How to Apply Cream Eye Shadow Like a Professional Makeup Artist

Updated 11/27/19
Imaxtree

As a lover of eyeshadows, I have to be honest. Some formulas (cough, powder) are tricky to apply and apply well. Especially if you're aiming for a multi-dimensional or dark look, let's just say it could all go down hill quickly if you're not a professional. Thankfully, there's a more user-friendly formula that makeup artists swear are fool-proof. Enter in: Cream eyeshadows. They are super, well, creamy and blend like a charm. The best part is you can apply with your fingers so you won't waste ten minutes trying to decide which makeup brush use. Trust me, we've all been there.

According to Honey Artists makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, makeup artist swear by cream formulas “because I find them far easier to apply and blend on the go, plus the finish looks more like real skin rather than sitting on top of the surface of your skin like powders tend to.” While that all sounds well and good, what comes easy to a makeup artist isn’t always second nature to us. So for some professional tips on how to apply cream eye shadow, we reached out to a few makeup artists for their expert advice. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on applying cream eye shadow as well as the crease-free creams pros aways keep in their kit.

1. Prime

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Nars Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base $26
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According to Gerstein, it isn't "completely necessary" to use a primer; however, if you have oily lids or want super-long-lasting wear, Honey Artists makeup artist Min Min Ma says, "A thin layer is all you need."

2. Apply With Finger

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Eyeko Me & My Shadow Waterproof Eyeshadow & Eyeliner $13
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The overall consensus is to apply cream shadow with clean fingertips. Honey Artists makeup artist Aidan Keogh, who has worked with model and reality star Kendall Jenner, recommends starting "at the lash line and rubbing up until the crease." If you are looking for a more "saturated effect," Keogh says to "press a generous amount in the center of the lid exactly where the pupil is when your eye is closed."

3. Blend

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MAC 217 Blending Bursh $27
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Gerstein says the blending step is of most importance. She recommends cleaning up the shadow "with a clean blending brush (MAC 217) to diffuse the edges so there are no harsh lines, but just a haze of color."

For the cream shadows makeup artists can't live without, keep scrolling.

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RMS Beauty Eye Polish $28
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Recommended by both Gerstein and Keogh, RMS's coconut oil–based cream shadows come in a variety of "gorgeous tones" and give a "beautiful luminosity," says Gerstein.

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Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color $29
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If you are looking for a cream shadow that doesn't involve getting your hands dirty, Gerstein recommends this shadow stick by Laura Mercier, which she says "come in a lovely range of ultra-wearable shades from the most neutral to the deepest smoky black, and the best thing is they blend out like a dream and then set for long wear." Enough said!

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Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow $32
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If you are looking for a highly pigmented product, Ma recommends this cream shadow by Charlotte Tilbury that comes in a variety of shades from neutral brown and gray tones to much brighter colors like this turquoise shadow called Cleopatra.

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Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow $8
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This drugstore cream shadow by Maybelline is "the bomb," says Keogh, thanks to its long-wear formula, variety of colors, and under-$10 price tag.

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Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes $46
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You can't go wrong with Tom Ford's cream shadows, or at least that's what Ma says, as they come in a variety of wearable shades. Her favorite color? Caviar, the smoky charcoal shade above.

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