Battle of the Eye Primers | Luxury and Drugstore Hits and Misses!

2 years ago

Hello lovely Luuuxers!

One of the products that changed my makeup life for the better is eye primer. If you currently aren`t using a primer in your routine, you have no idea what you are missing out on! Eye makeup becomes so much more vibrant, easier to blend, and longer lasting. With a good primer, you can make even the cheapest eyeshadows look really great, so they are a great investment!

I have accumulated quite a few eye primers over the past few years, and it can sometimes be hard to tell what works and what doesn`t. I thought I would talk about the ones I have, whether or not they work, and whether I recommend them. Let`s get started!


1. Tarte EmphasEYES Eyeshadow in Champagne. I love using chubby eyeshadow sticks as eye primers. This particular shade is a bright golden-champagne shade with a lot of sheen, almost like a metallic finish. You can buy this at Sephora, Ulta, or wherever else Tarte cosmetics are sold.
WHAT I LOVE: The finish is very brightening and pretty, and once it is on it does. not. budge. This primer would be amazing for those with super oily lids. (It is also nice for an inner-corner and lower-rim brightener!)
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: It does not have a lot of slip, so it is difficult to blend on the lid. It is also so budge-proof that it is really drying on my lids, which irritates them a bit. If you have dry lids, this primer might be uncomfortable for you.
RATING: 7/10

2. NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base. This primer comes with a doe-foot applicator and begins with a slippy, silicone-type feeling on the lid. However, when it dries down, it creates a wonderful, smooth canvas for applying shadow. As far as not creasing and keeping eyeshadows vibrant, this is by far the best primer I have ever used. It keeps my eyeshadow looking flawless and creaseless all day without drying out my lids. It is just short of a miracle! Available at Sephora and Nordstrom.
WHAT I LOVE: The comfort on my lids, the crease-free performance, how my shadows look on top of it. Basically it`s everything I`ve ever wanted in a primer.
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: The price...eeeek. But when a product is this good, it is worthwhile!
RATING: 10/10

3. MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. MAC Paint Pots are some of the most famous eye primers in the makeup world. They are a cream eyeshadow that comes in a pot, so you use your fingers or a brush to apply it to the lid and blend. I absolutely love how creamy and smoothly this applies to the lid. It keeps them comfortably hydrated but at the same time, prevents creasing. It is also really nice for neutralizing the veins in the lids. The color selection, however, is not for everyone. For fair skin tones, Soft Ochre leans very yellow whereas the other option, Painterly, leans quite cool. Be careful with Soft Ochre, or else your eyes might look jaundiced.
WHAT I LOVE: The creaminess, the way it keeps my shadows looking matte and crease-free
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: The color is not quite right

4. Urban Decay Primer Potion: Original. This is the first high-end primer I ever used, and it started my love affair with primers. I have the older version that came with the Naked palette, but the new packaging is a squeeze tube, which is more hygienic in my opinion! This primer is silicone-y and glides easily onto the lids. It provides a nice barrier between my shadows and my lids, because my lids can be very sensitive to shimmer. However, I do find that this primer tends to make my shadows crease sooner than other primers I`ve tried. It keeps my shadows lasting longer than without a primer, but I`ve used better.
WHAT I LOVE: the plush silicone texture
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: it creases more quickly than other higher end primers

5. Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin. This primer is one-of-a-kind! The finish that this primer gives is so metallic and beautiful that I have nothing else like it in my collection. I find that it performs similarly to the original in terms of creasing, but the color automatically makes it one of my most-reached-for primers.
WHAT I LOVE: the color and metallic finish is STUNNING!
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: how it isn`t the absolute best in terms of creasing. But with this kind of color, you win some and you lose some.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base! This primer is worth every penny and guarantees that my eyeshadow game will always be on point. Highly recommended!


1. Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil. I have these in two shades: Almond Cream and Sand Dunes. These pencils are really awesome! I know I`ve talked about them quite a bit here on Luuux. Almond Cream is a matte ivory color and Sand Dunes is a very shimmery light taupe. These pencils, for being drugstore, hold up exceptionally well. I especially love Almond Cream because it is a matte base that actually matches my fair, neutral skin tone. Sand Dune also makes an excellent inner-corner highlighter, which is what I use it most for. These are available wherever Milani is sold.
WHAT I LOVE: The creaminess, the color selection, the crease protection
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: Almond Cream, if you use too much, can start to look chalky on the lid. Sand Dunes doesn`t have all that much pigmentation, but rather amps up the shimmer in your eyeshadow.
RATING: 8.5/10

2. Cover Girl Flamed Out Shadow Stick. I purchased this shadow stick in the shade Ashen Glow Flame, which is a mix between army green and silver-taupe. The color of this shadow is BEAUTIFUL. However, the pigmentation left a lot to be desired. If I just ran the pencil across the lid, the color was pretty, but once I blended it out a bit, or tried to blend a shadow on top, it wore away so fast and was patchy. I also feel like this didn`t do a whole lot as far as making my shadow last longer. Also, at $7.99 USD, it was a little pricey, especially since the Milani pencils perform a lot better for about the same price.
WHAT I LOVE: The color is STUNNING and quite unique for a drugstore product.
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: it is patchy, faded quickly and didn`t help my shadows to look brighter or last longer.
RATING: 5/10

3. Neutrogena Crease-Proof Eye Shadow. I received this eyeshadow for free a few years ago through a BzzAgent campaign, and I`ve been using it on-and-off ever since. It really does not budge, like the product claims. Once this is on your lid, it doesn`t move until you take it off! The product has a rounded tip which makes it really massaging when you place it on the eye, and is great for getting the product in the crease. The color Lasting Taupe is a pretty shade that has a slight shimmer, but overall on the lids it comes off more as matte. It is not that pigmented, which kind of stinks, but it works so well as a base that I am willing to forgive it.
WHAT I LOVE: it does not crease at all, it keeps my shadows on longer, the shape of the tip
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: it is not very pigmented, it is kind of expensive for a drugstore product
RATING: 7/10

4. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil. These are some of the most famous eye products, I feel like! The eye pencil in Milk changed my eyeshadow game completely when I was first starting out with makeup. These pencils are cheap and fun to play with, and come in a million different fun colors and finishes. But, as far as longevity goes, these are not great at all. They crease quickly and fade quickly too. But, if you`re just looking to play around with color for costume makeup or if you`re just starting off with makeup, then these are great and won`t break the bank.
WHAT I LOVE: the color variety, the creaminess and blendability, the cheap price
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: how quickly the crease and fade
RATING: 5.5/10

5. Maybelline Color Tattoos. If you haven`t heard about the Color Tattoos by now, you are really living under a rock! As far as drugstore primers go, these really broke the mold. I cannot tell you how incredible these make my eyeshadow look! They come in a variety of neutral as well as colorful varieties, and in matte and shimmer finishes. My favorites are Bad to the Bronze and Barely Branded. You need just the smallest bit to blend over the eyes, and they keep everything crease-free and bright all day. Bad to the Bronze is one of the most beautiful shades I have ever used, and I frequently use this a for one-shadow looks! Cannot recommend these enough. (And, they are really affordable!!)
WHAT I LOVE: Everything. There is literally nothing wrong with the Color Tattoos!
WHAT I DON`T LOVE: that it doesn`t come in a lighter beige matte shade, a la MAC paint pots!
RATING: 10/10

Maybelline Color Tattoos! You need to try them if you haven`t. I have ten of these and don`t intend on stopping until I hoard them all!

So, that`s it for battle of the primers! The winners in each category are ones that I highly recommend. You won`t regret it if you try them. Have you tried any of these products before? Let me know in the comments what you think!


(images are mine and exclusive to

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