How many of my Makeup Molettes have bought a cream eyeshadow expecting it to be amazing and got it home, smeared it on, and it’s just well…not? I’m constantly mystified as to why magazines tell people to try a new color eyeshadow in a cream texture, as if buying a powder eyeshadow to test something out would be too shocking. Ladies, I think we’re strong enough to handle it!
What the magazines don’t tell you is that cream eyeshadows are the diet version of powder eyeshadow – the anorexic younger cousin, the Lite to powder’s Maxi. Yes, they can be beautiful on their own, but you’re never going to get a full fledged rockin’ look if you don’t layer it with powder. So expecting to get some amazing strong effect from a cream shadow, well it’s just not going to happen (sorry).
Because cream is more transparent than powder it’s always going to give you a sheerer wash of color – so for a neutral, natural everyday look they can be lovely. For this transparent, taupe-y effect I highly recommend NARS cream shadows in Corfu and Savage and Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Shadows in Gold and Rose Gold.
They are great as a base – MAC Paint Pots and Paints (which come in dinky little tubes) are often used as a base color to give the powder something to adhere to. Personally I don’t like using a ‘base’ color as I think it changes the color you put on top, but on any given Sunday Youtube is awash with people who disagree with me, so it’s really personal choice.
If you are looking for something with more oomph, Illamasqua cream eyeshadows come in amazing strong colors and strong pigments, (the strongest I have come across), so for creating really bright colored eyes I would definitely recommend these. MAC Paint sticks are also a winner although the color range is a bit limited.
I do love creating editorial looks with creams, and for this I generally turn to my trusty MAC Cream Color Bases (or CCB’s as they are fondly known around the traps). These are a staple, staple item in my kit in pretty much every color available. They are unbeatable for smudging and creating beautiful shadows and highlights – once you try them you will be hooked!
I have also recently tried and LOVED the Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadows which are the only ones that I have found that don’t crease. For this is the definite drawback with cream eyeshadows – most of them crease like crazy, which means they need to be repaired throughout the day (not usually something most people want to worry about!) They also crease more on those with oily eyelids or in summer. You can help prevent this by setting with a small brush and a translucent powder, or a powder eyeshadow in a similar color.
And if you are channeling your inner 80’s diva, nothing beats the combo of powder and cream eyeshadow to give you mega glam slam eyes. And just like painting, half the fun is in the mix. Get to work!