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Benefit Cosmetics' Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liners can be used as eyeshadow bases, as eyeshadow primers, as eye colors in and of themselves, and as eye liners. They're small, easy to carry, difficult to spill, and difficult to break. (Says the woman who dropped one jar...which then rolled out the bathroom door and was hockeypucked down the stairs by my cat, who had thought it was a wonderful new toy just for him.)
For $18, you get 4.5 grams (.16 ounces) of product in a thick-walled glass jar. The jar tops and bottoms are flat, so that the jars can easily stack one atop the other. The outer box that the jars come in is almost twice the size it needs to be; but, give Benefit this much credit, the bottom of the jar is not raised halfway up the inside, like Bare Escentuals' eyeshadow jars.
There are three color groupings: Lana, the light neutrals; Gabbi, the medium neutrals; and Betty, the deep neutrals. No one color grouping is exclusively matte or frost - there's a mixture. There are some limited-edition colors that are no longer available (Recess, a champagne matte) and some that are only available online (Pre-Nup, which isn't often in the Sephora stores due to limited shelf space.) The colors are predominantly pink, peach, and gold, with a few mauve and brown. All of the colors are found somewhere in nature.
While this product is called a "Liner/Shadow", many of the colors are too light to be used as an effective liner shade. A few - Skinny Jeans and Strut, possibly Stiletto and Busy Signal - are dark enough to be used as standalone liners. I have used them as shadow bases and as colors in and of themselves.
I apply this product after wiping my eyelids, applying eye serum, and waiting a minute for the serum to soak in / dry. I do not use a separate shadow primer. I tried applying it using a brush, but found that I was getting too much product on my lids. I now apply this with a cleaned fingertip - cleaned, because liquid products can harbor bacteria so it's very important to keep any applicators clean so as not to contaminate the product and hasten its demise. I get a little bit of product on the tip of my finger, then gently dab the cream onto my eyelid in several places - then blend. When applying under shadow, I will wait for 30 seconds for the cream shadow to set and begin drying - but I don't want it 100% dry, otherwise the shadow powder won't adhere.
I have heavy, oily eyelids. My eye makeup will crease after a full 8-hour day, no matter what product or combination of products I'm using. That's just how my eyes are. However, the Benefit creaseless cream shadows will begin to collect and crease after 3 hours. I once even tried using my hairdryer on air-only and drying the cream shadow completely, then just brushing some mineral veil over the top and applying no other mineral eye makeup. In three hours...creases. I was highly frustrated.
This was the first cream shadow I tried, and I tried it for two reasons: one, I was looking for an eye shadow primer with some color; and two, I'd previously tried Benefit Cosmetics' BADGal Blue mascara and was pleased with the results. This product is easy to apply and easy to store. However, it doesn't last as long as other similar products.
I will likely try Stiletto and possibly Get Figgy, because the other manufacturers from whom I buy my cream shadows don't currently offer purples. I do not intend to throw my current Benefit cream shadows out. However, if I knew then what I know now, I would not buy as many Benefit cream shadows.
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