The 13 best eyeshadow sticks for super-speedy eye makeup looks

We’ve tested up the best eyeshadow sticks to create endless eye looks in a flash – with buys for every budget

A roundup of the best eyeshadow sticks, including buys from clinique, elf, pixi and bobbi brown
(Image credit: Future)

The best eyeshadow sticks may be just the thing to refresh your makeup routine with minimal effort. One swipe for an instant eye look? Sign us up. 

Nailing the perfectly smoky eyeshadow look or razor-sharp eyeliner is no easy feat. It can take years of practice and lots of experimenting with new products to master the art. Even then, we don’t always have the time or effort to painstakingly paint our eyelids with the best eyeshadow palettes. On those days, we turn to the best eyeshadow sticks. 

We’re big fans of high-impact, low-effort looks that take a maximum of 10 minutes. And solid formulations like sticks, crayons, and pencils help speed up every area of your makeup routine, whether that's eyeshadow or your best cream blush

Makeup artist Cassie Lomas swears by them too. "I love using eyeshadow sticks rather than powder, especially on mature skin,” she says. "They go on quicker, need less building up, and are so much easier to blend and leave a professional finish." Who wouldn't want that? As well as testing and selecting the very best eyeshadow sticks on the market, we quizzed three makeup artists for their expert application tips and how to make sure you’re picking the best eyeshadow sticks for you. 

The 13 best eyeshadow sticks, picked by our beauty editor

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick

(Image credit: Bobbi Brown)

1. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick

Best overall eyeshadow stick

Specifications

RRP: $32 / £27
Shades available: 30
Finishes available: Matte, shimmer and glitter
Extra benefits: Non-creasing, long-wearing and waterproof

Reasons to buy

+
Loved by MUAs all over the world
+
Great shade range
+
Mix of finishes
+
Long-wearing and won't tug

Reasons to avoid

-
Can feel a little heavy on eyelids if you're sensitive

This was the first option that came to mind when I started thinking about the best eyeshadow sticks and having done a very official straw poll of the woman&home beauty team, these beat all the others to the top spot. 

The reason why? Where to begin? Every time we use these they glide on smoothly, never tugging or pulling and they offer truly impressive staying power without smudging or smearing. The colors are highly pigmented, and the rounded nib makes for a pretty foolproof application. Personally, I couldn't live without the neutral tones - I use them almost every day. Plus, the brand just launched a bunch of new shades to add to its already incredible line-up of hues. 

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick swatches, one of the best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Laura Mercier Caviar eyeshadow stick

(Image credit: Laura Mercier)

2. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color

Best eyeshadow stick shade range

Specifications

RRP: $32 / £25
Shades available: 39
Finishes available: Shimmer, matte and chrome
Extra benefits: Smooth application, long-wearing but still comfortable

Reasons to buy

+
A mix of different finishes
+
Incredible range of shades
+
Highly pigmented

Reasons to avoid

-
Not ultra-longwearing 

After Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier was the second notable eyeshadow stick that each of the beauty team mentioned. Both of our top two are pretty closely matched when it comes to pigment, longevity, and ease of application – you can't really go wrong with either buy.

The advantage that this buy has over Bobbi Brown, however, is the breadth of shades in the range. They have classic neutrals that we love using for every day, sure, but they also have a great selection of more vibrant shades like lilac for on-trend purple eyeshadow looks. If you're looking for more vibrancy without sacrificing a flattering texture, and the ultimate way of creating bright eyeshadow looks with your eyeshadow stick - Laura Mercier is probably the way to go.

The only downfall is that whilst it is long wearing, there are others in the line-up that last much longer. But, this does mean you're not scrubbing to remove at the end of the night, so it's all down to personal preference for longevity. 

Laura Mercier Caviar eyeshadow stick swatches, one of the best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Pixi Endless shade stick

(Image credit: Pixi)

3. Pixi Endless Shade Stick

Best kind-to-eyes eyeshadow sticks

Specifications

RRP: $14 / £12
Shades available: 6
Finishes available: Matte and shimmer
Extra benefits: Infused with green tea, aloe and chamomile

Reasons to buy

+
Infused with skincare ingredients
+
Pretty, wearable shades
+
Pointed tip for precise application

Reasons to avoid

-
Small shade range

People often see Pixi as more of a skincare brand, thanks to the success of the cult Pixi Glow Tonic - but don't underestimate the brand's makeup selection. It has gorgeous, skin-soothing buys, and has actually carved out a bit of a niche in solid makeup, with bronze and blush sticks among the brand's best-loved buys.

On to the eyeshadow sticks - they're lovely, shimmery shades that we found feel very comfortable on the eyes. We love the pointy tip that makes precise application easy and the kind formula. Blended with aloe vera and chamomile, they'll also help hydrate and soften skin. If I'm being picky, a bigger color range would be great, but if you’re looking for bronze and metallics, they have brilliant options here. Because they are all fairly neutral, these colors would complement another bold choice, such as your best pink mascara, very well. 

e.l.f No Budge Eyeshadow Stick

(Image credit: e.l.f)

4. e.l.f No Budge Shadow Stick

Best eyeshadow sticks for bright shades

Specifications

RRP: $5 / £6
Shades available: 19
Finishes available: Matte and metalic
Extra benefits: Long lasting, twist top with hidden sharpener

Reasons to buy

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Excellent price
+
Vegan-friendly
+
Long-lasting color
+
Comes with a sharpener for precise application

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may find drying

This cruelty-free and vegan-friendly company is slowly becoming one of my most-recommended brands. Hardworking buys and smart ingredients at incredibly affordable prices – what could be better?

I really enjoyed using these, and I love that they have a mix of bold, out-there brights as well as useful neutrals. The staying power is also notable, as the name suggests –the color saw me through an 11-hour day without smudging or smearing. Even though it's a twist-top stick, it still comes with a hidden sharpener at the bottom, to help give you that precise point to apply. I had to double-check the price of these twice - I just couldn’t believe how affordable they are for the quality, and staying power they offer. These are without a doubt the best eyeshadow sticks I tried under $10/£10. Top marks to e.l.f.

e.l.f No Budge Eyeshadow Stick swatch, one of the best eyeshadow stick

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

5. Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon

Best eyeshadow sticks to create a smokey eye

Specifications

RRP: $29 / £22
Shades available: 9
Finishes available: Metallics
Extra benefits: 10 hours of wear, easy glide formula

Reasons to buy

+
Blends like a dream
+
Glides on easily without tugging
+
Flattering shades

Reasons to avoid

-
You'll need a pencil sharpener

Charlotte Tilbury is the queen of date night makeup, so it's no surprise that these are the ultimate tool that makes siren eyes, doe eyes or any sultry smoky eye so effortless. Buttery-soft, and available in nine pretty, suit-all shades, these work just as well blended together as they do on their own. 

We love how easily these glide onto the lids and are very smudgeable if you want to create more of a sooty smoky effect than a sharp precise one. The only slight downside is that these are traditional pencils, that you have to sharpen with a sharpener. But to be honest, it’s quite a fun, wholesome little chore to have to do. An IRL pencil sharpener? How quaint. 

Because of the nature of the packaging, you do need to make sure it's well-sharpened because otherwise, you might find that the color drags and looks quite patchy. 

Swatch of the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eyeshadow sticks, one of the best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Barry M dazzle sticks, one of the best eyeshadow sticks as picked by our beauty editor

(Image credit: Barry M)

6. Barry M Dazzle & Define Crayons

Best drugstore eyeshadow pencil

Specifications

RRP: $24 / £14.99
Shades available : 6
Finishes available: Shimmer
Extra benefits: Long-lasting formula, tin for the trios

Reasons to buy

+
Vegan
+
Comes in a set of three shades
+
High-shine shimmery finish
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
Can only be bought as part of a set 

A new launch from the drugstore brand, I was impressed by the color payoff from this affordable option. Not surprising, considering that the brand's dazzle dust has been a mainstay for glitzy Christmas makeup looks and festival looks of mine for years. 

Unusually, they’re only available as a set of three, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as they're two sets of three complimenting shades. Plus, they're still cheaper as a trio than many other single pencils. Once applied, I found that they have an iridescent, metallic finish on the skin that's lovely and shimmery without looking too glittery. A great affordable option if you're looking to overhaul your makeup kit.


Jones Road The Everything Pencil in silver, picked as one of the best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Jones Road)

7. Jones Road The Best Pencil

Best precise eyeshadow stick

Specifications

RRP: $22 / £22
Shades available: 6
Finishes available: Matte
Extra benefits: Easily bendable, can also be used as a liner

Reasons to buy

+
Precise application
+
Can also be used as an eyeliner
+
Flattering, wearable shades

Reasons to avoid

-
Some might prefer a chunkier pencil

Another one of legendary makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s creations. She's the ultimate champion of fuss-free, easy makeup application, so it makes sense that she's such a fan of crayons, sticks, and pencils. These aptly-named sticks are clever little multitaskers - although they’re eyeliner-sized, they still work as well as any of the other best eyeshadow sticks on this list. And they double as eyeliners that way, too. So think of it as getting more bang for your buck. 

I particularly love the navy shade, which works well with my blue eyes but would also be a great eyeshadow for brown eyes. They smudge just the right amount without smearing, so they're a great alternative to kohl too. If you have minimal space in your makeup bag, this pencil will really earn its spot. 

Best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Clinique chubby stick eyeshadow crayons

(Image credit: Clinique)

8. Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes

Best eyeshadow stick for extra speedy application

Specifications

RRP: $21 / £20
Shades available: 9
Finishes available: Mattes
Extra benefits: Vitamin E, lightweight

Reasons to buy

+
Infused with Vitamin E to soothe skin
+
A subtle, wearable color
+
Chunky crayon for speeding up application

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite sheer, so may not be high-impact enough for some
-
Obviously chunky so not ideal if you want precise placement 

I’m a fan of all forms of the chubby sticks – the pleasingly named crayons are available as blush, eye, and lip colors, and are one of the first products that taught me how to contour. So, it makes sense that this style of product also functions really well as an eyeshadow stick.

Some may find the chunkiness offputting, but I think that's part of the appeal. If you’re not looking to create a particularly detailed look, they’re great for speeding up your routine even further. The colors are great too – a mix of elevated neutrals that would suit occasions and mother of the bride makeup looks, and flattering colors including a pretty lilac, and a stylish emerald. It's worth mentioning that these are labeled as eyeshadow tints and I find the color does go on a bit sheerer than many other sticks on this list. But if you're looking for mega-speedy, wearable color - look no further. 

Best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

IT Cosmetics no tug eyeshadow stick

(Image credit: IT cosmetics)

9. IT Cosmetics Superhero No-Tug Shadow Stick

Best gentle eyeshadow stick

Specifications

RRP: $24 / £21
Shades available: 12
Finishes available: Matte and shimmer
Extra benefits: All-day wear, water-resistant, crease-free, includes caffeine and ceramides

Reasons to buy

+
Includes skin-boosting ceramides, caffeine, and peptides
+
Impressive staying power without drying out 
+
Won't crease or pull

Reasons to avoid

-
Brighter shades would be great

IT Cosmetics' makeup range isn't massive, but it is perfectly formed. The Superhero mascara is often touted as one of the best mascaras out there, and I'm always raving about their cult CC cream.

As with the rest of the brands' range, this is an incredibly hardworking, efficient product. Not only is it formulated to prevent tugging at the delicate eyelids (which is one of the reasons why we get wrinkles around the eyes), but it's also impressively long-wearing. I applied the Tenacious Tawny shade at 7am, and it still looked pristine when I left the office 11 hours later. Impressive.


Vieve eye wands

(Image credit: Vieve)

10. Vieve Eye Wand

Best eyeshadow sticks for neutrals

Specifications

RRP: $28 / £21
Shades available: 8
Finishes available: Matte
Extra benefits: Long-lasting

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous, wearable tones
+
Fuss-free and easy to wear
+
Wear on their own or blended together

Reasons to avoid

-
If you're looking for bold bright eyes, you won't find these colors here 

I'm always slightly wary of beauty products launched by influencers. Call it pessimism, call it jealousy for those mega-bucks paydays, but there's always an air of unease when someone with a humongous social media platform launches a brand. 

The thing that sets Vieve aside, is that it was launched by a genuine makeup artist, Jamie Genevive (who also happens to also have a casual 1.3 million followers on Instagram). I've particularly been impressed by the makeup brushes and concealer, but the eyeshadow sticks are also worth a mention. I find the texture silky-soft and they blend like a dream, with or without a makeup brush. The shades look beautiful on the skin too. If you're looking for easy eyeshadow for blue eyes, you can't go wrong with warm browns and beiges, and these are the perfect, fuss-free way of wearing the shade. 

There's a great selection of shades that are all wearable and not intimidating in the slightest. They glide on, easy to maneuver and then set in place without creasing once you've finished your makeup. A huge thumbs up for Vieve. 

Best eyeshadow sticks

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Stila Trifecta Metallica, picked as one of the best eyeshadow sticks by our beauty editor

(Image credit: Stila)

11. Stila Trifecta Metallica

Best metallic eyeshadow sticks