Essence I <3 Colour Intensifying eyeshadow base

Essence I <3 Colour Intensifying eyeshadow base

A necessary product in any make up routine is an eyeshadow base. That is, if you like wearing eyeshadow. Which I do. Tremendously so. However, I also have fairly oily eyelids. So a good eyeshadow primer is a must have for me. My favorites? The Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. But being the make up junkie that I am, I don’t mind venturing out and trying some other option on the market. And if it is a super budgetproof version I’m even more game. Let me introduce you to the Essence Color Intensifying eyeshadow base.

Essence I <3 Colour Intensifying eyeshadow base

Essence I ❤ Colour Intensifying eyeshadow base

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3x Eyeshadow primers: NYX, Kat Von D, Soap & Glory

3x Eyeshadow primers: NYX, Kat Von D, Soap & Glory

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?

Catrice Prime and Fine Eyeshadow Base

Catrice Prime and Fine Eyeshadow Base

New in Catrice’s spring/ summer 2015 make up range is an eyeshadow base. I just recently ran out of my Too Faced Shadow Insurance and figured I would try out this out. This is the first drugstore eyeshadow primer I have ever used so with trying this out, I’m not only trying a new product by Catrice, but I am also exploring completely new territory.

Catrice Prime and Fine Eyeshadow Base

When I saw that Catrice would be doing this product I immediately was excited and I think I wasn’t the only one. Eyeshadow primer was a life changer for me when I found it. Nothing is more agonizing to make up lovers than to create a make up look but to have it end up disappearing and creasing within minutes. This product should prevent that. At only €3.59 it’s an absolute bargain so if this can beat the 5x more expensive Too Faced Shadow Insurance I love so much, it would be a true drugstore steal.

The first thing that is well done by Catrice is the packaging. That is something I am noticing more about Catrice lately: their packaging is looking increasingly high end and this product is no exception. The packaging is sleek and modern. The tube comes with a nude colored bottom and a black lid with black letters that simply state the brand and product names. It’s no fuss, straightforward packaging: me likes!

The cap is a twist cap and when you open up the product, it reveals a doe foot applicator with a sponge tip. This reminds me of the Urban Decay Primer Potion that I used to use and dried out quickly. Since I only just got this product I have no clue how long this will last before it dries out. The Too Faced Shadow Insurance never dried out on me though, but that also has a different type of packaging. Let’s hope this product stays nice and creamy until it is absolutely gone.

There is not too much product on the applicator when you remove it from the tube. Again, a plus, because when you apply too much primer, it will completely defy the use of it and your make up will still crease.

What Catrice says:

This base optimally prepares the eyelids for eye make-up. The light texture in a light nude shade is easy to apply and spread evenly with the flock applicator. Perfectly priming your lids enhances the colour-intensity and luminosity of the eyeshadow, makes the colour pigments last longer and prevents them from settling in the crease of the eyelid.

Catrice promises this product will not only make your make up last, but it should also enhance the colors of your eyeshadows and have a luminous effect. Let’s have a look, shall we?

The product look flesh colored indeed. It is a thin formula that feels quite powdery and sets quickly. I advise you work quickly or prime each eye individually if need be, because this product sets in place so fast that you need to work fast. Once it’s dried it feels a bit tacky but that is barely noticeable. On the lid, the nude color vanishes: this primer will not block out any veins or redness you may have in your eye area.

To test out the product I used it every day for a week straight. I put it through teaching days which run from 6 AM till 7 PM for me. But I also decided to see how this would fare during work outs. Because of course the ultimate test would be whether this would stay on throughout back-to-back spinning and Body Balance classes. The pictures above show what my eye make up looked like after a full day of work where I applied my make up at 6.30 AM and did two hours of working out. It was well after 10 PM by the time I took these photos and the make up had been on my eyes for 15 hours.

As you can see in the pictures, after 15 hours and 2 work outs (one of which is quite a sweaty one), there is some creasing on both eyes. I find that with this primer, my eyeshadow creases more quickly on my left eye than on my right. I have no clue why that is, but I think it is because I apply not enough or too much onto my left eye lid. Compared to Too Faced Shadow Insurance this primer doesn’t live up to it. With Too Faced Shadow Insurance my eye make up would survive almost anything. Two hours of working out, where my mascara had dissolved from sweating, but my eyeshadow was still on solid as a rock was not uncommon. And where the Catrice one does a good job, it does not do that and thus I feel it’s not as good at the Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

All in all, I think this is an okay primer. It gets the job done, but the claims where this primer should be making your eyeshadows more vibrant isn’t something I’ve experienced. It mainly makes eyelooks last longer and I think that 12 hours is a fair amount of time. But it will not make your eye make up bulletproof. This primer does not last through a work out and so if you’re doing anything too strenuous I don’t think this primer will be able to ward off any creasing in those very specific cases. In short, I am still looking for the ultimate drugstore replacement of the Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

What is your favorite eyeshadow primer?

Make Up Collection: Cream shadows & bases

Make Up Collection: Cream shadows & bases

This will be the last post containing the contents of my make up collection. Last year, I decided to show in detail the make up I had. By now, I have cleaned out parts of my collection and added on to it and it isn’t the same anymore as it was, but I still wanted to finished what I started. So, without further ado I will show you the final products that you haven’t seen in close up just yet: cream eyeshadow, color bases and one cream highlighter.

NYX Jumbo Pencils

milk, oyster, lavender, iced mocha, rust, pure gold, lime, baby blue, slate, black beans

Let’s start with the budget version for color bases: NYX Jumbo Pencils. These creamy eye pencils are great to intensify the colors of your eyeshadow, but less suitable to be used as eyeliner. Make sure to use a base that will make your eyeshadow last longer as these will crease tremendously on their own. My favorite ones are milk and slate. These I find the most useful as they are pretty allround.

MAC Paint Pots

Bare Study, Painterly, Rubenesque, Let Me Pop

Paint pots are quite possibly my favorite cream shadows/ bases. These double as they can be worn on their own, but also underneath other shadows (especially painterly and bare study). Let Me Pop is a glimmering coppery/ peach color from a LE edition and I wear this as is. Rubenesque and Bare Study are two of my favorite eyeshadows to create a quick look with.

Benefit, Essence & Catrice cream shadows

Get Figgy, Skinny Jeans, Stiletto, Lord of the Blings, Raise the Curtain

Out of these five colors Lord of the Blings and Raise the Curtain were the cheapest and they are my favorite. I don’t find myself reaching as much for the Benefit ones, even though I really like using them when I’m making a plum colored smokey eye. Skinny jeans is the perfect color for usage under a grey smokey eye, but I don’t find myself wearing any of the Benefit shadows as is.

Benefit High Beam

An item I forgot to put in the post about bronzers and highlighters. I used to use this all the time and I still go through phases using this. It’s a great product and gives a very natural glow, but a little goes a very long way!


NYX Jumbo Pencils (Slate, Milk)

Mac Paint Pots (Painterly, Bare Study, Rubenesque, Let Me Pop)

Benefit Cream Shadows (Get Fitty, Stiletto, Skinny Jeans)

Catrice, Essence, Benefit Highbeam

That’s it! Now you’ve seen all of my make up collection in detail. Next up: my favorites per category with swatches and more elaborate reviews. My plan is to pick my favorite blush, eyeshadow, etc. of the moment and write a full review on it. I think that will be more insightful than just showing you what I have.