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Eye shadow primer comparison

July 3, 2013

As I probably wrote about excessively when working on my Maleficent costume, I missed the class in middle school where they taught you how makeup works. I don’t know if I was absent that day or transferred schools in the middle of the year… that’s how I never learned states and capitals. My class at school1 did it the second half of the year, and school2 did it the first half. I caught up. Montpelier. See? Now I’m working on catching up on the makeup thing, but you can’t do it by having your mom quiz you while you wait for your pizza to come to the table.

At Dragon*Con three years ago, Natania told me about the magic of eye primer. What? I still don’t know if this is a relatively recent invention, or if there’s this whole world of amazing products I am still ignorant of. This past weekend she told me about how people use Monistat anti-chafing powder as a makeup primer. Seriously. In between I got inspired by Siryn/Dawn’s superhero eye makeup posts. Amazing, all of them. But I am ill-equipped to even begin to reproduce any of them. Time to go shopping!

After reading a million reviews about a million products, I bought a L’Oreal Paris HiP gold eyeliner and this Shany eyeshadow palette:


Holy cow, that’s a lot of colors! I was particularly interested in the red because I like the way it looks in one of Siryn’s Jean Grey looks, but red is not an easy color to come by in an eye shadow palette. I also bought a tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurance since Amazon has it for about half the price of Sephora/ULTA/wherever. I’ve been using the e.l.f. primer for a while, and I can attest that their $3 version is actually different from and superior to the $1 version, which doesn’t seem to do much at all. When the goodies came in tonight, it seemed like a good chance to compare the cheap stuff to the good stuff and get some proof that this primer stuff really is doing some good beyond just making eye makeup last a little longer.


On the left is the red with no primer. The middle is the Too Faced, and the right is the e.l.f. (The orange and green streaks are because I couldn’t stop playing with the palette.) Clearly primer of any sort is doing something! The biggest difference between the two primers is that Too Faced goes on clear and e.l.f.’s primer is “skin toned” (for someone of that particular tone, which is not the shade of my skin). You can see the e.l.f. primer peeking through the shadow in spots. The Too Faced primer definitely supports the shadow more and makes the color more intense.

Next up, seeing whether mascara primer (again, who knew these things existed?!) actually makes a difference.

*** Edit

After wandering around all night with this on the inside of my arm, the Too Faced is still about as strong as it was, while the e.l.f. has worn down to an orangey-pink with a lot of the primer tint showing through.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2013 8:57 pm

    So…not only do I not know how to apply makeup, but I also don’t know all the potions you need to do so!

    • Ruth permalink*
      July 3, 2013 9:32 pm

      I’m pretty sure it requires level 12 spell casting. I’ll let you know if I ever get there.

  2. Gina permalink
    July 4, 2013 9:35 am

    Ruth: if you’d like, you can come play with my stash. I haz all the primers, potions, setters and the like and world be glad to show you. I ❤ makeup!

    • Ruth permalink*
      July 4, 2013 11:54 am

      We just may have to do that!

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