This or That: Eyeshadow primer
Behind every infallible eyeshadow look is a primer holding the look together.
If there’s one thing I love more than high end cosmetic products, it’s finding a product that works the same AND fits into my budget.
I test many products out of my own curiosity, and I find many surprises along the way. Some of my favorite products I’ve found have been in the process of finding the perfect dupe, so I can still look as good as the high end brands, and have change leftover in my purse.
As a college student with the need to try new makeup looks, high end products are generally not in the budget. I do have a few favorites, but most of the time, this beauty lover is looking for dupe to hold her look.
I will say in looking for a dupe, I’ve had some bullseye hits, and some really far misses. Most of the time, products don’t end up working for me personally. This could be because it’s the wrong color for my skin tone, or it didn’t work with my skin type.
As a performer of many years, I needed eyeshadow to stick and stay in place through rehearsal, performance and even after the show.
Most eye shadows don’t hold up to the test… alone.
Back in the day before there was basically a primer for every part of your face, us dancers had to find other ways to get that shadow to last. We used all sorts of tricks from packing on the shadow to a good old swipe of chapstick to stick it on like glue.
I must confess I didn’t always believe in eye shadow primers. Why pay some odd dollar amount for something my trusty old chapstick had done for years?
It’s something most beauty vloggers swear by… so reluctantly I decided to try it.
For years I had heard about how fantastic Urban Decay’s Primer Potion was so I figured this was a sign to go big or go home. But I didn’t want to cave and pay for the full size, so I picked up a travel size of the product in the checkout line of ULTA.
A trick here is to look for sample sizes of high end products you might not find yourself using often. Unless you plan to use it every day, a little travel sized sample will probably go a longer way than you think.
I tried it the next day, and could already tell there was a huge difference. My shadows looked much more pigmented with the primer. The nice thing with the Primer Potion is that it dries down, which means although it goes on as a cream it dries the shadow into place. Of course, for a girl who loves a look where the shadows need to stay in very specific places on the lid, this was good news.
I live where it’s hot most of the year, which means my makeup goes through the trial of sweat and a full day of wear. I think it’s fair to say I test the limits of cosmetics against the boiling heat. UD Primer Potion stayed in place all throughout the day.
I should back this up and mention I have combination skin, which means dry or oily, getting anything to stick and last is a miracle. Urban Decay has worked well with my skin for years, and with this product I expected no less.
The thing was, I eeked as much use as I could out of that tiny travel size package. I paid $12 for it (the full size is $20), which for a beauty on a budget it wasn’t necessarily a splurge. Let’s be real, I pay less than that for my mascara. It’s not an absolute must have item, so paying more than I do for a must have like mascara left me in a dilemma. And for me, dilemmas lead to dupes.
How could I get the same result for half the price?
Luckily, NYX was there to save the day.
NYX has been one of my favorite brands from the time I first got into makeup. My instructor always used NYX to get us lasting pigmentation for performance. Naturally, that brand relationship has lasted over the years as I’ve ventured farther into cosmetics.
NYX has a wide variety of products that work really well and keep some cash in your wallet, so they’re often my first stop.
For this product I took a little guidance from other reviews, since NYX has three eye shadow primers. One is their ‘Eyeshadow base’, which is more of a base white to make colors pop. The other two come with a wand packaging, much like the Primer Potion does.
I chose the HD Eye Shadow Base over the Waterproof Eye shadow Primer. From what I could find, the HD Eye Shadow Base seemed to have been generally be agreed upon as a dupe for the Primer Potion.
For $7, you get about as much product as one and a half of the Primer Potion travel size ($12). To me, that was a pretty good deal, if the product works.
It does seem to do the trick! The formula of the HD shadow base is that it has more of a liquid texture than the creamier texture of the Primer Potion. It still does dry down the same way the Primer Potion does.
My typical makeup routine uses both more expensive shadows and drugstore type shadows. With this test I used the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, the Tarte Swamp Queen eye and cheek palette and the Makeup Revolution Flawless palette.
So which would I choose? Both.
Anti-climatic, I know.
I think the two work well in different situations. If money was no issue, I would definitely use the UD Primer Potion, as I have. It works well especially with the formula of Urban Decay’s shadows.
However, as a beauty on a budget, the NYX HD Eye Shadow Base does just the same for about half the price. I do like both, and their performance seems to be about equal. I do see a little more creasing with the NYX HD Eyeshadow Base, which I can only say is a little bit to be expected. Urban Decay is a high end brand, meaning I hope I get my money’s worth from their products. But the silver lining here is that it is possible to still get intense shadow looks from the NYX primer. Both products do the trick, it depends on a matter of preference, or how often you’re planning to use the product.
Either way, I’m sold on eyeshadow primer, and it’s now an essential for my makeup bag!
**note: I bought all of these products with my own money, and all the reviews and opinions are my own.