Archive of ‘Primers and Makeup Bases’ category

Product Spotlight: NYX Eyeshadow Base

Back in June, at the IMATS Show- I received an NYX Press Kit, which contained their NYX Eyeshadow Base in White ($6,, and I forgot about it until recently, since I was currently using my Smashbox Photo Finish Eye Primer and was digging around in my stash.

At first I was like, hmmm white??? But it TOTALLY makes sense considering a white background/primer (even nailpolish) brings out the true color of the color placed on top of it.  The consistency is similar to that of other eye primers, a bit thicker than the Smashbox eye primer (similar to the consistency of the MAC Studio Fix Concealer), but easy to apply. If anything I like eyeshadow primers that are a tad bit thicker because I feel like they hold onto the eyeshadow more. This white primer definitely brightens up eyeshadow colors and gives the appearance of being really pigmented. I haven’t had a chance to do a complete look with it yet, so I don’t know how it will hold up in terms of staying power (if it will crease or not), but so far just playing around with it, it looks promising. I will definitely keep you ladies posted and try to do a look using it this week.

Below is a comparison pic of a random eyeshadow color by itself, on top of the Smashbox Primer, and on top of the NYX Eyeshadow Base in White.

Smashbox Lid Primer vs. UDPP

So a few posts ago, I reviewed and raved about the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer and compared it to UDPP and TFSI respectively, now based on my last challenge, UDPP fared a lot better than TFSI for me, so at the end of the day the lid with UDPP looked practically flawless, while the lid with TFSI was creased and almost gone. So how does UDPP fare up against the Smashbox Lid Primer?

The test: I applied the Smashbox Lid Primer on my RIGHT EYE and UDPP on my LEFT EYE, then applied my eyeshadow as usual at 6:30 am (one day last week), went to work, walked in the sweltering heat for a bit, and 12 hours later, took a pic of both eyes…

Here are the results!


The Result: The Smashbox Lid Primer held up pretty well, slight creasing near the inner corner of my eye, but to me it’s where I normally will crease because when I blink the crease just folds in, and my eyes get watery which could have contributed to it. But overall the eyeshadow still looks just as vibrant, no signs of creasing or absorption of oil on the lid; the outer-V shading and contour still in tact and not much color fading, eyeliner also still as good as when I left in the morning.


The Result: With UDPP, the eyeshadows still help up pretty well, still vibrant but NOT AS vibrant as the eye with the Smashbox Lid Primer; there is noticeable creasing or fade in color in the outer-V and contour area of the lid (compare to photo above). The eyeliner also seems more “dull” in color than the other eye.

Overall: Even though UDPP won the challenge against TFSI (Too Faced Shadow Insurance), it definitely didn’t win the challenge against the Smashbox Lid Primer for me. It’s still a good primer, but in comparison to the Smashbox one, I prefer the latter. The lid with the Smashbox primer was more vibrant and looked just as good as when I left the house that morning 12 hours later, whereas the UDPP one had some noticeable fade in color in random spots. Again, this is just MY personal experience with both products, I am sure UDPP works better for some of you above other lid primers, but the Smashbox one is definitely my holy grail of lid primers at the moment! :)

Prod. Review: YSL Flash Radiance Brush

Product: 4 out of 5
Packaging: 5 out of 5
Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Where to buy: Sephora, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, or any YSL retailer.
Price: $52
Would I buy again? Yes

What it is:
A skin revitalizing complexion enhancer and makeup primer.

What they say:
Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush is Yves Saint Laurent’s latest breakthrough product and the first of its kind. Inspired by the immediate and high-stress beauty needs backstage at fashion shows, this unique hybrid skincare and makeup product provides instant smoothness and radiance in addition to long-lasting evenness of skin’s tone, texture, and hydration. It delivers a multitude of benefits. It revitalizes and softens the skin, erases signs of fatigue, and regulates the skin’s pigmentation. This revolutionary formula creates a protective, moisturizing veil that sets the stage for a perfect, long-lasting makeup application.

In a nutshell: It’s a primer in a built in brush which makes it easy to apply without having to use your fingers or hands to apply, you can also gently clean the brush with soap and water as it’s synthetic. You twist the base of the brush (so it’s on its side) to turn it “ON” and turn it back to turn it “OFF” so that it doesn’t accidentally leak out. Just squeeze and the primer comes out from the middle of the brush, and apply on your face.

– A really great primer, it totally made my face feel soft and smooth, thus creating a perfect, even canvas for makeup application (both mineral and liquid).
– Helps makeup last longer, and it didn’t make me look oily like Smashbox’s primer did.
– Built in brush comes in handy and makes it easy to travel with. I like how I can just apply it using the brush which probably helps prevent pimples since it eliminates the need to use your hands that have oils.
– Has a lot of product.

– Super expensive! $52 for a primer is a bit ridiculous to me! But then again, it’s YSL and we all know at times your just paying for the name…
– The smell! It’s not a bad smell, it’s just a bit too fragrant for me, like an overpowering perfume. I really wish they made one, or at least in the future make one without any scent or at least a much lighter scent. Because it annoying after awhile and I just couldn’t get used to it.

It’s a good primer, I haven’t tried too many primers that made my skin feel so soft and smooth, and with the YSL primer my makeup went on smooth and flawless. Application is easy and you don’t need to squeeze hard for the product to come out, and the brush makes it easy to apply the primer on your face. It seems like there’s enough to last awhile since you don’t need a whole lot.

Product Review: Smashbox Lid Primer

Hi my lovelies! Thank you to all of you for the well wishes, it seems like everyone is getting sick these days or allergies are acting up. I have so many posts and product reviews to do so I am hoping I can hammer them out quickly! Did anyone watch “The Hills” last night? OMG, Audrina and Jayde drama! I personally am not fond of either of them, but I thought it was pretty hilarious, and Speidi, goodness, I really wish they fell off the face of the earth. I don’t know why she stays with Spencer and puts forth all the energy of going to counseling and attacking the bartender- just leave the douche. LOL.

Anyway, I bought Smashbox’s Photo Finish Lid Primer at Sephora a few weeks ago and I must say I really love this stuff. The one advantage it has over the infamous UDPP and Too Faced Shadow Insurance is that it really neutralizes the lid- so you can wear it alone if you really wanted to.

****I did not include the Art Deco Base eyeshadow primer in this review/comparisons simply because it’s hard to find here in the US and wanted to focus on the main primers that are easily accessible.****

Product: 5 out of 5
Packaging: 5 out of 5
Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5
Price: $20, Sephora and
Shades: Only comes in one neutral shade to fit every skin tone
Would I buy again? Yes

To see my UDPP vs. TFSI challenge awhile back (to see which one held up better for me), CLICK HERE.

What it does:
Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer creates the perfect canvas for eyeshadow application. Wear this universal shade under shadow to increase longevity, or create the perfect nude eye by applying over the lid for an even tone.

-Patented Qusome: Delivers active hydrating ingredients that help reduce the signs of aging.
-Phytomoist: Contains a plant-based hyaluronic acid for sustained moisturization.
-Betaine: Contains skin-smoothing benefits.
-Soft Focus Pearls: Helps diminish the appearance of fine lines.
-Silicone Technology: Creates a silky-smooth, velvety texture

Isododecane, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire D’Abeilles), Silica, Boron Nitride, Quaternium-90 Bentonite, Talc, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina, Cire Microcristalline), Propylene Carbonate, Cetyl PEG/PPG10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-12 Glyceryl DiMyristate, Water (Aqua, Eau), Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Betaine, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract. May Contain/Peut Contenir: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

How does this compare/differ to UDPP and/or TFSI? The Smashbox Lid Primer itself has pretty nice packaging in the sense that the wand is long, the tube is straight, so you are utilizing all the product in the tube without wasting it or having to cut it open like UDPP (Urban Decay Primer Potion), where it’s clear how much product is left that WOULD have gone to waste if it were not sliced open. UDPP and TFSI seemed a bit more watery in comparison to the Smashbox primer, not saying it IS watery by any means, but standing next to the Smashbox Lid Primer (which is nice and thick), they both seem “thin” when it comes to consistency and feel. When it came to vibrancy/pigmentation and endurance of wear, Smashbox was STILL a winner as you can in the photos below. It clearly brought out the color of my eyeshadows as well as lasting longer in wear in comparison to UDPP and TFSI.

– Neutralizes my lid color which I love because that means when I have my no-makeup days I can just put a few dots on my lid, blend all over and voila! No dark areas!
– Did not crease on me.
– Has a bit of a thicker consistency compared to UDPP and TFSI which I liked because I felt my eyeshadows had more of a foundation to ‘grab onto’ thus, increasing vibrancy and wear.
– No odd smell.
– Longer wand, straight tube, so you get your money’s worth and make use of all the product in the tube.
– Doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply a few dots on lid
– Easy to take with you in your makeup bag/travel.
– Neutral color goes with ANY skintone since it’s a flesh color and disappears once its been blended
– Relatively affordable considering how long eye/lid primers last you, and as I say “If it does the job right, then it’s worth it”…

– None!

You might like this if you already love UDPP.

Overall? I love this compared to UDPP and TFSI. Since UDPP still has not changed their bottle/packaging, I feel that by paying $17 for it I shouldn’t have to cut the tube to make use of the “forgotten” product that’s left. TFSI, as you can see in my challenge didn’t hold up for me so that’s a negative. Hence I am loving Smashbox’s new Photo Finish Lid Primer; it’s definitely a prayer that has been answered: easy packaging, neutralizes my lid color, holds onto my eyeshadow for all-day wear without creasing, adds vibrancy, and affordable.

Even held up even after washing my hands!

Product Review: MAC Prep + Prime Primers

“A firm foundation is necessary for any building, institution, or individual to endure.”
— Elder Russell M. Nelson

Primers are essential to creating the perfect foundation for long-lasting makeup, creating a flawless and smooth canvas before applying your makeup. I recently picked up 3 MAC Prep + Prime primers: Face primer (base), Line Filler, and Skin Refined Zone Treatment. The tubes on the Skin Refined Zone Treatment and Line Filler are smaller in person, however a little goes a long way so it should last you a relatively long time. These are also officially part of the PERMANENT LINE in the MAC’s Prep + Prime family, so there is no need to rush to nab one as they are definitely here to stay! (I did NOT buy the Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, I bought the MAC PRO Transparent (invisible) setting powder. The difference? The Prep + Prime one is of a finer grade, meaning the powder itself is more finely milled for a more “soft focus” type look). I will do a review on the PRO powder I bought soon.

In this post I will talk in depth about each of these primers and its uses, as well as how you can make the most out of them to achieve the perfect look.

The Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment ($19.50) is described as “A light, oil-free emulsion that helps cloak visible pores while controlling oil and shine. Applies “wet” for a gentle micro-exfoliation: dries instantly to create an invisible, long-lasting natural matte finish. Ideal for the T-zone.”

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Translation: You apply this OVER your moisturizer (let it dry in between), it’s supposed to help minimize the look of pores as well as controlling oily areas of the face by absorbing the oils and giving you a shine-free face such as your t-zone area. The consistency is similar to that of a moisturizer except it feels more “thin” rather than thick, when applied to the face (like you would apply your moisturizer), it dries quickly to a nice matte, soft powder-like finish (and feel).

Overall: I like this prep + primet, it actually keeps me less-shiny than normal, and I love how I can use this on light or no makeup days to help me achieve a more natural look without looking like an oil slick later on in the day. However I don’t feel like it’s a “must-have”. A good face primer or a mineral transparent powder such as Purely Cosmetics’ Oil Absorb or Silk Primer are awesome alternative choices for oil control throughout the day.

MAC Prep + Prime Line Filler ($19.50), described as “A primer used post-foundation, pre-makeup to camouflage, soften and relax expression lines and wrinkles. Applies as a dense cream: dries to a transparent, smooth, natural matte finish. With ongoing use, clinically proven to help rejuvenate your look.”

Overall: 5 out of 5

Translation: It’s basically a primer for wrinkles, fine lines (such as under the eye, crows feet, frown lines around the mouth, etc) and invisibly “fills” these lines thus creating a smooth barrier for easier makeup application as well as minimizing the look of these lines by making them softer. In my Makeup Application Steps Post, I used the line filler under my eyes where I have a couple of lines (apply like you would an eye cream, pat or swipe a little dot), then apply your concealer > foundation for a flawless finish. As you notice in a few of the pictures from that post, my under eye looked really smooth and flawless after applying the Sonia Kushuk loose powder on top of the concealer, but it was the line filler that helped create the smooth canvas to begin with as well as keeping that delicate area moisturized.

Overall: This is a “must-have” for me, I love using it under my eye so that my concealer and powder goes over it smoothly. Consistency wise it’s thicker than the Skin Refined Zone Treatment and when dry, your skin feels smooth like a face primer with that powder-like feel.

The good ‘ol Prep + Prime Skin ($23), this has been around for awhile, and I like it A LOT better than the Prep + Prime Face Protect with SPF50 because it feels more like a primer, and less like a moisturizer which I love. It is described as “An ultra-fluid lotion formulated with special-effect silicones. Calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves the laydown and application of foundation or powder.”

5 out of 5

A basic face primer for the face, to be applied AFTER your moisturizer and BEFORE foundation application. It creates a smooth surface on your face so that your foundation goes on flawlessly without any blotches or uneven tones or color.

This is one of the best primers I have used so far, it hasn’t caused my skin to react in a crazy way, smells good, and is a lot cheaper than other primers I have tried. The best part is that it actually does its job. The primer itself is pure white and has an iridescent pearl-like shimmer or sheen to it, but does not show on your face, it’s just completely a pure cream that dries to a matte finish.


Product Review: Make Up Forever HD Primer

Woot! I am back with my product reviews! And I got a few emails asking about these recent fires, and no thankfully I was NOT affected this time, but thanks for your concern though! I appreciate it, but luckily it wasn’t by me! So FINALLY I am doing a review on this primer since it’s been on my vanity for about a month or so now waiting for me to do a review on it! :)

4 out of 5
Packaging: 5 out of 5
Product: 3.5 out of 5
Quality: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Price: $32,
Would I re-purchase? Yeah maybe…I think id also try another color…

What it is:
A lightweight, oil-free complexion corrector that enhances the skin’s texture and primes the skin for makeup application.

What it does:
HD Microperfecting Primer deeply nourishes, moisturizes, and softens the skin, creating a glowing effect. Creates a protective layer on the skin allowing foundation to glide on easily and last longer.

What else you need to know:
The Sephora-exclusive primer comes in six color-correcting shades and one transparent shade.

– I love the bottle and the pump, it’s lovely and great to travel with
– The different colors represent color-correcting shades, for example the green one minimizes redness which is ideal for those with rosacea, the mauve (the one I have) counters sallow undertones, etc. (click on the Sephora link for what each color does).
– Smells like banana (at least mine does…hey I like banana!)
– The mauve really toned down the yellow undertones in my skin and made me look a bit brighter and luminous…

– Too expensive for me, BUT it lasts a long time so it’s probably worth it
– It FEELS like a moisturizer, and I don’t like that feeling; I like the dimethicone feeling, similar to that of the Smashbox Photo Primer, Monistat Chafing Gel, as well as other primers. For some reason those primers (with dimethicone or any ‘cone’ in it) make me FEEL like I have primer on and I don’t feel like my foundation is sinking in since it sorta ‘sits’ on top of my moisturizer preparing a smooth canvas on my face.
– Didn’t really make my foundation last as much as some of the cheaper primers (such as the monistat gel or Jen’s Camellia Rose Primer). (Feel free to type these in the search box if you want more info on these).

I love MUFE in general, so all their products never seize to amaze me; their primer is OKAY, I mean I can see myself buying it again, but I wouldn’t call it my favorite and I am sure there are other primers out there that’ll do what I need it to do: to help my foundation last and give me a flawless finish. The MUFE primer is too pricey for it to feel like another moisturizer, I would totally love if it had the same consistency as “normal” primers, but I would try out another color for its color-correcting purposes.

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