What Are Some of Your Favorite High-Impact Eyeshadows for Single Shadow Looks?

Published in: Just For Fun

My “I’m stuck in traffic on the way to Napa” look. This was from a day trip last month. I was wearing a single eyeshadow, Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in New Moon

Summer 2014 will go down in the history books as the summer of lazy girl cream shadows for me.

What are lazy girl cream shadows?


They’re shadows that I can do a lot with. In other words, products that accomplish a lot in terms of creating interesting eye looks but require very little effort on my part (hence the lazy girl component). 🙂

They’re products where you get a high bang for your buck, so to speak, like the eye equivalent of a bright lip. They’re also fairly easy to use, and when you use them, you look like you actually tried…not like you’re showing up to the rodeo with stretchy pants and a t-shirt with holes.

Chanel New Moon on my lids

Earlier this summer I was all about the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in New Moon and Mirage, but now I’m more into the MAC Electric Cool Eye Shadows, which I like for basically the same reasons. They all have something interesting to offer. Either complex glitter, sparkly shimmer or an intriguing color — something to draw attention to my eyes and do the work of multiple shadows.

For me, they usually have a creamy or wet-ish texture with a lot of spongey bounce, almost like a marshmallow, so they’re really easy to pat or blend with fingers. Sometimes, I just like not having to use a brush, you know? (Like when I don’t have time or can’t find the right brush = lame.)

How about you? What are some of your favorite high-impact eyeshadows for single shadow looks?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 49 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Kalli says:

    I LOVE ColourPop! I bought a few eyeshadows after seeing your review and they are so fun and colorful and sparkly, not to mention a total steal. I like the texture too, sort of soft and mousse-y but still a powder eyeshadow because it’s not really a cream. I got my makeup-loving BFF into them and I want to buy more for myself!
    Kalli recently posted … OPI’s Sheer Tint Top Coats

  2. Leticia says:

    I love love love Amber Rush from L’Oreal!

  3. Lauren says:

    My go-to for early mornings at my job has been Benefit’s R.S.V.P. The light color helps me look a little more awake than I actually am.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lauren,

      R.S.V.P. is an oldie but a goodie. Love it for the inner corners, especially.

      Hope you’re having a nice Tuesday so far. Anything new to report?

  4. Agata says:

    I picked up Maybelline Color Tattoo from their Leather collection. I have the shade Chocolate Suede, and it’s a beautiful dramatic chocolate brown with a tiny bit of shimmer. It looks amazing on its own and it can be applied with a finger.
    Agata recently posted … Lorac Pro2 Palette- review and look.

  5. Divya says:

    I’d have to go with Mac’s Indianwood paint pot! Its just everything I’d want from a shadow! Beautiful golden bronze and just makes the lid look lit up! 🙂
    Divya recently posted … A Bronzed Glow With Clarins

  6. Lancy says:

    I totally adore the Bright Sunshine shade from MAC. Though being a bright shade, it does justice with my single shadow looks. I just dab it slightly and all set to go! 😀
    Lancy recently posted … Colorbar Nail Polish Remover Review

  7. Kim says:

    Is it sad to just use a stick highlighter (Watt’s Up?), blend for a sec with your finger and call it a day? If it is, then I’m Pagliacci. 🙂

  8. Raquel says:

    I will use some MAC expensive pink topped with black liquid liner.

    • auntymaim says:

      Expensive Pink or its close cousin, Mythology, are my favorites for single-shadow looks. Mercier’s Burnished Copper is great too, if a little dramatic for everyday.

  9. Ondina says:

    2 of my fave “go to” shadows are MAC Style Snob and BeneFIT Buckle Bunny. So sad they are both DC.

  10. Bella says:

    I like to wear New Moon over Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst (tones down the shimmer somewhat), and Mirage over Mac Groundwork Paint Pot (gives it more oomph.
    I also love using Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Stick in Rose Gold on my lids and Sand Dune in and just above my crease (hooded eyes yo)., or Laura Mercier Sand Glow on the inner third of the Lid and Cocoa on the outer third, crease and just above it…)

    With a hooded eye I find a second colour makes things nicer, but I love a cream/stick shadow these days too.

  11. Shana says:

    My favorites are Maybelline color tattoo in Bad to the Bronze or Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Sandy Gold! The bronze is easy to swipe and go, but the gold brightens up my eye area when I need it 🙂

  12. Iris says:

    I use Lucky 107 Cosmetics’s Frisky eyeshadow (it’s a taupe-goldish colour) over some primer. Too bad the shop closed, re-opening as a bath product shop only, as they made really great makeup.

  13. Shayna says:

    I’ve tried the Maybelline Color Tattoos and the LOreal Illuminizer. Both of them caused my eye lids to become swollen 🙁 I gave them to one of my granddaughters. I’ve been hesitant to try any of the high end cream shadows because I don’t know if I would have the same reaction. I would love to just throw on a cream shadow and blend it with my fingertip!!!!!!!!

    I loved going to Napa when we Lived in the Bay Area. that was before we retired and moved out of California.

  14. Nlm8 says:

    Mally Beauty has beautiful shadow sticks that are ideal for the swipe-and-go look… not to mention their extraordinary staying power (longest wear=19 hours). The shimmery taupe that I use no longer has the label on it so I will just have to make an Ulta trip to find a new one!

  15. Talia says:

    For a make-up no make-up everyday look I love MAC’S “Yoghurt” eyeshadow. It is a soft pale pink eyeshadow that be used on its own or combined with others.
    Talia recently posted … Sampling Monday: The results are in, Part 4!

  16. I almost never wear just one single color eyeshadow, but when I do it’s usually with a cream formula. I really like Shiseido’s Shimmering Cream Eye Colors.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Personal | Zermatt recap. Oh and also: I got engaged!

  17. Christine says:

    My lazy cream shadow? My precious paint pot Rubenesque from MAC! I loooooove this color!

  18. CatG says:

    Clinique Daybreak all over. Also Mac Paint Pot in Painterly or Rubenesque.

  19. Lisa says:

    My favorite date night shadow was Benefit’s Skinny Jeans – until it dried up 🙁 Think I need to go buy some before vacation next week (:

  20. Samantha says:

    My favorite single shadow look is MAC Gilt by Association. I like spritzing a tiny bit of MAC Fix+ on my brush before applying. I pat it on so it keeps its integrity. This single shade is marbalized beautifully so it gives the illusion of multiple shadows. It is so vibrant applied wet!

  21. MzCrafty1908 says:

    My go to color is Cocoa Bear from Makeup Geek. I will put on eyeshadow primer, throw that in the crease, a little liner, and lashes and go!

  22. Suzanne says:

    MAC Paint Pots in Bare Study and Rubenesque, Buxom Stay-There in Pug, and Urban Decay Sin.

  23. Ellabeaute says:

    Any of the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadows or the Diorshow Fusion Monos (love Millenium and Meteore). You already mentioned the Chanel Illusion d’ombres – this summer I’ve been using abstraction and utopia a lot. These are so luxe and complex you don’t need anything else!

  24. fancie says:

    I’ve been using MAC Lorelei and Sea Worship a lot lately. They’re just so easy to wear lol.
    fancie recently posted … MAC Blunt Blush Review

  25. Katherine M says:

    I’ve got a few faves…ready for the list?
    -Neutrals/Quick Smokey Eye Looks with One Shadow
    *UD 24/7 Shadow Sticks in Morphine and Midnight Cowboy (ok, Morphine isn’t a total neutral, but it plays very well with hazel/brown/green eyes); NARS Galapagos; L’Oreal Infallible Amber Rush, Liquid Diamond, and Eternal Sunshine; and UD AC/DC and Pistol. Just to name a few.
    -Brights/Fun Colors
    *UD Fishnet, Asphyxia, or Woodstock; Victoria’s Secret in Taboo and Ultra Violet (ok, I am in love with purples/pinks for how they complement my eye color); MAC Gorgeous Gold, Club, Mulch (more of a neutral but a fun color to me); and any of the Kat Von D single iridescent shades.

  26. Chanel Mirage would be it for me! Love the beautiful, bronzy, glowy shadow.
    Carolyn @ The Makeup Writeup recently posted … Dior Pandore #754 Vernis Gel Shine Nail Lacquer Review & Photos

  27. kathy says:

    Bobbi Brown’d Creme stick in Shadow. It’s so creamy – love it!

  28. Maybelline Color tattoo’s for me.. especially pomegranate Punk shade.. 🙂
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Accessorizing: Arm Candy Bracelets

  29. Heidi K says:

    Flower Awesome Blossom cream shadow has been my go to lately. But today I wore a crazy bright purple shade from Too Faced called Party Girl and it was are ally bright one shadow look. I also like Pacifica Urchin for a one shadow look because when it hits the light it looks brighter and when it’s in the shadow of the crease it looks deeper and less shimmery.

  30. Maybelline Color Tattoos, especially Bad to the bronze and Pomegranade Punk..

  31. Robyn says:

    By Terry “misty rock’

  32. Gillian says:

    One of my absolute favourite colours to use at the moment is Superdrug’s B stunning cream shadow in ‘Bittersweet’. Currently (well last Sunday), on half price for all of B’s range, it’s a creamy, slightly shimmering (but not too much for this 45 yr old)rich coppery colour. I usually sweep it across my lid and just into the crease, bring it slightly under the eye too and then highly my brow bone with the same range in ‘Lizzie’ (a pale creamy base colour).

  33. Tammy says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews (and pics of your cat)!

    I do own about five of the electric cool eyeshadows from a previous release. Yes, they are super easy to work with. I also used my fingers to apply the shaodw. It does make for an easy breezy eye look. 🙂

    I do have an off-topic question for you. Do you know of any other makeup forums that include MAC other than Specktra??? They can tend to be like a mean girls club at times. It’s a case of a handful of seasoned, extremely active members who run the threads with their antics. Any suggestions??? Complaints have been made to the founder by numerous members, but nothing sticks. It’s always the same old thing in no time flat.

    Thanks so much. Tell Tabs I said “hi!”

  34. Melissa m. says:

    MAC Nylon is always good for a wash of illuminating color. It also works great as a highlighter for brow bones and cheeks!!

  35. Rachel P. says:

    I think my single-shadow go-to’s would be Too Faced Satin Sheets or Sugar Walls (from the Boudoir Eyes palette), Amber Rush by L’Oreal, Urban Decay Trick or Burnout (from Naked 3), or the Maybelline Bold Gold color tattoo. Yep, any of those on any given lazy day! I almost said “lazy eye day” but that would have been an unfortunate double entendre.

  36. Sylirael says:

    I think my favourite ‘toss on’ shadow is probably UD Sin. It just works so well as a wash of not-really-colour across the lid! In terms of cream shadows… I don’t really own many! 😛
    Sylirael recently posted … The Nocturnal Rogue: Adventuring with Tarte’s Rainforest After Dark Eye and Cheek Palette!

  37. Kaelyn says:

    My go to lazy girl cream shadow any day would be Maybelline Color Tattoo in “bad to the bronze.” Perfect for creating an eye look that looks complicated but is not!

  38. cel says:

    My ABSOLUTE favorite is Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish eyeshadow in Vintage black gold, guh that was a mouth (hand??) full. I just dab it on with my fingers without the primer it comes with and my lids look glossy. You NEED to try it!

  39. As a single eyeshadow I really like the grey one in Dior’s 5 Couleurs 030 Incognito palette.
    Also I love MAC’s Patina (usual eyeshadow as well).
    The cream shadow, that I like to tap on with my fingers, is Maybelline’s Colot Tattoo in 65 Pink Gold, it’s so easy and looks fresh.

  40. Monal says:

    L’oreal infallible eyeshadow in bronzed taupe. I like it better than maybelline bad to the bronze.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge