The Secret $3 Tool That'll Give You a Perfect Makeup Application Every Time

It's hot mess proof.

Not exactly a secret amidst the beauty vlogging world—they're as commonplace in tutorials as the head tilt (opens in new tab)—there's something us rookies haven't really picked up on and that's the makeup shield.

GIF ¦ J Lo Smokey Eyes

(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

Beloved by bloggers and makeup artists alike—Mary Phillips recently revealed (opens in new tab) that she used the tool to create a statement-making smoky eye for J.Lo—the crescent-shaped pads (opens in new tab) ensure that makeup doesn't fall or bleed outside the lines while you're applying it. Kind of like a stencil. 

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The tool is great for eye makeup looks, like a cut-crease shadow or a feline flick, but you can also use the tool when you're applying lipstick for a smear-free pout. The OG makeup shield was created by Shadow Shields (opens in new tab) and their version is hands-free and self adhesive. Not to mention, designed so that it can be placed on top of your foundation without disturbing it.

Another option comes from e.l.f. and is particularly great for when you 're applying mascara, as the reusable plastic pad rests on a stick and can be held above the eye so that the pigment doesn't smudge on your lids while you're coating your lashes. However, it can get tricky—you can only use one hand to apply. So it's really about choosing whatever shield makes the most sense for your routine. 

Whether you're a beauty pro that's amassed a following in the millions or just a beginner, a makeup shield is a super-cheap way (it costs as little as $3) to ensure your application is always on point 💯.

Eye Makeup Application Pads Options

(Image credit: Future)

1. Shadow Shields 30 Pack, $9.99; beauty.com (opens in new tab).

2. e.l.f. Studio Mascara & Shadow Shield, $3; target.com (opens in new tab).

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.