Lately, lipstick has fallen by the wayside. Now that masks are an everyday necessity, there's a lot less room to play with makeup from the nose down. Trust me, no one is more sad about this than I am: My collection of glosses, creams, and bullets has remained mostly untouched, the typical pops of color I gravitate towards rendered invisible. But it's left room for more experimentation on the rest of my face: razor-sharp liner, draped blush, and most of all, vibrant eyeshadow.
While powder shadow is a classic, I find that cream shadows are the formulas I've been clinging to in these trying times. And by trying times, I mean 95 degree days when the rest of my face is melting Raiders of the Last Ark-style. They've become my go-to for more than one reason: they blend like warm butter when I'm in the mood to mix and match different shades, lay comfortably on my lids like I've got nothing on, and stay put when I know I've got a long night devoid of touch-ups ahead of me. And every month, there are brand new innovations that make each formula more exciting than the last. But since I've racked up quite the collection, I've gotten the chance to narrow down the absolute best of the best when it comes to cream formulas. From slick metallics to finely-ground glitters to translucent tints, here are the absolute best cream shadows to add to your cart.
The formula is an editor favorite for a reason. The handy applicator allows for precise strokes, and the creamy liquid dries down after just a few seconds. And don't worry if you don't have time to touch your look up later—the formula is practically crease-proof.
A chubby pencil makes throwing on a full-on eye look as easy as signing your name. They glide on like butter, and you can smudge them out for a more smokey gaze. But once they're set, they're on for the night—no budging.
Versatility is this formula's strong suit. Apply one layer for a sheer look, or layer it on for a bold, opaque pop.
A smokey eye might sound like a project, but a swipe of this pencil along the lash lines creates a diffused, sultry gaze that won't turn crunchy as the hours pass.
While some natural formulas lack the color pay-off we all crave, this creamy pot packs a pigmented punch. Warm up the formula with your finger, then swipe the finely-ground shimmer across your lids and brow bone.
This sheer option screams "editorial." One thin layer adds a semi-translucent tint to the lids for some cool-girl edge.
If your lids tend to get a little dry, don't worry about adding this little pot to your arsenal: these pretty, soft shades are infused with Argan tree oil for comfortable wear.
You know that universally flattering golden hour light we chase when we're trying to 'get the shot'? This formula is that creamy filter, concentrated. The whipped mousse adds an illuminating pop to any eye shape.
Mercier's pencils have been a makeup bag staple for the pros for years. Use it as a liner in concentrated strokes, or blend it all over the lid for a hazy wash of color.
K-beauty is way ahead of the curve when it comes to hi-tech formulas and innovative textures, and this Korean export is proof. The airy, whipped gel is utterly weightless and blends into the skin to create a bold wash of color without stickiness.