Eye Shadow Primer vs. Eye Shadow Base
I have been asked many times why I use two eyeshadow primers or bases. Maybe this post can help everyone understand the method to my madness.
First off, this is based on my specific needs and preferences. I have oily lids and I like bright vivid eyeshadow colors.
The terms eyeshadow base and eyeshadow primer have been used interchangeably for as long as I have known makeup. I use the terms separately and I'll define them my way so you guys can see where I'm coming from.
MY Definitions and Uses:
Eye Shadow Primer
A lightweight cream/emulsion that is applied as the first layer to prepare eyelids for eyeshadow application and is usually a neutral color or invisible on skin. A primer creates a barrier between your skin and makeup. It seals the oils of your skin away from eyeshadow for long lasting wear and provides protection against creasing and fading of your makeup. It can also help to make eyeshadow easier to blend.
My picks...NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion (depot nightmare though).
Eye Shadow Base
A eyeshadow primer and base are similar but not the same in my eyes. An eyeshadow base is also cream/emulsion that is applied to eyelids prior to eyeshadow but is usually thicker in consistency and offered in a variety of colors. However, an eyeshadow base may not prevent creasing or fading of the colors or help with long lasting wear. The primary purpose of an eyeshadow base is to intensify the color of eyeshadow by providing a base for the makeup to adhere to. I add these on top of the eyeshadow primer.
My picks...MAC Paintpots, MUFE Aqua Cream Colors
I also like....Urban Decay Cream Eyeshadows, Too Faced Lock Down Cream Eyeshadows - both of these incorporate the brand's primer in their formula. You can also use gel eyeliners or NYX Jumbo Pencils but remember gel eyeliners are drier in texture so work quickly and NYX Jumbo Pencils are very creamy and may crease if you use too much. MAC Paints, Shadesicks and Greasepaint Sticks also do the job.
When I just started using makeup I was prone to my eyeshadow creasing after about 30 minutes because of my oily lids. Even without makeup my lids would have an oily film within a couple of hours. Add to that my eyeshadows had poor color payoff and blending was a chore. Too Faced Shadow Insurance came to my rescue and showed me the way.
An eyeshadow primer helps create a smooth, even, oil-free canvas for my eyeshadow application. My eyeshadows started to glide on easily and blending wasn't so much of a workout anymore.
And then came the eyeshadow bases and MAC Painterly Paintpot. For me eyeshadow bases helped with my eyeshadow vibrancy and created an even better canvas for eyeshadows. My colors really started to show up bright and vivid - love!
But why not just use the Painpot alone? Doesn't it do the same thing by itself?
Simple answer for me...NO! Maybe for others this is all well and good but for me not so much.
- Main reason for me..creasing! Any cream eyeshadow or product will crease on my eyelids without a primer underneath it. Yes even MAC Paintpots crease on my oily lids.
- MAC Paintpots, MUFE Aqua Cream Colors and other cream eyeshadows that I use for bases can be drying and tug at my bare skin. By using a primer I already have a smooth layer for the cream product to glide onto.
- Lighter colored bases help to intensify the color bright eyeshadows versus darker colored bases which can dull bright colors. Even for darker skin still use a lighter neutral color rather than one that matches your skin. the darker color will dull your eyeshadows.
- Dark colored or black bases bring out the hidden color in duo-chrome eyeshadows.
- Neutral or skin tone bases work well with all colors but using a similar color base will help bring out the true color of your eyeshadows.
- For subtle color just use a primer without a base.
- If you can get away with just using a base without creasing then by all means go for it!
Remember this is just MY way of doing things to achieve MY desired looks. Makeup is personal and you should always make it work for you. Do what you find works best for your preferences.
Hope that helps when wondering why I do the things I do.... : )