Top Ten Eyeshadow Primers

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time and our topic is primers this week. It will come as no surprise to regular Beauty Info Zone readers that my list is all about Eyeshadow Primers. It’s not that I don’t have enough facial primers to use for our topic but I’m a little nuts (or maybe a lot) and have this need to have all the eyeshadow primers available. While 10 are mentioned here I have more that I like but maybe not quite as much as these.

Eyeshadow Primers come in all prices which I’m demonstrating for you today with versions that range from $2 to $32. Price isn’t always the determining factor when it comes to this type of product. My $2 primer from E.L.F. works almost as well as my $20 Too Faced primers. The important thing to me is to use an eyeshadow primer every time I do my eyes. Primer is meant to even out skintone, make the colors last without creasing, help eyeshadow colors go on more evenly, and create a more vibrant look.

Top 10 eyeshadow primers

Top 10 eyeshadow primers

$1-$2  E.L.F. SHADOW LOCK EYELID PRIMER || There are 3 shades of this primer available. Right now E.L.F. is having a moving sale so the colors left are available for $1 but normally they are $2. My favorite is Champagne (there’s also Sheer and Pearl) because it is a light taupe/champagne shade adding some interest without a bit of shimmer.

$6.49  MILANI EYESHADOW PRIMER || This is one of my very favorite primers. I usually look for a sale on it and pick up 2 at a time. It took me a while too appreciate it since it’s thick at first but I learned to love it after running out of Too Faced Shadow Insurance once and now I always have one handy.

$6.99  NYX EYESHADOW BASE  ||  My only pot eyeshadow primer although that’s all I used to use. This has good points and bad. I’m not a fan of the pot itself. For someone with long nails it’s just a pain. I bought this in Pearl because I wanted the tiny bit of pearly shimmer which makes this worth getting out a taklon brush to apply it. It’s stiff and doesn’t go on as easily as a cream product but it does the job well and Ulta often has sales on NYX. This is also available in white and skintone.

Milani, NYX, ELF eyeshadow primers

Milani, NYX, ELF eyeshadow primers

$15  em cosmetic eyeshadow primer  ||  No one ever talks about em cosmetics anymore. This Michelle Phan line came out with a bang but it’s whimpering away. Out of all the products I’ve bought from the line this is the stand out. There’s a slight gleam to it that peeks through and makes eyeshadow more vibrant. I’d buy this again without a doubt.

em cosmetics eyeshadow primer

em cosmetics eyeshadow primer

$18  bareMinerals PRIME TIME EYESHADOW PRIMER  ||  This is a great primer but it’s really small. It’s a perfect size for travel though but I’m going through this pretty quickly for home use. I wish I didn’t like it this much or that the price wasn’t quite this high. My shadows stay so well when I’m using it.

bareMinerals eyeshadow primer

bareMinerals eyeshadow primer

$20  TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE  ||  This is the eyeshadow primer that changed the game. It’s the most talked about, that’s for sure. Be sure you shake it before using it the first time and then again about once a week. It can come out watery which you want to avoid. TFSI is the one I use the most because I can really rely on it. I know it will keep me creasefree under all conditions.

$20  TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE CANDLELIGHT  ||  Too Faced created a few more of their Shadow Insurance to meet the needs of everyone. The one I have is Candlelight which is a bright gold that just lights up my eyes. There are days I’ll put Candlelight on my lids, TFSI original on my brow bone, and a beautiful brown toned shadow in the crease. There’s no glitter in Candlelight but it is a bright shimmery gold. If I wore more glitter eyeshadows I’d buy TF Glitter Glue Shadow Primer since I know the quality of the brand.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight and original

Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight and original

$21  LORAC BEHIND THE SCENES EYE PRIMER  ||  I don’t know why everyone isn’t shouting about this from their rooftops. It’s a fabulous eyeshadow primer. There was a small one in my LORAC Pro Palette and once I used it I knew I needed it in a full size. It’s $1 more than the Too Faced but it’s considerably bigger so there’s more bang for your buck. It has a slant tip opening which can get a little messy but I usually squeeze it out on my hand to apply rather than directly on my eye. I’m telling you – you are missing out on a gem if you don’t have this primer.

Lorac Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer

Lorac Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer

$29  BENEFIT AIR PATROL  ||  I had no intention of buying this because it’s obvious I don’t need another primer in my life. But I got a sample that lasted me for a few days and that sold me. This is very yellow which is why I wasn’t going to buy it. But once I used it I realized that the color wasn’t an issue once applied. This is considered to be a BB Cream Eyelid Primer and it has broad spectrum SPF 20 which I’m happy about. The tip is different since it’s a “cushion calm” tip that is exceptionally soft. A little goes a long way with this so I expect it to last a good amount of time.

Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer

Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer

$32  EDWARD BESS ILLUMINATING EYESHADOW BASE  ||  Edward Bess was my splurge item. I bought it much before the Benefit so even though the prices aren’t too far different I knew it was a splurge. It comes in three shades (Dune, Cashmere, Suede). Cashmere was my choice and I’m happy that I bought it. It looks a lot like a concealer with its brush applicator. Once I let it dry shadows really adhere to it. Anytime I have a poor performing shadow I turn to this Illuminating Base since I know if it doesn’t work with this, then the shadow just isn’t going to work. It’s worth the extra money even if I save it for special days.

Edward Bess eyeshadow primer

Edward Bess eyeshadow primer

I have other eyeshadow primers that I like (Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever, and IT Cosmetics for example) but they don’t get used as often as these 10. I know not everyone needs 10+ eyeshadows in their life but I’m obsessed and obviously obsessive! — Marcia

Join my friends in finding out what primers have changed their lives.


*affiliate links, all items are purchases

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base – worth the extra money?

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere

You’ll notice that whenever I write about eyeshadow I always mention using an eyeshadow primer. Always. It’s rare that I have a day that I don’t use one. I do have a slew small collection of eyeshadow primers and I’m always looking for new ones.

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere

The reason I bought Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base is on the shoulders of Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book. I don’t know her but I follow her blog and she can convince me to buy so many items. It wasn’t one review from her that got me to buy but after her mentioning often that this was her favorite eyeshadow base, I just had to try it.

At $32 this click style pen is more expensive than most but really not terribly out of line. Too Faced Shadow Insurance which is my go-to primer is $20, Lorac Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer is $21 and the new Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer is $29.

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere

Now it’s time to talk about the product!! This is the only eyeshadow primer I know of that comes in 3 shades. Since it does impart a small amount of color that is important to people with different skin tones. I am extremely fair so I chose Cashmere since it’s the lightest of the three (Dune and Sand are also available).

The first few times I used this I just didn’t see what the big deal was and questioned myself about spending the extra money on it. At first the consistency was loose and there was no difference between using the Bess and Too Faced. But I remember reading that it was a thicker primer so I kept going. After about 7 uses I saw the difference. It is thicker and it covers my eyelids more precisely. I think it just needed time to get past the top of the wand and into the base.

Edward Bess Eyeshadow Base Champagne heavily swatched

Edward Bess Eyeshadow Base Champagne heavily swatched

It takes longer to dry but the primer blends out nicely and makes my shadows last longer than the others I use. I thought from the name it would be more illuminating than it actually is though. In my swatch it looks like a concealer but it’s nothing like a concealer, this base holds onto shadow.

So why do I like this in spite of the first 7 uses and the extra cost? Mainly because it works especially well with an eyeshadow that isn’t quite as pigmented as I’d like. In addition it gives my shadows a little more depth because they have more to cling to. I apply this on my lids with my finger since I don’t love using the brush on it. I let it dry down and then apply shadows. Pigments adhere better than with any of my other current bases too.

I don’t use it every day but I do like to use it with certain shadow brands and when I know I don’t have time to touch up before going out in the evening. I’d also use it on special nights so that there’s no doubt that my shadow will last through it all.

While Edward Bess used to be carried on where I bought mine, the only two places I could find this eyeshadow base are Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and his own site. It is also available at Beauty Bay for $29.90 but I have no experience with their site though I like that they have free shipping.

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base from

Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base from

I’m happy I bought the Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base and will replace it/when I finish it up. Have you tried this? What’s your opinion? — Marcia


To see the list of ingredients go to

To see The Beauty Look Book’s review on Dune and Suede go here

Luminess Air Rouge Underground Eye Primer is another player in the field

Luminess Rouge Underground Eye Primer

Luminess Rouge Underground Eye Primer

I consider myself the queen of giveaways, at least as far as The Sunday Scoop goes. I enter about 5 – 8  giveaways in a typical week while I’m looking for giveaways to share with you. Do I win many? No, unfortunately I don’t. But then every once in a while I will win and that’s a pleasant surprise. I actually won LUMINESS ROUGE UNDERGROUND EYE PRIMER along with another Luminess Rouge Underground product from Beauty Underground and I was sort of shocked. I’m only using the Eye Primer for now but it’s making me want other Luminess Rouge Underground products.



When it first arrived I didn’t realize that Rouge Underground is an offshoot of the Luminesse Air line. I was really confused about how a spray eyeshadow primer would work. That mistake was corrected when I went to photograph and sprayed out the first pump and lo & behold, it came out just like Too Faced Shadow Insurance did.



I never apply powder eyeshadow without a primer and I almost always use it with a cream eyeshadow. If I’m going to go through the work then I want longevity. That’s where this Luminess Rouge Underground Eye Primer really shines. I’m constantly amazed at how much longer my shadows last using this. Any time I’ve ever used it, I’ve never had to touch up my shadows even 10 hours later.

I’m used to putting on makeup early in the day and then between 6 and 7 p.m. touching up if we’re going out for the evening. When I look in the mirror on the days I’ve used this eyeshadow primer, my shadow looks perfect. No fading, no disappearing, just the same look as when first applied.

Luminess Underground Rouge Eye Primer swatch

Luminess Underground Rouge Eye Primer swatch

This is sold at Target and Amazon for about $16.99. Funny though that on the Luminess website it sells for $28.99. Someone’s got it wrong!!

Here’s what Amazon has to say about this:

Product Features:

  • Allows eye shadow to adhere to the eyelid for long-lasting wear
  • Ultra-sheer primer glides on effortlessly
  • Smooth finish provides crease-resistant intense color
  • Apply before eye shadow to prep your eyes for all-day vibrant color
  • Hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic for all skin types
  • No testing on animals
Luminess Eye Primer

Luminess Eye Primer

I don’t have a list of ingredients but I’m sure this is loaded with some kind of silicone. It glides on smoothly BUT it takes forever before I can apply my eyeshadow. It stays tacky for much longer than the eyeshadow primers I’m used to using. That’s my one negative comment about this primer. The Luminess website tells me that their Underground Rouge products are paraben free and non-comedogenic. It also tells me that they never test on animals.

PROS: This is the longest lasting of any eyeshadow primer I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried a lot). CONS: You don’t want to use it if you are short on time. Give yourself time to wait until you can’t feel the tacky feeling or your shadows won’t glide on the way they should.

I’m happy that this was a prize I won since it opened my eyes to a new product line that’s reasonably priced and an eyeshadow primer I can count on for hard to hold shadows. So many people tell me that even a great primer doesn’t keep their shadows on because of oily lids so I have something to recommend for those of you who feel that way. For me it will become a staple especially on my longest days.

Have you ever tried this offshoot of Luminess? I’m very curious now about the foundation. — Marcia



Em Cosmetics Eye Primer – winner or wanna be?

EM Cosmetics Eye Primer (site)

em Cosmetics Eye Primer (site)

On Black Friday I was convinced (that’s my excuse) to purchase some EM Cosmetics since they were having a BOGO sale. I guess I was in the mood to spend a lot since I added their Eye Primer to my cart. I paid $12.76 for two although I notice that they cost $15 each now. Whether I pay $15 or under $7 this is what I consider a best buy. It turns out that I love this shadow primer. I’ve got backups of my Too Faced Shadow Insurance plus about 7 other eyeshadow primers so this is not something I needed. But now that I have it I’m in love.

em Cosmetics Eye Primer

em Cosmetics Eye Primer

The EM Cosmetics site calls this transparent which it is and it isn’t. When you first apply it you’ll see a white liquid that has a very subtle shimmer. It takes a minute or so to dry and at that point it will be transparent. It’s very lightweight even though it goes on wet at first.

em Cosmetics Eye Primer swatch

em Cosmetics Eye Primer swatch

em Cosmetics Eye Primer wand

em Cosmetics Eye Primer wand

Here’s why I love this… let me count the ways

1. The price I paid was excellent but I still don’t consider the real price of $15 to be out of line.

2. It’s totally amazing with the em Cosmetics line of eyeshadows. There’s a definite difference in the longevity of wear with their shadows.

3. It’s just as long wearing with other brands of eyeshadows.

4. While it appears shimmery it just gives a subtle brightness to shadows therefore it livens up some of those mattes that I’m not crazy about. Even those of you who are afraid of any shimmer shouldn’t find this to be anything but giving a little more lightness to your shadows.

5. I like the wand which some people may not care for. It’s easy to get the product out and I like smoothing it on my eyelid. There’s a subtle curve to the wand that helps it on your lid. In addition it gets out the right amount.

6. The website says to think of it as a magnet for your eyes and I totally agree. Shadows adhere to it beautifully and it brings out the pigmentation of them.

It’s pretty obvious by now that this is a valentine to this particular product. The Eye Primer was the winner in my Black Friday spree. Now if only I could figure out where I put that second one!!

What eyeshadow primer do you use? — Marcia


fill weight: 4.5 ml/0.15 fl oz



More double entendres from Soap and Glory

My friends returned from a recent trip to England saying they loved it – the people were friendly, and the cosmetics were naughty.
naughty EnglandThey brought me back some Soap and Glory Cosmetics, the ones with the ‘best names’.  I reviewed the lip products yesterday.  Today is all about concealing, priming, and glowing…wink, wink!
Kick Ass Concealer

Kick Ass Concealer

Kick Ass Concealer, a Three-Piece Flaw Camouflage Kit  (RRP £10.00)
soap and glory concealer out of box
Soap and Glory says, “Includes an amazing under eye brightening concealer with PUFFEASE-8™ technology, SUPERWEAR™ light scrambling ‘on the spot’ complexion concealer & a weightless transparent setting powder with INSTA-FIX™ polymer technology.”
three products is always better than one!

three products is always better than one!

 I picked up this one and said, “You gave me something to camouflage my ass??”  Well, nothing could do that, but in terms of under eye concealer I say this is pretty kick ass.  I like having two different shades in one compact, mine is in the shade Light.
Kick Ass Concealer in Light

Kick Ass Concealer in Light

I also really like having a setting powder.

Kick Ass Concealer setting powder

Kick Ass Concealer setting powder

This is a creamy concealer that gives medium coverage.  I wouldn’t say it covers super dark circles, but it definitely offers some coverage and brightens dark areas.  It does a great job on blemishes.

Swatched - setting powder is on the far right

Swatched – setting powder is on the far right

Now if it only actually camouflaged my ass, it would be perfect.

It's About Prime Eyeshadow Underbase

It’s About Prime Eyeshadow Underbase

It’s About Prime Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Underbase (RRP £8.00)

Soap and Glory says, “A first base if you want crease-free, no smudge eye colour. Contains Insta-Lift™ Firming Para Cress Flower Proteins (to help give you more flat, glossy, smooth-finished lids), anti–colour crease long wear polymers, and coffee extract to fight morning puffiness. Use BRIGHT LIGHT under everyday eyeshadow, or SILVER LINING for a shimmering layer under party eyes.

soap and glory prime applicator

soap and glory prime swatch

I say, mine is Bright Light.  It definitely brightens and helps eyeshadow last longer.  The best way to use this is to smear some on a steel palette, then pick up a small amount on your finger and pat pat pat on the eyelid.  Don’t use too much or it will crease.  Used sparingly, it does a beautiful job of priming those eyelids.

soap and glory glow packaging

Glow Job Daily Radiance Moisture Lotion (RRP £9.00)
Soap and Glory says, “A two-in-one moisturizing lotion and temporary self-tanner, Glow Job™ features micro Bronzeburst™ Beads that ‘pop’ when you massage them, leaving you looking, healthy, refreshed, and just ever so slightly sun-kissed. (For those in the nose… it smells like sweet orange peel oil & vanilla.)”
Glow Job

Glow Job

I say, wow, quite the double entendre!  Glow Job is an extremely intriguing tinted moisturizer.  Initially, it just looks like moisturer:

soap and glory glow swatch 1

But spread out, it reveals tiny little beads full of tint:

soap and glory glow swatch 2

The beads burst as you smooth in the lotion, leaving behind gentle color:

soap and glory glow swatch 3

The only problem I encounter is at times I don’t quite ‘pop’ all the beads, and am left with either a bead on my face/body or a bit of a splotch of color.  To remedy this, I now pop all the beads with my fingers first, then apply.  It’s wonderful for those low-key days when you want some color but not full-face makeup, and it’s terrific on the decolletage.

My friends loved England, and I loved my gifts.  They are just naughty enough to be fun.  Brilliant!  – Lisa

The latest and greatest from Kryolan Cosmetics

 A few weeks ago, I had dinner with Ulrike Bege, District Manager for Kryolan Cosmetics, and got the scoop on all the latest and greatest new things.  Kryolan is a fantastic line that has products for both everyday use and for theatrical use.  Did you know that the majority of Illamasqua products are actually produced by Kryolan?  I am going to the Face & Body Expo in Chicago next month where I will be stocking up on the newest things, but in the meantime here is a quick glimpse of what’s to come:


Eyeshadow Primer

 This is the new, reformulated Eyeshadow Primer.  It feels super silky on, and it really brightens up the color of eyeshadows. 

Makeup Blend

Makeup Blend

Ulrike showed me her bottle of Makeup Blend – this is not the ‘official’ packaging.  I went bananas over this!  It’s a silky liquid that thins out cream and liquid foundation.  It helps foundation last, and it gives a beautiful matte finish.  So it gives old products new life (turn liquid foundation into tinted moisturizer!  Or thin out that too-thick cream foundation!)  It also saves money as you use less product when combined with Makeup Blend.  I can’t wait to get my own bottle.


HD Micro Primer

HD Micro Primer feels so amazing on, Ulrike was laughing at me because I was simply swooning over this.  WOW it feels amazing!  As all primers do, it minimizes pores and fine lines and makes skin smooth.  This has a small amount of silicone so it feels extremely silky, but not too slick.  It is to die for. 

lip gloss

High Gloss lip gloss

 The High Gloss lip glosses are spectacular.  The amount of pigmentation is fantastic, and the mouth feel is just perfect – not sticky, and not so slick as to wear off after ten minutes.  The colors?   Amazing.

  I sat at our booth swatching away as Ulrike munched on her salad, giggling at my delight.  But hey, what can I say, shimmer makes me shiver!!


a quick view of the swatches

Everything was stunning and there is so much I am looking forward to!  I plan to get a full range of these products in March and I will share everything after I try them all for a while.  Until then, I will be dreaming of Kryolan!  – Lisa

Smokey eyes the Mally Beauty way – Citychick Plum Chelsea review and swatches

Mally Beauty Citychick Smokey Eye Kit in Plum Chelsea

Have you ever heard of being a “Mallynista”? Mallynistas are the lovely ladies that are followers of Mally Beauty. I’m learning that being a Mallynista is a really good thing. I’ve bought several of her kits from QVC and am totally addicted to her Poreless Face Defender and now I think I’m going to become addicted to her Citychick Smokey Eye Kits. I have this kit in Plum Chelsea and it’s fabulous and is going to prove to be more fabulous in the fall.

Mally Beauty palette and eyeliner pencil

Plum Chelsea

Citychick Smokey Eye Kits  are made up of three eyeshadow shades and an eyeshadow primer. The eyeshadow primer is one of the best I’ve ever tried. I will be honest and when I got it I figured I’d just use my previous ones since this looks more like a concealer than a shadow primer. What a mistake that was. The shadows last so much longer and look so much better with Mally’s eyeshadow primer that I’m sold on it. I use it with other brands too because it’s that good. The colors in Plum Chelsea are so much more vibrant and last so much longer when using the primer that I’d buy this just for the primer.

Base and lightest shade

middle and darkest shades (the middle shade isn’t this pink though)

That said, I’m really enjoying the shades in Plum Chelsea. The combination that Mally picked is perfect. The first shade is a cream with just a twinkle of peach undertones, it’s recommended as a highlighter shade but looks just as good on the lid. It blends in well on my fair skin but it also looks good on its own. The second shade is a lightly shimmered purple. I love how it glistens. The third shade is a dark violet that feels creamy to the touch. I really appreciate that there’s no red to this darkest shade since no one needs rabbit eyes except rabbits. The violet is my favorite shade in the palette. It reminds me of my all time favorite purple shadow (Chantecaille’s Tanzanite).

finger swatches of shadows (truer swatches)

my favorite shade

While all three of the shadows in Plum Chelsea have some shimmer to them, there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s not glitter and that’s an important distinction. I don’t have fallout from the shadows or the shimmer.

Charcoal eyeliner pencil

The Citychick palettes also come with an eyeliner pencil. For Plum Chelsea it’s a charcoal mechanical pencil. I always like Mally’s pencils since they apply so easily. They are creamy and glide on effortlessly. They are very easy to smudge but do end up being long lasting. This is a true charcoal shade so it’s much softer than a black would be. With Plum Chelsea there are a lot of colors though that also look good as a liner – try green for a beautiful pop of color or go with your favorite violet. You can’t go wrong.

pencil and shadows swatched, indirect light

You can find Mally products on her website, on, and on QVC. If she has a palette like this in a kit it’s really a bargain. Right now I have my eye on a palette there called Mally City Chick Smolders that’s in brown and has the same great base.

After recently buying her Poreless Face Defender and a QVC kit I thought I was a Mallynista but I know now I’ve only dipped my toes into Mally Beauty. After writing this review I ordered Mally’s Eyeshadow Primer from I just couldn’t stop thinking about how great it was with my eyeshadows and didn’t want to use up the one in the palette. When you decide to become a Mallynista be sure to put a City Chick Smokey Eye Kit on your list. You’ll love it! — Marcia

*some items in review were PR samples, some bought by reviewer