Kosas 10 Seconds Liquid Eyeshadows: Review and Swatches

Kosas Cosmetics has gained a bit of a cult following over the past few years, especially among the Instagram influencer community and in the green beauty community. It’s not without reason, either. With a small and edited collection of lip, cheek, face, and now eye products, it’s clear that the formulas are well thought out.

I adore their lip products, as I already reviewed the formula awhile back, though I’ve had mixed feelings about their cheek and face products, which I feel were not formulated with a wide enough range of skin tones in mind. I do believe that they are continuously improving and working to be more inclusive, so I can only hope they continue on that path so that more people can try their whole range of products.

But today I’m talking about the much anticipated release of their liquid eyeshadows, which has been on the market for nearly 2 months at this point. I am lucky enough to work at Ivy Wild Beauty in DC, where we are selling the whole range of eyeshadows, so I could swatch and try each shade without having to purchase all of them. 

Unfortunately, since I only bought 2 shades this review is light on product pictures, but I’m sure you’ve seen them around!

The Basics

The eyeshadows came out in 8 shades from neutrals to a few bright shades. They retail for $28 each for 6ml/.2 oz, and are available on the Kosas website, or where Kosas cosmetics are sold.

The Formula

The formula is unlike anything I’ve tried. They are described as “clean, water-based, fast-drying and crease-resistant formula for buildable, high-impact color that stays all day.” The shadows also come in 3 different finishes: glitter, metallic, and satin, and I think each finish has a slightly different formula. Across all finishes, they are true to their name and are blendable for about 10 seconds before they dry down to a powdery finish. 

I think the glitter and metallic shades apply similarly in that they are like liquid metal, semi-opaque for the first layer and buildable. The glitter formula obviously just has an extra hit of glitter on top of the metallic shimmer. 

The satin shades are more sheer and require a bit of layering if you want them to be true to color. The first layer is just a barely there watercolor effect, and it takes a good 3-4 layers to really get some opaque pigmentation. 

By the way, since they are so watery, be carefully to not tip these shadows upside down when the tube is open, otherwise you’ll find yourself spilling some of this shadow! I made that mistake a couple times… 

Kosas 10-second shadow in 333 on the lids


The directions state that you can apply these shadows with the doe food applicator, your fingers, and also blend them out with a brush. I like to dot the product on my eyes, and then blend out with my fingers. 

I think the key to using these is using very thin layers, rather than applying a lot of product at once. Trying to apply a thick layer will make this product patchy and difficult to blend, which I learned the hard way when I first tried these. 

I typically start with 3 or 4 dots of product with the doe foot directly onto my eyelid, and then blend out with my fingers. After letting it dry for a few seconds, I’ll go in with another 3 or 4 dots to build up the opacity until I achieve the effect that I want. You could also blend it out with a brush but I find it much easier to just blend with my fingers. With the shimmer and glitter shades, I find that only 1-2 layers are necessary for a full application, while the satin shads need at least 2. 

How do they wear?

The first time I wore this without a primer, and it started creasing on me within 2 hours. However, keep in mind that I have very oily eyelids and literally apply eye primer every single day I apply makeup, so I didn’t expect this to perform without a primer. My current favorite eyeshadow primer is the Milani eye primer. If I wear this over eyeshadow primer, this lasts 7-8 hours before starting to crease. That’s actually a pretty good wear time for me for a liquid or cream shadow. 

However, I usually apply some kind of powder eyeshadow over top, whether it’s a shimmer topper, or other powder eyeshadow. I could be minimal like this product was intended to be but I can’t help it, I just love my eyeshadows! If I apply any kind of powder shadow over this, it lasts all day with no signs of creasing.

I’ve actually been pretty impressed with the wear since most cream eyeshadows from clean beauty brands have creased on me in about 6-8 hours no matter what eyeshadow primer or powder eyeshadow I use with them. 


I have swatches of all 8 shades: 

  • Globe – a shimmery champagne shade
  • Supreme – a glittery gold
  • Copper Halo – a shimmer copper shade
  • Element – a shimmer copper brown shade
  • Waterfall – an icy silver blue with a satin finish
  • 333 – a lavender purple with a satin finish
  • Nitrogen – a cool royal blue with satin finish
  • Fahrenheit – a purplish burgundy with satin finish

 The shades are swatched from the bottom to the top.

L-R: Globe, Supreme, Copper Halo, Element, Waterfall, 333, Element, Fahrenheit

I was thoroughly tempted to get all 8 shades, but I actually ended up getting just 2 of the colorful shades: 333 and waterfall. These shades are completely unexpected for my neutral loving self, but when I tried on 333 and waterfall I completely fell in love with how these shades worked as subtle washes of color. They looked refreshing and were still well within my comfort zone, and even building them up to their full intensity looked fresh and sophisticated. 

Here are a couple more photos of how I’ve been wearing them:

333 with 2-3 layers and a light layer of purple shadow 

Waterfall with Fenty Mint’d Mojito layered lightly on top

All in all I was highly impressed with these shadows. I think they have a little bit of a learning curve to figure out the best application method and layers, but once you figure it out, they are really easy to use. As I discussed, i also think they have an impressive wear time for this kind of formula, and far outperform other clean beauty cream or liquid shadows. I was also impressed with how well though out the shade selection was. There are enough neutrals for anyone to feel comfortable using them for every day wear, and the colors are just experimental enough without going out of my comfort zone. I would absolutely recommend checking these out to see if you like the formula, and to try out the shades in person. 

If you’ve tried these, I would love to know your experience. How do you like them?

As always, thanks for reading.

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