Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Basic makeup: Eyeshadow bases and primers

As you probably know, I work at a place where I get asked tons of questions about eyeshadow ;)
Costumers often come up to me and ask how I get the color so vibrant and how I make the colors last. The answer to most of the eyeshadow-related questions I get is usually: USE AN EYESHADOW PRIMER!

So, what is an eyeshadow primer?
An eyeshadow primer is a product used on the eye, before application of eyeshadow, to either help the eyeshadows last longer, adhere easier (and therefore go on brighter), or to help the eyeshadows blend better - but without altering the color you put on top.

What products could I use as an eyeshadow primer?
I know that there are a lot of eyeshadow primers on the market but I've picked these out because I know that they are either really popular or because I use them myself.
  • TFSI (Too Faced Shadow Insurance): a popular choice among beauty bloggers and youtube makeup gurus. I've never tried it myself but would like to sometime.
  • UDPP (Urban Decay Primer Potion): another popular choice, but also a product I've never tried ;) According to the reviews on MUA, UDPP is a bit more drying on the lids than TFSI and might therefore be better for people with oily lids. Some people say, that this product makes the eyeshadows hard to blend.
  • ArtDeco eyeshadow base: Even though the name is "eyeshadow base" this is concidered a primer. This is what I use because it works brilliantly for me. It makes my eyeshadows last all day, the eyeshadow colors come out vibrant on top of it and they don't fade during the day. I'm in Denmark and get it at a store called Douglas but I know this product can be hard to find outside Europe :/
  • MAC Paint: I have this too and it works just as well as the ArtDeco eyeshadow base but I don't use this because of the price tag. Paints make eyemakeup last a very long time but it can be drying so it's better for people with oily lids.
  • MAC Paint pot: This is a bit creamier than the paints and some people love it more for that reason. It doesn't last on my oily lids though.
  • MAC Prep+Prime eye: This product does not make the eyeshadow last longer than on it's own but it makes it super easy to blend the eyeshadows on top of it. I've only tried it once and didn't know how to use it properly so I'll have to give it another try and see if it'll last better if I use another base underneath.
  • Concealer/Foundation: Using a little concealer or foundation on the eyelid before applying eyeshadows will give a nice canvas to work on and might make the eyeshadows last a bit longer but it depends on the type of foundation/concealer you're using. This trick is not nearly enough to make my eyeshadows last since I have such oily eyelids but I know it works for some people.

How do I use an eyeshadow primer?
Of course, the application tecnique varies with different primers but less is usually more. A thin layer of the primer smoothed out with a finger will usually work.

So, what is an eyeshadow base?
An eyeshadw base is a colored product that will alter the color of the eyeshadow you put on top. An example could be to use a blue cream eyeshadow as a base underneath a blue eyeshadow. This will give the color of the blue eyeshadow more depth and the color will pop.
Another example could be to use a green cream eyeshadow under a blue eyeshadow. This will also give the color more depth but the blue eyeshadow will look a bit more green.
Many different effects can be achieved by using colored bases under eyeshadows! Check out my quick tips on Duochrome eyeshadows and Glittery eyeshadows over colored bases :)
Some bases last fine on their own while others need to be applied over an eyeshadow primer in order to last.

What products could I use as an eyeshadow base?
Honestly, the possibilities are endless! :)
Some popular choises are:
  • MAC Paint Pot: Paint Pots come in various different colors and finishes. They work as primers too as long as you don't have oily lids.
  • MAC Paints: Paints used to come in different colors but unfortunately MAC has discontinued most of the colored paints and now have mostly(if not only) neutral primer-colors left.
  • Mehron Aquacolors: These are among my personal favorites but I don't use them too often since they are water activated and terefore a little more time consuming than say paint pots.
  • Kryolan Aquacolors: Similar to the Mehron Aquacolors from what I've heard but I've never tried them myself.
  • Other cream eyeshadows: Any cream eyeshadow can be used as a base but different brands and types have different staying power and color payoff and are different to work with, so some will obviously work better as bases than others.
  • Gel eyeliner: These can be used as a base just like the Paint Pots.
  • Pencil eyeliner: Can be used as a base but soft eyeliners are easier to use than harder ones since they're easier to blend out.
How do I use an eyeshadow base?
This really depend on the products you use and the look you're going for.
The easiest way is often to apply a layer of the base to your lid and blend it out into the crease a bit, but try to experiment! There are as many different ways to use bases as there are to use regular eyeshadow :)


xxdwl said...

This is a fantastic post! I wasn't really sure exactly what Primers were out there, or how to really use coloured bases, and even though I have been experimenting, this post has really opened up my eyes to all the possibilities and choices! Thank you!
As for coloured bases, I've been using the colours from the Coastal Scents Matte 88 palette under my shimmery Urban Decay eyeshadows and have found some really good combinations!!!

Crissy said...

I've tried foundation and concealer.. and it's crap xD esp. for oily lids. I really want to try artdeco but I only have TFSI + UDPP available here. I have no idea where to get either without it being in a $40+ set.

Vanessa M. said...

lots of info love!!

ieatmodestmouse said...

i personally LOVE the new smashbox photo finish lid primer. i'm reallyyyy oily and this makes my shadows last all day!

Sofie (Zoffe) Sørensen said...

xxdwl - I'm really glad you found it helpful! :) Using a matte shadow under a shimmery one is a great idea too! :)

Crissy - Oh, I know how you feel! My eye makeup lasts five minutes if I use a concealer as a primer! ;) Are TFSI and UDPP only available in sets? That sucks :( From what I've heard, they're both worth it though. I could CP the ArtDeco eyeshadow base for you but makeup is expensive here so it'd be around $20 :/

Vanessa M. - Is that a good thing? :D Hopefully it's useful info :)

ieatmodestmouse - Thanks for the tip! Have you tried other primers you can compare it to? :)I'll need to take a look at it :)

ieatmodestmouse said...

well, i used to use some cheapy loreal primer...

and i do have mac paints.

i haven't tried that many but now that i have smashbox i love that!


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