Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NARS Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base

Eye shadow primers aren't the most glamourous of makeup products but are one of the most useful.  I have tried my share of eye shadow primers and have continued to return to my beloved Urban Decay Primer Potion time after time.  However, with my love with glitter shadows, I always continue to test every eye primer that I can get my hands on since these types of shadows hold major fallout potential.  I have found that companies (like Urban Decay) that have a wide variety of eye shadow shades and finishes tend to have to highest quality of primers (MAC is the big exception to this rule) and tend to win my heart in the primer category.  When I was offered a large sample of the NARS primer from Sephora (Beauty Insider perks!), I went right for it, in the hopes that I would find another primer to be worthy of the love and praise that I heap on the Urban Decay product.

"No smudging, creasing, or caking.  The NARS Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base is the insider trick of the trade.  Never looking heavy-handed, this lightweight eye primer creates a seamless canvas that keeps cream and powder color looking brilliant, fresh, and just-applied all day.  A polymer and mineral powder blend creates a firm grip on color ensuring hours and hours of gorgeous wear.  Fortified with special deep-sea and antioxidant rice extracts, the Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base dries on contact and keeps the delicate eyelid smooth and prepared for color application.  Extends the wear of eye shadow, eye liner, and eye brown pencil.  Instantly transform to a matte finish and preps skin for color application.  Maximizes color intensity.  Dermatologist and ophthamologist tested.  Fragrance free."

I put this eye shadow primer to the most rigorous of testing.  Most of the other eye shadow primers that I have tried have fallen somewhere into my testing and have been put onto my discard pile.  My hardest exam for the primer to pass is both Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Eye Shadow and Vincent Longo Wet Diamond Eye Shadows (worn dry).  Both of these two shadows have large pieces of glitter in them and have major fallout issues.  Fallout occurs when the glitter particles fall off my lids during application, both of these shadows can't be applied with brushes and must be tapped onto the lid with my fingers.  Lovely to wear, hell to apply at times.  This is the only primer other than the Urban Decay formula that has stood up to these shadows.  So for wear and durability, this primer ties the Primer Potion. 

The Urban Decay formula goes on thick and then needs to be blended in quickly before it sets and dries.  This formula goes on much thinner (in fact, so thin that the first time that I used this one, I added a second coat because I wasn't sure that I had put enough product on).  I quickly learned that using either one or two coats gave me the exact same result, so I never made that mistake again.  This primer goes on much drier, the Urban Decay version feels wet until it dries.  The dry feeling must be due to the mineral powder that is contained in this formula.  Eye shadow goes on easily with either formula and I didn't notice any difference in the application with either one. 

My testing already established that both formulas are pretty equal when it comes to tackiness and keeping eye shadow on my lids and not my cheeks.  With the Urban Decay formula, I get a full day's wear (at least 12 hours) and the NARS one works just as well.  I have successfully worn the NARS formula during rainstorms and so far humidity hasn't made the NARS formula budge.  Primer Potion performed exactly the same under the same conditions.  I have put the Urban Decay to one additional test that I haven't yet performed on the NARS primer.  Four words, long humid summer nights.  I am pretty confident in stating that I think that the NARS version will have no problem performing in this category just as well as the Urban Decay version. 

So far, this is the only eye shadow primer that has even begun to compare to my beloved Urban Decay Primer Potion.  One major different is the that Urban Decay version comes in four shades/finishes and the NARS is only available in one.  I love the colored versions of the Urban Decay primer since they allow me to have a bit of color on my lids and be fully confident that it will last all day and into the night.  I will continue to purchase the colored primers.  Now the bigger question?  How will I decide between the Urban Decay and NARS formulas?  I would purchase either of the two brands, if both were in stock at Sephora and I would be equally likely to purchase either from their company websites.  Last but not least, the new packaging from Urban Decay (squeeze tubes!) is my preference of the two packages.

I have now found an eye shadow primer that rivals my beloved Urban Decay Primer Potion and I have continued to confirm my idea that companies that make better and more varied eye shadows make much better primers.  Now if MAC would just revamp their formula and get on board with that theory...

photo courtesy of NARS

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