Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Worst Eyeshadow Primer…?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so terrible?

Thanks to Janelle for today’s topic!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

80 thoughts on “Hit List: Worst Eyeshadow Primer

  1. MAC’s prep + prime eye, and any ELF cream shadow.

    • Madison

      elf’s cream shadows aren’t primers though. they have a very nice primer that they sell separately.

  2. Avatar of Hajra Hajra

    Inglot eyeshadow primers

  3. Caitlin

    Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer. That stuff creases by itself in 15 mins and creases eyeshadow in under an hour.

  4. Tamara

    MAC’s prep + prime eye

    Horrible texture, doesn’t last

  5. Avatar of Alix Alix

    Sorry to say: MAC Paint Pots. Crease all on their own.

    • Katelyn Nadel

      the paints pots arent primers its a cream eyeshadow

      • Avatar of Evelyn Evelyn

        My lids get oily through the day and I haven’t had a problem with painterly paint pot. It’s like glue for me lasting 12hrs or more.

        • Avatar of Jillian sara

          Yeah, if Painterly isn’t a primer, what’s it supposed to be? It’s definitely not a shadow!

          • Jami

            It’s a base, not a primer. Totally different products.

          • Heidi

            MAC Paint Pots are cream eyeshadows. I layer my powdered eyeshadows over the paint pots, and my eyeshadow lasts the whole day. I apply MAC Pro Wear concealer over my eyelids, followed by a dusting of face powder, paint pots and lastly shadow, and I get about 8-10 hours of wear withou creasing.

  6. Avatar of Amy amy

    Admittedly, I’ve only tried a few primers, and have never found one to not perform well. My favorite, for regular use, is Kat von D in Skin. I’ll use other brands, too, depending on the color of the primer, ie UDPP in Sin when I use my NARS Night Series shadows, as it makes the shimmers more intense.Having said that, I never had a problem with creasing, even without primer, and only use it to prevent fading and to make the color more intense.

    • Avatar of Amy amy

      * I guess the worst is LORAC, as it doesn”t seem to intenify the shadow color all that much, but it works great for me with baked shadows or pigments, or when I foil my mineral shadows.

  7. Avatar of Erica Erica

    MAC’s eyeshadow primer is pretty bad, as is Lancome’s.
    Although I am in the minority, I am not a fan of the NARS eye shadow primer. It just didn’t seem to hold up very well for me.
    I also think Urban Decay’s original primer potion is not all it is cracked up to be, but I do like the Eden Primer Potion.

    However, to counter the bad with the good, I think LORAC’s is one of the better ones I’ve tried, as are Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy and Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue (the original TFSI is just okay).
    My favorite, and now discontinued, is Benefit’s F.Y. Eye.

  8. Samantha

    Too Faced shadow insurance

    • That’s the ONLY one that works for me. I can go a full 12 hours with no creasing whatsoever. Weird! LOL :)

      • Agreed. Its just hard to spend 20 bucks on eye shadow primer. I wait until I can spend over 100 dollars online and just add it to my cart pretending I didn’t.

    • Joni

      Doesn’t work for me either. I think it’s just an individual thing, because some people swear by it, but it’s never done anything for me.

      • Avatar of Noga Noga

        TFSI works like magic for me (14 hours and more), but didn’t do anything for my sister. I gave her one of my Paintpots (those don’t really do anything for me) and it worked for her. I guess it’s a trial-and-error type of thing :)

  9. Avatar of MonicaP MonicaP

    I’d say eye primers are useless. What works for me are better formulated eye shadows like Revlon color stay eyeshadow .. I’m wearing a simple brown color stay quad by Revlon – no primer and my eyeshadow hasn’t creased in 5 hours. At the end of the day, I’ll probably have creasing in the inner part of my lid, but that’ll be it.

    Maybelline Natural smokes quad creases like mad on me – no matter what I use on my eyes.

    Monica.

  10. ELF eyeshadow primer. Waste of money! Did nothing for my oily lids.

    • Totally agree with you! Elf primer doesn’t work.

    • Avatar of Jess Jessica

      I’ve tried the one dollar one and it didn’t do much but it’s okay for a dollar, at least youre not wasting much. As for the mineral one, it works great and is a dupe for udpp and tfsi to me.

      • Justine

        While the $1 ELF primer isn’t great for the lids, I actually use it under the eyes as an “concealer primer.” Undereye concealer always creases like mad on me, but with a primer (even a cheap one like ELF) the concealer stays in place much better.

      • Nargis

        I use ELF’s regular primer and it makes my eyeshadow last! each to his own I guess

  11. Miss J

    L’Oreal De-crease. Didn’t do a thing at all. Also, I’ve tried TFSI, and I thought that one dulled my colors pretty badly; I had to pack more on to get the color the same as if I was using something else.

    • Avatar of Katrina Katrina

      L’Oreal De-Crease is the worst I have tried. Urban Decay works the best for me. The E.L.F. one worked pretty well. I’ve been trying Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray this week; not good for me as an eyeshadow primer, but perfect for me as a concealer.

  12. Q

    Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I have pretty oily lids and it’s a very creamy formula which is great, but not for me. It creases within a couple of hours.

  13. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    Fortunately, those I’ve tried, whether dedicated primers like Urban Decay, Too Faced, Laura Mercier, or cream shadows that work as primers – Mac Painterly, Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows, Bare Escentuals Primer Shadow – have all worked really well. I haven’t encountered a “worst”, so I’ve been lucky.

  14. Rachel

    Macs painterly paint pot, creases in 5 hours. Two faced shadow insurance, to greasy.

  15. Avatar of Laura Laura

    ELF primer, Two Faced Shadow Insurance and Benefit Stay Don’t Stray. Didn’t like any of them but the ELF one was truly terrible!

  16. amanda

    i havent tried any baddies. i really liked the smashbox one. i guess i’ll say paint pots, because they arent really priming material, but they’re still excellent as a base.

    • amanda

      i also find UDPP to be less than its cracked up to be. Eden is a decent one though but the other ones.. meh. i just like the original because its clear.

      • amanda

        crap, wait sorry last one. i just realized-benefits primers arent as great as others. especially lemon aid.. fy eye wasnt that bad.. stay dnt stray is kinda thick and hard to blend…

        • Beckie

          Lemon Aid is horrible! Definitly the worst primer!

          • Jami

            I love Benefit products but I agree, Lemon Aid is horrible! I don’t have oily lids and if I don’t use a primer, I don’t really have a problem with creasing, but I notice a lot of fading. I used Lemon Aid as a primer and I couldn’t believe I got creasing after a few hours!! I will use it under my eye to help correct dark circles, and it’s okay for that. Not fabulous.

  17. Liz

    Benefit’s Stay, Don’t Stray. It will only work on a very specific skin color. It was super pale on me. Unfortunately, I bought it without trying. I did end up returning it.

    • Avatar of Jennifer Jennifer

      Benefit stay don’t stray also creased and doesn’t seem like it holds or bring out the eyeshadow.

      • Liz

        I honestly never even got to that point. I pretty much took it off as soon as I put it on. It was really silly of me to buy it without even trying. This happened when I first started buying and wearing makeup.

    • Chelsea

      +1. It creased AND burned my eyes! And I can’t even return it because it came in a value pack!

  18. Leeza

    Still searching for the perfect one….
    Any suggestions?
    Haven’t found any HATES, I really like Benefit’s Lemon Aid for pigment and oil control, but it creases quite a bit.
    Trish McEvoy’s Lid Primer is nice.

    • Kerry B.

      Not sure if your lids tend to lean oily, or not.. mine don’t.. but my favorite combination is UDPP with Fyrinne’s Pixie Epoxy. I never have any creasing and tend to go to sleep with my makeup on.. and it still looks decent when I wake up. I’ve never tried TFSI, so I don’t have any experience with that. UDPP works well without the Pixie Epoxy.. but I like the more tacky base to hold my shadows and bring out their vibrancy. :) Oh.. and lots of indie makeup brands have some great primers.. a little easier on the pocketbook if you’re willing to give them a shot…

  19. Meaghan B

    For not working: MAC Prep + Prime
    For creasing: MAC paint pots
    For being too greasy: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

    None of the Urban Decay shades are light enough for me. The best I’ve found so far is NARS.

    • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

      I find a lot of them are a touch darker than my skin, too. I usually wind up blending or putting it over concealer in order to smooth it out around the edges of my eye.

  20. Jamie

    Urban decay primer potion, gives my lids white bumps and creases on me.

  21. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    I’d feel bad hanging any brand out to dry, since the shape and depth of my eye makes it difficult to avoid creasing at all, however minor. I will say, however, that I felt Urban Decay’s primer was a bit overrated, though not by any means terrible. Additionally, I once had somebody recommend NYX’s jumbo pencils as a color base – now THAT was a fiasco.

  22. LindseyD

    Probably MAC and UDPP. I’ve got oily, hooded lids and neither of those stand even the slightest chance (so far Nars has been the best).

  23. wendyh

    I used to use primer from laura mercier and didn’t really see the differemce of having eye primer or not.
    but I can’t really say it ‘s the worst as i haven’t tried that many
    since i changed to NARS primer
    now I finally understand why ptimer is so important!

  24. Avatar of Tessa Tessa

    UDPP is the worst. It lasted 4 hours max. on my eyelids. Thank god it was the sample that came with my naked palette or else I would be pretty mad that I wasted money on that product.

  25. Avatar of Natalie Natalie

    Personally for me UDPP never worked wonders and creased by midday, so I was not a fan. They do have nice colors though. But NYX’s Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils were a big fat fail. They creased in an hour by themselves. I tried everything, using it with different eyeshadow bases underneath, setting with a powder eyeshadow, nothing worked. They literally never set and stayed greasy, and even made my Mac Fluidline texturally weird; it never set either, smudged like crazy, and ended up underneath my eyes within a matter of hours! Horrible -.-

  26. Alicia

    I have the oiliest lids out there so take that into account but mac paintpots, udpp, and smashbox lid primer were just a mess.. I really wanted to love udpp but it just didn’t work for me! I do quite enjoy my paintpots for just bases now though.
    Funny how everyone is saying that they don’t like tfsi because it’s two greasy and it’s the only thing I’ve ever found to hold up all day on my oily lids! I guess it’s all in the chemistry. :)

  27. That really bad one that came in the Tarte for True Blood palette

  28. kristin

    benefit and too faced never worked for me.

  29. The worst by far I’ve tried was the Sephora Collection primer pot. It was WAYYY too sticky and filmy, and it creased within TEN MINUTES. I have oily lids so it’s pretty difficult to find something that works well on me. Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray creases, as well as Urban Decay’s Eden, however UD’s Sin works fine. I’ve also had luck with the Kat Von D primers and TFSI.

  30. Avatar of Jenn Jenninka

    TFSI made my eyes so red they were still puffy looking over 12 hours later. Luckily after that I found UDPP and we’re in love.

  31. Avatar of Charlene Charlene

    I didn’t like L’oreal Decrease for Drugstore and Smashbox was a total miss for my as far as mid to high end.

  32. I haven’t tried a lot of them, because the first one I tried, Mac Painterly Paint Pot, worked well for me and is easy for me to get. I was really unimpressed with UDPP when I tried it; it creased during application! Benefit Lemon Aid was dry/ caky in application and my lids reacted badly to it.

  33. ELF, benefit stay dont stray and stila prime pot

  34. Avatar of Stephanie Stephanie Quiles

    For me EVERY primer creases since I have very oily lids. I found that I have to let it set and absorb into my lids, as we do with our face primer. Yes it does crease, but then after it sets I go back with my ring finger and blend it out. With that being said even after doing this process the one that still creases on ME is Kat von D’s eye primer in Skin. UDPP’s original one in the purple tube seems to have a pasty look. The ones that are the bomb-diggity (IMO) are UDPP in Eden (love it!), NARS (love it and it doesn’t crease during the “absorption” period), TFSI (the one in the aqua color tube), MAC painterly paint pot (not labeled as a primer per the items description but to me it’s a multi purpose product and being a primer falls under it). Everyone has different skin types, therefore different needs and these are the ones that have met my needs.

  35. Madison

    laura mercier

  36. UDPP and Too Faced Shadow Insurance were horrid on me – both too greasy and creased on me. My go to primer isn’t a primer at all – it’s Painterly Paint Pot. Nothing seems to hold my shadow on like that stuff. I’ve given up trying primers, I’ll stick to PP’s.

  37. Rachel

    UDPP was the worst for me. It caused creasing within a couple of hours

  38. the NYX eyeshadow primer was the worst on my oily lids, I couldn’t get more than 4 hours wear time out of it

  39. Tara

    Too faced eyeshadow takes the top spot for me and then the nyx eye primer in nude takes the second spot.

  40. Mista

    The worst for me was Esteé Lauder

  41. kat von d. weird texture, def not creamy.

  42. Misty

    Definitely Benefit Stay Don’t Stray. People always say that it’s good under the eyes, and I agree, but that’s not what it’s made for! It shouldn’t crease as much as it does!

  43. Fannytyty

    Benefit stay don’t stray primer! It has a horrible texture, dries out in the tube within 2 months and really does not prevent the eye shadow from creasing!

    But I do LOVE urban decay’s primer potion!

  44. Margarett

    Smashbox primers do not work well for me at all. They crease before I am even finished putting my makeup on. That is sad.

  45. Rainie

    Benefit Stay Don’t Stray. It’s even worst than E.L.F’s $1 Eyeshadow Primer -____-“

  46. Avatar of Laura Laura

    UDPP works so well for me that I haven’t felt the need to try many others. Of those I have tried, MAC Prep & Prime Eye was by far the worst.

  47. Avatar of Rachel rachel

    i can’t find a single one that works for me. eyeshadows NEVER crease on me. no oily lids.. just can’t find a primer that makes my shadows look pigmented (and yes i pat, not swipe, my eyeshadow on.. use high end shadows, mac brushes, etc).. tried everything!
    crap: urban decay primer potion, lorac primer, too faced shadow insurance, nyx jumbo pencil