My Favourite Cream Shadows

eye makeup best shadows

Some highly scientific makeup testing has been going down chez moi  – I’m pretty sure that Boots or L’Oreal or even NASA will be banging on my door, pretty soon, to try and copy my methodology. What I did (and I’ll put this in layman’s terms) is I dipped my finger in all of my favourite cream eyeshadows and then swiped it across the back of my hand. I then promptly forgot about the whole thing and went to the supermarket, the post office and the bank, never once looking down.

Thank goodness I didn’t decide to try them all out across my face!

I don’t really know what the outcome of this experiment was, other than that all of the cream shadows held really well (a special mention has to go to KIKO’s version, which had to be removed using wire wool and paint-stripper) and that I really liked all of the pretty colours. From the bootm of the photograph, clockwise, we have: Estee Lauder’s Shadow Paint in Chained , Chanel’s pinkish Illusion d’Ombre in ÉmerveilléTom Ford’s apricot-toned cream shadow in Escapade, Benefit’s Bronze Have More Fun, Smashbox’s 15 hour longwear in Quartz and KIKO’s Colour Shock in the dark violet shade 4.

You can probably tell from the photo that the textures vary quite dramatically; the peachy Tom Ford shadow (top left) and the KIKO are very creamy and soft – like the texture of potted eye creams – and they give the most lustrous, rich sheen to the lids. The Chanel (left middle) is spongey and springy to the touch, the Benefit Bronze (middle) and Smashbox Quartz (top right) are both more solid and the Estee Lauder is soft and creamy but not as light and “whipped” as the Tom Ford.

 Here they are on my hand:

cream shadow swatched

From left to right:

Chanel’s Illusion d’Ombre in Émerveillé (here)

Tom Ford’s cream shadow in Escapade (counters)

Estee Lauder’s Shadow Paint in Chained (here)

Benefit’s Bronze Have More Fun (here)

Smashbox’s 15 hour longwear in Quartz (here)

KIKO’s Colour Shock in shade 4 (here)

The standout shades for me are the peachy Tom Ford and the deep, rich bronze by Benefit, but I have to say that they’re all shadows I use on a regular basis. In terms of value for money, the KIKO shadow takes the crown, in terms of texture and longevity then it could be the Smashbox. They’re all brilliant, but I use the Smashbox in Quartz as an everyday eye base and the Benefit for a smokier look. The Chanel is perhaps the easiest to work with in a traditional shadow way, blending in easily with other shades and working almost exactly like a powder shadow once it’s on the skin. It can also be applied with fingertips – my preferred method for all of these shadows, actually – neatening up any clumsy mistakes afterwards with a Q-tip.

Do you have any favourite cream shadows? Add them to the list by leaving a comment below! You can see the Benefit shadow in a recent post here and if you need further info or stockists for any of the products, just click the links above!

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Arielle Yeap
    August 26, 2013 / 7:36 am

    By Terry ombre blackstar cream shadow pencils! they are like magic, they don’t crease even on my super oily eyelids!

  2. Amberley
    August 26, 2013 / 7:46 am

    My favourite to use as an everyday base is Smashbox in Topaz, it lasts so well, endures even my nightshifts, doesn´t crease and works brilliant with most colours. For a more bronze look I love the color tatoo in on and on bronze.

    • RuthCrilly
      August 26, 2013 / 11:30 am

      Must try that one! x

  3. Lily
    August 26, 2013 / 8:37 am

    17 by Boots has a line of cream shadows, I have the ‘wild nude’ one which is lovely.

  4. Maria Politou
    August 26, 2013 / 10:00 am

    I use Bobbi Brown’s cream shadows. they are very stable

  5. Claire
    August 26, 2013 / 10:12 am

    Do Kiki do the cream shadows anymore, I can’t seem to find them on their website.

    • ranunkel1
      August 26, 2013 / 11:03 am

      They were limited edition this spring or summer as far as I know. Try it in the “Sale” section on their website.

      • RuthCrilly
        August 26, 2013 / 11:30 am

        Ah, yes – sorry, this post should have been up much earlier! x

  6. Linda
    August 26, 2013 / 10:34 am

    You must try the cream shadows (they also do concealer/foundation, blush, lip shine and a really good luminizer) from RMS Beauty, they’re amazing and completely free of anything synthetic/toxic/chemical. They are also multi -functional so blushers double up as lipshines, eye creams as blushers, etc. I use the concealer and powder every day. I also started using their coconut oil make-up remover which does an excellent job at removing even the most stubborn eye make-up. An no I don’t work for them, I just really love the line!

    • RuthCrilly
      August 26, 2013 / 11:29 am

      Will do – added to list! x

  7. Pimlicat
    August 26, 2013 / 11:00 am

    I love Make Up Forever Aqua Creams – they’re really lush and don’t budge all day. I really like the taupey shade 2. Make Up Forever is stocked in Sephora so worth stocking up when abroad.

    • RuthCrilly
      August 26, 2013 / 11:29 am

      Will take a look next time I’m in the states! x

  8. ranunkel1
    August 26, 2013 / 11:05 am

    Mac paint pots in “richground”, “artifact” and “hyperviolet” are my favorites for autumn.

    • RuthCrilly
      August 26, 2013 / 11:29 am

      Yes, really need to get some paintpots! x

  9. Shana
    August 26, 2013 / 11:10 am

    I feel like all things Tom Ford are just really, really nice. Also, your writing is so entertaining! I think this is now officially my favorite blog :)

    • RuthCrilly
      August 26, 2013 / 11:29 am

      Wooo! x

  10. Humaira
    August 26, 2013 / 1:04 pm

    Bobbi brown has cream shadows in a wide range of colours and finishes :)

  11. August 26, 2013 / 6:24 pm

    I just ordered some Color Tattoos a few weeks ago, love them. Got bronze, taupe and white, which I use as a base.

  12. August 26, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    Ooh, nice picks! Chanel Emerveille has been on my wishlist forever and I’d love to check out the Tom Ford shadows (as sad as that would make my wallet!).

  13. Kate
    August 26, 2013 / 10:23 pm

    Hi Ruth Totally nothing to do with eye shadows although i do love the Tom Ford and Chanel ones! Just wondering – i am just about to try a new cleanser, been using pai i love there products and the fact they are organic – and are so kind on my sensitive skin….but i like to mix it up a bit, im looking at Spiezia Organic facial cleanser and Aurelia Miracle cleanser the latter uses topical pro biotics, do you know much about this and have you tried any of these cleansers and i cant find many reviews! I’d love your input if you have used them before :) thanks x

  14. Isabel
    August 27, 2013 / 12:06 pm

    I like Lush’s Ambition, which is an eyeliner, but can easily smudged before it sets, so I use it just as often as an eyeshadow. It feels super light and doesn’t move the whole day.

    • Isabel
      August 27, 2013 / 12:12 pm

      Apparently the eyeliner, I have in mind, isn’t called Ambition in English but Quietly Motivated ^^; Ambition seems to be a rather bright lipstick

  15. Mireya
    September 19, 2013 / 4:32 am

    Ruth, have you tried out the Fusion Mono eyeshadows from Dior? I’ve been considering purchasing them but haven’t really decided as of yet. Any thoughts?

  16. Marta
    September 26, 2013 / 11:17 am

    Yes!!! Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Illusoire! Beautiful colour!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.