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What started as a cream eyeshadow smackdown quickly turned into an encyclopaedia of cream eyeshadows (and not even the full extent of my stash… don’t judge).

Cream eyeshadows have a reputation for being brainless, fuss-free, 2 minute options for everyday eyeshadow looks. My experience couldn’t be further from that claim; I find the vast majority of cream eyeshadows on the market to set quickly and blend poorly, all round more work than they’re worth. I’m hard to please in this arena, here are my findings and mini reviews on noteworthy formulations (plus swatches of select shades, not all shades because we don’t have all year).

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Look at dat pretteh <3

By Terry – Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadows

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

I have conflicting thoughts on the By Terry Ombre Blackstars, the shimmery shades (Bronze Moon and Misty Rock) are perfectly executed; complex metallic goodness without the frost factor. The two satin shades (Brown Perfection and Velvet Orchid, which look more shimmery than usual in these swatches due to direct sunlight) are trickier formulas, they don’t seem to blend as well as they set so darn quickly. A little smudge on the lash line is easy peasy but when trying to create a smokey eye, I’m left with steps and tide lines that require powder eyeshadows to ease the transition. I wish there was a bit more slip to the formula but the shades are on point. 

Charlotte Tilbury – Colour Chameleon Cream Eyeshadows

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Much babble on Colour Chameleons here but in a nutshell, beautiful shades and a hassle to apply. Some shades kick up silver glitters and others are a pain in the ass to blend – lots of dragging and patchiness. Cream eyeshadows are meant to be easy yo. I’ve since blogsaled Black Diamonds and Amber Haze is the next to go, I have too many complex bronze eyeshadows to justify the struggle with this one.

MAC – Paint Pots

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

This picture above depicts the MAC Paint Pot lifecycle: New and pristine (Layin Low), dry and shrinking (Painterly) and plain old haggard (Artifact). Never fear, you can revive Paint Pots with some glycerine on a finger, rubbed over the surface of the product. The colour selection is decent (or vast if you jump on the limited edition boat, I ain’t got time for dat) but the formula is a bit dryer and not something I would recommend to more mature or textured lids because at times, it even makes my 23 year old lids look crepey.
A big plus: The MAC Paint Pot line has plenty of matte options, a gem in an otherwise shimmer loaded market. Overall, I like them best as a base for powder eyeshadows because the finish is ‘grippy’, a magnet for anything you pat on top.

Tom Ford – Cream Color for Eyes

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

It seems that all Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes are limited edition (INFURIATING) but when they come around, do pick one up because they are gorgeous. The formula is mousse-like (not a million miles away from Chanel Illusion D’Ombre but sans glitter) and they do set and last all day. I get the impression that Cream Color for Eyes are a bit hit n miss; Pink Haze and Platinum apply perfectly opaque while Escapade is problematic and patchy (best over another base, which sorta defeats the purpose but layering is fun!). The shimmer is glamorous yet elegant, all three shades lend a vogue-esque glossy appearance to the lid. Additional advantage, they don’t seem to dry out which makes the 40USD price tag easier to swallow. As soon as new shades hit the counter, imma be hauling.

Shiseido – Shimmering Cream Eyeshadows

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Now these, ho ho ho. These are freaking amazing! Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eyeshadow have become my new favourite cream eyeshadow formulation and it’s taking all my strength to resist purchasing ALL TEH SHADES. Take a finger to the pot and the product feels wet and… almost greasy? This was alarming but they’re pigmented, an absolute pleasure to blend and thankfully, they set and I experienced no creasing (although oily lids beware, you might have to use an eye primer prior). There is a bit of variance between the shades, Leather has a more pronounced shimmer while Konpeito and Cardinal have a finer glimmer – I think some people avoid these because they’re labelled as Shimmering but trust me, no frost here. Some of the shades in the line look a bit snooze worthy and I wish they’d introduce some exciting colours but bitchin’ aside, they’re one of the few cream eyeshadow formulations that I’ve found to be as easy to blend as powder shadow, as the emollience allows for a lot of play time. You can even pick up some extra product on a crease brush and blend over product that has already set. Stop me before I break the bank.

Rouge Bunny Rouge – Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Rouge Bunny Rouge cream eyeshadows are my go to when travelling because they don’t require brushes to blend, simply pat with a finger. They’re a thin cream formula with a very soft shimmer; more on the satin spectrum. The neutral and understated shades ensure a soft outcome, don’t expect crazy impact here but they’re ideal for muted everyday looks, travelling and beginners.

NYX – Jumbo Eye Pencils

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Two awesome aspects of the NYX Jumbo Pencils: They are easy to blend (scribble and pat with a finger) and they’re cheap and cheerful at only a few bucks each. The most common complaint with these cream eyeshadows is creasing; I don’t notice any migration on my normal lids when used over my favourite eye primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance, FYI) but if your lids are on the oilier side, be wary. Overall, I like them best used as a base for powder eyeshadow to enhance vibrancy, in particular, Black Bean and Milk are stock standard workhorses. I rarely use them alone as the shades lack complexity – pretty much the definition of generic, one dimensional shimmer.

Chanel – Illusion D’Ombre Cream Eyeshadows

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

I’ve been a big fan of Illusion D’ombre eyeshadows since the beginning; my go-to for strong, jewelled toned eyes. The mousse-y formula is easy to blend as you have a good few minutes before they set and once they do, they’re staying all day. Three minor complaints: The shades are quite glittery (so that I find them tricky to wear during the day), there is a bit of glitter fallout (do your base after the eyes!) and the pots tend to dry out quickly (Mirifique kicked the bucket recently but I love it enough to repurchase). I hear many of you throw away the angled applicator that comes complimentary with these eyeshadows? WHY?! It’s ideal for applying the product to the lid and also for smudging out pencil liner.

Ellis Faas – Creamy Eyes

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

The whole Ellis Faas brand is underpinned by the ‘revolutionary’ pen-style delivery system so it’s awkward for me to say this but… it kinda sucks. Back in the day when I used to sell Ellis Faas, the number of people who returned with faulty pens was appalling. 19 clicks dispenses no product but the 20th click spurts out enough for all of Sydney. Never be afraid to return a faulty pen because trust me, THEY ALREADY KNOW.

Dumbass packaging aside, I really love the Ellis Faas cream eyeshadow formula because they’re so damn blendable. Unlike Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eyeshadows, Ellis Faas feel less greasy and more silicone-y to touch but the outcome is the same, plenty of play time. Keep your placements small because once the blending starts, the product spreads like WHOA.

My only beef is the sneaky shimmer, I purchased two shades that I recall being matte yet, as you can see in swatches – sly multicolour glimmers. It was a pleasant surprise in shade E105 (blend it out and it looks as though you have multiple shades going on) but I was hoping to use E109 all over to even out the lid… then it scattered silver shimmer on my brow bone 🙁
Definitely picking up more shades in the future but I’m sceptical, these mofos dry up in the tube and cease dispensing.

Laura Mercier – Caviar Sticks

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks remind me of By Terry Blackstars in many regards: similar application, similar blending issues when used in large placements and equally awesome longevity. Given the choice, I’ll always opt for the Blackstars over Caviar Sticks; where the shimmer in the former is elegant and glossy, Caviar Stick shimmer reads VERY frosty on me. Again, I’m 23 yet Pink Opal and Sugar Frost make my lids look lined, textured and tired. The less frosted shades (Cocoa, Amethyst and Rosegold) fare a bit better but I’m underwhelmed to say the least.

This post took over a month to compile, you better freaking like it! If you did, leave me a comment so we can chat 🙂


Complete list of products mentioned

Long-Lasting Cream Shadow
Long-Lasting Cream Shadow
Shimmering Cream Eye Color
Shimmering Cream Eye Color
Jumbo Eye Pencil
Jumbo Eye Pencil
Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow Pencils
Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow Pencils
Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection
Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection
Color Chameleon
Color Chameleon
Creamy Eyes
Creamy Eyes
Cream Color for Eyes
Cream Color for Eyes
Paint Pot
Paint Pot
Illusion d’Ombre
Illusion d’Ombre
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

Leave your comment (171 comments)

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  1. Uoooo! SUCH a collection! Haaahahaha =_=
    I love the post and how you exposed all the pros and cons πŸ™‚

    I don’t know whether in Australia KIKO (Italian low cost brand) is avaliable; if it’s, go and check their Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow! πŸ™‚
    As in other brands, may be some colors that perform worse, but in general they are amazing! (Specially that #05, under Satin Taupe…)
    They are not dry, blend beautifully (even with fingers), and stay put all day!

    1. Hey Arantza!
      I actually purchased an eyeshadow stick thingy from Kiko a few years back, when I was in Italy. I can’t say for certain that it was the same product you speak of but it creased like nothing else on me!
      That being said, I’m going back to Europe in a month or so, I will revisit the Kiko store πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Susan!
      I have tried the Colour Tattoos, I think they’re a good drugstore option but I was a little underwhelmed by the pigment. I love the shade Tough as Taupe, though!
      I included NYX Jumbo Pencils as they’re my most used drugstore cream eyeshadow.

  2. Amazing post as always love pros and cons of each as lately every beauty guru is raving about the by terry sticks and it’s great to know more
    Question I’ve been wanting to get into blogging for ages now and I’m in the middle of my first year university exams now but after il hopefully be starting to post would u have any advice

    1. Glad you liked the post, Siobhan!
      My advice for blogging: make sure you’re writing about stuff you love, not what you think people will want to read. Blogging can be quite the commitment and if you’re writing about what YOU love, it will be much easier to maintain motivation.
      Also, I’d say invest in the best equipment you can afford (cameras, lighting etc). Crisp, colour accurate photos are a huge portion of blogging.
      Good luck! πŸ™‚ xx

  3. Ooohhhh AMAZING POST!!!! thank you so much, i’ve been curious about a lot of these products. You killed my curiosity on the caviar sticks lol, they sound boring.

    I also really like Loreal’s Infallable shadows, i think you would like them too. The color tattoos are ok, but they’re hard to blend.

    Im also dying to try Armanis eyes to kill, they look so complex.

    1. Yay I’m so happy you enjoyed the post! Yeah, boring would be a good way to describe my opinions on Caviar Sticks :-/ Amethyst is a nice one, I’ve used it as a base for purpley eyeshadows on a few occasions.
      L’oreal Infallable and Armani Eyes to Kill are more pressed pigments, not cream eyeshadows per se so I didn’t include them in this post. Colour Tattoos are just ‘nice’ to me, nothing spectacular, although I do like Tough as Taupe.

  4. You are by far the strongest enabler in regards to my bank account, damn you hah! That being said, I know I always getting my money’s worth because these comparison reviews of yours are always flawlessly articulated. So yes, I do freakin like it πŸ˜‰ For real though, you have my undying thanks for putting so much work into all of your posts!!

    1. Hey Tori πŸ˜‰
      I try to help you guys make informed purchases! I’m liking smackdown style posts because it allows me to be critique and recommend at the same time, so I hope you guys find that style informative!
      As they say, love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life πŸ˜‰ Sadly, blogging is not my job but y’get what I mean!

  5. Thanks so much for this post–loved!! xo
    I’ve been feeling like such a slacker for not trying more cream shadows but in general, they haven’t been a good experience for me. You killed a lot of expensive lemmings with this candid post, thanks!!

    1. Candid is my aim πŸ˜‰ I love hearing that my recommendations work for people but I also love hearing that I’ve saved someone a bit of cash! xx

  6. I loved this post, and am so glad you took the time to do it! I love cream eye shadows, but admittedly I only use them to base my powder shadows for a more dramatic and steadfast look. Use the right cream shadow to base your look and the powders can look beautiful and like they blend out as one. I was contemplating trying many of the cream shadows above, and am glad I didn’t fork out a shed load of money on some of them, as you have given clear advice on what’s good and what’s not…. so thanks for that! Love your posts and your videos as they are so professional and match my tastes to a T! x

    1. I agree, cream eyeshadows work wonders under powder eyeshadows! I think preferences differ so I tried to articulate differences in formula and finish so that you guys can decide for yourself what you may or may not like πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! x

  7. Great post – agree that cream eyeshadows are overrated, I find the majority either crease on me much quicker than powder eyeshadow or make my lids look dry and crepey. I do like them for adding complexity though. My favourite is the taupe chanel eyeshadow stick from last summer with a taupe layered over.

    1. Cream eyeshadows are the best way to add complexity to an eye, I think! Layering is fun πŸ™‚ I actually missed that taupe eyeshadow stick by Chanel, so irritating that they were limited edition!

  8. I did love this post, as I love cream eyeshadows πŸ™‚ I just got my first By Terry sticks in the mail this month, and am liking them a lot! Misty Rock and Beyond Gold are my favorites so far. I can’t wait for TF$ to come out with some more shades of that amazing formula!!

    1. Misty Rock is so pretty! Love it combined with deep, purpley eyeshadows πŸ™‚ I think I read somewhere that TF$ is coming out with some new Cream Colour for Eyes shades in fall? Excited!

  9. Thanks for this! It’s such an informative post. I’ve never been much of a cream shadow fan though I love buying them and ended up only using in lash line because it takes great pain to race against time to try and blend them! Argh.. Now I need to be sure to check out those Tom ford pots.. Can’t wait! And thanks again πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Mabel!
      Sounds like you share my frustration with cream eyeshadows that set too quickly. Highly recommend the Shiseido and Tom Ford, since they set rather slowly. Also the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, if you are not averse to a bit of glitter!

  10. Karima,

    Words fail me !!

    One because I am shocked what a coincidence I totally agree with everything 70% of what you have reviewed I have tried and found EXACTLY the same I thought it was just me ageing and was so sad.. so I ran into Selfridges at 5pm tonight and got kicked out (not quite) at 10pm trying to find an eyeshadow colour and correct formulation for those one stop shop days (most days as a self employed person running round London) – but no luck πŸ™ ….

    All I want for those fresh faced days … where I just want to have my eyelids but better (a bit of subtle eye colour enhancement if possible) and a bit of eyeliner (am in love with Nars Via Appia plummy/ bronze ) …

    I went in to Selfridges looking for “stuff’ I had never tried before – because all the powders I have tried look too powdery and all the creams EXACTLY what you say EXACTLY .. and what’s with painterly it makes your eyelids look pants and shrinks wtflip!

    I actually went in to try I think is it pale barley from Burberry ? I have heard its a good one stop shop … but they don’t have only Harrods and John Lewis

    5 hours effort and still no joy – so if you have any answers ??? I totally value your input and if you ever want any London stuff – you would LOVE liberty’s – let me know and I’ll do a personal shop for you! – I still use Bumble and Bumble thickening spray because it reminds me of when I lived in Sydney and literally discovered Mecca and all things beauty for the first time !!

    Anyway …I literally started at Tom Ford… Angelo 50/50 Spanish Italian was lovely but not the ticket he wanted to glitter me up and do pale pink glitter on the lid and then shade in dark purple (really not my I am going horse riding look) – then onto Sisley and RMK but nothing….. I went to those three guys because I have tried most of the above and found like the same results, you are totally right!!!! About them all – thanks so much for doing all this work and sharing – I thought I was mad! And broke after always chasing…. everything you say is true!! about painterly crepeyness chanel pots – Laura Mercier platinum just flakes off if you try to build it, Bobbi Brown , Top Shop sticks (have you tried them?), misty rock I love but found too much for fresh faced days… I have 3 of the Charlotte Tilbury – all which I find just set and too thick and just don’t blend and totally patchy – anyway I am in shock for the coincidence and am totally waffling – hopefully you’ll read this and delete as soon as possible – but just wanted you to know – the way you analyse and the way you deliver your message whatever you are talking about is just SPOT on well done am sure it’s quite stressful managing the it all and study and life et al – just saying you are doing a good flippin’ job woman – keep going you rock !! (if I knew how to give virtual high five I would) lovin’ the blog missus – and feel free to let me know if you find some creamy not crepey easy peasey eyeshadow – the hunt goes on!!! All the best Angela

    1. Hey Angela!
      Sounds like you’ve had your fair share of cream eyeshadow frustration!
      I believe Pale Barley by Burberry has been discontinued or something like that, perhaps that’s why you can’t seem to find it.
      If you’re open to buying online, I think the Rouge Bunny Rouge cream eyeshadows are a good match for your my-lid-but-better preferences, they’re also great for more textured eyelids because they’re not dry and the shimmer is very muted.
      I haven’t tried the Topshop cream eyeshadows but I will look into them! Thank you!

    1. Oh I’m so GLAD! Everyone was asking me “where is that cream eyeshadow smack down you promised us?!”
      Here it is, hopefully worth the wait!

  11. I DO freaking like it! Love your content, as always. Don’t love the hit to my paycheck but that’s standard. What do you think of the Dior mono fusions? I’ve been wanting to try Ellis Faas but you have talked me into investing in Tom ford in its place…

    1. Hey Robin!
      So pleased you liked the post πŸ™‚
      Dior Mono Fusions, if I remember correctly, are creamy formulations of powder eyeshadows. I found the matte versions to be kinda sheer, which was a pity. The shimmery shades are more pigmented but the shimmer makes them less versatile for me.
      I’d say try one Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes for science, it is a really lovely formula.
      Sorry to arouse interest in Tom Ford, since they are limited edition. If you can find any or pick up new shades once they hit counter, I’d strongly recommend them!

  12. Out of all of these you mentioned I only own Tom Ford Pink Haze and Escapade. I loved last year’s Tom Ford Summer collection. I agree with you about the quality. They should really release some permanent ones!

    1. Did you find Escapade to be kinda patchy at times? A bit of a shame, because it’s such an interesting beige/peach/bronze shade. I love the glossy effect though, LOVE. xx

  13. Love this post!
    My favorite is Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, and now I can stop struggling with my MAC Paint Pots! They are really dry…. LM is also off my list ^_^
    Giorgio Armani ones are also quite good, but really really shimmery…
    Will try the Shiseido ones
    Very helpful review!

    1. MAC Paint Pots do run a bit dry :-/ Only use them as a base nowadays.
      The Giorgio Armani ones are more pressed pigments IME, I love them but yes, very shimmery. Try the Shiseido and report back! They’re underrated.

  14. This list seems incomplete without maybelline color tattoo. I will still read but I wanted got know how color tattoo compare to the others.

    1. Colour Tattoos remind me of MAC Paint Pots in many ways, they’re best as a base and the matte shades make my lids look a bit crepey. I also found that some shades don’t provide as much impact as I’d like (Bad to the Bronze, to be specific).
      Otherwise, I think they’re a good drugstore option but I’m not head over heels. x

  15. This post is EPIC! So many formulas I’d been thinking about trying! Though I’d managed to talk myself out of the Shiseido thankyouverymuch. (Still trying to tell myself the shades aren’t very unique! Don’t know if it’s working.)

    I own two Illusions D’Ombre – I may need Illusiore next – and I actually hated that enclosed applicator! It felt like plastic, but like SCRATCHY plastic, and I got fallout when I used it! I like my fingers most, or sometimes the Sephora 28 cream shadow brush.

    And yeahhhhh, I need some of the shimmer By Terry shades. I’ve been pushing that off for a while since really, powders and Armani ETKI are my thing. But those are stunning. (Thanks for convincing me I don’t need the LM, though!)

    I totally agree with you about the Ellis Faas applicators – I think the shades look great, but I cannot. deal. with. that. And the NYX, which I owned ages ago, creased terribly on me! Feedback from an oily-lidded person πŸ™‚

    This post was amazing! Thanks!

    1. Hey Adele!
      You’re absolutely right, the Shiseido Cream Eyeshadow line is populated with sorta boring colours. I think the three that I swatched in this post are winners, though.
      It’s so bizarre that you found the applicator scratchy! Mine are synthetic but well made synthetics, perhaps they’ve redesigned the applicator since my last purchase.
      If you’re going for By Terry, I’d highly recommend Bronze Moon or Misty Rock, if you don’t mind shimmers.
      Ellis Faas applicators are such a nightmare :-/ I even find them a bit stiff on the delicate eyelid so I dispense (a shetload, apparently) onto my hand and apply with a brush.
      Thanks for you comment, very insightful πŸ™‚ xx

  16. That’s it, next Tom Ford cream I set my eyes on will come live with me! <3

    Karima, have you tried the Chanel in "Diapason"? It looks really purple in the jar, but blended on the lids it's a beautifully complex plummy shade with very refined shimmer that's totally day appropriate. And at night with artificial light it flashes a subtle blue duo chrome. It is my favourite by far, I was so surprised since I hated the colour at first sight.
    My favourite paint pot is "Quite Natural". I wear it practically on a daily basis, usually on its own as a grungy haze but it's also beautiful for building up a smoky eye. I know what you mean with they slight dryness with these though, so far I have only experienced it with Painterly and it doesn't bother me too much but it may start to in a few years. X

    1. Hey Cat πŸ™‚
      I tested Diapason in store and while it’s a truly complex shade, I tried to resist because I have a few complex reddened plummy shades. That being said, it’s permanent and I’ll probably pick it up at some point LOL.
      Love Quite Natural, I seem to have misplaced mine. I’m using Tailor Grey instead at the moment, similar soft grunge effect πŸ™‚
      I think the dryness becomes increasingly bothersome the older the pot gets, as it dries out. I just keep reviving them with glycerine πŸ™‚

  17. What an informative, articulate and honest cream eyeshadow critique post! I love how you don’t just mindless rave about everything the way some bloggers/YTers do. I truly appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into your incredible blog posts. I really trust your reviews, and I base many of my purchases on them. So far, everything you said has been has been spot on for me, despite the YMMV nature of makeup. We must have similar taste in makeup products haha.

    Out of the products mentioned in your post, I’ve only tried the Shiseido, By Terry and MAC ones. I have to say, I completely agree with your opinion on them. I only use Brown Perfection as a liner because it’s so difficult to blend. Bronze Moon and Misty Rock are amazing though!

    I actually hated my Shiseido cream shadow, but it was only because the shade I got (SV810 Tin) was so darn unflattering on my olive, NC30 skin tone. Yet somehow that was enough to put me off the entire line, and I’ve forgotten about the line. Now that I’ve read your smackdown, I think I will give Shiseido another go. Leather looks like an interesting shade. Is it anything like RBR Bejewelled Skylark or the shimmery chocolate brown shade in Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage?

    1. Hey Jen!
      Mindless raving is a pet peeve of mine. WHY IS IT AWESOME?! Tell me moar y’know?
      I actually avoided the shade Tin in the Shiseido line because like you, I’m a bit olive and I find those shades clash with my skin.
      Leather is sorta similar to the shimmery brown in Cocoa Mirage, but it’s not as purpled or as reddened as Bejewelled Skylark. To be honest, Leather isn’t the most unique brown ever but the texture ticks all my boxes and I reach for it often.

  18. I freaking like it! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the good work! You might have motivated me to explore. I only own NYX jumbo eye pencils (I use them combined with powder). Other than that I’m… Lazy. I find powder eyeshadows so easy to work with, I haven’t had interest… You know what I have been looking for, though? A good cream eyeshadow to even out lid color. Something that serves a double purpose: sort of a primer and base eyeshadow too. I have really pigmented eyelids so a base eyeshadow is a must for me, or I look sickly. Everything I’ve tried has been a fail, gone and forgotten. Anything you would like for this? Do you think a creamy concealer would work, or would it make my eyes sting? I haven’t tried that

    1. Nah… Concealer doesn’t work… After I typed I tried it, but it looks crepey. I was trying to be economical πŸ˜€ but a cream eyeshadow should be better

    2. Hey Catalina πŸ™‚
      I know what you mean, I love powder eyeshadows. I do like cream eyeshadows for complexity, and they tend to have zero fallout for the most part, which is awesome.

      Funny you should ask about flesh coloured bases for the eyelid, I’ve been looking too!

      I tried the Dior Backstage Eye Prime which adhered a little patchy. I tried the Estee Lauder Tinted Eye Primer which didn’t provide much coverage and was a little greasy-ish. MAC Painterly paint pot looks dry on me. It’s been a really difficult conquest! My best solution so far is to take a dot of a creamy concealer (NARS) and mix it with my regular eye primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance) and I find that provides me with a bit of coverage and doesn’t look dry.

      If you have a regular eye primer, give that a go! Experiment πŸ™‚


  19. Thank you for the review! I’m the biggest eyeshadow noob! Doing my make up for a night out usually ends in a mini meltdown of exasperation and defeat! But these cream shadows look too delicious not to give eye make up another go! I’ll definitely be checking out the Tom Ford, Rouge Bunny Rouge and Shiseido! Quick question: as a fellow Sydney-sider, where do you purchase your Rouge Bunny Rouge products?

    1. Oh Katarina, I think we’ve all been there with that mini makeup meltdown πŸ˜‰
      Tom Ford, RBR and Shiseido are all ultra easy options so I don’t think you’ll have much frustration there. Rouge Bunny Rouge can now be purchased on their web boutique πŸ™‚


  20. Great post. I’m a sucker for a good cream eyeshadow. Personally I love the Rimmel Scandaleyes, both the shadow paints and the eyeshadow pencils. And the eyeliners are awesome too.

    I’ve been looking at the By Terry Blackstar, but they’re just soooo expensive.


    1. Ooh I haven’t seen the Scandaleyes shadow paints but I’ll keep an eye out for them! Blackstars are very pricy and if you ever decided to purchase one, I’d recommend Bronze Moon or Misty Rock, they are the winners in my books. xx

  21. Fantastic post! I know what you mean about some cream shadows (lookin at you, Paint Pots!) making lids look textured and crepey. Must try all of your favorites that don’t do that! Shiseido cream shadows esp. look awesome and affordable (well, relatively speaking).

    1. Paint Pots are notorious for making the lids look crepey, especially the lighter shades, which is such a pity because otherwise Painterly would make the perfect base. Do try the Shiseido and report back, affordable when compared to Tom Ford y’know πŸ˜‰ x

  22. Lovely post, full of very useful information, and so enjoyable to read!
    Congrats and, as a reader, thank you for the effort and passion you put in your posts!
    Looking forward to the next one πŸ™‚

  23. Thank you Karima – I’m so glad you found/made/stole time to put together this epic post! I love cream eyeshadows and have specimens of almost all the types mentioned – I’m just missing the Tom Ford (will be keeping an eye out for future LE releases) and Shiseido (totally checking these out next week).
    I have two Ellis Faas pens – in one of them the 20th click dispensed so much product it actually forced the brush head to detach completely from the rest of the pen, thus allowing me to scoop out the product and apply it with a finger or brush. Silver linings and all…
    Really looking forward to your next post – maybe a video tutorial showing how you use cream eyeshadows? Pretty please? x

    1. Hey Louise πŸ™‚
      The sunshine has been hiding in Sydney so you can imagine my furious rushing when it finally does come out! Tom Ford and Shiseido are two of my ultimate favourites so give them a go πŸ™‚
      I wish I could scoop out the Ellis Faas product, did you put it in a separate pot? Did it dry up eventually?
      I definitely should do a tutorial on cream eyeshadows, I’m thinking about doing the cream eyeshadow look that I paired with Bare Instinct here, a good neutral option?


      1. I’ve kept it in the pen tube, with the lid jammed on tight, and thus far (must be a year since The Incident) it’s still pretty creamy.
        The Bare Instinct eyeshadow would make an awesome tutorial – that makeup is probably my favourite of all your looks x

  24. Oh, Karima!

    What a lovely post. Very well put together and so informative!
    I also really enjoyed your Iconic 40’s makeup tutorial. I was really happy that you got the 40’s, this is definitely my favourite era. I loved your little tricks for contouring and eyelash shadowing, I can’t wait to give this look a try sometime.

    Sending smiles from Vancouver πŸ™‚

    1. Oh thanks Lauren!
      I became a bit obsessed with era makeup after that collaboration! The 40’s was such an interesting era and I love the makeup aesthetic – glamorous but understated.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, too πŸ™‚

  25. Great post! πŸ™‚ My favorite cream eyeshadows are Becca Eye Tints, the shimmer is truly microscopic and the formula is 100% fool-proof and uber natural looking. I must check out the Shiseido, I’ve hear much good about them.

    1. The Becca Eye Tints remind me of the Rouge Bunny Rouge cream eyeshadows as they’re relatively neutral and low impact, good everyday shades! Shiseido have a bit more impact, but they’re just as easy to use!

  26. Hey Karima!
    Whats your opinion on Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadows? Whenever i’ve swatched them the formula seems lovely so im thinking of purchasing.

    1. Hey Lucy!
      I haven’t tried Bobbi Brown Cream Eyeshadows in years but if I remember correctly, they were a touch dry, in the same vein as MAC Paint Pots? I’ll definitely revisit them πŸ™‚

  27. Sorry for the previous post! As I was saying ha my favourite ever cream shadow is shu uemura cream pot in p brown. Beautiful! Cannot believe they’ve discontinued the range though, got it for a fiver in space.nk sale. You have to try get your hands on it. X

    1. Hmm I saw some cream eyeshadows at the Shu counter but I’m not sure if I saw a brown shade, I’ll take a look at the counter. Thank you! xx

  28. This was such a great post! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who struggles with cream eyeshadow. MAC Paint Pots are waaaay too dry (and I live in a warm and humid place) and Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows crease.
    I do however loooove the Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, but they’re very shiny/frosty/sparkly. I’d like to find one that’s easier to wear all the time. Unfortunately I missed out on the Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes. Why are there limited edition anyways? They seem sooo pretty! I definitely need to get my hand on Platinum, I’m a complete sucker for that kind of color.
    O never thought about the Shiseido Cream Eyeshadows! I don’t see many beauty bloggers/youtubers talking that much about them, that’s a great recommendation. I’ll definitely check them out!

    1. Hey Lena πŸ™‚
      Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows actually don’t crease on me but if I’m wearing them on a long day, I’ll use a primer prior.
      I think Tom Ford enjoys our struggle lol. Hopefully there will be new shades in fall!
      Shiseido Cream Eyeshadows are totally underrated, play with them at a counter (but don’t be turned off by the greasy texture, they do set!)

  29. OMG I have waited for this post for so long and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! YAYAY! I love love love how you are so specific about each of the formulas. It makes knowing what might work for me a breeze. I so appreciate your hard work for all your loyal readers :o)
    Here are my comments ( just want to sit and chat all day with you about cream shadows):
    1) absolutely – powder shadows are better when you’re in a hurry. Where cream shadows shine for me is to layer powder on top, and also for me, i wear them because the good ones have exceptional longevity.
    2) ByTerry have great longevity. Wish there were more matte options. Too must shimmer makes me crepey πŸ™ These aren’t toooo shimmery but still want more mattes!
    3) RBR are SOOOOO easy OMG. I concur: great for travel.
    4) I have a great Ellis Faas tip: Just snap the brush applicator off the end of the pen as soon as you get it – it comes right off! Easy Peasy. Then it kind of functions like a slim lipstick applicator. I apply the cream to my eye with a brush (Shu #10 Kolinsky is amazing for this) or even fingers. I haven’t had any drying out after snapping off the applicators. These shadows are AMAZING for longevity and most of the colors do not make me look crepey at all. Now that I’ve conquered the applicator, I LOVE this product.
    5) Shisiedo Konpeito and Cardinal are soooo beautiful. I tried Sable YEARS ago and the color was blech and it didn’t wear that well on my oily lids. But I so want to give these another go based on your description. I’ll start with Konpeito since I recently discovered that reddish hues are flattering on me :o)
    6) ok i’m totally ebay shopping for TF cream eyeshadows that I missed when they were released :o) You’re such an enabler (I mean that in the BEST possible way)
    Thank you for this AMAZING post. I know I will refer back to it many times. What a great resource!
    xo sj

    1. Hey SJ πŸ˜€
      SO glad it lived up to expectations! Goddang I thought I’d be working on it till my dying days πŸ˜›
      Are the RBR discontinued? I can’t keep up. I feel bad for including them if they are d/c :-/
      Konpeito is one of the more unique shades in the Shiseido line, personally I found them to wear very well but my skin is a magnet for makeup so you might have to use a primer prior.
      Shop makeup carefully on ebay yeah? So many fakes out there, it’s hard to trust.
      Yayayay, I was hoping this would be a good reference/resource for you all πŸ˜€

  30. Fab post! Not judging… just jealous heh!
    I have tried the Chanel illusion d’ombre, the Nyx Jumbo pencils and just bought By Terry shadow stick in Misty Rock (amazing colour), which I saved for my birthday treat. The chanel one dried out so fast for me and could only use it for a few months. I even turned it upside down to store it like everyone advised. The Nyx pencil creases and smudges even if I use a primer. Isn’t it strange how everyone’s eyelids are so different! I’ve got high hopes for the By Terry with its high price!

    1. Makeup collection is reaching new heights of insanity :-/
      That’s strange that the Chanel eyeshadow dried out so quickly for you? I had mine for a solid year and a half before it showed any signs of drying… Perhaps you got a dud? Might be worth a return.
      You’re not alone with the NYX, many people experience creasing. By Terry have amazing longevity, I don’t think you’ll have any problem there πŸ˜‰

  31. I blame this post for making me think it was worth it to pay too much money for Platinum on eBay today. πŸ˜‰ But I can’t wait to try it, so I guess it all evens out?

    I’m so glad you love the Shiseido ones!! I peeked at your colors, but they’re definitely not for me, so I’ll have to try something I know I can pull off.

    Have you tried any of the Benefit cream shadows? Well, that’s silly, you just did, in your video. I love Birthday Suit for all over, and for under powder shadows. Holy Smoke definitely goes on a bit patchy, especially over the primer I always have to use, and I tried to use it the other day in the crease, and it didn’t blend well at all. So I guess that’s the answer to that one. πŸ™‚

    Shani x

    1. Do you like the glossy eyelid look? If so, Platinum will be all up in your alley.
      Re: Shiseido, you don’t like browns? Leather is such a safe shade, IMO.
      I like the Benefit Creaseless Shadows as a base, I didn’t find them patchy but they were on the sheer side and I like impact lol. I also found them super easy to blend, using just a finger.

  32. LOL! I love your writing style – so hilarious! Witty and phonetically creative πŸ˜›

    Giggles aside, great post content overall – thank you so much for reviewing a bunch of cream eye shadows that a) I haven’t seen before and am now adding to my wishlist and b) providing descriptive and freaking useful information instead of just zomgitsogoodeveryonehasitomgbuyitrightnow gushing!
    (p.s I say this yet I’m pretty sure my first few reviews on my blog were just straight up nonsensical fangirl raving lols)

    Oh also now I can’t not try the Shiseido SCs – they’re just too damn pretty πŸ™‚

    Bambi x

    1. Hey Bambi (I love that name by the way, LOVE),
      I am nonsensical at times but I try to tone down the excitement and dial up the informative aspects for you guys πŸ˜›
      Do swatch the Shiseido, honestly I’m surprised they don’t get more raves. Then again, Dick Page could sell me anything (youtube that name, if you haven’t already seen his tutorials for Shiseido).

      1. Lol thanks, it’s one of the few nicknames that’s stuck πŸ™‚

        Follow up question, where did you manage to get a hold of those loverly shades (Cardinal & Konpeito) of the SSCs? I swear I’ve googled high and low and cannot for the life of me find them anywhere >=(

        *makes grabby hand motions* must…..have…..them!

        any help/pointers are hugely appreciated!

        Bambi x

  33. thanks for the awesome comparisons! i now feel the need to purchase shiseido and RBR cream shadows. do you have any tricks for reviving a chanel IdO?

    1. In my experience, Chanel IdO’s are very hard to revive lol. If they’re not entirely dried out, you can mix the product with a spatula or a toothpick and that will give you a little more time… but very little. xx

  34. I used to work for Shiseido and they came out with tons of new shades for SS2014. Not the biggest fan of the color selection though, most of them are not that wearable πŸ˜›

    1. Perhaps the Australian counter is showing different shades but I see mainly twists on neutral shades? I did pick up Sun Shower which is gorgeous, but otherwise unexciting selection.

  35. Karimaaaaa! I swatched Shiseido’s Leather too recently and fell in love. And I don’t even fall in love with brown shades! Am so colour-ist. πŸ˜›

    I wonder if and when I shall succumb to my first Shi cream eyeshadow… I think I may even prefer them to their powder eyeshadow, which in my experience can be a little too blendable.

    1. Lisaaaa πŸ™‚
      Leather is gorgeous albeit not the most unique. Did you see Sunshower? I picked up that one (oops) and it’s an interesting peach/orange.
      I actually haven’t tried the powder eyeshadow (I think I’m the last one!) because they look sorta… low impact/soft contrast, and I’m too much of a makeup hoor for such subtleties πŸ˜›
      Maybe I should do one, for science. Beach Grass looks interesting?

      1. Ooh no I haven’t seen that one I don’t think. You make it sound verrry appealing though!

        I totally get what you mean about low/soft contrast. That’s exactly how I feel too, I think I need (or prefer) high contrast colours on myself. Go bold or go home! And it has to be clear colours, not muted or murky. That’s precisely the reason why I would steer clear from Beach Grass but contemplate Pink Sands. πŸ™‚

  36. I love the post. I’ve been looking for a good cream eyeshadow so it has been really helpful.

  37. Oh hey, such a great and informative and generally useful post. Thank you for being honest and never boring. And reminding me how I loved Ellis Faas lipstick formula and hated the packaging haha (though some lovely lady at Liberty’s changed it without questioning and even offered a little gift). Just a quick question. What type/shape of a brush would you recommend to use applying By Terry’s shade Ombre Mercure (muted golden shimmer dream)? I’m going to friend’s wedding soon so I popped into Space NK to try some new stuff. There was a profesional MUA at By Terry’s counter and she did the whole make up using that shade all over my lids but I can’t remember the way she’s applied it. Silly me, bought the eyeshadow without knowing how to use it properly. Thank you for your time X

    1. Oohhh Ombre Mercure looks like a gorgeous shade, I didn’t see that at the counter, or I would have purchased it!
      If it’s as easy to blend as Bronze Moon or Misty Rock, you can scribble lightly on the lid and then buff out the edges with a crease brush. If it’s tricky, you can put the product on the back of your hand and then get the product on a crease brush and go from there.

  38. We seem to have to same taste when it comes to cream eyeshadows! The new shiseido creams are wonderful, so glad they finally added some new shades. I bet I will never use up all my cream e/s and am always afraid they will go bad. Or I should use them more haha. you make everything look so lush and yummy <3

    1. Ooh πŸ™‚ Judging from the very old testers at my Shiseido counter, I think the Shimmering Cream Eyeshadows last a LONG time, I was impressed at how creamy they were (they must have been there for a year, minimum).
      Having a bit of a cream eyeshadow moment πŸ™‚ x

  39. Hi Karima, I recently got some Shiseido Cream shadows. I bought Leather, Meadow, Sunshower and Sable, which the nonblonde describes as a warm leaning taupe, but which pulls a definite green olive-y colour on me. Anyway, while I agree with you about texture, application and wear I am experiencing quite a bit of shimmer fall out. Would a primer help? I am using Clinique All about Shadows primer under all my powders. It’s great, very siliconey and smooth, not sure it is right under cream though. I had hoped the cream in the shadow would bind the glitter to the lid. I also agree with you about Bobbi Brown’s cream shadows, by the way. I bought Bone ages ago, as I thought it would make a good base for other shadows. That is how they sell it anyway, but I can’t use it. It dries so quickly, and then it is patchy and crepey and my lids aren’t even that mature yet. Makes me look ancient. I think they are so overhyped, although the colour selection is really good. Shame about the texture. What eye shadow do you use for evening out skin tone on the lid for very fair models? MAC Blanc Type looks great on you, but I am a little fairer still. But that is the effect I am after, that really light even tone like you have in your 1940s tutorial. Love all your tutorials, by the way.Oh and I got another Baby! A lovely little boy. But this time I will not give up make up! Love as always from the UK.

    1. Hey Esther!
      I don’t experience any fallout with Shiseido cream eyeshadows, what brush are you using to apply? I place the product on the lid with a brush that is similar to the MAC 242, then blend out with a crease brush. I don’t use a primer underneath, generally.
      Good to hear about the Bobbi Brown, I keep coming back to them but they seem dry!
      Also, Blanc Type is a good option for fair skin tones. I have to apply it very lightly or it looks ashy on me. I’ve used it on ladies around the N10 range, works very well.
      BABBYYY! Congratulations on your baby boy πŸ™‚ What is his name?

  40. Amazing post!!! This is so useful to me since I love cream shadows. I would love to see how Maybelline Color Tattoo and the Benefit Creaseless you used in your recent first impressions video work in comparison.

    1. Hey there πŸ™‚
      Copied and pasted from my response to another comment:
      “Colour Tattoos remind me of MAC Paint Pots in many ways, they’re best as a base and the matte shades make my lids look a bit crepey. I also found that some shades don’t provide as much impact as I’d like (Bad to the Bronze, to be specific).
      Otherwise, I think they’re a good drugstore option but I’m not head over heels. ”
      Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows are a little sheer and nice as bases for powder eyeshadows. They’re easy to blend and have a slightly tacky finish; I think they might crease on oily lids but they didn’t crease on me.
      Hope this helps πŸ™‚ x

  41. Hi Karima, thank you for the reply. My little Boy is called Alexander. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I have more or less solved the problem with the fallout on the Shiseido shadows. I am using a Hakuhodo 235 or 224 weasel/synthetic brush and just gently tap, rather than sweep, the product on. The Hakuhodos were bought on your recommendation by the way and I love them. I have about 12 so far. The little blenders J146 are my favourite and I love the Yachiyo for blusher. But really, they are all brilliant. I could just rave about these for hours. The weasel ones just pick up pigment and do not drop it anywhere until you put them to the lid. Amazing! And the Kokutan eyeshadow SL is the best gel eyeliner brush I have ever used. Blows the Bobbie Brown Ultrafine Liner Brush clean out of the water IMO. Love from the UK. Esther

    1. Hey Esther πŸ™‚
      I LOVE the name Alexander, if I somehow acquired a son tomorrow, I would name him that πŸ™‚
      Glad to hear you’ve mitigated the fallout, Hakuhodo brushes are incredible! I also love the J142 and I plan to get backups of my favourites (J142, J5523, J146, J521-D1 etc etc).
      You mentioned a few that I haven’t tried so I will check those out, thank you! x

  42. Hi karima!
    I find the chanel ones kinda crumbly πŸ™ recently I have tried benefit’s cream shadows and givency. Have you tried these? I love the maybelline ones too. I would love your thoughts!
    Laurie (hugs from Florida!)

    1. Hey Laurie!
      Hmm I don’t find the Chanel crumbly (unless they’ve dried out?) but they do produce a bit of fallout, which might be perceived as crumbly. I like the Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows as bases for powder eyeshadows πŸ™‚ I haven’t tried the Givenchy, they received mediocre reviews but good to hear that you like them and I’ll check them out when I’m in Europe (Givenchy is not available in Australia, sadly.) xx

  43. Great post! I love the idea of cream eyeshadows, but am like you in that in that I find most of them quite difficult to work with. The exact opposite of my pupose in using them.

    One I was reluctant to buy, but really enjoy is the Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Eyeshadow (a mouthful). It looks quite solid, but has an almost liquid/gel-like feel to it. Less opaque than I’d prefer, but buildable and very easy to blend. Pretty much foolproof (like it was made for me!). The lightest color, topaz, is quickly becoming my favorite eyeshadow primer (yes…better than Shadow Insurance).

    1. Hey Jessica πŸ˜€
      I’ll take a look at the Smashbox offering, I wish I could find a skin toned shade (i.e.: no shimmer) to use as a base, all flesh bases seem to make my eyelids look crepey :-/

      1. Ki Karima, I follow you on your YouTube channel and do the occasional pop in here and lurk about teehee, but never actually commented. Well today I felt compelled to ACTUALLY add some insight to your plight and hope it’ll be of help. In regards to a flesh-toned base, I may be your savior- or the complete opposite with you coming at me with a pitchfork and booting me off your blog LOL! Joshing aside, let’s talk makeups si? I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried Inglot’s Eyeshadow Base’s, but let me say this to you, they’re the answer to you woes and trust me on this one cuz me thinks they are freaking amazeballs, Reading this topic made me stop dead in my tracks when i saw your reply wishing for a flesh toned base and the description fits Inglot’s one to a freaking tee!! It’s called Inglot Eyeshadow Base in 01 and it is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY void of any color and shimmer or sparkle whatsoever. It is a beautiful whipped slightly thick consistency that reminds me in texture of a thick concealer; certainly not the likes of the bouncy cushiony feeling you get from the Illusion D’Ombre’s and others of that ilk. It goes for 21AU or 10US either which is pittance compared with the competition. Bummer is it only comes in 2 shades, the flesh toned and this purpley one. It is under the category of Eyes, then click on Base and they’re you’ll find it. I think it is exactly what you’ve been looking for; something that doesn’t add color nor shimmer, and doesn’t make you look like your at deaths door like Painterly or Soft Ochre can on certain skin tones- of course not all.

        This one is an actual flesh toned base, perf right? Well the only concern I have in regards to recommending this to you is that the tone of this may (emphasis) be ever so slightly dark for your NC25 skin tone, but ya know what, I think you’ll be able to get away with it. You can always buy it from here or go to Beautylish/Inglot USA and buy a shitload of shtuff as everything is cheap and have them send it to your mail forwarding service and have them shipped here. As you are already aware I’m sure, Beautylish doesn’t ship Inglot to OZ waaa, so the shipping would be of benefit if you are after a bunch of stuff or other products and save some dosh while you’re at it.

        Fun fact; I was the one who wrote to Beautylish and convinced them to do International Shipping and they agreed and told me they’d start off by doing it country by country and then eventually expand! So those who are un EU countries or elsewhere they’re going to ship to you eventually! OK back to your regular scheduled programming haha, Inglot is one of those magical companies that do nothing wrong by me, they are revolutionary in every regard and their price point is perfect in all departments. The recent death of the creator who was also the chemist was a huge blow to the company as he created revolutionary products that are unmatched- just like the AMC Gel liners, the O2M Breathable Nail Polish range which i have 15 of and still collecting till i have the whole bloody lot! That particular nail polish range is bloody genius! Anyhoo I have trumped on long enough and outstayed my welcome- not good Sumeyya, off I go and hope you do get to try it and should you, hope it worked out for you, All the best, Sum.

      2. Hey Sumeyya!
        I’ll take a look at the Inglot Base – does it prime the lids well? Keep everything intact throughout the day?
        Love the Beautylish now ships to Aus, even if it’s a select range of brands! Better than nothing πŸ˜‰

    1. I’m in the EU soon so I’ll try pick up some Kiko products! Years ago I actually picked up some sort of eyeshadow stick from Kiko and it creased like CRAZY. I don’t recall what that product was called but it kinda turned me off the Kiko line. I will revisit the store, though πŸ™‚ xx

  44. Hi Karima,
    Thank you for another great post.
    I am surprised with you being underwhelmed with Laura Mercier Caviar Eye sticks. They work well for me I love Amethyst and Khaki. I am dying to try By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadows they look heavenly so creamy and blendable. I would love to see you do a review on powder eyeshadows by CLÉ DE PEAU.

    1. Hey Maria,
      I did like Amethyst more than the other shades but strangely, still underwhelmed as a whole.
      I should do a smack down on powder eyeshadow formulations too (that would be a massive post!) so thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

  45. Those little star-shaped glints in your Mirifique swatch are too cute – it’s like anime eye sparkles promising ALL teh glitters.

    Have you heard that you can depot the NYX jumbo pencils by melting or squishing them into little jars? There are a bunch of how-to’s on youtube. It makes me want to purchase a bundle of them just so I can melt them as a project, LOL.

    I love the Illusion d’Ombres, but I don’t like how they dry up, so I’m being strict with myself not *not* purchasing more. I don’t think Chanel do them anymore, but they used to have these liquid eyeshadows (shake before use – bi-phase formula) which I LOVE. I keep forgetting about them, but I’ve had mine for years and they’re still good.

    I have one of the RBRs, and I love the texture, but I picked the wrong shade (the gray one – it looks kinda dead on me).

    I’ve been enjoying THREE Eye Doll as a cream shadow, actually – so blend-able it’s GREAT to work with (unlike using most pencils as a lid color), and that color!!

    I have the Top Shop dupe of the By Terry, and it’s one of my quick & reliable grabs on hurried days – but they stopped making them, and never did more than a couple colors. So I’m determined to try the Kiko, since I’ve heard good things and they have a big range.

    I’m def. checking out the Shiseido after this post! They sound wonderful.

    1. I was SO proud of those anime stars in the IdO swatches πŸ˜€

      Hmm I might melt down the NYX Jumbo Pencils but my I generally avoid melting wherever possible (even lipsticks, randomly it will change a formula!).

      On the topic of By Terry Ombre Blackstar dupes, I checked out the Boots no7 shadow pencils because ICovetthee on youtube suggested they were identical. They are not :-/ Very boring shades and one dimensional shimmer.

      I’m in Italy next week so I’ll check out the Kiko and report back πŸ™‚ xx

  46. PS – HATE the Bobbi Brown ones. Maybe I just had bad luck, but I experienced a patchy, sheer mess which was only wearable when blended out to invisible + glitter status; and even then, MUCH less pretty than an Id’O worn the same way.

    I know everyone loves the Benefit ones, but I found them dry – they just seem like an out-of-date product – the cream shadow of last decade.

    MUFE Aqua Creams are intense and they’ve got the color range, but they’re hard to work with b/c it’s easy to apply too thick, and they set so fast you don’t get the time to fix mistakes that you need. I’ve ended up being rougher with my lids than I like to be trying to sort out a botched application. However, applied sheer they can be gorgeous.

    I don’t know what the Shu ones in the pots are like, but I’ve had a couple small pans in a(n otherwise powder eyeshadow) palette, and they were more like a cream to powder texture (like the ones Paula Dorf used to do) than a true cream. I found worn alone they creased, though they had a nice blendability and sheerness. Essentially nice as bases but not stand alone products.

    I used to like the Sue Devitt jumbo pencils (aside from difficulty sharpening) – I just re-tested mine (since I’m trying to purge some unused products) but fell back in love – but again, it’s an outdated formula, so I don’t think we’re missing much.

    1. I’ll steer clear of Bobbi Brown then!
      I thought the Benefit cream shadows were actually very emollient, kinda too sloppy for my tastes? They didn’t crease on me but I imagine they would on many.
      MUFE Aqua Creams are more work than their worth, in my opinion :-/ Some of my shades were patchy regardless of application so out they went.
      Sue Devitt isn’t widely available in Aus but I’ll keep a lookout when I’m travelling, are they still on counters?

  47. Awesome post! I am going to have to run out and try one of the Shiseido cream shadows now. I have always passed them up, because their color range never really called to me… Have you ever tried the Trish McEvoy 24hr shadow liners? They seem much like the ByTerry Blackstar line (I have swatched these at SpaceNK, never tried on my eyes though), in that they have a more sophisticated glimmer to them, and not as much frost as the Laura Mercier Caviar shadow liners… They are pricey and the selection is limited, but the texture is quite blend-able for this type of product (you can sheer them out for a more subtle wash, or layer for a stronger impact) and the wear time is great. The smokey quartz shade with a little bronzer in my crease is a really easy look when I’m in a rush…

    1. Hey Elle πŸ™‚
      Yeah the Shiseido colour range is boring but a good brown/black cream eyeshadow always comes in handy, and the formula is gorgeous.
      Would ya believe that Trish McEvoy isn’t available in Aus :(? I’ll take a look when I go travelling.
      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  48. Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate this post and the effort you went to. It’s been VERY helpful for me in deciding between which shadows to purchase as 3 of them where amongst this list. Thank you! I really trust your opinions/advice, thanks for your honesty.

  49. Absolutely bloody love this post – thank you. Cant wait to set aside time to read all the comments – for real! – and scavenge amongst everyone else’s tips and experiences.

  50. I loved this post! I don’t have many cream shadows yet so I’ve been looking into some and this helped a lot! Thank you so much!

  51. LOVE. this. post. I’m a beginner in the eyeshadow department, so only trying one cream eyeshadow on my lids. This really shorten the time in narrowing down the cream shadows to try

  52. Hi Karima. Great post! I really like the MUFE Aqua creams, I usually apply them with a MUFE 5N brush (some of my favorites are 12 and 15). I also enjoy the Bobbi Brown Long Wear in the color Shore as an all over shadow base. I’ve been hesitating over the By Terry for a while as I’m not too sure about the shimmer… Interested to hear your opinion about the Kiko Long lasting stick eyesahdows πŸ™‚

  53. Dude, I read your pieces and I hear your voice while I read, as if you are inside of my head or looking from my shoulder, wtf πŸ™‚ I am used to this thing happen while looking at Morgan Freeman pics in motivational posters but your’s was a totaly pleasent ,and a bit weird, suprise πŸ™‚

  54. Another comprehensive post, Karima! Thanks for preventing me from buying some LM Caviar Sticks. I have recently been wooed By Terry (lol) and was wondering if there were any dupes out there. Oh well, looks like I’ll have to buy some more Ombre Blackstars for my kit!

  55. Karima, I love you for introducing me to the Tom Ford and Shiseido cream eyeshadows, they are SO much fun to apply because of the relaxing feel of the greasy texture on your fingertips!

    However, I mainly wanted to ask you whether you have seen and/or tried the Jordana Eye Glitz Sparkling Cream Eyeshadow in Brilliant Bronze? It is THE most beautiful golden bronze colour that goes perfectly with fair olive skin and a red lip, the only downside to it being its pathetic lasting power (after two hours it’s gone, even with a primer). I have failed to find a close match which has the same greasy feel to it, and I am running to you in desperation :'( Would you be able to suggest good dupes for it? x

    1. Hey Natalie πŸ™‚
      So pleased you like the TF and Shiseido, some of my favourites πŸ™‚
      Jordana isn’t widely available here, sadly. Colour wise, it looks close to MAC Artifact but unfortunately, entirely different texture πŸ™ Tom Ford brought out some bronze/coppers, although I’m not sure they’re available anymore!

      1. Ahh that’s a shame πŸ™ Well it’s not much of a loss since the quality is naff, but I swear for less than a quid (I ordered it from the UK hehe) the colour is so unique I can barely find a match even in high end brands.
        However, I went back to Shiseido yesterday and the 100% accurate match is their Satin Eyeshadow in GD810 Bullion. Still on the hunt for a cream version, but until then I suggest you try it out, it is truly a magnificent colour!

  56. Guess I’m one of the few dissenters on the Bobbi Brown range. Not totally, but here are my thoughts FWIW: there are several shades that have a nice, blendable texture that yes, is drier than the Shiseido line, but not like the Mac paint pots. They have great staying power. I’d stay away from all the glittery ones, because the do mostly suck, but the good ones I’ve found are Sandy Gold (great on its own for cas days with a great fluttery mascara and subtle tight line), Stone and Suede for contouring or using as a base, and beach bronze, esp when mixed with a more matte shade and then applied. BB also make some nice shadow stix (the one set I have are tiny limited edition ones that came with the Scotch line over Christmas. The taupe is especially pretty. They make full size versions, but you have to try before you buy because the texture can be hit or miss. I’m not blown away by the Laura Mercier pencils either, but I do enjoy the Cocoa one. A better alternative are their metallic cream eye colors in tubes. Platinum is one of my favorite neutral shades for the lid.
    Mac’s a Groundwork paint pot is a staple for me. I use it on its own all the time. With it and Quite Natural together, you can create a great grungy eye with a little depth.
    I actually prefer the Dior fusion monos to the Chanel IdO…less fallout and more shelf life before they dry out. Both have too much sparkle for most of my applications, sadly. One exception is IdO Emerveille. Great shade! Ebloui is lovely and unique, but, again, ridiculously glittery :((
    Clarins makes a cream to matte pot that is not really matte, more satiny bordering on shimmer with some shades, but very unexciting shade range. (Yawn.). Applies a bit patchy as well.
    One thing I’ve discovered is that Inglot’s eyeliner formula works really well as a cream shadow. So do YSL gel liners, but not as well as the Inglot. That should give anyone some fun shades to play with! I highly recommend giving it a go.
    Ellis Faas has great formula and colors but I agree the pens could hardly be worse. Don’t use one for a couple of months and fuggedaboudit. It’s the Sahara in pen form.
    Thanks, Karima, for a great post as usual. Wish I could get my hands on some Kiko products, but it seems they’ll ship anywhere in the world EXCEPT to the U.S. Why? We’re outrageous makeup junkies this side of the pond. Hell, they’ll probably ship to Saturn before they’ll ship here. Sigh.
    Much <3 and many thanks for your time & effort. And enabling. Off to order more Hakuhodo brushes now….KARIMA MADE ME DO IT. P.S….Beautylish stocks Rae Morris brushes now…yippee! Yay Beautylish!

    1. Really interesting input, thank you for all that! Kiko is pretty hard to find, I try to visit the store when I’m in the EU (and buy EVERYTHANG).
      Good luck with Hakuhodo, lemme know how you like them πŸ™‚

      1. Hi girls!! actually Kiko is available in the States…they have a few stores..but I think mostly on the east coast… that’s their website. As I was reading your great thoughts and got to the part where “they’ll ship anywhere in the world EXCEPT to the U.S.” ….I sincerely thought you were going to say Canada. πŸ˜€ I’ve been trying to get them to start shipping to Moose Land, but I haven’t been very successful lol! I fell in love with Kiko last summer when I was soaking up the Spanish sun in Barcelona. Le big sigh!! one day Karima and I will be able to buy Kiko at home..

      2. Groannnnnn…I have three (count ’em…THREE, DREI, SAN, UC, TROIS, TRES, GAK) juice glasses FULL of Hakuhodo and Chikuhoda brushes now. That doesn’t count the large ones in the Z range…naturally I had to get TWO of the PRETTEH PRETTEH enameled flower handle Chikuhodo powder brushes A. because I couldn’t decide which was prettier, and B. a beauty implement that is also a work of art must absolutely be invited into my home. I not only enjoy the feel of the mink like softness when using it to pet my face, ahem, I mean apply powder and bronzer, but sometimes I just take a minute to admire the gorgeous blossoms on the handle :))
        I’ve also acquired a few Rae Morris brushes (yep. The contour one is entirely YOUR FAULT, thank you kindly, I adore it), a few WAYNE Goss ones (the #16 is perfect for setting under eye concealer) and also two Zoeva foundation brushes that I think I might even prefer over my Sigma F80.
        Keep the geekiness coming. LOVED your BTW comments after #2 MAC haul…now I’m jacked to try some trompe l’oeil, non drag queen-esque contour techniques. I love drag queens, actually…their make up just doesnt flatter me…xx

  57. A great summary of cream eye shadows, thanks for that! Have you by the way tested any Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks?

  58. Hi Karima I absolutely love your blog – you’re like the Australian Lisa Eldridge! Having decided (a) I love cream eyeshadow and (b) there’s a whole world out there beyond MAC Paint Pots, I was wondering where you buy your Rouge Bunny Rouge Cream Eyeshadows? I might be blind but they’re not on Beautybay…

  59. love this post! Thank you! i have the LM caviar stick in sandglow and love it and was going to get burnished bronze but now I’m scared. haha. I was also thinking of getting some Charlotte ones but now I might not! Had to purchase the TF cream shadow on ebay but I am so looking forward to using it! Would you recommend buying more of these? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated….I’m in a cream shadow love phase. haha

    1. Hey Jess,
      If you like the LM Caviar Stick formula then go for it! You know your preferences better than I do πŸ™‚ Test out the TF Cream Eyeshadow before investing in any more, the formula is very different to the LM and I can’t say with any certainty that you’ll like it as much as I do.

  60. Hello Karima,

    I’m a newbie makeup lover. I was looking for a cream eyeshadow since it’s the quickest to apply. I have 2 kids (3 and 1 yr old)got no time to blend. I live in Tokyo where Shiseido is easily accessible. I got the Konpeito (RS 318 in Japan they use number to identify) it’s a really nice color. Thank you very much for this post! I find it very honest and informative.

    I love my new cream eyeshadow (no money wasted) Can’t wait to buy another color πŸ™‚ I love watching your videos too. Keep it up! P.S. My hubby thinks I’m getting addicted to makeup and it worries him. ^_^

    1. Kristine,
      I just had to reply to you because, apart from our location, we seem to be in the same boat! Newbie makeup lovers, a 3 and 1 year old, and husbands who are getting mildly worried (or at the very least perplexed)! I hope you are enjoying discovering the fun of makeup as much as I am. And thanks Karima for showing the way!

  61. Dear Karima,
    I recently stumbled across your Youtube Channel while searching for worthwhile reviews on Rae Morris Brushes, which I went on to purchase on your recommendation.

    I am Indian, with an NC42 skin tone (quite yellow toned) and since no one seems to address this, would you?

    Q: Would the By Terry ombre stick in Misty Rock suit me? I ask because I have to order it online since we don’t have By Terry Counters yet in India.


    1. Hey Namrata!

      Do you currently wear any mauve/pinkened shades on your eyes? Do you tend to like those shades on yourself? Whether a colour suits you often comes down largely to preferences.


  62. Hey there :0 Love the post ! no surprise it took you so much time – great review out there:)
    Have you tried the tatoo 24 cream eyeshadows – i’m not sure I saw those on you log. I absolutely love to use MAYBELLINE COLOR TATTOO in vintage plum to line my bottom lashes. I have pale skin and quite dark hair so this purplish colour looks very natural and shade-like – maybe you’ll love it. It’s also quite smudge proof which is always a plus.
    I was thinking of trying some more (shimmery) colours from the line and thought maybe you tried those?
    Wish you a great day there in Australia πŸ˜€ Love from Poland

  63. I am SO glad I found you! It’s a pleasure to read EVERYTHING you write! Not only is the information amazing, but your grammar and flow are on point (sorry πŸ™‚ mangled words and poor grammar BUG ME! ). I also agree with every statement. I do have a question…what do you think about Benefit’s newest line of cream eyeshadows? I find them difficult; the satin shades are crumbly and crease within an hour. Their other offerings are frosty and flake. I’d also love to hear your view on Bobbi Brown’s cream eyeshadows.
    Many thanks!!!!!β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†

  64. Hi Karima,
    I’ve been following your blog for over a year now and I came across this post while I was researching for long-lasting cream eyeshadows that don’t crease ( – I don’t know how I haven’t spotted this smackdown turned encyclopedia before!
    Would you mind if I add some of your pro/cons from this blog post to the question? I will attach references that link back to this post. You can also feel free to author the information yourself on Slant, if that’s what you’d prefer. Thanks so much!

  65. Hi Karima,

    Not sure if you read comments on older posts but I just wanted to ask if you know of any way to get the Chanel illusion d’ombre eyeshadows working again when they have dried out? I have one of them and I absolutely love it but it’s gone very dry. Is there something I could mix into it?

    Rachel xx

  66. Hi Karima, just had the urge to tell you how much I loved reading this very well written blog – no wait a minute more a composition. A pleasure to read and very informative.
    Have just got Shiseido Nightfall BL722 – a really exquisite dark blue. I also like to use creams under my powders and as you say MAC painterly can be a tad on the dry side. My eyelids are way older than yours but have kept them pampered…..

  67. Helpful as I’m thinking of trying cream eyeshadows for the first time. It’s especially hard to find reviews on By Terry products, so I appreciate that. Thank you!

  68. The only beauty blog I follow is Into the Gloss, but I just coincidentally read two of your blog posts (over this and a WG brush set review) and I’ve figured that’s a sign for another great follow. πŸ™‚ Right when I read this: “My experience couldn’t be further from that claim; I find the vast majority of cream eyeshadows on the market to set quickly and blend poorly, all round more work than they’re worth.” — I realized I was going to absolutely love this post because that’s EXACTLY how I feel about cream shadows. I WANT them to work as conveniently as they’re supposed to (especially for doing quick car makeup) but they often don’t. Definitely going to try the Shiseido line for sure (once I scrolled to that part of the post and saw your swatches, I literally whoa’d out loud, lol.) Thank you SO much for this comprehensive post.

  69. Hi Karima! I followed your link from YouTube; I’m Rhi100. It’s remiss of me that I haven’t seen your blog up until now. This is set to be my new obsession!

    I agree with the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre eye creams. You mentioned you used glycerin to receive another eye cream, did you try it with the Chanel ones?

    Also, re eyeshadow primer; after applying it to the lid, do you set the primer with powder first and then put the eye cream on top, or put the eye cream directly on top of the primer?

    Rhianna xx

    1. I found that the Chanel’s moussey texture isn’t revived well with glycerin, sadly! Occasionally I’ll powder the lid before applying cream eyeshadow but most of the time I do not, it depends on the formula πŸ™‚

  70. Ooh, this has been a very helpful read as I was just considering buying the new By Terry holiday set of Ombre Blackstar crayons. Was trawling for swatches and found your blog. I might give the set a miss and instead purchase 1 or 2 shades on their own. Thanks!