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Monday, 4 May 2015

Battle of the Eyeshadow Primers


I feel as if my life has been a constant uphill battle against oily eyelids. Definitely a first world problem, but when you invest in a good quality eyeshadow palette and spend half an hour blending a smokey eye to perfection you don't want your eyeshadow to end up above your eyebrows by the end of the day (yes, it happened).

I've tried A LOT of the primers available on the market and have narrowed down the best three:
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
I'm putting these top three primers head to head, comparing the different qualities of each so you can choose the one to best suit you.

First up is the Urban Decay Primer Potion. A cult classic, the primer potion comes in four different formulas - Original, Anti Ageing, Sin (Champagne Shimmer) and Eden (Nude Matte). The original formula is a beige colour that blends out without leaving a tint over the eyelid. The formula is definitely the thickest of the three but there isn't any difficulty with blending it out. When applied on the eyelid you can immediately see the difference in the smoothness of the lid and also reduces any shine. So, does it actually help eyeshadow stay on your eyelid? YES! The UDPP does a really great job of keeping eyeshadow in place. I notice a huge difference in the wear time of my eyeshadows when I put the UDPP underneath as well as the vibrancy and opaqueness of my shadows. However, compared to the other two primers, I find the primer potion makes it significantly harder to blend shadows over the top. This isn't too much of an issue if you use a really soft, shimmery shadows but I do have trouble with my everyday matte shades. In terms of packaging, the primer potion comes in a squeezy tube. However, I have heard on the grapevine that the packaging is being changed so that instead of squeezing the product out there will be a doe foot applicator.
The Urban Decay Primer Potion is available at Mecca Maxima for $18 (6mL) or $30 (11mL).

The next primer I found really effective was the Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This was the first primer I ever tried that really impressed me by extending the wear of my eyeshadow, after a good eight hours my smokey eye hadn't melted and faded at all. Compared to the UDPP, the formula is thinner but still leaves the same smooth finish over the eyelid. Again, I did experience a bit of difficulty blending stiffer, matte shadows over the top but not to the extent of the UDPP. One of the biggest issues I did have with the Too Faced Shadow Insurance was that sometimes it would get dry and flakey, particularly if you used too much product and it settled in the crease. What I found was definitely 'less is more' - controlling the amount of product you use can definitely help with the primer becoming flakey but it is a bit hit and miss. However, the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is the best out of the 3 primers in making bright eyeshadow shades really pop! Even if you're using shades like purples or reds, you need this primer in your life!
Similar to the Urban Decay Primer Potion, Shadow Insurance comes in a plastic squeezy tube. The Too Faced Shadow Insurance is available at Mecca Maxima or Kit Cosmetics for $26 (11g).

The final primer in the line up is the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. The offering from Nars is quite different from the other two primers in terms of formula. It is much thinner in texture and makes my lids feel super smooth, leaving a really silky finish. As well as this, the packaging of the Nars primer is similar to that of a lipgloss, with a doe foot applicator - of course in the classic rubberised Nars packaging. Whilst I had trouble with blending eyeshadows over the other primers, I found that the Nars primer makes blending easier! However, the issue I had with the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base was that it didn't extend the wear of my eyeshadows as long as the other two primers. It definitely makes a difference compared to wearing no primer with powder shadows but the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base does not stand up against cream shadows in my experience.
The Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is available at Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima for $36 (8g), definitely the most expensive of the three.

Overall, all three primers are fantastic and if you continually have issues with oily eyelids I would skip the cheaper options and try one of these. What's your favourite eyeshadow primer?

xx Cat
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