The 411 on cream eyeshadows


When it comes to eyeshadows, there are a few different consistencies to achieve a unique look. Although powder eyeshadows are more popular and something everyone has in their collection, cream eyeshadows come in handy as well.

I have tried a few different brands of cream shadows, everything from drugstore to department store.  To me, some are better than others but they are all pretty much different. For example, I would pick one brand over the other and not just because of the colour.

So why do you need cream eyeshadows?  Well, you don’t (no one really needs makeup to begin with), but they work as great bases for your eyeshadow.  Now, I know you are probably thinking, why can’t I just use an eyeshadow primer then?  Well, with a cream eyeshadow you apply it first and then layer the colour over top.  Here’s an example: say you are doing a smoky eye and you want your lids to be black.  When you just use a primer, you have to really pack on the shadow and it may not look as vibrant.  Instead, you can just lay down a dark cream shadow and then the black eyeshadow on top and it will use less product plus it will appear bolder.


I use cream eyeshadows for a variety of different reasons. My usual go-to look will just be a winged liner and then some mascara.  Since I don’t want my wing to wear off during the day I will usually put a flesh-toned cream shadow down on my lids before and then paint on the liner.  This acts as a base for my eyeliner, but it adds a little something extra on my lids.

I have cream shadows from four different brands: Maybelline, Benefit, MAC, and Make Up For Ever.  I would say the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liners (C$24) and MAC Paint Pots (C$22) are very similar in consistency and application/wearability.  Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Creams (C$26) are quite amazing as they are waterproof and creamy to the touch (as well as incredibly pigmented) when in the jar but then once applied, the colour is cemented on your lids.  Maybelline offers a great product with their 24-Hour Color Tattoos which are affordable at under $10, however, I find these dry out the fastest out of any of the ones I tried. Since the 24-Hour Color Tattoos are a drugstore product, I mean, it’s to be expected that it won’t be the same product as a MAC Paint Pot or anything.

As I mentioned, each brand offers different benefits to their products so I couldn’t tell you which ones is my favourite. I have found that Benefit and MAC are very similar so it really depends on the colours you are looking for.  Both are creamy, they apply nicely, and act as a great base.  Make Up For Ever is perfect for the summer as their Aqua Creams are waterproof, in fact, Syncro Canada uses them in their performances, so you know this stuff isn’t going to budge.  If you are a diva on a dime, then Maybelline offers up a great product with their 24-Hour Tattoo.  In fact, if you just wanted to give cream shadows a try I would say to start with Maybelline since it’s inexpensive, see if you like using them, and then maybe for your next one try a more expensive brand like MAC.

From L to R: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in RSVP, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 24 Yellow, Maybeliine 24-Hour Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.

From L to R: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in RSVP, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 24 Yellow, Maybeliine 24-Hour Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.

As for colours to get, I have a few different shades that I have really been utilizing.  For MAC I have Nubile (limited edition, but Painterly is a similar shade), which is a creamy skin-tone coloured shade. I wear this one a lot because it’s the colour of my lids, so it covers up veins and stuff and gives my black eyeliner a nice base to work over.  I also have Bare study, which is a frosty nude.  From Benefit, I have RSVP, which is a champagne pink.  I will lay this down when I’m using pink or purple eyeshadows.  From Maybelline I have Tough as Taupe (which is perfect for darker looks or a smoky eye) and Bad to the Bronze (amazing with gold eyeshadows – like Half Baked from the Naked palette).  Finally, from Make Up For Ever, I have shade 24, which is bright yellow.  I don’t use this one as often, but when I do, I layer a yellow eyeshadow over top or a gold.  This is also great for summer pool parties, as a pop of yellow is totally fun to sport during the winter months (perhaps with a margharita in hand).

If you are just starting out your makeup collection or even confused into which brand to get, I hope this post helped.  When people think of makeup they most likely envision foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush, however, there are so many different formulations in each of those products and each formula helps to achieve a different look.  Eyeshadow primers are a must in my collection and if you didn’t want to splurge on just a plain primer like Urban Decay Primer Potion (my fave), you can get a double whammy with a cream eyeshadow.

What brands are your favourite for cream eyeshadows?

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