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 Sephora.com 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 beautybay.com
Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base from beautybay.com

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 Edwardbess.com

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


  1. Robin | 9th Oct 15

    *Gasp!* I don’t use a primer and never have. I guess I always thought that my foundation acted as one. But I hear about them so much that I’m ready to try one. I don’t know that it will be this one because of the cost, but hopefully I can try it at a later date.

  2. Valerie C. | 9th Oct 15

    Maybe I’ll splurge. I’m very fair too and it’s nice to see there is a light shade.
    I’m not thrilled with the Urban Decay one I’ve been using.

  3. Rachel Beltz | 9th Oct 15

    I haven’t tried this, but I had been using a white NYX eyeshadow base. I honestly think that I might like this base more over my NYX base!

  4. Carol | 9th Oct 15

    I always say, “you are wasting your time and your eyeshadow if you don’t wear a base!” This one looks like a winner!

  5. Natalie Brown | 10th Oct 15

    I haven’t used this product but I like that it adds some color. Great to know that it’s super helpful in making shadows last really long too. Thanks for the honest review. 🙂

  6. Lola Seicento | 13th Oct 15

    This sounds as though it’s definitely worth the splurge!

  7. Heather | 13th Oct 15

    So great that this works, and you don’t have to worry about your shadow creasing!

  8. Kristina | The Feminine Files | 13th Oct 15

    This sounds really nice! Do you think the click applicator wastes any primer? I feel like I need such a small amount of primer on my lids.

  9. [email protected] | 13th Oct 15

    I use an eye primer all the time because I have red eyelids from blepharitis. I’ve been very happy with Urban Decay Anti-aging Eye Primer and also with Milani’s eye primer. Both have some skin tone color and though the shade on both is a little darker than my eyelids would be if they weren’t red, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. This looks like a lovely base and the price is in line with the UD primer

  10. Eugenia | 13th Oct 15

    This one is a little pricey but I may have to try it!

  11. Destany | 13th Oct 15

    This one is a little pricey, but yeah, if it works, it’s worth it!

  12. Shipra | 13th Oct 15

    This looks like it would really make eyeshadow shine and last! I may have to try it for myself! <3

  13. Aleya Bamdad | 13th Oct 15

    I also get into trouble bt reading other blogs. My poor credit card needs a break. Sounds like a good primer but I need fast dry time.

  14. Phyrra | 13th Oct 15

    What a lovely highlighter!

  15. Miranda Mendoza | 13th Oct 15

    I can tell that it’s illuminating! Glad to hear that it makes shadows pop!

  16. Cindy (Prime Beauty) | 13th Oct 15

    Gosh I haven’t bought anything from Eddie in forever. I might try this out, the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is kind of thin.

  17. Tiki | 13th Oct 15

    This sounds like something I need to help prime and balance the discoloration on my lids. I have veins for days that like to wave at people.

  18. Lisa Heath | 13th Oct 15

    I have oily lids and have to use primer or my shadow slides all over!

  19. Nidia - Lit From Within | 13th Oct 15

    I haven’t tried this brand, but I can see making room in my collection for a high-end primer that works for some favorite shadows or for special occasions. I keep meaning to pick up one of those “sticky” primers like Fyrrinae’s Glitter one for especially glittery shadows.

  20. Bailey | 13th Oct 15

    I don’t mind paying a little bit more for a primer as long as it doesn’t crease,so this sounds pretty good. Knowing it holds even lackluster shows is a plus.

  21. Erika | 14th Oct 15

    I think that is something is really good, it’s worth it’s price to you. 😀

  22. Kath TheFabZilla | 14th Oct 15

    I have oily lids so I’m curious how this will work for me

  23. Amber | 14th Oct 15

    I’ve never tried anything from this brand, but have heard good things. It sounds like you found a winner! I agree, Beauty Look Book is such a great blog!

  24. Anastasia | 14th Oct 15

    I read a lot about Edward Bess line, although I haven’t tried any of his products yet. This primer sounds promising!

  25. Chelsea | 14th Oct 15

    Oooh, an eyeshadow base that actually would match my skintone, hahah! This sounds like a goodie for sure!

  26. Honeygirlk | 14th Oct 15

    I haven’t tried anything from Edward Bess before – but a good eye shadow base is definitely worth the money if it works well 🙂

  27. StephanieLouise | 14th Oct 15

    Sounds like it works quite well!

  28. Ashley | 14th Oct 15

    I haven’t tried this product yet but I have heard of the brand. I’d definitely give this primer a go. I love a tinted primer to color correct and prolong the life of my shadows.

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