Sunday, 04 January 2015 00:00

Comparison: 10 Primers Put to the Test

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I have been in search for the perfect eye primer. Even though I had never compaired them side by side before today, I had noticed that some primers perform better than others. We can all agree that priming the eyes before putting on eyeshadow is an essencial part of the eyeshadow effectiveness. So I decided to get 10 primers and do a swatch test. Four high-end primers and six drugstore ones. The results were very interesting!


The Test

I used about the same amount of primer for each sample on the inside part of my forearm. Then using a Sigma E55 shadow brush I applied a pink eyeshadow from a Smashbox Eyeshadow Trio Megapixel in two columns. The left column was the control, with no primer, and the column on the right had the eye primer. They all received about the same amount of eyeshadow.


Then I scored all of them based on 4 criteria: Color Intensity, Smudge-Free Power, Resistance to Fading, and Longevity. The higher the score, the better the performance in that category. Each criteria could be scored from 0 to 10, and the total amount of points for each of the swatches could reach 40. The color intensity differences were very apparent right away. After I scored all of them on Color Intensity, I ran my finger through each of the swatches with primer, to simmulate  the rubbing of the eyelid on skin and passing of time. Once again I scored each of them. Finally, I compaired how much of the color had faded away, and assigned the highest scores to the ones that had faded the least.Two hours later, I took another picture to check the Longevity criteria, and I checked the color intensity at that point. Check out the third picture of my forearm. The highest scoring swatches were the stronger ones on my arm.


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  Primer Color Intensity Smudge-Free Power Resistance to Fading Longevity Total
1 bareMinerals Prime Time 7 8 6 4 25
2 NARS Pro Prime 7 9 6 3 25
3 Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion 7 9 6 4 26
4 LORAC Behind the Scenes 7 9 3 1 20
5 e.l.f. Eyelid Primer in Sheer 6 7 0 0 13
6 e.l.f. Glitter Glue 9 9 8 6 32
7 e.l.f. Smudge Pot in Ain't That Sweet 10 9 9 7 35
8 Sonia Kashuk Extreme Wear Eye Primer 10 0 6 1 17
9 NYX HD Eyeshadow Base 10 0 8 2 20
10 Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Eyeshadow Primer 7 0 1 0 8


I was very surprised by this result. The highest scoring primer was the Smudge Pot from e.l.f., which has recently become a new favorite of mine. Most of the high-end brands performed very well, with the exception of the LORAC primer, which scored slightly lower than the other 3. The second highest scoring primer was also from e.l.f., and it was the glitter glue. The biggest surprise for me was the Sonia Kashuk primer, which scored a 10 on Color Intensity, but then had low scores in the other categories.



 This was by no means a scientific test. And it was limited because it was only tested on my skin type, and on my arm. I also only used one type of eyeshadow. It was a pressed powder eyeshadow. It is important to keep in mind that different types of primers work best with the different types of eyeshadow products out there. Loose powder eyeshadows technically work best with primers which are more sticky such as the one from bareMinerals, while the pressed powder shadows with a creamier texture should work very well with the liquid primers.


Another thing to consider is the skin type and texture of the eyelid. For example, when I use the glitter glue, I cannot place that on my inner corners, because it is very sticky and the product tends to rub off because of my eye shape. But it works great on the center and outer parts of my lid. So just because a product scored high or low in this experiment, it doesnt mean that it is the best or worse product. It all depends on how you are going to use it. Another thing that I must mention, is that the Smudge Pot from e.l.f. that I used has a shimmery finish that may not become completely mattified if matte eyeshadow is placed over it. So if you are looking for a complete matte look, than that product may not be the one to use. Technically, the smudge Pot can be used as base, shadow, or eyeliner - just thought I'd mention that.


Just because all of the primers show quite a bit of fading after two hours, it doesn't mean that they will fade that much when applied on the lid. The texture of the lid is different, and I really kept on going with my activities while wearing the swatches on my arm. I know that for me, the three top scoring high-end primers and the two top scoring drugstore primers last all day on my lids.


Finally, I did this test because I am the curious type, and research is in my blood. All in the name of beauty! Hope this was helpful to you. It was certainly fun for me!


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