cat-eye look, you’re ready to graduate to new colours like sleek silver.
You don’t have to be Zoë Kravitz to pull off brown shadow—the neutral flatters every skin tone. To complete the look in the easiest way possible, match your eye makeup to your lipstick for a ’90s vibe.
Soft green is gorgeous and unexpected if you’re looking to wear colour but don’t want something overly vibrant.
Applying a pale, shimmery shadow to the inner corners of the eyes gives a wide-awake look in a flash.
A layer of metallic shadow adds just the right amount of dressed-up glamour to just about anything—even a terry robe (right, Shay Mitchell?).