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The Best Drugstore Cream Eyeshadows

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By Marissa DeSantis
Elite Daily/Amazon

On the quest to simplifying your beauty routine, sometimes less really does mean more. Case in point: Cream eyeshadows, which are both easier to use and, in many cases, better performing than their powder counterparts (which tend to be harder to work with and blend). The best drugstore cream eyeshadows have the added benefit of being budget-friendly, as they all ring up at well under $10 on Amazon.

Before you get shopping, a few words of advice. Whether your eyelids are oily, dry, or somewhere in between, you can increase the longevity of your cream eyeshadow by applying a tiny dab of eyeshadow primer to your lids first (this is especially important to avoid creasing on oily lids). Then, you'll want to choose your cream eyeshadow based on your own personal preferences. Just like powder eyeshadows, you'll be able to choose from matte, satin, and shimmery finishes. But you also have more options when it comes to product delivery, as cream eyeshadows can be housed in individual pots, mess-free sticks, multi-pan palettes, and easy-to-use tubes.

With that in mind, scroll on to shop five of the best cream eyeshadows you can buy for less than $10 — all conveniently available on Amazon.

1. Best Tube

If you love the look of a metallic eye, Almay’s Velvet Foil Cream Shadow is offered in a variety of bold and neutral colors to allow you to create everything from shimmery smoky eyes to understated monochromatic looks. Just a dab of the metallic cream blends out into a pigmented shadow that covers your whole lid, and the formula promises not to crease or smudge for up to 24 hours. These tiny tubes also contain multiple smoothing and soothing ingredients like vitamin E, aloe vera extract, and cucumber extract.

  • Available shades: 12

2. Best Stick

With over 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, these cream eyeshadow pencils are a clear fan favorite. NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil can be used to impart color directly where you want it with its pointed tip and creamy formula that glides right across your lids without dragging or tugging at your delicate skin. Because of its precise, pencil-like tip, you can use the lighter colors and shimmery finishes to line the inner corners of your eyes, or as highlighter along your cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid's bow. With the most color options out of every eyeshadow on this list, NYX’s creamy eye pencils also come in matte finishes.

  • Available shades: 22

3. Best Liquid

L'Oréal’s Brilliant Eyes Liquid Shadow is a liquid-cream hybrid that comes with a doe-foot applicator to allow for precise application, and it has a shimmery, metallic-like finish. This collection of shadows is particularly great if you prefer pastels and neutral colors (there are plenty of brown, beige, and pink options), though there are a few unexpected colors, as well (like a brick red and yellow gold). The formula purportedly lasts for up to 16 hours, and it includes ingredients like castor oil and glycerin to prevent your lids from drying out.

  • Available shades: 18

4. Best Palette

For $5, you can’t do much better than this. Revlon pairs four complementary cream colors in their Illuminance Crème Eye Shadow palettes, from classic neutrals to jewel tones to bright neons and more. Some palettes contain all matte shades and some are all shimmery, while others include a a mix, but in every case, you get four sheer creams that are easy to blend and build up for more intensity. They’re extremely high quality (and long lasting) for the price, too.

  • Available shades: 8

5. Best Matte Cream Eyeshadow

Like the L'Oréal eyeshadow, this Rimmel London Wonder Cloud Eyeshadow comes with its own doe-foot applicator to deposit just the right amount of color every time (though you can definitely layer it on for a more intense look). But if matte neutral shadows make up your everyday makeup look, Rimmel’s offering will be more your speed. Available in five beige, taupe, and rich-brown shades, these cream shadows also come with a built-in primer for more staying power, making these a great option for those with oily eyelids.

  • Available shades: 5