Friday, June 28, 2013

Ace of Base - Eye Essentials

A good eyeshadow primer is an essential tool for creating a vibrant, long lasting, professional looking eye.  Unfortunately, I wasn't privy to the power of the primer when I wore my first ever eyeshadow look.  I had seen a starlet with a beautiful smoky eye paired with a nude lip on the cover of an Essence magazine, feverishly looked up the makeup credits on the inside and bought every item listed for that look.  For my birthday I did up my face, put the dark purples on my eyes, spread the flesh nude across my lips and headed out the door, loving how I looked.  Well, I left feeling like a fierce fox only to return home hours later looking more like a raggedy raccoon because all the shadows had left my eyelids and migrated to the circumference of my eyes.  Some research later revealed the key ingredient I was missing: primer.  Lesson learned.

Primers, as I also found out, are a very personal thing.  What may work well for one person, another may not find as effective in keeping oily lids dry and shadows intact.  The following are three that I have on deck with one recent addition that I have yet to use, but am anxious to try out.

Too Faced Primer Insurance was the very first primer I'd ever bought.  I had heard so many good things about it that I decided to give it a try.

The primer is a cream colored base that applies and dries down clear on the eye.  I find it to be effective in keeping my shadows on, however, I have noticed that I sometimes have to work harder to blend them out as Too Faced tends to grab the shadows and have them stay put exactly where I initially applied them - like a stubborn blotch of color on the lid.  Also, the formula is susceptible to separating, dispensing an oily mess instead of a solid concoction from time to time.  So while it is a good primer, it's not my favorite.

Next up is a base that needs no real introduction.  Urban Decay's Primer Potion is the preferred primer for most and has a legion of faithful devotees.  I have a mini one.  Actually, I have many minis since they come free with most of their palettes so I've never had to invest in the full-sized version.

Shaped like a vertical genie's lamp and equipped with a doe foot applicator, this cream colored primer dries down virtually colorless as well.  I have no real qualms with UDPP; it works well on my lids, but I don't think it lasts as long on me as Too Faced.  But it is a good one.

Now NARS' Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base?  O.M.G.I.L.O.V.E this!  Ok, where should I start?  This is my absolutely favorite eye primer, hands down.  It is beyond fabulous, y'all.

This stellar primer is an off-white marvel that dries down clear.  Not only does it keep my eyeshadows in place, but this is the first base where I actually noticed an increase in the color vibrancy of my shadows.  Not only that, it lasts all day on my oily lids with no hint of fading at all.  Applying, blending, maintaining - it's a high-performing gem that's left me helplessly devoted and thoroughly impressed.

Last, but certainly not least, is LORAC's Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.  My sister has this one and loves it so, naturally, I have to give it a go.

This creamy, beige primer dries down to a color-free base just like all the others.  I have yet to use this, but I have been so enamored with a slew of other LORAC products that I feel pretty confident that this will be more of a "hit" than "miss" with me.  Very excited to try it in my next look and I will be sure to follow up with you guys on this one!

So, as stated earlier, finding a good, reliable eyeshadow base is a personal journey every makeup maven must take.  But with all the options, ranging from liquids and creams to paints and even concealer for some, you're bound to find a product (or two) that works exceptionally well for you and fit your individual needs.  And if you've already procured your holy grail(s) then that's fantastic!  But if you have yet to do so, I hope this helps you on your quest.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($20), Urban Decay Primer Potion ($20), NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($24) and LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer ($21) can all be found at Sephora and

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