Megan McIntyre Jul 26, 2017

In your wardrobe of eyeshadows, cream formulas are like a chic satin slip for your eyes. The dreamy textures glide across your skin effortlessly and give your look a soft, romantic wash of color. Sometimes they can also be like a pair of leather leggings — sexy, cool, and totally rock ‘n roll. This duality is what gives them their appeal, not to mention gives you all kinds of crafty ways you can use them.

“Cream shadows are extremely versatile! The formula ranges cover washes of color, lived-in grunge, full opaque pigment, or serious stay put wear and power,” says L.A. based makeup artist Tony Tulve. Good luck trying to do all of those with your powder shadow.

How to Apply Cream Eyeshadows

We asked Tulve to give us a crash course on how he likes to use creams and he was thrilled to oblige. 

STEP 1: Smooth on Primer

“Start with a clean primed lid — I use a shadow primer paired with long wearing or waterproof formulas to really help the product stay on,” he explains.

STEP 2: Tap on Color.

Use your ring finger and tap the color across your lids, says Tulve, building up the color and opacity layer by layer. You can go for a just a whisper of color or full-on smoky eyes. 

STEP 3: Blend, Blend, Blend

Clean off your application finger, then use it to blend out the edges of the shadow. “Or you can take a flat, synthetic brush and paint the area with the desired product,” notes Tulve. “I like to go in with a fluffier brush to blend the edges out.”

Insider Tricks for Mastering Cream Eyeshadow

Creams have the ability to create drastically different effects, notes Tulve, and he has a few tips to get the most out of them. 

Reach for a cream when you want a lived-in look.  

The effect will be an eye look that’s balmy and creased up. Tulve says a formula that doesn’t quite set/dry down is best to make that messy, smudged look. 

Use creams in tandem with powders. 

They’ll give your look a powered-up punch. Simply layer a powder shadow over top of it. “When I need a budge-proof base for a shimmery shadow, I like to use a similar [cream] color underneath to give it a backdrop and some oomph,” explains Tulve. 

Try using your cream shadow as a liner. 

“If I need an eyeliner in a color I don’t have, I’ll use a cream shadow with a small brush.” 




About the Author:Megan McIntyre has been a beauty editor for almost a decade, but a beauty addict since the tender age of six, when she first discovered the allure of glitter nail polish. As a writer and editor, Megan honed her skills and became a master trendspotter and product reviewer. She’s been known to spend hours in her beauty closet testing the latest shades and innovations. She’s always game to try on the newest bright eyeliner shade, or daringly dark nail lacquer and loves nothing more than telling anyone who will listen which cool new products she’s obsessing over. Megan lives in Brooklyn with her husband and adorable Schnoodle Ellie, along with more lipsticks than an NYC apartment was made to handle.

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