Here’s a Tip to Save Blending and Buffing Time With Your Twist-Up Cream Shadow Sticks

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

A quick eye makeup tip to try with cream eye shadow sticks

A quick eye makeup tip to try with cream eye shadow sticks

Years from now when we look back and pour over the beauty history books, I think spring 2013 could be remembered as the Era of the Cream Shadow Stick.

Seems like every time I pirouette or sashay around a corner in my teal Franco Sarto platform sandals, I trip over a display gleaming with twist-up shadows…


They’re everywhere!

The idea isn’t necessarily new, but with so many lines putting their own twist on it this season, there’s a good chance you’ve already been tempted by a stick or two.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour closeup
Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Colours in Seashell, Grey Pearl and Sand Glow

Jouer Crème Eyeshadow Crayons
Jouer’s Crème Eyeshadow Crayons

Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks

Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow
Neutrogena’s Crease Proof Eye Shadows

I mean, how could you not? With their slim profiles, they’re so easy to tuck into your makeup bags, and so blasted easy to use. Just swipe and blend out the edges.


Pretty straight forward, but get this — I figured out another way to work these sticks, and it has been BLOWING MY MIND!

I picked it up from a Laura Mercier makeup artist buddy named Courtney last week, and I’ve been using it ever since.

Normally, my biggest issue with applying one of these sticks directly on my lids is that sometimes I over-apply.

No big whoop with neutrals, like beige and gold, because they don’t contrast dramatically with my natural skin tone, but if I’m using a darker shade, like a rich black or deep navy, different story. It takes me forever to smooth out the edges to get those nice gradients I like.

So instead of my usual way of wielding these sticks, thanks to Courtney’s tip, I’ll use a tapered brush, or a domed fluffy brush, like a MAC 224 or 217 instead.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Twist up the shadow to reveal just enough room to run your brush back and forth along the stick
  2. Load your brush by swiping the tip back and forth
  3. Sweep the shadow directly on your lids, and layer as much as you see fit

Load your brush by running it along the side of the stick…

A soft, subtle smokey eye with Jouer’s Crème Eyeshadow Crayon in Abstract, applied with a MAC 227

I think the brush is faster for me because it’s just easier to regulate how much product I’m applying, and in the end, I spend less time buffing and blending.

And with the darker shades, in particular, it’s cheetah fast! Just a quick and easy way to create smokey eyes without having to deal with any fallout or 20 minutes of intense blending.

Try it sometime, and let me know how it turns out. I tell ya, it rocked my world.

No more Walking Dead till October…

So while I was visiting my folks out in the East Bay yesterday we spent a good 30 minutes talking about The Walking Dead finale and the coming zombie apocalypse.

Especially my brother and his girlfriend — they’re also big fans of the show.

This was in the afternoon, before the finale aired, and we were going into detail about our “zombie contingencies.”

Since I’m fairly confident that I’ll get bitten during the early days of the zombie outbreak, I let my family members know how I hope to be treated after the fact. Like, I’d prefer to stay close to the family, if that’s an option, as opposed to being left to roam the countryside with zombies I don’t know.

Call me crazy.

Ideally, I’d like my own room with a television in it and the Clueless DVD playing on loop, but if that’s not an option, a jewel-encrusted harness would be fine.

I’ll try not to bite anyone.


It would also be nice if, occasionally, someone would brush my hair and spray some perfume on me. Maybe also change my shoes from time to time (if it’s not too much trouble). 🙂

So what did you think of The Walking Dead finale? Can you believe we have to wait until October before we find out what happens next?

No spoilers here, but the comments are fair game!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Viviana says:

    Hi Karen
    Thanks for the info, but I was wondering if you use the brush frequently on the inside.. Wouldn’t become Too thin it may break? Just saying 😉 love your blog

  2. Great tip, Karen! Although I would be a little nervous that the product would break off if I swiveled that much up. The tip of my Laura Mercier one broke off and I had only twisted up about 1/2 an inch of product. :/

    Oh and as for the Walking Dead finale–wow! I did not think I’d be so sad about Andrea (though surprisingly, I was even more upset about Merle but I think that’s just because of his big act of redemption and Daryl’s reaction to seeing him as a zombie :/). Andrea always bugged the crap outta me but at the very end when she kept saying that all she wanted was peace, it definitely tugged my heartstrings 😛 No matter what, she was a pretty bada** chick! I’m curious to see how all those new members will affect the group dynamic. It’s a little scary to see so many elderly people, women, and children though–hopefully some of them will be super tough like Andrea and Michonne. Even Hershel is pretty dang tough for is age! It would be nice to see some of the newbies to the group pull their own weight because they already have enough issues as is!
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Gorgeous Cosmetics iINK Liquid Eye Pencil in Carbon Black Review & Swatches

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becca,

      If you’re nervous, don’t swivel it up as much. Or grab the color from the top. Either way works.

    • Karen says:

      About The Walking Dead, I know! Exactly. I was thinking the same thing at the end when those folks were stepping off the bus. I was thinking, I hope some of those people are carpenters or doctors or something.

      The group just never gets a break in the show… That’s the zombie apocalypse for ya. It’s just one dreadful thing after another.

  3. Wendy says:

    Cream eye shadows are a staple. Sometimes, I’ll only sweep a soft, light color like LM’s rose gold across my lids. Didn’t realize I needed to blend things. See what happens when you get old and your eye sight isn’t so sharp!

    LOVE the Walking Dead! I can’t believe we have to wait till October for the next season. UGH!!! I hope they tape now before Carl ages and has a 5″ growth spurt.

  4. Allison says:

    I need some of these sticks. Why did I just buy an LM pencil in rose gold? Would much rather have the stick! And I agree that brushes are the answer to all the world’s ills 🙂
    Allison recently posted … Alba Botanica Natural Products

  5. Deanne says:

    I love your tip, I do that with my grease paint sticks… Do you remember those? I went crazy when they came out and bought a bunch! Some were skippy when applied directly so I would use my 217 to get an even layer.

  6. Jen says:

    That’s a great tip! I think I’ll try it right now! 😀
    Jen recently posted … March 2013 Empties

  7. Chris says:

    I agree, it is the season of cream eyeshadow pencils and I absolutely love it! I’m wearing Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Khaki and ill have to try this method next time.
    Chris recently posted … Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pretty Powerful Pink (special edition)… Pictures and FOTD

  8. Sarah says:

    I think I still need to build more confidence to try cream shadows.


    Sarah recently posted … Easter Blessings To You

  9. Kim says:

    This is a great look for you but I can’t say I’m too excited to try cream shadows. Cream blushes are not my thing so maybe that’s why I’m resistant to the shadows. Maybe a color that I could wipe on and then smear a bit with my finger would be an OK option. 🙂

    I’m only on ep 4 of season 3 of Dead right now so I can’t contribute to the finale conversation. And I made sure to zip to the bottom of the comments this time. 🙂

  10. Danielle says:

    This is a great tip! I’ve actually been preferring cream shadow sticks lately. It’s so much easier sometimes!

  11. yelena says:

    OMG what a great tip! that will come in handy!

  12. Rachel says:

    Ok now I’m really intrigued! I think I need to check them shadow sticks out for sure! Which one do you think is the most long lasting and stays crease free for hours??

    Anyway about WD, not too crazy about Andrea but I did feel pretty sad about the way she died and that she died:( I had to mass text my high school friends yesterday morning for some emotional support lol.

  13. ReneeP says:

    I have been doing this for a long time just because I am so terrible at blending.

  14. Monica P says:

    I just apply the stick to my lid and blend out with my finger .. no need to dirty a brush.

    I must find those Neutrogena eye shadow sticks .. I haven’t seen them anywhere.

    Monica P recently posted … Chocolate Chip Scones using Almond Flour

  15. Chelsea says:

    Oooh, I’ll do this with my Chubby Stick Eye Tint.

  16. Stephanie says:

    With my Laura Mercier shadow sticks, I tend to twist it up a bit and swipe a couple of layers of the shadow on my hand and THEN use my brush to pick up pigment. This way I don’t accidentally break the tip off the stick and it still controls how much you use to smoke it out or define.

  17. Jayde Paris says:

    Hey Karen : ) This trick also applies to cream blushers did you know? Plus with liquid blushers or highlighters, place a small amount onto the back of your hand and blend it into your stippling brush and there we go, another great tip to add little by little and achieving that perfect blended look!

    So much love doll.
    ❤ xxxxxxxxxxx

  18. Kathy says:

    I just had to come back and comment about how great this tip is!

    I’ve been using Bobbi Brown’s cream shadow brush (which is flat) for cream shadows and stick shadows, and I like that better than trying to apply the sticks right onto my eye, for the same reason as you – – – over-applying.

    But once I tried it with a fluffy brush! I won’t be going back to the flat brush! Wonderful application!

    You rock!

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