The 15 Best Eye Shadow Sticks to Streamline Your Routine

If you find that eye shadow palettes are a tad overwhelming (have you seen the blockbuster ones with 40+ shades in them?!), consider trying an eye shadow stick. These chubby pencils are downright enjoyable to use, thanks to their creamy textures and easy blending. And unlike powder formulas, there are no brushes required—nor is there any messy fallout to deal with after application. Just swipe it over your lids and blend it out with your fingertips.

We’ll make things even easier for you by sharing 15 of the best eye shadow sticks that get the job done every single time. Budget, color payoff and packaging all considered.

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  • Why We Love It: Creamy application, long-lasting

Charlotte Tilbury’s entire Color Chameleon range is a longtime makeup artist and beauty editor fave because the shadow sticks come in extremely wearable shades that create smoky eye looks in seconds. The creamy pencils glide on without tugging on your lids and set quickly, so the color doesn’t smudge or budge for up to ten hours.

  • Why We Love It: Wide color range, safe for contact lens wearers

Speaking of wearable shades, Laura Mercier has a neutral hue for everyone with its cult classic Caviar Sticks. Choose from over 30 shades in shimmer, matte and metallic finishes; either way, you can’t go wrong. And as one reviewer points out, they’re also great for contact lens wearers: “I really love this eyeshadow. It’s one of the few eyeshadow sticks that doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes and doesn’t transfer onto contact lenses. I can even wear it on [my] waterline without [it] migrating into [my] eye. [It] lasts long as well,” she says.

  • Why We Love It: Smooth application, easy to blend

If you’re new to makeup or always applying it on the go, you’ll love these creamy classics from Bobbi Brown. “This product is so easy to work with,” raves one fan on Sephora. “I just swipe it on and blend it out and get a complete eye look with just one shade [for] both eyes [and I’m] done in under a minute.” We agree, these shadow sticks are a breeze to use—so much so that we can apply it without a mirror if we need to.

  • Why We Love It: Affordable price, great color payoff

For about the price of a specialty coffee drink, you can grab one of these jumbo pencils. Available in a range of shades from a toned-down taupe to a crisp mint green, they all have a creamy texture and a satisfying color payoff. Add to that the wallet-friendly price and it’s easy to see why they’ve cultivated a loyal fanbase over the years.

  • Why We Love It: Creamy application, unique shades, strong color payoff

Leave it to Halsey to give us eye-catching shades that are hard to find anywhere else. Seriously, the colors are so vibrant and pigmented that they’re a statement unto themselves. Take “Acidic” for example: It’s an electric neon green that pops against your skin. As a bonus, there’s a built-in sharpener to keep the tip extra pointy, which is great for when you’re trying to rock a graphic design on your lids a la Euphoria.

  • Why We Love It: Great range of neutral shades, doesn't smudge easily

For a little touch of glamour, we reach for Chanel’s Stylo Ombre Et Contour Eyeshadow Sticks. (We also love saying the name with an exaggerated French accent.) The tightly edited shade range is made up of mostly neutrals, but that just adds to their wearability. “I love the color; it accentuates [my eyes] and doesn't have the harshness that a black liner has. And it doesn't smudge or wear off, so it lasts until I remove it,” shares one reviewer.

Most Versatile

7. Live Tinted Huestick

  • Why We Love It: Multipurpose, has a silky texture and finish

Blush, eyeshadow, lipstick: The Huestick is the multi-tasking MVP of our makeup bags. In fact, you may have already come across the brand’s viral red tinted stick for canceling out undereye bags. Since then, the Live Tinted has expanded its shade range to include lighter pinks, oranges and peach tones to use wherever you need a quick wash of color. You’ll also appreciate the silky texture of these sticks, which comes courtesy of hyaluronic acid and squalene.

  • Why We Love It: Waterproof, ophthalmologist tested

This double-sided stick features a waterproof liner on one end and a shimmery shadow stick on the other to give you flattering definition around the eyes. Loaded with mineral pigments and vitamin E, both ends glide smoothly across your lids without tugging. They’re also waterproof and ophthalmologist tested, so you don’t have to worry about irritating your eyes after a long day of wear.

Best for Travel

9. Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color

  • Why We Love It: Long lasting, great color payoff, comes with a travel tin

When you need your eye shadow to go the extra mile, try this durable pick from Nudestix. Since its inception, the brand has focused primarily on stick makeup that’s easy to take with you (and apply) on the go. Though we’re big fans of the blushes and highlighters, the eye color sticks also deserve a shout out. Available in over 20 shades in both matte and luminous finishes, you can create a variety of looks to suit any occasion.

  • Why We Love It: Rounded tip makes application easy, glitter is multi-dimensional

ICYMI: A tasteful dash of glitter is one of the quickest (and most fun) ways to brighten up your eyes. This shadow stick makes it easy to target the sparkles to specific areas like along your lower lashlines and in the inner corners, so you get that perfect pop of shimmer every time.

  • Why We Love It: Lightweight application, larger size covers more surface area

In a lightweight formula that’s impossible to mess up, these creamy shadow sticks apply like a dream. Though the colors go on pretty sheer to start, they can be built up to your desired intensity. We also appreciate that the extra chubby stick covers a lot of surface area in one swipe.

  • Why We Love It: Long-lasting, doesn't smudge, has a built-in sharpener

Constantly dealing with raccoon eyes? These hearty shadow sticks are intensely pigmented and will not budge once they set. Plus, each one includes a built-in sharpener so you can draw crisp, clean lines or swipe it over your lids and blend it out immediately for a softer, smokier finish. “This is super easy to apply. It lasted me over a 14-hour day, running around in 88 percent humidity and topped off with a concert. I will absolutely buy more shades in the future,” adds one happy reviewer.

  • Why We Love It: Creamy application, includes an attached blending brush

These cream-to-powder shadow sticks come with an attached blending brush, so you don’t ever have to get your fingers messy during applications (or touch ups later in the day). With over 30 shades to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding one that you like.

  • Why We Love It: Brightens up eyes, smooth formula

While this isn’t technically an eye shadow stick like the others on the list, it is a stick that you use to brighten up your eyes. Apply it to key areas that typically need a little pick-me-up like just beneath your lower lash line and the inner and outer corners (aka where dark circles are most pronounced) and it’ll help neutralize any discoloration there thanks to its subtle shimmer.

  • Why We Love It: Smooth application, uniquely-shaped tip can be used multiple ways

Last but not least, we wanted to call out this velvety stick from Shiseido. As the brand explains, it has a “soft, graduated point [that] is precise enough to create a thin, smooth band along the inner rim of the eye, and also wide enough to be easily swathed across the entire lid.” Translation: You can use it multiple ways, thanks to its precise tip. Depending on the shade, we use it to add some definition to our brows or draw graphic liner looks.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...