BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best cream eyeshadow

Which cream eyeshadows are best?

Finding a wearable cream eyeshadow that complements your complexion is like finding your very own gold nugget. Cream eyeshadows are versatile and great for everyday wear. They pair well with bold, liquid eyeliners and can also be used as eyeliner themselves. 

Cream shadows differ from powder shadows because of their moist, pigmented formula. However, cream eyeshadows work great as a base color for the lid and it can be fun to blend with powdered eyeshadows for a textured, pigmented eyeshadow look.  

If you’re looking for a smear-proof, vibrant and long-lasting cream eyeshadow, Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Eye, Cheek & Lip Cream Pigment is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy cream eyeshadow 

Coverage and color

Cream eyeshadows tend to be heavier and more pigmented than powder eyeshadow. Many come in bold, shiny, vibrant and metallic colors. 


Cream eyeshadows come in a variety of packaging, and the packaging usually dictates how they can be applied to the eyelid. Popular packaging for cream eyeshadow includes pots and eyeshadow sticks.  

What to look for in a quality cream eyeshadow 


Pigmentation refers to the vibrancy of the color of the eyeshadow after application. Some product descriptions show swatches of eyeshadow on a model’s arm to prove the product has good, visible pigmentation. 


If eyeshadow is easily blendable, it mixes well with other eyeshadow colors to create a cohesive eye makeup look. People with oily skin especially need to consider how well a cream eyeshadow blends, because oily eyelids make it more difficult for eyeshadow to stay in place throughout the day. 


A cream eyeshadow’s formula generally dictates both its blendability and pigmentation. Cream eyeshadows differ from powder eyeshadow because cream eyeshadows have a richer texture that stems from their creamy base. 

How much you can expect to spend on cream eyeshadow 

A quality cream eyeshadow ranges anywhere from $6 to $46. 

Cream eyeshadow FAQ

Can I use cream eyeshadow on my waterline? 

A. The inner lid of the eye, also known as the waterline, has oil glands that can secrete  oil. Putting cream eyeshadow directly on the waterline can clog it and cause dry eyes. Instead, apply cream eyeshadow to the eyelid. 

Can I pair cream eyeshadow and eyeliner? 

A. Yes! It is recommended to let the eyeshadow set before applying eyeliner. 

My cream eyeshadow comes in a small pot. How do I open it? 

A. First, hold the eyeshadow pot in your non-dominant hand, firmly. Then unscrew the lid with your dominant hand. Apply with clean fingers or a makeup brush. 

Are cream eyeshadows matte? 

A. They can be matte, but check the product’s description if you’re specifically looking for a matte eyeshadow because some are shiny, glitter or metallic. 

How to apply cream eyeshadow 

  • Choose your desired eyeshadow. If you’re a beginner, try using a neutral shade so you can easily buff out potential mistakes. Additionally, you may want to avoid waterproof formulas as they are more difficult to remove. 
  • Optional: Apply eyeshadow primer or concealer to your eyelids. Although this step is optional, it optimizes how long cream eyeshadow will stay in place. It also keeps the eyeshadow from creasing or smudging throughout the day. If you don’t have concealer or eyeshadow primer, you can use a light layer of powdered eyeshadow as a base. 
  • Choose how you will apply your eyeshadow. The most common methods include using an eyeshadow brush to swipe it across the lid or dabbing it on the eyelid with a clean finger. You can use a damp makeup sponge, but the sponge may absorb some of the product.
  • Swipe a thin layer of eyeshadow onto your eyelids with your preferred method. After the initial application, keep your eyes closed for a few seconds to help the eyeshadow set. For a bolder look, apply multiple layers after letting each layer dry in between applications. 
  • Optional: Lastly, set the cream eyeshadow by applying a thin layer of powdered eyeshadow. This step may help those with oily skin. You may also opt to set your eyeshadow look with makeup setting spray. 

Tips for purchasing cream eyeshadow 

  • Color: Look for an eyeshadow color that will complement your complexion, hair and eye color. 
  • Formula: Cream eyeshadows tend to last longer than powder eyeshadows, but they can crease more easily. Look for cream eyeshadows that mention they are smudge- or crease-proof. 
  • Eyeshadow primer: If you don’t already have eyeshadow primer, consider purchasing it with your eyeshadow. Primer helps keep the eyeshadow in place longer and prevents creasing and fallout.   
  • Blending: If you’re looking for an easily blendable eyeshadow, avoid purchasing a super wet formula. Wet formulas take longer to dry, making them more difficult to blend with other shadows. 

What are the best cream eyeshadows to buy?

Top cream eyeshadow

Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Eye, Cheek & Lip Cream Pigment 

What you should know: The bold pigment can be used for eye, lip or cheek and comes in 21 colors. 

What you’ll love: It won an Allure 2020 Best of Beauty Award. It’s waterproof, long-wearing, vegan and cruelty-free.
What you should consider:  Some reviews say it can crease. 

Where to buy: Sold at Sephora 

Top cream eyeshadow for the money

Haus Laboratories By Lady Gaga: Glam Attack Liquid Eyeshadow 

What you should know: The highly pigmented, bold, sparkly, Gaga-esque cream eyeshadow is buildable, blendable and utilizes a liquid-to-powder formula. 

What you’ll love: It is fallout-free, smear-proof, vegan, long-lasting and cruelty-free. It comes in an easily usable application tube that should be shaken before application.
What you should consider: All available colors are glitter.  

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon 

Worth checking out 

Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes 

What you should know: The smooth, creamy formula of the eyeshadow comes in three colors and is packaged in a small pot.  

What you’ll love: The eyeshadow is made without sulfates and its formula prevents creasing and smudging. 
What you should consider: All available colors come in a metallic finish.   

Where to buy: Sold at Sephora

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Audrey Nakagawa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: