Hi, beauties! When I write my blog posts I typically picture myself talking to another beauty lover or have fellow beauty bloggers in mind. I sometimes refer to new limited edition products without mentioning what brand they’re from or mention products and assume everyone knows what they’re for. Lately I have gotten some comments from friends, family, and people who just casually read my blog. They’re not completely immersed in beauty related topics the way a beauty bloggers (or beauty lover in general) are. I’m sure a lot of you can name a lipstick by just looking at it from afar. The point is that from now on I want to write my posts in a more general and explanatory way. Today, for example, I’m going to give you the lowdown on Eyeshadow Primers and Bases.
What are eyeshadow primers? A primer will prepare the eyelids for the eyeshadow that will be applied on top. Just like primers for paint or base coats for nails. Eyeshadow bases serve the same purpose. Cream eyeshadows or cream pencils are usually used as bases.
What do eyeshadow primers/bases do? They give the powder eyeshadows (or pigments) something to stick to meaning they reduce fallout and improve staying power. They also prevent fading and creasing. Some primers and bases even make the color of an eyeshadow more vibrant. The lighter the base, the more the eyeshadow will show up. A pigmented primer can also help cover veins.
What are the different types of primers? Most primers come in a standard liquid formula that becomes transparent on the eyes once it’s blended in. Some brands offer different colored primers and even shimmery primers in case you’re looking for a different effect.
Is a primer/base necessary? Definitely not. I like using one because I live in a humid place that accelerates creasing. However, a good eyeshadow should work well on its own but if you do happen to have some shadows that are a bit “weak”, a primer is a good way to make the best of them. Also, for people with oily lids, primers are a must.
Above are swatches of all the primers/bases that I currently own. Any cream product can work as an eyeshadow base. Some people even apply a bit of leftover foundation on their lids as a primer.
01. Urban Decay Primer Potion (original) ($20/0.37oz): The UDPP is a cult classic. It’s an excellent primer. In terms of texture it isn’t too dry or too wet.
02. Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden ($20/0.37oz): This is a yellow-toned version of the PP. It’s a bit drier than the original but still easy to blend. This gives your lids a yellow-y cast so it’s better at covering veins and making colors vibrant.
03. Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($20/0.35oz): Out of all the primers I own, this one is the “oiliest”. If you’ve used many primers before you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, don’t be afraid of it, it won’t leave your lids greasy at all.
04. NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Primer ($24/0.26oz): This is an excellent primer, very well rounded. It’s the most transparent one so if you have dark skin and worry about primers making your lids look ashy, this is a great one for you.
05. Benefit Stay Don’t Stray ($26/0.33oz): This is my least favorite. Not even least favorite, I just don’t like it, period. My eyeshadows crease quicker with this primer than without. It feels thicker than the rest, probably because it’s so opaque.
06. MAC Paint Pots ($18.50/0.17oz): This is a cream eyeshadow or base. The texture is very soft and creamy but the formula acts like a cream-to-powder so you have to work with it quicker.
What primer is best for me? A drier primer (Urban Decay Eden, L’Oreal De-Crease, MAC Paint Pots) is best for oily lids. A very emollient primer is best for dry lids or anyone in general. Luckily, most brands nowadays offer very good primers even drugstore brands like Milani, NYX, and Wet’n’Wild. The important thing is to use a very small amount. If you use too much you will over saturate the lid and great an adverse effect (creasing).
Most primers in the market do their job very well so it’s about finding the right consistency and price point for you. Let me know what your favorites (or not so favorites) are!