Kiko Colour Lasting Creamy Eyeshadows, £6.99
A-list make-up artist Caroline Barnes swears by these 'swipe and go' creams. Affordable and easy-to-use, they have a silky, blendable texture that can be applied as a muted wash, or layered up for more definition and intensity. You only need a small amount to create a foolproof look, and you’ll find they wear well throughout the day – still looking intact and smudge-free long after your lunchbreak.
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eye Shadow, £16.50
Frequently used backstage and recommended by make-up artist Cher Webb, these eyeshadow pots are easy to work with and never crease or ripple. Absorbing excess oil, they set into place fast and act as a great base for other formulas to adhere to, thanks to a range of suits-all neutral tones. They also look elegant worn on their own day-to-day.
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise, £22
Arguably one of Charlotte Tilbury’s best products, these cream shadows have been designed to bring out the intensity of your eyes. They’re also full of vitamin E to keep skin nourished and smooth, in turn keeping pigment even so you never get wrinkling or flaking. Make-up artist Lisa Potter-Dixon recommends applying them with your fingers or a brush to gently buff them in – less is more as these are creamier than most. Once dry, pat a little extra onto the centre of your lids to further brighten and enhance your eyes.
RMS Beauty Eye Polishes, £26
Created with natural oils and minerals, these velvet eye polishes offer just the right amount of shimmer and glow, with flattering metallic shades to suit every skin tone. Our favourite is ‘Lunar’ – a champagne-y pearl tone that can also be used on the cheekbones and above your cupid’s bow for a glossy highlight. Founder of RMS Beauty Rose-Marie Swift says these creamy formulas can give off the appearance of a more youthful eye, too. What’s more, they nourish the lids rather than dry them out, rarely sinking into fine lines or wrinkles.
Jillian Dempsey Lid Tints, £26.50
Founded by make-up master Jillian Dempsey, these lid tints were born out of a desire for longer-lasting and more smudge-proof formulas. Brimming with organic, antioxidant-packed ingredients, they nourish the lids while providing a subtle veil of colour. Great for those wanting to achieve the glossy look, Jillian recommends layering them with a liner: “Apply liner in a V on your lid, with the point of the V in your socket. Then, using your finger or a fan brush, sweep across your lid tint using a windshield wiper action to blend both formulas together.” A go-to technique for a low maintenance look.
Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks, £25
Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks are legendary – and for good reason. The buttery soft formula is a doddle to apply, yet the shimmering colour payoff is impressive – they’re available in matte tones, too, if you want something more low-key. Create everything from subtle line definition to an intense smokey eye with just one slick, they're a great starting point if you’re new to cream eyeshadows.
Glossier Lidstar, £15
We’re not surprised these cream shadows became an overnight sensation. With six wearable shades to choose from, they’re an easy way to try glossy shimmer, without ever looking too theatrical or overdone. They’re also completely adjustable, so you can easily control your look. Apply just one coat for a sheer finish, or layer up three for a tone that catches the light. Fingers or a soft, fluffy brush work well for application – just be sure to let the colour set in between coats for best results.
Revlon Colorstay Crème Eye Shadow, £6.99
These budget cream shadows are incredibly wearable, with a thin lightweight texture and a wet finish for a pretty sheen. What’s more, they live up to their long-wear hype – with an almost tacky texture, they stay put and don’t migrate down your face, no matter how warm or wet the weather is. The shades ‘Praline’ and ‘Caramel’ are our go-tos for a soft, smokey eye effect.
By Terry Ombre Blackstar Sticks, £29
You can scribble these on and use your fingers to blend without using a mirror. One of By Terry’s most popular launches, these sticks are sophisticated and come in eye-opening shades – no wonder they’re frequently dubbed 'the best cream eyeshadows around'. Malleable and smooth in texture, they’re easy to build up and mix, with pigment that's seriously long-lasting. The ‘Misty Rock’ tone is beautiful for an alternative smokey eye, or try ‘Immaculate Light’ for extra luminosity.