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SOS: Eyeshadow Primer Three-Way Race

 Screen Shot 2012-09-16 at 4.56.35 PM-

Splurge: NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base ($24) and Urban Decay Primer Potion ($20) Save: NYX Eyeshadow Base ($7)

Every time I write about eyeshadow primer, someone jumps into the comments to tell me how great Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is.  So when I spotted it at Ulta earlier this month, I decided to give it a try.  I also grabbed a tube of NYX Eyeshadow Base to compare.

NARS Splurge.  A great long-wearing eyeshadow primer.  The white color creates a flawless canvas that intensifies the color of your shadow.  No matter the heat, humidity or length-of wear, this primer holds your shadow in place like super glue.

Urban Decay Splurge. Unlike the NARS, this primer is a bisque color.  As a result my go to shadow colors (Stila Oasis, a gold shimmer, and Stila Chinois, an off-white) less vibrant.

Also, by five o’clock, there was a noticeable crease in my eyeshadow.  The lid and brown bone would be smudge free, but there, in the crease, would be a large vein of displaced shadow.  Not exactly what I would consider long-wearing.

Lastly, I wasn’t crazy about dispensing the primer from a tube.  I vastly prefer having an applicator or wand to use.  Using my finger, I felt like there was a lot more wasted product.

Save.  For a drugstore product, I was fairly impressed with the formulation of the NYX Eyeshadow Base, since these products are usually too watery.  The creamy consistency spread easily using the applicator, and the formula didn’t feel drying or greasy.

On the day I first tried this product, my day started with an 8:00AM breakfast and ended at 10:00PM after an event.  When I got home, the eyeshadow had creased near the inside of my eye, but given that I’d been wearing it for 15 hours, I was pretty impressed by how little the product had moved.

Verdict.  After trying the Urban Decay product, I’m not sold.  I’m sticking with my NARS Pro Prime.

Unlike the Urban Decay and NYX products, the NARS product’s white color really brings out the true color of my shadows and makes my eyes stand out.  And in my experience, the NARS product lasted significantly longer with less creasing and smudging.

However, if you are looking for a cheaper product, in my opinion, the NYX did as good a job as the Urban Decay Potion for one-third the price.



  1. Jennifer J says:

    I will second the NARS primer – it' smy go to and has yet to fail me. Worth. Every. Penny!

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  2. Kara says:

    I've always been a fan of Laura Mercier's eye primer and I am more inclined to buying long-wear shadows (like Bobbi Brown). Sometimes it's not the primer, it's the shadow. Great post!

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  3. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    FWIW, I've been very pleased with MAC paint pots–particularly the flesh-for-me “painterly” color. The last FOREVER if you keep the lid screwed on tightly to prevent it from getting dried out. I use small stiff concealor/eyeshadow type brush to apply.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  4. Heather says:

    I agree on the MAC painterly paint pot. The color looks really nice, and I've had mine for four yrs (which may not be a good thing!) It does crease after about 5 hrs for me though unless I use a primer.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  5. HH says:

    Agree on the Urban Decay primer – I had a sample of a few different shades from Sephora and ALL of them creased.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  6. Trish says:

    I like the LORAC behind the scenes primer!! Get the LORAC unzipped palette and it comes with a little bottle of it. The palette is better than the NAKED ones in my opinion.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  7. Laura says:

    For another save option, I like the elf one, and I think it's only a buck.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  8. Kaylee says:

    I agree about the Urban Decay one-it's not that great. I think the NARS one is better than Urban Decay, but my absolute favorite is the Make Up For Ever Eye Prime. For me, the NARS one doesn't hold all day, especially if I sweat at all, whereas the Make Up For Ever one does. I do have oily eyelids, though, so I'm sure that makes a difference.

    September 21, 2012/Reply