Almay Shadow Softie in Smoke – Swatches & Quick Review

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Almay Shadow Softies display

Almay Shadow Softies display at Target

It’s the time of year when the drugstores are full of new products, both limited-edition holiday collections and new permanent items. I’ve been trying to buy less lately, but I have purchased some of the new offerings – most recently, one of Almay’s new (& permanent) Shadow Softie cream eyeshadows.  Note that the Target display above does not have all of the available colors; Nouveau Cheap posted a picture of a different display that states the collection has twelve colors.

When I first saw the display, I wasn’t sure if these were powder or cream shadows – “whipped” certainly implies cream, but before you touch them, they very much look like powders.  I bought one shade, Smoke, to test out.

Almay Shadow Softies - Smoke Almay Shadow Softies - Smoke-2

The texture of this eyeshadow is really interesting – it’s very different from any eyeshadow I’ve tried before. When I first touched it, I couldn’t tell if it was a very silky powder or a dryish cream; it sort of feels like a hybrid cream/powder.

In the below photo, you can sort of see the texture – I’ve dented it by pressing on it with my finger. It’s easy to smooth it back out afterwards.


Almay Shadow Softies texture - Smoke

At first, I had trouble applying it. It’s easy to pick up some eyeshadow on my finger, but it wouldn’t easily transfer to my eyelid (or arm). The left swatch below is swiped with a finger using the normal amount of pressure I’d use; for the right swatch, I pressed significantly harder than usual.  I found that using my fingers with extra pressure was the best way for me to apply the shadow.

Almay Smoke Shadow Softie swatches

Almay Smoke, applied with fingers with normal pressure // heavy pressure

This photo was taken with flash, and you can see that mostly matte with flecks of silver shimmer. It’s really a gorgeous shade, and I love how it looks applied.

Almay Smoke Shadow Softie - applied

wearing Almay Smoke

The bad news: it creases.  I tried it a few different ways. Alone, it creases very quickly on my dry eyelids – I see light creasing after 5-10 minutes, and the shadow is extremely creased and almost gone after 4 hours or so.   Applying over eyeshadow primer didn’t help the creasing, though I might try again with a stickier primer.  I got the best wear by setting the shadow with a sheer eyeshadow or face powder; set with powder, there was very light creasing after 4 hours.

I’ll be interested to see how these shadows wear for others – it seems like some products just work better for some people, regardless of skintype.  So, if you have oily lids / problems with eyeshadow creasing / hate returning things, it would be wise to wait & read multiple reviews before purchasing.

I’m not sure of my overall verdict on Smoke – I love the color so much that I think I will wear it despite the creasing; there are lots of occasions when I don’t need my makeup to look good for more than 3-4 hours. I’ll also keep experimenting to see if I can figure out a way to make it last longer.

  • The color really is gorgeous – it’s a shame about the wear time. If something doesn’t set with layering powder shadow over it, though, I can’t really justify it for myself. Products just have to last!

  • Bellyhead

    Love the color Smoke! It also sits beautiful on your skin. That’s a bummer about the creasing, even on your drier skin.

  • DUMB

    I bought 4 and returned all 4. Terrible product.

  • the color looks good and the texture in the pan looks interesting…but i don’t really want something that doesn’t wear that well or needs lots of pressure to apply. thanks for trying this out for us!

  • It does! I haven’t actually tried one of the Maybelline blushes, so I don’t know how similar it is.

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  • Alley

    The Softies really are a terrible product. I bought a couple to test them out for my own blog and basically I didn’t even review them because I thought they required soooo much work, I literally had to pat on 10 layers for them to really show up well. The color is so powdery and really does come right off, especially if you try to do any blending with it. The fortunate thing is that they’re very easy to depot so I just stuck them in a huge Z-palette with my other makeup misfits, lol.