One of my absolute favorite things is when I find a product that’s reasonably priced (ie drugstore priced) and AMAZING quality. This is one of my greatest joys. And these little babies are my absolute first thought when I think of great drugstore dupes.
What are they? They’re these cute little numbers…
They come in really good quality glass jars with a tightly-fitting plastic lid. They feel much more expensive and luxurious than their US$8 cost. They come in a bunch of different colors and finishes. You get a tonne of product for your buck. They’re seriously great. The packaging is important, because air is the enemy of cream shadows. It makes them crusty and too dry. Yuck. You always want glass with a tightly fitting lid. That goes for cream/gel liner pots too.
So how does one use them? Well the answer is super mega varied, to be honest with you. But let’s cover the basics.
First of all, you can use them just like normal eyeshadow. You do have to work quickly, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from dabbing a bit of them onto your eyelids and blending them out with either your finger or a brush. The way I normally apply them (the one I wear most often, Bad to the Bronze, always gets applied like this) is to pat some onto my center eyelid then use a MAC 217 or something like that to buff out the edges so it’s not a stark line. That’s it. Done. This can be done with or without primer. I find these to be so longlasting without creasing that I don’t bother too much with primer.
In fact, that brings me to my next point. You can use these AS a base. They’re not PRIMER as such, but they’re amazingly long lasting and you can use them to layer other colors on top (powder shadows), to make the colors really pop a lot more. One strategy is to use a black or dark color to stick bright colors to – do you ever find that brights don’t look as bright on your eyelid as they do in the pan? Try this trick and report back. You’re welcome in advance.
So one weird trick you can also use these for is contour. I know. Bear with me. My friend Mary told me a few months back that when she’s doing more costume/drag type makeup she will use the shade Creamy Beige to do a rather dramatic contour. I was skeptical but when I tried it, you know what, it’s actually great. Like I said, it’s pretty dramatic, but it looked legit good and cool. Something you would use if you were doing a Maleficent makeup, for example.
For cream shadows, these are quite ‘hard’. They’re not soft and creamy and liquidy like say the MaxFactor Excess Shimmer shadows, or even the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre ones. I would compare them more to the MAC paint pots though even those are a little softer. But this is actually a good thing, in my opinion. It means that they’re hardier and less likely to crease in your … creases.
For this reason I suggest using your fingers over a brush, at least for placing the color down. You can use a brush to blend it out and smooth it but for application I think fingers works best. Just get a little bit on your fingertip and then pat it on carefully (or not carefully, I don’t care, I’m not your mum).
But it’s not all good news. For one thing, the quality of these shadows vary WILDLY between shades which is something that really pisses me off. I want a reliable product that performs the same across different shades. But noooo.. sigh. So that’s really annoying. This seems to be as good a time as any to show you some swatches.
So you’re not blind. You can see what I’m saying. The last two are absolutely the worst, but Silver Strike is also particularly bad. Important note: some of these swatches being a bit “thick” in parts are just from me being a little overzealous with how much product I got on my fingertip – Bad to the Bronze particularly because I just love it so much and it’s probably the easiest to use as well. So you can see that Fuchsia Fever is just total garbage in fact I don’t know why I don’t just throw it out, same with Dramatic Black – though DB isn’t as bad as FF, with a little work it’s perfectly serviceable – I just have a better one in MAC’s Blackground paint pot.
Pomegranate Punk and Inked in Pink are also a little bit patchy but they work fine with a little extra work. Tenacious Teal, Bad to the Bronze, Creamy Beige, Tough as Taupe all work wonderfully. There’s another shade called Barely Branded that’s also excellent, but IMO it’s quite similar to, again, a MAC paint pot that I already own so I don’t feel a strong need to pick that one up (what is wrong with me?).
Here’s another swatch pic featuring dog, before I sign off..