I have never been particularly artistic. Creative? Sure. But artistic? Most certainly not. And when I was fobbing off my art homework from school onto anyone in my life who knew how to hold a pencil, I was very much of the mindset that not being artistic wouldn't really hinder my prospects too much. But fast-forward 25 years, I'm now a beauty editor who is wildly clumsy and messy when it comes to her makeup application.
It's no secret amongst my beauty peers that I typically find makeup uninspiring. Give me a cream cleanser, glow-boosting moisturiser, autumn perfume or nourishing body lotion, and I will chew your ear off for hours, but when it comes to the intricacies of makeup techniques, I have little to give.
Shannon wears Byredo Colour Stick in Ancient.
You see, it's not that I am intentionally lazy with my makeup application. Rather, my lack of artistic skills only leaves me frustrated and angry on the odd occasion that I do attempt to really make an effort. My makeup MO, I have learned to accept, is minimal, natural-looking and, most importantly, easy to achieve.
In fact, I have spent my entire career dedicating my words to those who feel similarly to me. I spend hours testing products and writing about them so that "lazy" girls and boys far and wide know what products to shop. My makeup capabilities start and stop with finger painting. Providing I can swipe products onto my face with my hands and fingers, I have learned that the results can be impressive.
Shannon wears Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in Sugarfrost and Sienna.
And since discovering the versatility and brilliance of cream blushers in recent years (just dab on and dash), I have come to be captivated by the easy wonder of cream eye shadows. While palettes and powders that need layering, blending and tidying up are, needless to say, not my thing, cream eye shadows can be scribbled or patted onto lids in a matter of seconds, and no one would ever know how easy it was.
I have become so captivated by the genius of cream eye shadows that barely a day goes by that I don't wear at least one shade on my lids. Whether you want to add a subtle wash of colour to hide redness or want a smoky look for a night out, a cream eye shadow will deliver a seriously chic look in just one swipe. I'd go as far as to say that I love cream eye shadows so much that I wouldn't mind if I never had to use a powder shadow ever again.
So if you're lazy with your makeup like I am, these are the 11 best cream eye shadow products that are guaranteed to make your routine a whole lot easier.
1. Byredo Colour Stick Multi-Use Cream Stick in Ancient
These makeup sticks from Byredo couldn't be more ideal for those who don't know where to start with eye makeup. Just scribble onto the lid and pat in with your fingers. They're pigmented at first but blend out into the most beautiful wash. This deep shade (Ancient) contains a very subtle shimmer and can be dabbed into cheeks and lips, too. The finish is powdery and impressively long-lasting.
2. Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Caramel
I have tried every eye shadow stick out there, and none come close to the greatness of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. They're deliciously creamy and come in a rainbow of shades and finishes. My favourites, however, are the nude mattes, such as Caramel. They can be swiped onto lids to give an even wash and make for the ultimate everyday products. If you're up for being a little more creative, you can also use brighter shades as liners and accents—the possibilities are endless.
3. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow in Groundwork
I'll go as far as to say that MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork would be in my top five desert-island beauty products. It is the perfect cool-toned brown that suits every skin tone and every occasion. For daytime, I swirl my ring finger in the pot, swipe it across the lids and dash out. For the evening, the shade can be built up and smoked out with some liner. If you only buy one cream eye shadow in your lifetime, make it this one.
4. Jillian Dempsey Ruby Lid Tint
If you prefer a glossy look on your lids, may I please bring Jillian Dempsey's Lid Tints to your attention? They are very creamy and have a beautiful sheen (more wet looking than shimmery) that lasts all day long. There is a beautiful offering of nude and bronze shades, but this brick red is the perfect autumnal hue.
5. Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer
Am I cheating a little bit with this one? Technically, yes because it's a cream bronzer. With that being said, I can't get enough of Tower 28's cult Bronzinos swiped over my lids. From deep browns to light bronzes, there's a shimmery cream suited for every skin tone.
6. & Other Stories Eye Colour Cream in Moonbeam Magic
As much as I hate to admit it, party season is fast approaching, and this shimmery cream shadow is my reach-for year after year. Dab it over the top of your eye shadow shade of choice for a glittery pop, or wear it alone for an early noughties–inspired look.
7. Trinny London Eye2Eye in Faith
Trinny London's stackable Eye2Eye cream shadows are unlike any others around. They are powder-like in their consistency and need a bit of warming up, but the intensity of the pigment and long-lasting finish goes unrivalled. This chocolatey brown is my go-to for evening soirées and dinners.
8. By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow in Bronze Moon
Okay, okay—I know I said that Laura Mercier's Caviar Sticks are the best in the business, but when it comes to actual formula and finish, By Terry's Ombre Blackstar takes the trophy. The creamy stick almost melts onto the skin and can be blended and built up with unparalleled ease. My only gripe? There are a limited number of shades. Having said that, Bronze Moon is a universal classic and is pretty much the only product I use when I want a super-smoky look.
9. Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Rose Gold
For those who like their eye looks to make an impact, this creamy foil is sure to hit the mark. It's softer and creamier in texture than others, meaning it needs a little bit of drying time to avoid creasing, but the colour pay-off is exceptional.
10. Beauty Pie Wondercolour Longwear Cream Shadow Stick in Teddy Bare
Price shown in members' price.
Sadly, I have found that most of the great cream eye shadow sticks out there come with premium price tags (as you can, no doubt, tell by this list). However, this product from Beauty Pie is friendly on the purse strings while being a total dream to use. Teddy Bare is a cool-toned beige that acts as a great eye shadow primer or looks effortlessly chic on its own.
11. Vieve Eye Wand in Hazelnut
Few people know makeup quite like Jamie Genevieve, so it's no surprise that her makeup know-how has resulted in her creating one of the most delightful cream eye shadows out there. More pigmented than other matte-finish pencils, Vieve Eye Wands set in a matter of seconds, so they'll need blending quickly. However, once set, rest assured that the pigment isn't going anywhere.