How to Apply Cream Eyeshadow – Tips & Tricks

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Apply Cream Eyeshadow –

Share your best tips and tricks for applying your favorite cream eyeshadows!  Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

Temptalia’s Tips

  1. I like using a firm, flat brush (like MAC’s 249 or even concealer brushes work well) to get the color from the jar to my lid.
  2. If you want a sheerer wash of color, fingertips tend to work really well to blend out color, because the heat from your fingertip helps keep the shadow moving.  Otherwise, a fluffy brush (I like MAC’s 217) works well, too–especially if you want more precision/control.
  3. If you want more opaque color, consider building up the color in layers, so you can avoid it creasing (if it’s too thick of a layer, it takes longer to dry, which can cause it to gather in the creases while it’s drying down!).
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12 Comments

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I prefer using a brush for application, for several reasons. First, sticking fingers directly into the product isn’t the most hygienic method. Second, blending with a brush, rather than fingers, is gentler to the delicate eye area. Finally, by using fingers, the chances of “over-blending” increases, and you’ll have to apply more product, which takes extra time.

To help prevent creasing, I use a primer under the shadow. A primer also places a barrier between the skin, prventing any natural oils from “breaking” down the product, thus reducing fading. Because it is a cream product, I finish with a dusting of transluscent powder, as I do with any cream product (besides lipstick).

I use MAC 249 brush or Bobbi Brown brush for Cream Shadow to apply the cream shadow. I recommend not using a primer because it just makes it harder to blend out the edges or blend in general. I like to use MAC 217 brush to blend the product on the lid. I always like to add a little more after I blend with a MAC 217 brush.

Excellent tip on how to pack on colour – I used to struggle packing on with colour because I used to much product and it would crease. It was like back then, I had this voice that would pipe up ‘PACK IT ON, PACK IT ON, PACK IT ON’ anytime I was working with cream eyeshadows. Thankfully, I learned to stop listening to that voice.

I mostly apply cream eyeshadows using my fingers to do the initial application but I would follow it up with a synthetic fluffy brush after to buff the edges to give it a softer look.

I always creasing with the cream shadows no matter what the formula. Even Paint Pots! I guess I am just not a cream shadow kind of girl!

I always use fingers and have so much trouble applying cream eyeshadows the way I want them to look that I kind of gave up on them. Thanks for the tips! I’ll try the types of brushes you recommend – hopefully this will fix my issues 🙂

I like to use my fingers to apply in a patting motion and then blend it out with a 217… I always wash my hands or use a hand sanitizer before doing my makeup, so I’m not too worried about sticking my fingers in the pot 🙂

I wear a cream shadow almost every day. I find I have to experiment with each one for the best way to make it work.

My favourite tools are my fingers, a MAC 217, a flat synthetic brush, and a cosmetic spatula to avoid dipping brushes or fingers in a product.

If I apply a cream to the crease then I try to keep my eyes closed while it sets. That’s been a big adjustment since I got into cream shadows because I’ve always applied eye makeup with my eyes open before.

MAC brushes wasted on cream ES? To clean a brush seeing much cream product it’s eventually getting the swish in 90% rubbing alchohol, the gunk builds up. I use filberts from the craft store in Taklon bristles. Same brush you pay a fortune for at MAC but properly priced. You need your money for Nars brushes. Sweet!

The finger is prime, too. Don’t stick it in the pot, use a cosmetic spatula to scrape out a teeny bit and put it on the finger. Some shadows do well with a finger and some don’t, but pat on, don’t rub it around. But mostly? Do it your way. I never use primer under cream ES as both are silicone laden and get redundant. But whatever works for you.

I never use primer under cream shadows. I’ve found it completely unnecessary. I never have any problem with my cream shadows fading, from the cheapest to the most expensive in my collection.

I always start at my lash line & work up from there, making sure to blend out more softly up into my crease.

I always layer powder shadows over cream shadows to get more depth, prevent creasing & so my end look winds up having more dimension to it.

I always mousturize my eyes really well with the thickest eye cream I have & let it sit for at least 20 minutes before applying anything to my eyes, especially when using cream shadows. I find it much easier to apply & blend them this way. And no, I don’t wind up with any creasing.

Depending on the formula, I may use my fingers, a flat taklon brush, a shorter filbert-type brush or a brush that’s fairly dense & non absorbent. Or I may use a brush to initially lay the product down, then blend out the edges with my finger. I want my product on my eyes, not soaked into my brush. And I agree that there are some really great brushes to be had in places like Michael’s & other craft stores, especially when it comes to the taklon variety.

I use more of a patting motion, rather than dragging product across my lid, when applying – unless the product is a more liquidy formula (like the type that has a doe foot applicator).

I make sure to blend in both directions to avoid any unevenly pigmented patches on my lids.

If I’m not happy with the amount of payoff I’m getting, I let the first layer dry & then apply more over top, patting only. Dragging more product over the first layer just winds up making a mess, leaving an uneven mess, as does being impatient.

I avoid cream shadows that set too quickly, even if I love the brand. For example, I love Makeup Forever, but I refuse to buy anymore of their cream shadow products because I find them incredibly stiff, dry, difficult to blend the edges out & they set far too quickly. They work great as liners, however. They’re just too much of a pain in the @ss to be bothered with. Besides, there are better brands out there, and even at cheaper prices.

I also avoid cream shadows that are really difficult to build up, such as Bobbi Brown. I also find it incredibly difficult to blend powder shadows over this brand, no matter which type of brush I use. The entire process winds up looking patchy & just plain crappy. Worst cream shadows I’ve ever wasted my cash on.

I sometimes like using a shade of cream shadow that contrasts a fair amount against the powder shadow I’m using over it. For example, using Constructavist under a lighter peach or deeper forest green powder shadow. The light plays off the shade combimations really nicely.

If I want a sheerer application of an intensely pigmented cream shadow I’ll put it in a small ziolock bag, seal it up & drop it into a glass of warm water for a few minutes. It loosens the texture of the product so that it glides over my eye really smoothly & sheerly. I find this works especially well with cream shadows that have some amount of shimmer to them & which can sometimes be a bit more difficult to apply evenly across the lid.

Another thing I’ve found is that many cream/gel liners work really well as a base for powder shadows – and very often better – as do shadow pencils & just plain old liners of different shades.

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