RUDE Makeup Tutorial Series: Cut Creases

RUDE Makeup Tutorial Series: Cut Creases

What is a cut crease? Cut-creasing is a makeup technique that is used to create an illusion of depth while making the eyes appear bigger and brighter. Anyone can wear this look, it’s universally flattering! There’s a trick to it: just get it right for your eye shape. 

The basics of a cut crease start with two contrasting shades of eyeshadows. Typically, the lighter shade is all over the lid, while the darker shade is only used on the crease and blended out on the space between the eyelid and the eyebrow. The technique however, takes its name from the harsh, unblended line where the two colors meet: that sharp cut that marks or exaggerates the actual crease above the eyelid. 

Cut-creases can be subtle with some nude shadows, a little sparkle and a softer line. Or, they can be super fun and dramatic with many different colors, and if you are feeling adventurous you can do more than one line on the crease. Achieving this might take a bit of practice though, but don’t sweat it.

Many people think that the cut crease is a modern day technique, but really, it has been around long before the invention of the internet. The cut crease first became a popular beauty trend in the 1960s. Along with hippie and mod fashion, came bold and geometric eye makeup. Some famous icons that popularized the look during this decade include Audrey Hepburn, Liza Minnelli, supermodel Twiggy, Diana Ross and drag queen Divine. During this time, the cut crease matched the mood of the era. Graphic liner often defined the hard crease, with little to no blending. This look was often paired with false eyelashes or mascara. A perfect example of this look, is the iconic makeup looks that supermodel Twiggy wore in many of her pictorials. 

Although the look was iconic to its era, the cut crease has changed so much over the years. The look has become more common and wearable. 

With social media platforms on the rise, such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and TikTok, widespread knowledge of the cut crease translates to more accessible ways to achieve the looks. With a quick search online, you will find several tips and tricks that can help you achieve this look. With some online “beauty gurus” going so far as to using eyelash curlers, the edge of a makeup lid and even spoons as guides to create the perfect cut crease. One of our favorite techniques and probably the most effective, is to place a bit of concealer or eye primer to the upper lash line and LOOK UP, where the product is marked on the crease that is your guide to cutting your crease. 

While some hacks are simple and simply have to do with cleaning the line underneath, there are others who take it a bit further. A single-function tool called an eyeshadow stamp is now commercially available, which allows for concealer, foundation or eyeshadow to be pressed onto the lid in one go. There are also videos online where you can learn how to make your own DIY eyelid stamp using false eyelash cases or other plastic products that can be cut into the desired shape. 

How can you achieve the perfect cut crease? Below we are going to share some of our favorite tips, tricks and products to achieve the perfect cut crease.


1. PREP+PRIME. The first step to any makeup look should always be eyeshadow primer. We recommend an eyeshadow primer, and not a concealer as an eyeshadow primer will crease less. A little goes a long way. You will want to use a primer that you trust, we like Rude Cosmetics Prelude Eyeshadow Primer.  If you have oily lids, this primer will help you control shine and keep your makeup lasting longer. Use your fingers! As much as we love a good makeup brush, the best tools you have are your hands. The best way to achieve a uniform application is to use the warmth of your hands to blend out the product onto your eyelid. Finally, let the primer sit for a minute before applying eyeshadow over it, but DO NOT set it with powder or shadows. This will help eyeshadows stick to the primer better and help your shadows look brighter.


2. APPLY BASE. Next, apply a base shadow to the upper lid up to the eyebrow. So only where you will be applying the crease eyeshadow. Doing this will help you blend the cut crease up with ease. The reason we do not recommend applying your base to your entire eyelid is to prevent the primer from becoming cakey once it is time to cut the crease. We recommend using a neutral color for your base, or even your skin tone color. Our Manga Anime 35 Eyeshadow Palette has so many nude shades to choose from. 

3. SKETCH IT OUT. Choose a darker eyeshadow color to start sketching your crease. We recommend choosing a darker nude shade or a brown color, but stay away from black. Using either a small pencil brush or eyeliner brush, like the Silver Bullet Angled Eyeliner Brush and Silver Bullet Pencil Brush, start by sketching out where you want your cut crease to be. A good rule of thumb is to start the darker shadow on your crease and then blend upwards, this is to prevent you from accidentally getting rid of the darker color when cutting the crease and getting rid of that definition. To do this you will simply follow the natural shape of your crease or you can wing it out at the ends like when you are doing a cat eye. 

4. BLEND.  Now it is time to blend. This is probably one of the harder parts of doing a cut crease, as the lid space is minimized and you don’t really want to end up with eyeshadow up to your brow bone. The best way to blend out that crease, is using a small brush and blend, blend, BLEND till’ your arm falls off. A small crease brush will suffice or if you really want to get in there use a pencil brush like the one mentioned above. You will want to blend the darker color of the crease using your lighter neutral shade, and remember not to blend down as you want to keep the bottom of the crease a harsh line.

5. CUT IT.  Now comes the fun part. CUTTING THAT CREASE! There are several ways you can go about this. You can go straight in with your eyeshadow primer or you can clean up below using micellar water or a makeup remover before going in with your primer again to prevent cakey eyelids. One of our favorite products to use is the Surgically Precise Makeup Eraser Pen, this magical pen is both vegan and cruelty free, and removes both non-waterproof and waterproof makeup. One of our favorite hacks to get that perfect cut crease placement, is to place a bit of eye primer to the upper lash line and look up. This will create a mark on your lid that you can use to cut your crease. This is also why we recommend starting your dark shadow right on your crease, just in case your guide is a little higher than anticipated.

6. APPLY EYESHADOW. Once you are happy with your cut crease, set it with eyeshadow, you can either go in with your next color or simply set it with your neutral shade. The possibilities are endless, so really let your imagination run wild with this one.

7. BONUS. These next points are optional but can really help add a little bit of flair to your look. 

  1. Add some winged eyeliner. Winged eyeliner is so gorgeous with this look as it also helps your eyes appear bigger and more defined. You can connect your liner and cut crease at the ends and blend some eyeshadow into your eyelid for a little bit more definition. 
  2. Blend different colors onto your eyelid to add a pop of color. 
  3. Follow the cut crease line with a glitter liner to add a little pop of shimmer. 
  4. Use a shimmer shadow/glitter shadow to set your cut crease instead of a matte shadow. This will help the shimmer stand out more and stick better to the eyeshadow primer. 


Cut creases can be a little intimidating at first and they can be a little hard to master, but with a little time, practice and patience, you too can master the look. It also helps when you use eyeshadow palettes that are pigmented and blendable. Some of our favorites include: The Roaring 20’s Carefree, City of Neon Lights, C’est La Vie, The Rude Awakening and many many more. 


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