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Tidbits: Why Eyeshadow Primer?

I get asked a lot, why do you swatch on eyeshadow primer. I also get asked what’s the purpose of eyeshadow primer.

I swatch on eyeshadow primer because once I found out about it, it was a holy grail product for me. Since I always wear eyeshadow primer now, I feel like it gives me a better idea of what the color really looks like and what it will look like when I wear it.

If I don’t wear eyeshadow primer, my eyeshadows will typically crease and be gone between 20 minutes and an hour. It’s sad. I think in high school I just thought that was how it worked for everyone. Now I know better.

Eyeshadow primer serves a few purposes: to keep your eyeshadow crease free, to make your shadows more vibrant, and to make your shadows last a long time. Sometimes they even out your skintone or brighten the skin.

Anyway, I love eyeshadow primer. It’s a necessity for me. Too Faced Shadow Insurance is my holy grail for eyeshadow primers, though Urban Decay Eden is second for when I want to mattify things :)

Now it’s your turn! Do you use eyeshadow primer? Do you like my swatches on bare skin or prefer primer?

Have a question for Tidbits? Send me an email! I love hearing from you :)
You can email me at fresco.phyrra (at) gmail.com

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    • http://www.etsy.com/shop/YayLaboratories Elan Auman

      I LOVE Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I’ll wear it even when I’m not actually putting shadow on, because my lids gets so greasy! I like their Candlelight version as well, when I just want a bit of color but don’t have time to do shadow. Also it’s fantastic when your shadow has any sort of gold in it, really seems to make it pop for me!

      • Phyrra

        I really like Candlelight too! It is nice!

    • NeenaJ

      I love TSFI too, Though I still have much love for UDPP’s original formula. I find that UDPP just doesn’t play nice with certain shadow formulas (Inglot & Chanel, especially).

      Just curious, why do you swatch on Meow Light Primer?

      • Phyrra

        Because it’s the easiest for me to swatch with. I can just dab my finger on it, then on the back of my hand, and that’s all I use that primer for. It also gives me very ‘true to color’ results, even if I can’t wear it on my eyes because it will crease on me.

    • corviddreams

      Eye shadow primer is the only reason I can wear eye shadow at all. Otherwise, all I end up with is a muddy, smeared, creased mess of shadow after a couple of hours. I have been using the Claudia Stevens Eye Prep Lid Primer for a couple of years. It significantly reduces the creasing and fading of my eye shadows, and I can use Pixy Epoxy over it.

      I recently picked up the Nyx primer and although I liked it, I had more eyeliner smearing on my bottom lid than I do with the Claudia Stevens. (To be fair, I have the oiliest eyelids and have yet to find a waterproof eyeliner that won’t start disappearing on me after a couple of hours.) However, I really liked the way the Nyx primer made the colors of my eye shadows more vibrant, even without Pixy Epoxy. I felt it was easier to blend shadows over the Nyx primer too.

      I used the new Milani Shadow Eyez pencils over both primers and felt that the pencil was more unbudgeable with the Claudia Stevens, but I should do a side by side to be sure.

      • Phyrra

        Yes, the Nyx primer is good :) TFSI just works the best for me out of all primers I’ve tried.

    • http://www.cinseven13.blogspot.com/ cinseven13

      Gotta use a primer! I need to start searching for one again, since all the ones I have aren’t working so well anymore.

      • Phyrra

        Aw that sucks! Have you tried the Nyx or Nars?

    • http://projectswatch.blogspot.com Emi at Project Swatch

      I love primer, because of how it intensifies color, but I have fairly dry lids so I don’t have a big problem with creasing immediately. Still, eventually things crease without primer, so it’s a necessity!

      I actually prefer to swatch without primer on my own blog, because I feel like it’s more accurate as to the quality of the eyeshadow. But – I’m happy to see swatches either way (bare skin or primer) as long as I know whether it is or isn’t over primer!

      • Phyrra

        I think swatching either way is fine too, I just know that people have freaked out on me for it and I was like… I always wear my shadows with primer, so this is how I test out the color to see how it will look on me.

    • Jean

      Like you & several commenters, I use eye primer EVERY DAY: Concrete Minerals Electric Eye Primer. And I actually prefer to see swatches over primer because – in my opinion – primer shows the truest color of a shadow. Bare skin can have tones that alter swatch color, but primer tends to neutralize skintone, so you’re only seeing the eyeshadow color(s).

      • Phyrra

        I agree with you Jean! I feel like primer does show the color more accurately :)

    • Xero

      I don’t usually use primer, actually. There have only been a few eyeshadows I’ve worn that have faded on me, and only one that creased. I only wear primer when I want the color to look more vibrant, when the eyeshadow really needs it, or when I want to make extra sure that my eyeshadow stays in place. I’m not picky with primer either–$2 Wet n’ Wild concealer or regular E.L.F. Eyeshadow Primer does the job for me. I gues I’m lucky that way!

      • Xero

        And I like seeing swatches with and without primer, because sometimes shadows look really crummy on bare skin but great over primer. And if I see both types of swatches, I know what to expect if I decide to buy the product.

        • Phyrra

          Sadly I have oily lids, so primer is a necessity. You’re lucky!

          It’s good to know that you find both helpful!

    • Melissa

      What do you think of the Nars primer? Is it any good? I’m in need of a new foundation and I’m leaning towards a Nars one and I’m thinking about picking up their primer if it is good while I’m at. That way i don’t have to have separate trip to Sephora.

      • Phyrra

        Hi Melissa, I reviewed the NARS primer in my most recent eyeshadow primer comparison. I liked it a lot but TFSI is still my top choice :)

    • http://alostgirl.wererabbit.net Misato-san

      I do love eyeshadow primers, without my SI I, like you, can’t wear stuff without experiencing bad creasing in a small amount of time.
      My hg is SI (the original one and the Candlelight one because I love its shimmer finish), I quite like also UD ones but not Eden because it makes eyeshadows disappear on me o_O; after 7 hours…

      • Phyrra

        Aww that sucks about Eden! I’m glad you like TFSI though :)

    • http://Kookith.Wordpress.com Kookith

      I don’t have oily lids, but I never go without primer, ever! It just doesn’t make sense to me to forgo a primer because why would you not want to make your e/s look prettier!?! LOL

      I use SN’s Stick ‘Em and I love it. However, I do find that I get some slight creasing at the end of the day, especially in the folds of my monolids.

    • http://www.beautyismyduty,.com Reena

      Can’t have my make up done without primers. Nyx and Nars works for me. I also recommend MAC.

    • http://wickedrenaissancegirl.blogpsot.com Helga

      I’m with you on this one, I can’t live without shadow primer.

      About the swatches, I like to see both versions, with and without primer, to get a better idea of the shadow color payoff.

    • http://[email protected] BeautyJones

      I have been using UDPP, and I find that sometimes it gets this mottled scaly look a few hours after I apply. Have you noticed this? Do the Too Faced, NYX or Meow ones do this?



    • Misty

      Typically I use Benefit’s Lemon Aid as both a color corrector and a primer. That stuff if amazing!