Saturday, January 8, 2011

Maximize Your Makeup - Cream Eye Shadows

Can you give me some tips about how to do my eyes?

I spend about 6 hours each week learning about cosmetics and skin care products.  Most weeks I get to spend an even greater amount of time doing what I love - - applying them to people! In all of my rubbing, smearing, painting and brushing, I'm asked a lot of questions from friends, clients, etc. The one above is probably one of the most common.

Since the devil is often in the details, let’s talk about something specific - - something that’s scary for a lot of people….


Don’t be afraid. I know…  I know... the first time you tried it, it went horribly wrong. The colors looked so pretty in those little round containers, but the application was strange and it was smeary and impossible to blend. It’s like when you finally get all of your friends out on the dance floor, and then one of those weird songs comes on that nobody knows how to dance to. One of my friends recently told me that she calls cream shadow “scream shadow” - - by the time she’s done applying it, she just wants to stare into her vanity mirror and scream her frustrations out. But hey – you wouldn’t pull your girls from the dance floor and leave in a tiff, right? Of course not! The night is young! Just the same, you might want to give “scream shadow” another shot.

6 tips to help you reconnect with your cream shadow:
  • Two is company – Cream shadows don't like to be alone.They’re so ideal for combining with other shadows (esp. pigments and shimmers). Cream shadow serves as a great base and they grab powdered shadows and loose shimmers that are added on top.
  • Get your “blend” on - So, we know that blending cream eye color is more challenging than blending traditional powder eye shadow. If you want to blend out creams, try reaching for a sponge - - not a makeup brush. The warmth of the skin causes cream shadows to adhere quickly, so using a brush to try to move the cream is only going to frustrate you. Instead, use a “rolling” method with the smaller end of your sponge to blend and thin out cream color.
Using a neutral cream shadow as a base helps conceal 
veins or redness from recent plucking. (MAC's "Painterly")
  • Know their role - Don’t confuse cream shadows/bases with eye primer. Primers are great if you have oily lids and your color tends to move around on your eyes. Primers also sink into the skin and create a smooth canvas for applying cosmetics. Bases (cream shadows can be used as bases) are used to enhance color, and adhere other types of shadows, cosmetic shimmers, etc.
  • White + Bold Colors = Drama - White cream shadows do an amazing job enhancing other brightly colored shadows. Have you ever loved a bold eye color in the container, only to have it lose its brilliance when you apply it? Apply a white cream base first and then add the color you really want to show off. This will make your bolder colors bright and true.  
  •  Decease the crease - Make sure your cream shadows are crease resistant - -we’ve all fallen victim to the crease at some point. I’ve found MAC paint pots to be a great defense against the crease.   
  • Bring the brush back - Grab an inexpensive small angled brush at the art store (usually a couple bucks) and apply a bright cream shadow as an eyeliner. If you like the bold colors, but you're not sure about wearing them on your lids, eyeliner is a more subtle solution. 

Gettin' Beauty Schooled,



  1. thank you for posting this! it made me realize how versatile this product is :)

    if i had to have just 1 or 2 shades of cream eyeshadow, what do you recommend?

  2. No problem, voodoo.... it depends upon what type of look you really enjoy. For example, if you go for a more natural look, I'd do a neutral (something the shade of your skin tone) and probably a deeper color, like black (so you could work it with a smokey eye and use it as a liner). If you like bold eye colors, go with a white -- it will make all your other shadows pop! I love silver, too!

  3. thank you :) i'll give the neutral look a try because i'm still trying to gain confidence in experimenting with colors ;)