The Pros and Cons of Smashbox Limitless 15 Hr. Wear Cream Shadows

I’m not quite sure what possessed me to buy Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Eyeshadows other than that they are cream shadows that I didn’t own. The promo pictures show them so rich and vibrant that I couldn’t resist. I should have known that the Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams that I own are almost identical. But the itch needed to be scratched so one day when Smashbox had a particularly good extra I decided to try one. Which led to 2 more. How typical!

I started with Quartz, a rose gold (available on These are $19 each. Shortly after I found two on eBay for $19 total plus $3 shipping so I justified that buy without looking back. I now have Riches and Sapphire, gold and navy (my alma mater colors).

Smashbox Limitless 15 Hr. Wear Cream Eye Shadows


Smashbox developed these to withstand heat from both the sun and the studio. They purposely made the colors very intense. On their website they have 12 shades, while Sephora’s has 8 shades. The best thing about these Smashbox shadows is that they last the entire day and are impervious to my hot flashes.



They are soft to the touch and easy to apply. Once on they really look similar to the MUFE ones. The problem I have is removal. I end up with the glitter from Riches and Quartz all over my eyes and upper face. Even my favorite eye makeup removers don’t remove it all. The next morning I’ll take more eye makeup remover and go over it again to make sure I have no residual glitter.  I’m truly too old for glitter so that becomes a negative in spite of the beautiful colors. Those two do make a beautiful base for other shadows. I especially like Quartz as a base for Rouge Bunny Rouge Bohemian Waxwing which is a very light taupe shade. The problem is my reluctance to use them because of the glitter.

Sapphire, the one that looks like navy, isn’t working out well for me. I don’t seem to get an even application with this particular shade. I’ve tried it with different brushes and with my finger but I haven’t been happy with it yet. It’s beautiful in my swatches but not on my eyes; your mileage may vary. I’m very attracted to dark blues and enjoy using them for a smoky eye. But Sapphire isn’t going to be the one that does that for me. At least it makes a beautiful eyeliner so that has saved it from the trash.

For application I’ll use either my finger or a brush like MAC 242 – a flat taklon brush. I’ve tried MAC 217 which is what I love with the new hybrid shadows but it’s too soft to hold up to these.

Here’s my Q&A:

Q: Would you recommend these?

A: Only if you don’t have the Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams. Smashbox is $19 while MUFE is $23 but I prefer the MUFE.

Q: What are the color comparisons?

A: Riches is very much like MUFE #11 (Gold) , Quartz is similar to MUFE #13 (Warm Beige) and Sapphire appears to be similar to MUFE #20 (bright blue sheen).

Q:  What’s the lasting power?

A: With the two lighter shades it’s excellent; maybe a little too much since it’s hard to remove. With the dark shade I couldn’t get an even enough application to be comfortable and it never looked smooth. I’ve only tried it twice and couldn’t wait to take it off.

Q:  Are these just Smashbox’s Cream Liners put in a new pot?

A: No, these are different. The textures aren’t the same. For me the cream liners don’t last long at all and I never considered using them as eyeshadows. The Limitless Cream Shadows are creamy and smooth but they wear like iron.

Q:  Are you buying more?

A: As much as I’m tempted by the color of Topaz (soft golden beige), I’m done with the Smashbox Limitless. I’m not getting enough use out of them to add to this collection.

Q: Are you done with the review?

A: Yes bye-bye — Marcia!


  1. I was considering buying this too but I’ll pass. Oh well, can’t win them all.

  2. I like the staying power as you described it but I also do not like too much shimmer. Have to find a review of MUFE 🙂

  3. Thanks for such a great review, Marcia!! I’m a huge fan of MUFE Aqua Creams and MAC Paint Pots- so I have been curious about the Smashbox versions. However, the fallout is a deal breaker for me- so I think that i will pass. It’s not as though “needed” another one either! I haven’t had that problem with any from MAC or MUFE with the exception of MUFE # 3 (silver) which leaves residual fall-out- so I don’t use it. Marta (mafi)- you can find swatches of 15 of the MUFE Aqua Creams on my blog if you want see the level of shimmer that they impart 🙂

  4. Oops- I forgot to mention that I finally did as you requested and swatched all of the Sunday Riley lip glosses for you this morning. 🙂

  5. beautyin says:

    Marta we have several reviews of the MUFE ones. Much better choices. They can be shimmery but they stay on my eyes, not on my face.