I'm Notoriously Lazy When It Comes to Eye Shadow—This Strategic Product Saves Me

Okay, if you've been here for a minute and have followed my other beauty stories, you'll know that I'm low maintenance (aka self-proclaimed lazy person) when it comes to my makeup. It's not that I don't have an appreciation for makeup; I love it. I love being in awe of the makeup looks people create. But when it comes to my own face, well, I'm pretty content with some concealer, a few swipes of mascara, a brow product, and a fun lip.

And if I really had to psychoanalyze my lowkey approach to makeup, a part of it is that I'm just not very skilled at it. Creating a cat eye? I don't have the skills or the patience for perfecting it even though I love the way it looks. And another reason? I really don't leave enough getting-ready time to experiment with my makeup, with the possibility of having to restart it all over again if it looks terrible.

The 17 Best Cream Eye Shadows of 2021

But it's not always an all-natural, no-makeup makeup look for me. I do try when I go out for the night or have a special occasion. And for those moments I like to rely on products that make it a little easier for me. One of those products is cream eye shadow. It's a recent discovery for me, but I find that I'm reaching for my cream shadows more than my powder ones these days.

Before I tried a cream formula I was wary because I thought I would have to be an expert at blending them in just so. Needless to say, I was really surprised when I realized that the cream versions were so easy to apply and blend. I found them much easier to work with than the powder versions that require some finessing with a brush. For the cream shadows, I just lightly pat the product onto my lids and I'm pretty much down. You can also apply them with a brush, but again, I'm lazy.

I also find that the cream shadows last a lot longer than the powder ones for me. And they seem to stay put without any smudging. So those are all bonuses because that means no touching up hours later!

Take a look at some of the best cream eye shadows out there below—a mix of my favorites and some from my colleagues.

1. Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow

Charlotte Tilbury's cream eye shadow is one of my favorites because it is so long-lasting. I really don't have to worry about it wearing off by the end of the night. It has a liquid-creamy texture so it's so easy to apply and doesn't crease at all.

1. Revlon Illuminance Crème Shadow

You really can't beat the price here. The palette contains four cream eye shadows in various neutral shades. The great thing is they're sheer so you can build up the color to exactly your preference.

3. Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint

You can wear this product alone or mix it with powder eye shadows. It gives a nice dewy glow and actually has skin benefits, too, thanks to a blend of organic oils and butters.

4. RMS Beauty Eye Polish

With a light-reflecting finish, this cream eye shadow gives off a soft glow with sheer color that's buildable. Its formula also contains a natural oil base to nourish your lids. 

5. Rituel de Fille Ash & Ember Eye Soot

If you're not quite ready to make a full transition to strictly cream eye shadows, this product from Rituel de Fille has the best of both worlds. It's a mix between a cream and a powder, with rich texture and color.

6. Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Eye, Cheek & Lip Cream Pigment

This product is a total multitasker. You can use this creamy pigment on your eyes, cheeks, and lips. It's long-wearing, waterproof, and crease-proof.

7. Kosas 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow

Yes, this is a liquid eye shadow, but it still has the same great pros as creamy versions. It's one of my favorites because as its name suggests, it only takes 10 seconds to apply. The color is so fast-drying, too.

8. Julep Crème to Powder Waterproof Eyeshadow Stick

It might seem like a lot of cream shadows are shimmery, but there's something for those who want a matte finish. This matte eye shadow stick is waterproof and doesn't crease. It also has a built-in smudger so you can blend easily and without using an extra brush or your fingers.

9. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow

You can also use this eye shadow stick to line and highlight. The color is highly pigmented and goes on so smoothly. It's also long-lasting and crease-proof.

10. L'Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Liquid Eye Shadow

Here's another creamy liquid formula. This one is for those who want a lot of shine and shimmer, plus it lasts up to 16 hours.

11. Ilia Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint

This liquid eye shadow is described as being able to glide on like a cream but drying with a powder-like finish. You can layer on the color for a super-saturated look, or just do a swipe or two for a dash of color. It also contains horse chestnut flower to reduce fine lines over time, and honokiol, which is rich in antioxidants.

12. Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes

This no-crease, no-smudge creamy eye shadow goes on smoothly to leave a lustrous, metallic finish. One reviewer wrote, "I was hesitant to drop so much on a single pot shadow, but I'm so glad I did. It has quickly become my favorite one-and-done shadow. I have super oily lids and I can even wear this without a primer with no creasing!"

13. Jouer Cosmetics Crème Eyeshadow Crayon

In just one swipe, you can get a wash of color with this highly pigmented and long-lasting shadow crayon. It also has a built-in sharpener to create more defined looks.

14. Maybelline Eyestudio ColorTattoo Metal 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadow

If you're looking for intense color, this cream-gel formula delivers just that. It lasts for 24 hours and doesn't crease or fade.

15. By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow Pen

This By Terry product is a multitasking gem—it's an eyeliner, illuminator, and eye shadow pen. It's also infused with anti-aging Tahitian black pearl extract to refine the skin's texture and smooth.

16. Stila Shimmer Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

Stila's creamy liquid eye shadow leaves a soft, velvety finish with a touch of shimmer. You don't need a primer with this one since it has an adhesive base. And because it's water-based, it feels totally lightweight.

17. Smashbox Always On Cream Shadow

The cool thing about this formula is it's infused with primer, so you don't need an extra product and it lasts up to 24 hours. It has a mousse-like texture that blends easily and delivers rich, matte color.

Eye Shadow Brushes to Try