As a makeup enthusiast, I enjoy using all kinds of eyeshadow. However, not everyone is comfortable using traditional powder eyeshadows. Cream eyeshadows are a great alternative for adding color to the eyes because they don’t require very much time or skill to apply. Additionally, they can be used alone as a one and done eyeshadow or combined with powder eyeshadows to create a full eye look.
I’d been wanting to try cream eyeshadow for a long time, but most of them I found were out of my price range. I had my eye on the e.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks for the last several months since e.l.f. is so affordable, but I was skeptical about their quality because I hadn’t heard any reviews. I’ve enjoyed most e.l.f. products I’ve tried, so I’m not sure why I was so resistant! Once e.l.f. expanded the shade range for its No Budge Shadow Sticks, I started seeing a lot of reviews which were mixed, and knew it was time to give this product a go.
I ordered two No Budge Shadow Sticks in the shades Rose Gold and Magnetic Pull. Keep reading for my full product review, complete with swatches!
E.l.f. No Budge Shadow Stick product claims directly from ElfCosmetics.com
A metallic cream eyeshadow stick that is smudge-proof, long-wearing and crease-resistant. Smooth formula glides on easily and flawlessly.
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Other product details
- Price: $5.00
- Net weight: 0.05 oz.
- Made in China
- Shelf life: 6 months
- 14 shades (e.l.f. doesn’t provide shade descriptions, so I’ll do my best to describe each shade; all shades are shimmers except for “Mint for You” from the Mint Melt collection)
- Perfect pearl: Light champagne (very similar to “Champagne Crystal”)
- Rose gold: Rose gold (no creativity in this shade name)
- Magnetic pull: Taupe
- Champagne crystal: Champagne
- Rich amethyst: Royal purple
- Copper chic: Copper
- Rose quartz: Soft pink
- Golden goddess: Yellow gold
- Blue steel: Silvery blue
- Midnight sapphire: Navy blue
- Bronze metal: Bronze
- Ice Créme (part of the Mint Melt collection): Champagne (I’m not sure why this shade was created since there were already two very similar shades)
- Melt with me (part of the Mint Melt collection): Deep brown
- Mint for you (part of the Mint Melt collection): Mint green
- Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com
- ElfCosmetics.com ships to the USA and Canada only
- Overall rating: 9.0/10
- Packaging: 10/10
- Ease of application: 10/10
- Inclusivity: 9/10
- Staying power: 6/10
- Price: 10/10
Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.
E.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks have a twist up design, and can be sharpened with the built-in sharpener shown in this photo. I think it’s brilliant that e.l.f. includes a sharpener in this product’s design. It’s easiest to apply this cream eyeshadow to small areas like the inner corner or lower lash line if it’s at least a little bit sharpened.
No Budge Shadow Sticks have been around for quite some time now and used to look very different. The packaging was updated when e.l.f. added more shades last year. Now, the packaging for each shade matches the color of the product inside.
While the packaging is plastic, it feels reasonably sturdy and the cap snaps in place securely. These shadow sticks would be ideal for travel because the packaging protects the product effectively. Also, the compact size makes these very handy to toss in just about any bag whether it’s a clutch or a duffel bag.
Ease of application
The texture of the e.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks is very smooth and creamy. They glide over the skin easily so there’s little to no tugging of that delicate skin around the eyes. My favorite thing about these is how quickly you can swipe them on and blend the edges for an effortless eye look.
These shadow sticks can be used a couple of different ways. They can be used for “one and done” eye looks or they can be used in combination with other eyeshadows. I prefer using them alone, but both methods have their merits.
In the photo on the left below, I used a couple of deeper powder eyeshadows in and above the crease, and used the Rose Gold No Budge Shadow Stick on my eyelids. In the photo on the right, I used Magnetic Pull on my eyelids and blended the color up into my crease with a brush. I find that when I blend these, it’s easy to blend the color away so sometimes more product needs to be applied. This formula is very easy to blend, but it’s important not to wait too long to blend because it will set.
I don’t know that every shade of the No Budge Shadow Sticks would work for every skin tone, but I think there are at least a couple of shades for everyone. Some of the shades seem to be much more pigmented than others.
For example, the shades Rich Amethyst and Midnight Sapphire seem to be the most pigmented and they’re the boldest shades. Those would look gorgeous on deep skin tones. Conversely, Rose Quartz and Champagne Crystal don’t appear to be nearly as pigmented and would probably look best on fair to light skin tones. I might be off-base on those shade assessments since I haven’t actually tried those particular shades myself, but I do feel confident that there are shades that will work for every skin tone.
My two shades, Rose Gold and Magnetic Pull, seem to be somewhere in the middle of the pigmentation spectrum and would probably work for a lot of different skin tones. In these swatches, I built up the product to maximum opacity. On the eyes, these shades provide a sheer wash of color once they are blended.
As far as the variety of unique shades, I think e.l.f. has done a very good job of providing several options. I am a little bit confused about why there are three shades that are so similar (Perfect Pearl, Champagne Crystal, and Ice Créme), but that’s my one and only complaint about this shade range. If e.l.f. would ever choose to expand the shade range again, I think it might be nice if they added silver and emerald shades.
E.l.f. claims that the No Budge Shadow Stick formula is smudge-proof, long-wearing and crease-resistant. I wish I could say that I agree with that assessment, but I don’t. It is smudge proof once it sets, but it isn’t long-wearing or crease-resistant. This rating category is a complicated one because there are caveats here to take into consideration.
First off, I don’t think the formula is consistent across all 14 shades. Some appear to have more shimmer than others. Of the two shades I have, Rose Gold has more shimmer than Magnetic Pull. I’m bringing this up because each of the shades wear differently on me throughout the day and there may be some variation among the other shades as well.
Rose Gold doesn’t last very well at all, unless it’s worn in conjunction with powder eyeshadow (see above example under “ease of application”). If it is worn alone, it creases and wears away within only a few hours. I have oily eyelids that are also hooded, so it may hold up better for those with normal eyelids.
Magnetic Pull performs much better. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the lesser amount of shimmer in that shade or if it’s something else. This shade doesn’t crease or fade as noticeably as the Rose Gold does. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as I’d like, but I have high expectations. I think it wears well enough to be worn on an average day (at least six hours, possibly more).
The good news here is that it’s very easy to touch-up with these shadow sticks once the color starts to fade or crease. Swipe on a little more product and blending may not even be necessary for it to look “good as new.”
Those of you that have read some of my other product reviews may be wondering why I didn’t mention eyeshadow primer. I always use Milani Eyeshadow Primer to prevent powder and liquid eyeshadows from creasing and fading. Unfortunately, I discovered that it doesn’t make much difference in wear time with these No Budge Shadow Sticks. I think it might make the color show up a little better on my eyelids, but it doesn’t seem to help with longevity.
E.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks are priced at only $5.00! It’s common for e.l.f. products to be some of the most affordable, but in this case I didn’t find a single shadow stick from any brand offered at a lower price. Most of the shadow sticks I found were from high-end brands that charge quadruple (or more) the price of e.l.f.’s No Budge Shadow Sticks.
Also, these and other shadow sticks don’t include very much product, so I’m especially glad that e.l.f. offers them at such an affordable price. This is the kind of product that would need to be replaced often if used daily. Thanks e.l.f., for staying true to your roots and keeping prices so low! 🙂
When I ordered these e.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks, I had high hopes for the formula based on the product name. While they aren’t as long-wearing as I’d like, they are creamy, easy to apply, have convenient packaging, and are priced very reasonably! I’ve enjoyed using these in a variety of ways including as eyeliner (Magnetic Pull) and inner-corner highlight (Rose Gold).
If this is a product that sounds interesting to you, I think you should give it a try even if you’re concerned about the wear-time. A lot of reviews I’ve read from others state that these are long-wearing for them, so it’s hard to say how they’ll last on any particular person. At $5.00 each, you really can’t go wrong!
I may try a couple other shades at some point in the future. I’ve got my eye on Bronze Metal as an everyday neutral and Blue Steel because it’s such a fun unique shade.
Have you tried any of the e.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks or shadow sticks from other brands? What kind of experiences have you had with this type of product’s longevity? I hope to hear from you, as shadow sticks seem to wear so differently from person to person.