Friday, June 14, 2013

Primed and Ready

I'd apologise for the terrible pun in the title, but I'm not sorry at all. I ADORE puns, the worse the better.

As you may have guessed, I've decided to do a little comparison post of some eye primers. I'm still not entirely convinced that a face primer under makeup is really necessary (especially since I almost always use BB cream rather than foundation) but since my little obsession with loose eyeshadow has started up I've discovered that under loose eyeshadow at least, primer is a must.

Now, this is by no means a comprehensive comparison of all the primers out there - as the internet is so fond of saying, "ain't nobody got time for that." In order to decide which ones to really put through their paces, I trawled a bunch of makeup boards to see what was most commonly recommended. Smashbox's Photo Finish series came up most often in the places I looked, so I picked up some sample sachets of their Lid Primer from Ebay.

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer - $10 more expensive in Australia for some mysterious reason!
This one is quite fluid, so as a point of comparison I also picked up Missha The Style Eye Boomer in Beige one lunchtime while perusing their shelves. The Missha primer is a solid, sticky sort of block that you have to rub your finger on to get it out, so I figured these two were a fairly good representation of different kinds of primer.
 First, to give you an idea of why I feel like eye primer is actually neccesary under loose eyeshadow, here are some morning and evening shots of makeup I did for work without primer. (Keep in mind that while I advocate eye primer, I think Smashbox's attempt to sell us ANOTHER product by introducing UNDER eye primer as well is a crock of shit) I did use my Napolean Perdis sealant for this though, so it's not totally powder alone.

Taken about 10 AM. I know, I'm not perfect at application yet, but it's still
sitting pretty well considering.

Taken when I got home at 6PM, hence the nasty yellow lamp light.
Ugh, look at this mess. UGH.
I'm excited enough about pretty eyes to take my time applying it carefully in the morning, but makeup that won't last all day is useless to me. I'm just not willing to be one of those people touching it up in the bathroom at lunch - if you are one of those people, no offense intended! I'm just more interested in shoving food in my face than fiddling with my makeup. So I need to keep as much of it on my eyes as possible, for as long as possible. This is where primer comes in...well, theoretically anyway.

As it turns out, I was actually really dissapointed with the Smashbox primer. I'd heard so many good things I was expecting miracles, and at first, it did seem really good. It went on very smoothly, and wasn't sticky or dry or powdery. It's a pleasant, unobtrusive pink (probably not such a great match for skin tones other than pale Caucasian though), and the eyeshadow seemed to stick to it nicely without dragging.

See? Pretty.
However, as the day wore on I noticed it was not only creasing and fading quite badly on the inner corners of my eyelids, there was also a bunch of eyeshadow that seemed to have transferred from my eyelid to the part of my eye socket that touches the eyelid. This left my eyelid bare in places, with a big smear of eyeshadow up above it - not a good look. I found myself having to mess with it throughout the day, smudging the bald spots so they didn't look quite so bald, and when I got home it looked like this.

Yuk. You can see that hardly any has faded off at the eyesocket, but parts of the eyelid
are totally rubbed off.
So I'm pretty glad I didn't throw down $30 for this, and can't say I really recommend it. It's not as bad as having no primer at all, but it's not $30 worth of improvement. MAYBE if you have SUPER dry eyelids it might  work better for you, but on my relatively oily eyelids it just made a mess.

The next day, I got out my odd little slab of Missha, and patted it on. Even the beige version of this is a little too yellow for my skin tone, being as Missha is a brand largely targeted at an Asian market, but it's not too bad a match. Unlike the Smashbox primer though, you really don't want to put this under your eyes - it's altogether too opaque and looks ridiculous. On the actual lids however, it's magic. It makes your skin just that little bit tackier so the eyeshadow can really cling on.

I think it MIGHT make the eyeshadow a tiny bit more matte, but that could
also just be the dodgy light in my bathroom.
 And at the end of the day...perfect.

Well, okay, not PERFECT. It was still a little smudged, a little creased, but in WAY better shape than when I used the Smashbox. And the part that made my stingy little heart jump? This primer was only $8.50 from the Missha store, and I've since found it online for $6 or less. I can wholeheartedly recommend this little gem, wherever you choose to get it from. It does what it's supposed to, it didn't bring me out in a rash, and it's cheap as - what more could I ask?

So what are YOUR primer reccomendations? I'd be curious to do an elimination style test to find the best of the best!


  1. Not sure if you get ELF products in Australia, but they are usually either $1USD or $3USD. Their primer is not the best, but at $1, it's great! My fave primer is Two Faced Shadow Insurance, but it's pricey and ELF works almost as well at a fraction of the cost.

  2. I've had trouble finding a good eye lid primer, but haven't tried that many. I would say don't bother with palladio or NYX. I had similar experiences as you did with smashbox. I like the idea of the Missha one, so may try that or something similar.

    In terms of face primers, I quite like the Clinique pore reducing thingo. It's a bit overly expensive though (I got it as a present). I find a face primer is great if you like medium to full coverage foundations, as they make it last all day, and also wear away really evenly if it does wear away. I think it's just that it evens out the surface of your face so that the foundation doesn't bunch up anywhere. If you just use bb cream, there isn't really a need.

    This summer though I wore the clinique with just powder a whole bunch which was great on the horribly sweaty days.

  3. In other news you are no longer blocked by my work. Hurray!

    1. Woo hoo! I safe for work again! Let's see how long that lasts.


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