Here’s why you should make shadow sticks a significant part of your beauty arsenal: They’ve got the easy application of a lip balm (applied half-heartedly, it still looks good) and are built like crayons for your face. If drawing isn’t your forte, don’t worry: This is the makeup equivalent of paint by numbers, where your eye is the only thing labelled and the colour goes exactly where you want it to – and stays until you want it gone.

APPLICATION For a wash of colour, start by applying it along the lash line, like an eyeliner, and then over the eyelid. Stop when you get to the crease­ of your lid—you’ll know you’re there when you feel the base of your browbone.

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THE BRUSH-OFF The genius of the shadow stick is that you don’t need a brush – you can apply it straight from the pencil. (Make sure to sharpen it before each use to keep things hygienic; natural oils from your skin will transfer to the product.) Then, softly blend with your finger. “Most people are not aware of how gentle they should be,” says Trinidad Rivas, national educator for Make Up For Ever. Make a dabbing motion using your ring finger—it’s the least dexterous one, so you’re less likely to exert Herculean strength on the most sensitive part of your face.

DOUBLE PLAY Makeup artist and beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook likes to layer her shadow sticks for more intensity and recommends applying a lighter shade down the centre of the lid for a halo effect and to bring light to the face. Or make like celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, who lines eyes and then smudges and softens shadow with a brush for an easy Kate Moss smoky look. Bonus: Unlike traditional powder eyeshadows, shadow sticks are more likely to stay put. “Shadow sticks normally have very little fallout,” says Rivas. “This holds true for creasing as well.”

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