Cream Makeup 101: Applying Like A Pro

Janell M. Hickman
Chloe bbt S14 014


Dewy, luminous and youthful looking skin is literally at your fingertips —courtesy of featherlight cream makeup formulas. Unlike their older counterparts, a new roster of eye shadows, cheek tints and lipsticks are easier than ever to use. But how do you get expert-worthy results? You ask them of course! Read on to discover the new dos and don’ts for applying cream makeup like a pro.

Know The Difference: “Cream based products leave a smooth, hydrated finish (either satin matte or luminous) on the skin,” shares Smashbox Global Pro Artist, Lori Taylor Davis. “[Creams] tend to have more saturation than liquids and aren’t as sheer. I suggest creams for drier skin types as they tend to blend more smoothly than powders.”

Prep Your Skin Accordingly: “Start with a clean face and apply a moisturizer to give the skin an extra boost of hydration before applying makeup,” explains Laura Geller, Founder of Laura Geller Beauty. “If you prefer to skip this extra step, you can use a hydrating primer such as the Spackle Hydrating Moisturizing Under Make-up Primer that nourishes and soothes the skin while priming for makeup application.”

MORE: The Best Blush Shades For Your Skin Tone

Pile It On: “Just like you would first line the lip before applying lip color, applying cream before a powder will help the effect last longer,” shares Courtney Tichman, Brand Manager and Director of Product Development for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. “If you have more of an oilier skin type, setting the cream with a powder will help it last longer.”

Select The Right Climate: “[Creams] can be worn all year round,” explains Mahasin Phillips, Director of Brand Relations and Account Management at INGLOT Cosmetics. “In hot or humid weather, applying a primer (like INGLOT Cosmetics Hypoallergenic Mattifying Under Makeup Base) will give the cream-based makeup something to hold on to, so that it has long-lasting durability throughout the day. “

Most Skin Types Are Fair Game: “Almost all skin types can wear cream-based makeup because not all creams are made the same,” says Tichman. “Some version are more emollient, while others are more matte—if you have oily skin stick with a cream that is more matte! OCC Crème Colour Concentrates are perfect because they have the best of both worlds.”

However, Some Are Better Than Others: “Cream-based makeup can be used on most skin-types since the textures of a cream formula can vary from rich to light,” adds Geller. “Generally speaking, it is best for normal to dry skin as well as mature skin. [Cream formulations] provides medium to full coverage, and helps skin look softer and smoother.”

MORE: 15 Pro Makeup Artist Tricks You Need to Know

Switch Up Textures: “Mix and matching or layering makeup textures can beautifully create structure and softness to the face at the same time,” shares Phillips.  “When using a cream shadow don’t forget to use INGLOT Cosmetics Eye Shadow Keeper—this rich formula prevents creasing, transfer, and smudging, transforming the eye area into the perfect blank canvas.”

When In Doubt, Use Your Fingers: “Fingertip application for cream product will always work,” shares Davis. “When using brushes, synthetic bristles are my preferred option.  However, keep in mind—the more dense the bristles, the more saturated the product will apply to the skin.”

 Avoid a Streaky Mess: “[For the cheeks] use a brush to avoid streakiness and give a more polished look,” cautions Tichman. “Traditional applicators and fingers can definitely contribute to more streaky result. [For your lids] use less product initially and be prepared to do a little maintenance through out the day with your fingers,” she adds.