Can a pocket money cream shadow outperform a premium option? There’s only one way to find out...

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In the ring: Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise vs. Models Own Myshadow Cream Eyeshadow

The vital stats:

Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise , £22

Press release promise: “A clever cream-to-sheen formula that creates maximum impact with minimum effort. Choose from six lustrous shades for an instant molten smokey eye that lasts. Soft-focus illuminating pigments smooth over lines and imperfections for a visibly more youthful finish, while the revolutionary water-infused formula has a cooling effect on hard-working eyes.”

Models Own Myshadow Cream Eyeshadow,  £6.99

Press release promise: “Intense colour that stays put. Let your eyes do the talking with this intense creamy long-lasting eye shadow. Glide over eyelids for a stand out finish.”

The battle: Cream eyeshadows, like light lip shines, barely there base and fresh from the fridge rosé, were made for summer. They can be smudged on and blended out with a finger, bring instant, low effort polish to daytime or evening makeup, and can look a lot more natural than heavier powders in the summer heat (ha!). Yet often, where you have cream, you have creasing, and this more slippery type of shadow is not renowned for its staying power. As such, is a cream shadow a staple to invest in, or can you slick on a smidge of something more economical to achieve a similar effect? The gloves are off...

First round: The idea is that cream eyeshadows are as easy to apply as possible. A brush should be relatively superfluous to blending, and is only really necessary if you want to create an intense flash of colour (i.e, when using a cream shadow for definition, or as an eyeliner). As such, how did these two perform on the finger painting challenge?

Eyes to Mesmerise is more mousse than cream in terms of texture; only the most minute blob is required to create a wash of colour over the entire lid. The light formula is silky rather than waxy, and dries fairly quickly, so it’s advisable to work it in quickly. Models Own Myshadow on the other hand is denser and heavier in texture, blending out to a more transparent veil of colour, although I did find it a tiny bit patchy. This shadow also dried more quickly than I’d expected it to- get moving or else it won’t be budging. On the other hand this is promising from a longevity point of view, although from an ease of application standpoint, Charlotte Tilbury nails it.

Second round: Once settled on lids, it had to be noticed that the colour payoff delivered by Eyes to Mesmerise was a winner; rich and glinty without a hint of school disco glitter. It was easy to layer for a more dramatic effect come post-work drinks, yet despite applying more product, the shadow felt and looked refreshingly light.

As for Models Own’s offering, less was definitely more. A few dabs achieved an impressively pronounced effect, but layering was slightly less successful, as the colour creased and looked uneven. That being said, the pigment is striking, and a good lid primer might have the power to minimise ‘furrowing’.

Third round: Endurance is typically the key weakness in the cream eyeshadow market. Both of these promise long wear, and Charlotte Tilbury succeeds pretty well with only minor touch ups after seven hours of wear. There was a hint of colour fade, but the fact that it can be built up seamlessly means that this isn’t too problematic, although it does mean that you need to bring the (very tiny) along with you on your travels. Also, you might need to check in with a mirror every now and again, which is probably advisable from time to time anyway if only to check your teeth for rogue bits of lunch/ lipstick.

Myshadow, to its credit, didn’t shift about much at all, as long as application was fairly frugal in the first place. For every day, it stormed it, but if you’re after a more noticeable, flatteringly gleamy shadow, this doesn’t quite carry through. Then again, applied sparingly as a daily ‘basic’, it plays ball nicely, especially in humid conditions.

The winner: Tough gig, but Tilbury cinches it for the deliciously gilded finish (no matter which hue you opt for) and smooth application, although it’s not a perfect product if you want to avoid touch-ups.

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