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It’s official: Cream and stick eyeshadow formulas have fully taken the place of cumbersome powders—at least in the makeup routines of Byrdie editors. We’ve tried dozens of the best cream eyeshadows over the past year, and during the process, we have discovered several key elements to consider. Color, vibrancy, consistency, and texture are all important, of course. But the difference between a good cream eyeshadow and a great one is the “wearability” factor, especially if you have oily eyelids that can’t seem to hang on to color. Think about it: No matter how pretty the pigment, if your shadow doesn’t last through the night, what’s the point?
By far, our favorite thing about cream and stick eyeshadow is how easy it is to apply—and we’ll take an effortless cream over a fussy powder any day. However, our standards for long wear still stand strong. So we went on the hunt to find the longest-lasting cream eyeshadow on the market: one that we can just swipe on leave be.
Keep scrolling to read our reviews of the best long-lasting cream eyeshadows.
Best Overall: Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint
Glowy shades that pop
Made with certified organic ingredients
"Makeup artists, celebrities, and beauty editors (not least of all me) are obsessed with these sleeper hit cream eyeshadows, which have a sort of stiffer, stay-put texture that doesn't melt immediately off your skin like some cream formulas. The shades are pigmented yet soft and come in both matte and shimmer finishes depending on your vibe. I'm a new fan of these, but a committed one." — Amanda Montell, contributor
Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Matte, shimmer | Shades: 10 | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Marula Oil is derived from the nut of the marula tree in South Africa and is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. It calms inflammation, protects from environmental stressors, and fights signs of aging.
Best Splurge: Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes
Creamy and blendable
Lasts all day
Only a few shades available
"I have the oiliest eyelids, and this cream shadow is not only super blendable, it also stays put through even the sweatiest days (and nights). Plus, unlike other cream shadows, all the colors are super three-dimensional and give a really petty shimmer. Sphinx is a sherbet-tinged shade that has a slight holographic tinge in sunlight (I get so many compliments when I wear it), and Caviar is my favorite to smoke out my liner on a night out." — Faith Xue, former editorial director
Coverage Level: Medium | Finish: Metallic | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Long-Lasting: Nudestix Magnetic Luminous Eye Color
Available in two finishes
Easy to blend
May not last if lids are very oily
"I rarely wear eyeshadow, but when I do, the product needs to have a great color payoff, and it needs to be able to withstand whatever is on my agenda that day. That's exactly what happened with these Nudestix products. They're smoother than velvet and so easy to blend that it's almost therapeutic. I received so many compliments while wearing them (which is always a plus), and they were able to last through my workout class. I don't think I'll be parting with this product anytime soon." — Aimee Jefferson, former social media editor
Coverage Level: Full | Finish: Matte, satin | Shades: 21 | Size: 0.1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Runner-Up, Best Long-Lasting: Maybelline New York Color Tattoo Up to 24H Longwear Cream Eyeshadow Makeup
Color stays true all day
Buildable without creasing
Rich, creamy texture
Feels a little greasy
"I don't typically wear eyeshadow because I don't like how it creases. That was not the case with this one from Maybelline. (I chose the purple shade.) The color is easily layered—I wear it as a sheer violet tint on my lids, but you could also do something more pigmented with it. At the end of my workday, it looked just as it did right after application." — Maddie Sensibile, beauty writer
Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Shimmer | Shades: 7 | Size: 0.1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Glitter: Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow
Glittery, multidimensional shades
Could be more pigmented
"I've never had much luck with sparkly eyeshadow, especially creams. Normally it applies super patchy or is not pigmented enough, or I end up with glitter all over my face. But I was surprised and delighted by this Stila pick. First, the shade selection is gorgeous and dimensional: Each bottle contains a blend of two colors. (My favorite was Smoky Storm, a pinky-silver hue.) The product stayed put, looking sparkly and beautiful for almost 10 hours. By the time I washed it off, only one single sparkle had fallen onto my cheek. The product might be a little much for everyday wear, but I would highly recommend this stuff for a party or night-out look." — Amanda Montell, contributor
Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Glitter, metallic | Shades: 7 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Organic: RMS Beauty Eye Polish
Melts into skin
Doubles as highlighter
Few shades available
"I'm not actually much of an eyeshadow wearer (read: I wear it maybe five times a year). But when I DO reach for something to add a little more depth to my lids, it's this pretty (and organic!) pot from RMS. It takes two seconds to dab on in the car, smudges pristinely, and is still intact by the time I get to the gym around 6 p.m. Plus, to add fuel to the fire, I'm convinced it looks BETTER as the day wears as it gradually warms into the skin. I love Myth because it's neutral but gives off that 'your eyes but better' vibe. Which, as someone who doesn't like the typical drama of eyeshadow, is perfect for me." — Erin Jahns, contributor
Coverage Level: Medium | Finish: Metallic | Shades: 5 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Layering: Rituel de Fille Ash & Ember Eye Soot
Easy to blend
Difficult to use
"I have very contradictory standards from eyeshadow in that typically I like something that looks effortless and borderline messy, but it also needs to stay put. In other words, I'm down with creasing and fading as long as it does so in a way that doesn't make me look like I've been drunkenly crying in 105-degree weather. The thing I love about Rituel de Fille's eye soots [which are midway between a cream and a powder] is that they're beautifully pigmented and sheer, so you can layer them on according to the look you're going for. This also means they still look stunning as they fade. It's my go-to when I want that hazy-eye look—a bronze-y orange, grungy aesthetic that would make Fiona Apple proud." — Victoria Hoff, contributor
Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin, shimmer | Shades: 9 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Overall, we’re giving top honors to Jillian Dempsey’s Lid Tint due to its excellent pigment payoff, stay-put texture, and flattering shade range. For a budget-friendly pick that won’t melt off, opt for Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow Pot. It has a rich, creamy texture and stays in place (and crease-free!) all day long. On the flipside, if you’re in the market for a more luxurious pick, you can’t go wrong with Tom Ford’s Cream Color for Eyes. These stunning three-dimensional shades will get you tons of compliments.
Why Trust Byrdie
Amanda Montell is a writer and author and has worked as a beauty editor in Los Angeles for over three years. Formerly Byrdie’s features editor, she now writes for publications such as Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, and more. Needless to say, she’s tested many products throughout her career and knows her way around a cream eyeshadow. She’s tried a handful on this list, but her favorites are from Jillian Dempsey and Stila.