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Cream Eye Shadow Vs Powder Eye Shadow – Which To Choose?

As women, we like choices (we pretty much demand them). And in terms of makeup choices, there are literally thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of makeup products on the market (most of which are, by the way, unsafe!). One of the most popular today is cream eye shadow. I’m sure you’re more than familiar with powder eye shadow, and cream shadow is not meant as a replacement for it. So what is it and how is it different?

Not only is cream eye shadow obviously a different formulation from powder eye shadow, it is even more versatile. Cream shadow can actually sometimes double as a shadow base or lid primer, as long as you check the label (it will specify use as a base). This is perfect, especially if you are attempting makeup for hooded eyes. Since the hooded eye has a slight overlap of skin onto the lid, ordinary powder shadow and regular kohl liner can often be rubbed off within a matter of minutes after applying! Talk about frustrating! The best way to utilize cream eye shadow as a base is to pick a color complimentary to the powder shade you will be using. For instance, if you’re going for a simple smokey eye in browns, start with a shimmery taupe cream eye shadow (some popular picks would be Clinique Touch Base for Eyes in Uplighting ($15), Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 15 Taupe ($23), and Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe ($6.99). NOTE: Minki Lashes does NOT recommend using these due to unhealthy harsh chemicals content! Do try RMS Beauty Cream Eye Shadow in Karma ($28); its rich dark brown shade in a light-reflective glossy finish is perfect as an accent eye shadow for a sultry smokey eye, and the organic ingredients are gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Cream shadows also come in very matte colors that mimic various skin tones (such as Laura Mercier Eye Canvas, $26, Lancome Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base, $25, and L’Oreal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer, $8.99 but NOTE: Minki Lashes does NOT recommend using these due to harsh chemical content; go with organic or hypoallergenic brands instead). Such creams are mainly used as eyelid “primers,” which act to smooth out the eye area, and provide an even canvas on which to create your eye makeup masterpiece! That especially comes in handy for deep set eyes makeup, since the set of the eyes creates darker-than-average looking lids.

And lastly, cream eye shadow can also be used alone to create wonderful smokey eye looks. They are easy to blend, easy to drag down under the lower lash line, and easy to smudge, for the ultimate in smoked-out sexiness.

Powder eye shadow, on the other hand, is like a comfy pair of jeans. The ones you could never do without. You know just how they will fit, and just how to work them. You also know their limitations. Matte, shimmer, glitter, holographic, baked, loose, and pigment…powder eye shadow has come a long way, in the past 10 years alone. But basically, it is what it is. You know how you can use it, and you also know how long it usually lasts on your lids (All through the work day? What about a humid summer afternoon? A party night of dancing?). So yes, powder shadow, when worn alone, does have its limits. But one thing powder shadow can do is double as some of the best brow powder around! Although you may be tempted to use MAC shadows that are known to have dozens of suitable “brow shades” of eye shadow (such as MAC Charcoal Brown, MAC Omega, and MAC Brun), try to avoid them due to a long list of unhealthy ingredients and opt for safer paraben-free, more hypoallergenic or organic options instead.

There are many more choices of natural and organic eyeshadow in powder form than in cream eye shadow, at least right now, so if that is important to you, it’s something to keep in mind. When you think that FDA actually does not have you covered for chemicals in cosmetics safety, and that over 60% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed directly into your bloodstream…and that the skin on and around your eyes is some of the thinnest and most fragile on your entire body…it might make you reconsider some of your cosmetic and skin care choices. It will at least might make you look more closely at the ingredients label.

With that in mind, Minki Lashes recommends avoiding the following cream eye shadow options: NARS Single Cream Eyeshadow Compact (parabens); Yves Saint Laurent Fard Lumiere Aquaresistant/Water Resistant Cream Eyeshadow; Avon Floral Delight Cream Eyeshadow (parabens and Retinyl Palmitate), and Urban Decay cream Eyeshadow (parabens, PEG and Phenoxyethanol). Benefits Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow is of a much lower health risk.

Of course, the perfect topper to either cream or powder eye shadow is long, lovely lashes. Trying to judge shadow without luxurious cruelty-free Siberian mink lashes by Minki Lashes or silk lashes (if you are on a tight budget) is like wearing an amazing blouse without pants. You just don’t do it (unless you want to be arrested). So break out the heated eyelash curler, the mascara, and the false lashes. Or, if you want the amazing lashes without all of the work, consider the most natural eyelash extensions either in real mink (best choice!) or faux mink! They can last up to two months, with proper care (that means trying to avoid mascara for eyelash extensions). Once you have your mink lashes, liner, and brows in place, you should be able to see how each shadow choice can truly shine.

Basically, what you’ll find is that it’s impossible to say that one is better than the other when comparing powder to cream eye shadow. They are both amazing and useful in their own ways. And when used together…they create an unstoppable, unyielding, undeniable eye makeup tour de force! In the end, you’re the one who wins, since you get to use them both!


The original creator of the MINKI LASHES E-MAGAZINE that covers everything from false eyelashes and eyelash extensions, eye makeup tips and ideas for all eye colors and eye shapes, to eye makeup product reviews and eye makeup ingredients safety. Your FAUX LASH AUTHORITY and founder of the soon-to-be-launched affordable luxury BRAND of cruelty-free 100% Siberian MINK LASHES and MINK EYELASH EXTENSIONS.

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