Cream + loose pigment combo shadows are a hot ticket item in the beauty community these days. Startup and luxury brands alike are getting in on the duo game. Prices range from $25.00-$62.00 depending on the company, but the concept seems to be consistent across the board.

I have purchased duos from two different companies to compare the quality of the products. The Estée Edit, the little sister of the Estée Lauder Company, and Dose of Colors, the beautychild of makeup artist Anna Petrosian, offer a variety of colors, each at $25.00 a piece. The packaging is very similar between the companies with the cream shadow acting as the lid to the loose pigment. A small mirror is provided within the cream portion of the packaging, but I’m not sure how useful the mirror can be as they are extremely tiny. Each loose pigment is kept tidy with the provision of a sifter. This keeps extra pigment safe from fluttering away from the container. Beyond this the comparisons add more pros and cons instead of similarities.

The Estée Edit Metallishadow

Available at several retail locations, the Estée Edit Metallishadow provides .07 oz of each product. I purchased mine from Sephora who provides a total of six different combos. Some have a monochromatic theme where the cream shadow perfectly matches the pigment while others have a color combo.

The start of my obsession began while watching Tania Waller’s tutorial on this look:

I had the Makeup Geek shadows (Mango Tango and Bitten) and the Urban Decay glitter liner (Urban Cowboy) so all I needed was that beautiful pigment on her lids. A quick trip to Sephora led me to owning Cyberella.

Top: cream + pigment; Middle: pigment; Bottom: cream shadow

Use a brush or your finger to pat the cream shadow onto the lid. It blends out nicely, and very little product is needed. If you are only using the cream shadow you may want to add further product to even out any patchiness. If adding the loose pigment all patches will be covered so don’t worry about making the base perfect. My favorite brush to use for this is the Morphe M43.
The glitter did not transfer into the crease even after a full day of wear which led me to purchasing Scarlet Eclipse. As an FSU alumna and sports fan I was drawn to the garnet base with the rose gold glitter. I thought it would be perfect for game day! Applied together this duo gives me the fall vibes like no other. It’s just a stunning combination with a multi-faceted gleam.

Top: cream shadow; Middle: pigment; Bottom: cream shadow + pigment

What I enjoy most about the Metallishadows is the matte-ness of the cream shadow. The base dries down very well, yet remains tacky enough for the pigment to stick to it without additional glitter glue. The sifter on the pigment is fine enough that the product comes out with great control. The pigment itself is finely milled so there are no large chunks to cause bumps in your look. Overall the product performs outstandingly and receives an A+!
Dose of Colors Eyedeal Duos 

Touted by YouTube beauty gurus and influencers for their stunning products, Dose of Colors wins my vote for the best named product. This play-on-words duo certainly is ideal. And honest. The cream shadow is extremely creamy which creates a blinding sheen when the loose pigment is added. Unlike the Metallishadows the Eyedeal Duos are very metallic. They certainly win in terms of brightness. And with .16 ounces of product they are packing a little more glam than the Estée Edit. 

Left: cream shadow + pigment(notice how intensely metallic this is!); Middle: pigment; Right: cream shadow

I chose the shade Shell, a champagne toned rose gold that can be built up for the evening or casually dressed down for a day time glam. Regardless of the occasion Shell creates a beautiful look. The downside is that the base does not dry down to a matte. This makes creasing an annoying inevitability. I used with a primer, blended out my crease shade before and touched up after applying Shell, and added a couple sprays of Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray, but by the end of the evening the glitter thickly lined my crease and was patchy in several areas where the base bunched up or melted away.

And the Winner Is:

While there are several merits to laud both brands, I have to say that the Estée Edit is my personal favorite of the cream shadow and loose pigment duos. Here’s my logic:

1. The Estée Edit is sold in stores that I am able to physically drive to, look, test, and experience products in person. Dose of Colors is not available at any convenient brick and mortar that I could get to. I have access to five Sephoras all within 20 minutes from my house. I love shopping online, and I will continue to support smaller brands  available online only, but it is definitely a convenience factor of trying out a product before purchasing it.

2. No one likes their makeup to squirm around. Makeup application is not a democracy. You are the Queen and you tell your subject products where to go and expect them to stay there. You employ primers, powders and setting sprays to act like guards, and when they can’t do the job you know you have some angry rebels on your hand. While some rebellions lead to bettering our world, creasing does not fly in the land of beauty. The Estée Edit does not crease. It just doesn’t.  I don’t have transference to the crease, and the product does not disappear. I cannot say the same for Dose of Colors. I believe this to be caused by the matteness vs the creaminess of the base shade.

3. The sifter for the loose pigment allows for absolute control with the Estée Edit. The packaging works well for Dose of Colors as well, but the pigment comes out very freely from their sifter. Because the cream shadow pigment screws tightly into place there is not a mess to clean up after use, but there is a ton of pigment left over on top of the sifter.

I do not regret buying any of these products. I thoroughly enjoy using them. I wish the Dose of Colors was a little more reliable, but Shell is such a stunning color that  I will keep practicing use of it so that I can enjoy the looks to be created. The Estée Edit has a decent shade range, and I am sure they will continue adding future colors as it grows in popularity. As these two brands charge the same amount for their products I encourage you to start with the Estée Edit as there is no shipping cost if you pick up on your next trip to Sephora, nor will it bunch up after a short amount of wear time.