Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Eye shadow primers

For someone like me, pale with thin veiny mottled eyelids, Benefit's 'Lemon Aid' is a miracle worker. Its thick dry dense yellow texture needed but a pat to cover the offending discolouration and allow the pretty colours of my eyeshadow to exhibit themselves untarnished. However, this so-called 'primer' unfortunately does not prevent the dreaded 'creasing' gross scenario. Although in many ways my lid colour bothers me more than any inherent oiliness in the lid, anyone who travles by Tube in rush hour knows that stress takes its toll on your face make up. Nothing looks so off-putting as carefully made up eyes that are weeping and creasing in the middle of their blended glory: it is very aging and kind of dirty looking as well. Lemon Aid, unfortunately, is not the hard stuff.

So MAC Paint Pots, and my favourite Paint Pot impersonation, Estee Lauder's thick 'Maximum Coverage' foundation (it's virtually identical to 'Painterly' in both colour and consistency)- both covered my lid colour beautifully and held up as an eye base... for around 5 or 6 solid hours before creasing.

Another dupe for 'Painterly' was one of the original players in the ' eye shadow primer' category, Guerlain's 'Base de paupiers', however the creamy texture had the same eventual pitfalls as 'Painterly', and the price was heftier of course. Although I found it allowed shadows to go on smoothly and richly, the color payoff did not compare to even Lemon Aid. It slightly muddied the paler shadows I used. But it held good for around 7 hours before creasing began to threaten. The colours also did not go on quite so true as they did over Lemon Aid. But they all lasted a good few hours longer- around 2 hours longer- than Lemon Aid I would say.

MAC Paints, which are sadly being phased out to be conquered by MAC Paint Pots, are amazing. Although somewhat limited as the closest to colourless is 'Bare Study' (which is gorgeous, but slightly rich for an everyday look, lending it a 'made up' edge which is hard to soften convincingly). These come in squeezable tubes, and I am a sucker for anything that encourages make up to seem more overtly artistic... if anyone recalls, Chanel came out with a limited edition set called 'Les Guaches de Chanel', a set of tube 'paints' even housed in an artist's 'palette' with a mixing bowl, I loved that! So these MAC paints initially ooze uncontrollably, leading one to curse the silly packaging, but soon enough the metal airtight tube proves this fabulous design has been around for centuries for a reason- it really keeps your product fresh! Paint Pots and Fluidlines, on the other hand, with their heavy glass jars, never seem to close fully airtight, and product inevitably dries out. It is also less pleasant to dip your finger on the greasy layer of product, rather than squeeze a dot on a finger and apply: much more hygenic!
Anyhow, as well as 'Bare Study', I use 'Chartru' (discontinued I believe), a beautiful golden green that helps blues and greens go on vivid.

I have Lancome's limited edition 'Color Dose' in 'Provence', which is virtually identical to a paint but a much more complex colour which I prefer to wear alone as a shadow in its own right. This comes in a paint tube and is marvelous too. Paints have held up my eyeshadow looks for a staggering 8/9 hours!!!

OK so obviously this whole post was leading up to the tried and tested and adored, Urban Decay Primer Potion, affectionately known to all by its acronym: UDPP. If you have never tried their Deluxe shadows, get the UD Deluxe palette immediately, or get the incredible (but constantly sold out) 16 colour Shadow Box. Either one is a brilliant deal and offers hours of fun, plus you'll get to sample this self-professed 'Magic Potion'. And yes, it is! This stuff really lives up to its hype. It's clear, so you can use it for any look at all and the eyeshadow adheres completely, its colour more vivid than ever. You don't need to use as much eyeshadow, so UDPP pays for itself in that respect! Only a little is needed, and putting a thin layer of pale shadow down as another base makes blending easier than it would otherwise be directly on UDPP. This stuff would probably make an eye look last 3 days straight, with no creasing. And I am not kidding. Get it if you haven't already!!

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