What do you do when you run out of your favorite Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer? Well you go looking for a replacement of course. I ran out of it last winter and didn’t have a back up ready. With no Sephora anywhere nearby, I had to make do with some primers that I had lying on a shelf, waiting for exactly this moment. I tried and tested three different ones: a budgetproof one by NYX, a middle/ higher end drugstore one by Soap & Glory and finally a high end one by Kat Von D. Will these live up to my trusty Too Faced one?
I gathered these three primers on several different occasions and mainly because I knew that one day I would run out of my favorite. Rather than buying that again, I decided I wanted to try something else and thus purchased a few that I had either heard great things about, or that I was curious about myself. I so happened to collect three different eyeshadow primers in three different price categories.
These are all very different and I have fairly oily eyelids. Eye shadows crease on me very easily and where some people can get away with wearing a MAC paint pot on its own for instance, I always use a base underneath as it will crease otherwise. I also make some long days at work and so my make up needs to last at least 12 hours. A good eyeshadow primer is thus a must for me and I couldn’t think of a better test person: if it sticks on me, it is likely to stick on everyone else.
NYX – Soap & Glory – Kat Von D
Swatched on my arm you can see how different these are. The NYX one is the most transparent and skin like. The Soap & Glory one is white and translucent and has a hint of shimmer to it (oh no!). Kat Von D comes with a yellow undertoned seemingly concealer like substance. It is the most opaque of the three and my intention to use this is to be able to skip a step in my make up routine. What I usually do is apply primer, apply MAC Paint Pot in Painterly to neutralize my eye lid and THEN apply eyeshadow. If this primer works and blends nicely into my skin, it would mean going without one step in the make up process and thus winning a teeny bit of time.
NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base in ESB04
Let’s start by looking at the cheapest option first. This NYX HD eyeshadow primer is available more widely now, but I bought this in Germany last summer. It contains 6 ml of product and costs €6.99.
The packaging is straightforward and fuss free. I find this closes very nicely. As there is one make up product that you don’t want drying out, it’s your eyeshadow primer. The tube contains a wand that is equipped with a doe foot applicator. Much like a lipgloss would be and it makes for easy application. There is just the right amount of product on the applicator, which means you cannot overload your lid with primer and make it not do its job. It promises to smooth out lines and lid colors, but since I find this applies quite sheer, I do not really notice those effects on my red eye lids.
On the left of this collage you can see the make up freshly applied. On the right hand side you can see the exact same eyeshadow look, only 12 hours later. Apart from the obvious change in lighting due to it being a different time of day, there isn’t much of a difference between these looks. The shadows appear to me slightly less intense, but this look is still very much in tact otherwise. In other words, I am very much impressed with this eyeshadow primer by NYX. It gets the job done, which is exactly what an eyeshadow primer is supposed to do.
Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer in Skin
The packaging of the Kat Von D primer looks a lot more impressive than the NYX one. It is still a lipgloss type packaging, but this time the tube is clear which means you can see the product and it is decorated with the quintessential star motive that Kat Von D uses in many of her products. This retails for €14 (or $15) for 4.4 ml of product. That makes this the priciest product with the least amount of bang for your buck, as it also contains the least amount of product.
Much like the NYX primer, this has a lipgloss like applicator. There is a fair amount of product on the applicator which means I easily used too much. And using too much with this meant creasing eyeshadow for sure. So far I am not impressed. This is still the old packaging too. The product now comes in a tube and contains less than it used to as well. I didn’t try the new packaging so I cannot say whether there is any difference between the two.
On the left: the fresh make up look. In the right hand top corner you can see a freshly applied coat of the primer. Since I hoped this could double as a concealer for my eyelids, I was hoping this would do a good job at neutralizing my lids. Unfortunately, that aspect of the product didn’t work for me. First of all, this primer is far too yellow for my skin tone. To get the effect on the picture above, I had too apply too thick a coat to make the product work and when I applied less I still wasn’t impressed by the workings of this product. As the bottom right corner shows you: after 12 hours of wear my wing had all but disappeared, the cream shadow had stained, creased and partly disappeared.
And this isn’t even the worst I had. I played around with different layers of thickness for this, applying less and more as I went along to really give this a good try. Unfortunately, I happened to use this on a day when I had gone to work with a full on cat eye winged liner. My liner stained into my eyelid crease and the matte shade I had applied to my overall lid had creased worse than what you see here. By the end of the day, there was nothing left of my make up look and I had to keep using cotton buds throughout the day to remove smudging. To say this wasn’t a very successful product for me would be an understatement.
Soap & Glory It’s About Prime Eyeshadow Underbase in Bright Light
I picked up this Soap & Glory primer in London, where the brand’s make up products are sold at Boots. This eyeshadow primer, which is also available in a smokey version, contains 5 ml of product at €11 (or £8).
Like the other two primers, this Soap & Glory primer comes in a lipgloss tube with a doe foot applicator. This applicator contains far too much product and again it is easy to over apply. I am also not a fan of the shimmer in the product, but once it’s on the lid it is not too noticeable. This doesn’t cover any redness and goes on transparent, despite its scary white looking color.
On the lid this performed okayish, but I am not blown away by the results. Again, on the left is freshly applied make up, on the right: 12 hours of wear later. As you can see this primer definitely creased on me and around the crease area, the eyeshadow has also disappeared. After a few hours of wear, there are gaps in the make up look and so it’s not too great of a performance. However, I think that if your lids are not as oily as mine, this might still work for you. This, however, just isn’t for me.
My overall conclusion is that the NYX HD primer is not only the cheapest and contains the most amount of product, it also performs the best. The other two, I would personally skip. They do not perform as well and you use a lot of product. With the NYX HD primer, you only need a little and your eye make up lasts all day when you use it. The NYX primer is as nice as the Too Faced Shadow Insurance in my opinion, but at about half the price. You do get less product (TFSI is 10 ml), but seeing that lasted me half a life time, using a smaller sized product is not that much of a problem to me.
Which eyeshadow primer do you use?