Beauty, Beauty Capsules, Beauty Tutorials, Capsules

Cotton Stem Beauty Capsule – Eyes! (easy and quick makeup routine for busy moms and gals)

I’m so excited to share my Cotton Stem Beauty Capsule with y’all!  These are my favorite products that I go back to time and time again from all different price points, and I’ll show you some of my quick and easy techniques from my beauty routine!  All in all, it takes me about 10 minutes to do the entire thing, and I hope this is useful to you…let me know what you think below!

**NOTE: I am not a makeup expert by ANY means, and I know all face shapes, skin types and beauty budgets are as different as can be.  Only sharing what works for me, because I love learning about new products and techniques from others, too!

(*Not a sponsored post, FYI.  Just some affiliate links to what I use and love!)


[If you missed PART ONE, click HERE!]

Let’s talk eyes!
So, if you caught the first part of this series, you’ll already know that I’m all about products that do double duty-they save me money, and the take up less room in my makeup bag!  πŸ™ŒπŸ»  You’ll also remember that I said I’m not into wearing very much makeup.  I want to look like me…but a little more well-rested and glowing!  The tips and products I’m using in these makeup capsule posts are what you see me wearing on Instagram and in IG stories, so follow along as we chat all things eyes!

1. Use bronzer as eye-shadow/contour.
This is the same bronzer and the same brush I used in the first part of the series when we talked about easy contouring tips…and now we’re using them again on eyes!  Double duty, man.  πŸ‘πŸ»  To achieve a really quick eye contour that will make them pop without tons of product, I use the small end of the IT Cosmetics Dual Ended Brush and swirl it lightly in the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer.

Using sort of a windshield wiper technique, I swipe on the bronzer in the crease of my eye, and then I extend it outward toward the outer edge of my brow to create a very light, VERY blended cat-eye shape.  This draws the eye upward and lifts everything that direction, too…visually at least.  πŸ˜‰

Next, I use what’s left on the brush to lightly line underneath my lower lashes to bring back depth and complete this sort of light and blended smokey eye situation.  The idea is to create shadow and depth in the right places to then give your eyes a very very natural cat-eye/smokey-eye look that almost appears as if you aren’t wearing much shadow at all!  Which…I guess you arent…because it’s bronzer!

2. Use highlighter as eye-shadow.
You’ll recognize this next product and brush from Part One also…Becca Highlighter in Moonstone and another dual ended brush, this one by Bare Escentuals.  Just like with the bronzer above, I use the smaller end of this brush to swipe up some perfectly shimmering highlighter, and I apply it to two places near the eye: under the brow bone and then right near the tear ducts.  This brings light to the eye in just the right places to make it sparkle, and it continues the simple highlighting and contouring we’ve already built in Part One and above by using the bronzer to contour out the eye…now we’ve topped it off with a glowing highlight!

3. Brows
Now…brows can be a bit tricky, meaning everyone has very different natural shapes and thickness/sparseness, so I’m just going to tell you what works for me, and hopefully it can help you as well!  I have very thick brows (this comes at a price…ahem, UNIBROW…πŸ˜©πŸ˜‚), so I am in the camp of daily-plucking.  There are SO many tutorials on brow shaping and maintenance, so I’ll link my favorite [HERE].

I use a very inexpensive dark brown brow pencil from L’Oreal–I’ve tried many of the pricier options and honestly can’t tell much of a difference.  This works fine for me, plus I like that it comes with a little spoolie brush on the other end (double duty…πŸ™ŒπŸ») for blending.  I use this super fine pencil tip to make little “hair” strokes in areas that need filling (for me that’s on the top to create a higher arch…this could be in a different spot for you, but the technique of making little “hairs” in the direction of their natural growth would be the same).  To finish, I very lightly blend the newly drawn “hairs” to avoid a harsh, overdrawn line.  I want it to look like I’ve added the shadow of natural brow hair, so this helps it blend in rather than stand out!

4. Eyeliner
To create a fuller lash-line and continue the drawn up effect of cat-eye makeup, I use NYX Mechanical Eye Pencil in Brown.  This inexpensive pencil is a nice smoky brown (I’m not a huge fan of black eyeliner, at least on my skin tone.  I like a really deep brown instead–gives the same drama to the eye without reading harsh.  Really, using a deep brown does exactly what I want my eyeliner to do: read as a shadow to help my lashes look even thicker).

I draw the liner in a very small wing on the outer corner of the upper lid, and then I only continue drawing on the upper lid to about the midpoint where the pupil would be if I was looking straight ahead, tapering it slowly into the the lash line.  I connect the bottom lash line to the top by connecting the lower lid liner to the cat eye/wing on the upper section.  I only do the lower lash line liner about halfway or a little less.  I think using liner only on the outer portions of the eye draws it up and out, creates a nice shadow as a base for your coming mascara to increase the appearance of lash volume…all without possibly reading raccoon-y.  πŸ˜‰

Finally, I use a small blending brush (this one is SO soft…no tugging!) to blend and smudge the liner up a bit on both upper and lower lash lines.  Again, I want this to look natural and for it to maybe look like I’m not really wearing eyeliner at all…maybe.  We are so tricky, ladies.  πŸ˜‰

5. Mascara
And finally, I finish off the eyes with a coat of Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara…(I know…I feel awkward every time I answer this question. πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚)  Honestly, it’s one of the only products I keep going back to, along with all mentioned in this beauty capsule, and I think it’s worth the higher-than-drug-store price tag.  I really only need one coat, maybe two on the upper/outer lashes, it doesn’t flake much, and it just really packs a lash punch!  I’ve found a couple of drug store brands that are pretty good and pretty close to this…but I keep going back to this one.  I love it!

Again…I’m a hairy-faced gal (…lady-stache, anyone??) which has it’s drawbacks, but my dad did pass along some pretty serious lashes.  However, even mine are pretty blonde at the tips, so, if I had to choose just ONE beauty product to quickly throw on during a rushed morning, it would be mascara.  Hands down.  It doesn’t take much on ANYone with this product, it comes off easily with a makeup wipe at the end of the day, and I highly recommend!

There ya go!  Easy, quick eye makeup routine for gals on the go!  I hope this was helpful to you–let me know what you think or if you have any clarifying questions in the comments below!

(Also…how cute are those makeup bags by Southern Farm Co…?!?!?)

Thanks again for stopping by to read along, and I’d love for you to come peek at more beauty inspo over on my Cotton Stem Pinterest boards! πŸ’…πŸ»πŸ’πŸ»  Hugs, buddies!  Final step of the Cotton Stem Beauty Capsule…lips!!


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  1. Ashlee says:

    Love the post!! Simple and fresh! I request a skin care routine next! Look at you being all beauty guru-like πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  2. Nicole says:

    I use my bronzer/contour as an eye shadow too! I’m telling you, try the Fiona Stiles contour palette! ☺️☺️

  3. Jessica says:

    I have a lady goatee πŸ™ˆand long/dark eyelashes…but almost non-existence brows! I’ve tried the more expensive mascara and always go back to L’OrΓ©al Telescopic!

  4. Marti says:

    Enjoyed this eye makeup information so much!!! I have two questions:
    1. Any tips for older eyes? Cat-eye doesn’t work anymore!
    2. Could you please list the two drug store brands of mascara that are close to the Too Faced? Please, for those of us who don’t want to spend as much?
    Thank you! 😊

    • Amy says:

      I have the Better Than Sex and I also have the L’OrΓ©al Lash Paradise ($9!) that is seriously a dupe for the Too Faced. I highly recommend the L’OrΓ©al if you are looking for an affordable option to nearly match the Better Than Sex one.

    • Alisha says:

      I’ve heard that the new L’OrΓ©al Voluminous Lash Paradise is a great dupe for Better Than Sex.

  5. Cynthia Harper says:

    Your eyes always look so beautiful and perfectly blended and smoky! Thanks for sharing your tips, Erin 😘 XO, Cynthia Harper

  6. lynn rose lanuza says:

    love your posts! thank you for generously sharing your talent and skills, techniques, and tiips! more power to you Erin! i will have to read this post again to follow the tutorial when i’m not sleepy… just came from nightshift work and still no sleep all day… all i care was to listen to your stories and open your blog!😘😘😘

  7. Jennifer LaCombe says:

    Love it love it love it! Thanks for sharing! 😍

  8. Dru says:

    Hi Erin. Thanks for the tips. Just to clarify…..Did you use bronzer or contour powder on your eyes? Thank you!

  9. Kate says:

    Love this Erin! I’ve got the mascara on my to buy list!

  10. Lori says:

    Hi Erin!! It would be awesome if you could do a video tutorial. I’m a "visual learner" lol. 😘 Lori

  11. Nance says:

    Do you use bronze or brown nyx eye pencil? The blog says brown but the picture shows bronze. Thank youuuu!

  12. Amber says:

    I know this has probably been asked before, but what lip color do you use?!

  13. Jay says:

    Thanks for the great tips!

    How do you get rid of the lady-stache?

  14. Rebecca says:

    I just found you a little bit ago on instagram and every time I watch your stories I find myself starring at your eyes-You are gorgeous, not just because of make up! I’m happy to find this post and try out some of this!

  15. Sandi says:

    I use bronzer for eye shadow too. Loved the tutorial.

  16. Heather says:

    Hi Erin,
    How cool you shared. I am off to purchase a bunch of these products! I am grateful to have found you. As if you have time to totally spoil us with your beauty routine……I can’t help but ask If someday you would share face wash products and preferred day creams etc….β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘

  17. Melissa says:

    Love to see your stuff! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!!! My only question is what is your skin care routine??? What do you use??? Please share!!! This make up tutorial was super helpful!!!

  18. Danielle says:

    I just watched your insta story and then I looked here but I think I’m missing the part where you told us what is that lip liner that you used to make the outside shadow I think you said wasn’t eyeliner but what color and brand was that?

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