Anyone who’s ever struggled to blend out a stubborn powdery eyeshadow is sure to already be on board with the concept of cream eyeshadow, powder’s glossier, more forgivingly formulated cousin, but where do you start looking? We’ve put together a list of the best cream eyeshadow, according to fervent fans and beauty experts, to help you find the perfect pairing for your peepers.
- Pair with one of our top-pick cream blushers for a quick and easy makeup look
- Finish off your eye look with our best mascaras for curling, defining and volumising
Our all-round favourite comes courtesy of Japanese brand Shiseido, whose Shimmering Cream Eye Colour rocked reviewers’ worlds with a range of wearable and daring colours in a to-die-for formula. Elsewhere, there are skincare-infused bases to cut down your getting-ready time, eyeshadow sticks for super-easy application – even makeup for mermaids. For our pick of the non-creasing, long-wearing, perfectly pigmented pots (and sticks, and tubes) keep reading below.
1. Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colour
Stays put – and pigmented – all day
Best for: Long-lasting | Type: Pot | Size: 6g | Shades available: 9+
These Shiseido eyeshadows come in a range of neutrals and brights to cater to all sorts of events and skin tones – and to be totally honest, it’s quite likely you’ll want them all. Reviewers found that even the brightest shades, including a light, bright yellow-gold and an intense violet, sheered out beautifully across the lid for a more wearable look, but when liberally applied were gorgeously pigmented, and stayed that way over the course of the day without fading or creasing.
2. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour
All of the glamour of its namesake, with (thankfully) none of the brine
Best for: Smoky eyes | Type: Stick | Size: 1.64g | Shades available: 25+
The narrow tip of this cream eyeshadow stick from makeup artist Laura Mercier might not look like it’s conducive to a whole-lid look, but thanks to a buttery soft blendable formula, its size is actually the secret to its versatility. Draw straight on as a liner or highlight without the need for a separate small brush – that tip has all the accuracy you need, especially useful for on the go – or create a crease-resistant wash of colour by adding a dab to the centre of the lid and blending out with a finger.
3. Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow
Liner, shadow and brush in one premium package
Best for: Multi-tasking | Type: Pot | Size: 4g | Shades available: 3+
In a truly innovative showing from the classic luxury brand, this Chanel eyeliner shucks the trend for mousse-like or dense stick formulas, instead going for an irresistible gel-like finish that feels a little more like an eyeliner. As luck would have it, reviewers say it’s an equally talented eyeliner as it is an eyeshadow, thanks to its super-pigmented shades and glide-on formula. The included shadow/liner brush is a thoughtful touch, too, meaning you can start creating new looks straight away.
4. Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise
Lightweight and luscious, this Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow is easy to build and blend
Best for: Buildable colour | Type: Pot | Size: 7g | Shades available: 6+
This buildable formula is ideal for anyone looking to get maximum mileage out of their makeup purchases, as it can provide anything from a subtle shimmering wash of colour to a full-on graphic eyeliner look depending on your method of application. Users lauded the shade Jean as the perfect Champagne eyeshadow and Marie Antoinette for an easy, put-together day look, and commended the beautifully light moussey texture for its ease of application and blending.
5. bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow
Skincare and makeup in a single step? Count us in.
Best for: Base | Type: Liquid | Size: 3ml | Shades available: 13+
We all love a bit of multi-tasking, right? bareMinerals cordially invites you to get your skincare and your makeup look down in just one step with this cream eyeshadow, a clever formula encompassing mineral sunscreen to see off skin-ageing UV rays, a smoothing primer, and a hint of colour to even out skintone for a bright-eyed effect. The brand say you can wear it alone for a no-makeup makeup look, or as a base for other shadows, but however you wear it, you’ll reap the benefits.
6. NARS Velvet Shadow Stick
A rainbow of colours, all in one super convenient, super soft format
Best for: Layering | Type: Stick | Size: 1.6g | Shades available: 17+
Those with mature skin, or simply anyone worried about wear on the delicate skin around the eyes, will be cheered by the soft, creamy texture of this shadow stick, which reviewers said applied dreamily without tugging, but dries quickly to a budge-proof finish. Its twist-up stick makes it easier to apply on the go than a potted product, although reviewers found it was a bit large to use as an eyeliner straight from the bullet, preferring to use a separate brush to get the fiercest flicks. If you’re after a non-creasing cream eyeshadow with some unexpected shades to choose from you can count on NARS to come up with the goods.
7. Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Shadow
Set your inner merperson free with these wet-or-dry eyeshadows
Best for: Pigment | Type: Pot | Size: 4g | Shades available: 6+
With marine-inspired names and a formula that works wet or dry as liner or shadow, these eyeshadows are completely deserving of their namesake. Because of its intensity, you might want to take some time to get used to the formulation the first few times you apply, but what more pigmented shades might lack in initial beginner-friendliness, users say they more than make up for in performance, and that without creasing or smudging, even in the rain, it offers beautifully true colours that stay all day.
8. NARS Eye Paint
Let these easy-apply pots unleash your inner MUA
Best for: Versatility | Type: Pot | Size: 2.5g | Shades available:
The name might be simple enough, but it gives a hint to the artistic possibilities of this eyeshadow. Like MAC’s cult Paint Pots, these little dippers are ideally sized for touch-ups on the go, and they come in a range of shades and finishes to suit any look, from glamorous frosted ice queen to neutral matte. The lightweight gel formula isn’t unlike that of the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre, applying smoothly and drying quickly to a comfortable, non-creasing finish.
Too indecisive on shades? Check out our list of the best eyeshadow palettes for a range of colours