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Drugstore VS High End: Eyeshadow Primer

After hours of debate and confusion at Ulta, I decided to buy a drugstore eye shadow primer. As I drove back to my house I thought, wouldn’t it be great to compare and contrast this $7 NYX HD Eye Shadow Primer to the $20 eye shadow primer from Urban Decay? As a control, I went without eye shadow primer for a day (it killed me, really). Unsurprisingly 2 hours later my shadow was a melted mess. Then the next day, I began with my experiment and this is what I found.

Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is a cult favorite in the beauty guru world, with almost six thousand reviews on Makeupalley.com. People love the applicator and how smooth it feels. They like the packaging and they like that it comes in a clear formula as well as several tinted formulas. I applied this primer at 9:00am under my Too Faced Boudoir Eyes pallet. It worked okay. After going to meetings, eating, class and studying, I returned to my room at 4:00pm and I had huge gaps of eye shadow at my crease. Talk about disappointment. I can say after using this primer for about a year (and this experiment), that I am not one of the people that considers this product to be a Holy Grail product. I don’t like how worn out the packaging gets. The old packaging is made of some sort of lastic that loses all its color and eventually turns white. I don’t like how the new containers come on a squeeze tube that gets all over everything and wastes valuable (and expensive) product. But the number one thing I don’t like about this primer? It doesn’t work very well with any other high-end eye shadow besides Urban Decay, and flat out rubs off with drugstore primer. This is ridiculous, considering a good primer should be able to be used with anything! As soon as I am done with all of the backups (yes, I said backups, as in I have 4 of them sitting in my makeup drawer. Unfortunately, when I was first getting into makeup, I didn’t realize there was anything better out there) I will never repurchase this product again.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Packaging: 6/10

The new packaging is very difficult to deal with. It’s very sensitive to pressure and if you aren’t insanely careful, you’ll end up with three days of eye shadow primer on your fingers, which is even more annoying, as I would prefer not to put my fingers to my eyelids more than I have to.

Quality: 8/10

For Urban Decay shadows, this primer really does come out on top. It kills competition when it comes to the Naked Pallet, or Urban Decay eye shadow singles. But as a whole, it’s just okay. And for $20, just okay is not okay.

Value: 5/10

When I purchase makeup, I always look at the price versus the amount of product I get. For things like the BareMinerals Matte Foundation, I’ll gladly fork over the money, since there is so much of it in the package. But in this case, $10 (yes $10) per .1 ounces is just a bit too steep for me, especially for something that doesn’t work amazingly well.

Overall: 19/30


The next day I used the drugstore eye shadow primer. I came into the NYX primer with high expectations since I have used many NYX products and have never been disappointed. 8 am I opened the lipgloss like container and used the doe foot head to apply a small amount to each eyelid and then put on several colors from my Too Faced Boudoir Eyes pallet. My lunch break came around one and I glanced in my mirror. My eyeshadow looked the same as when it first went onto my lids but I was not yet impressed. 4 o’clock rolled around and I looked in the mirror again. My shadow still looked perfect. 7 o’clock came and I left the library and my shadow still looked great even as I jumped into the shower at 9 that evening. That’s right, I got 13 hours of wear with this drugstore eyeshadow primer. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is. What I especially like about this product, is that it works with everything. As a rule, I always try things a few times before I decide to return them, throw them away, or consider them a Holy Grail product. For the next few days, I changed up my eye shadow with type of shadow (pigment, matte, satin, shimmer etc) and I found that I consistently got 12-14 hours of wear out of the shadows, even when they were drugstore shadows. I would most certainty repurchase this product in a heart beat without even a little buyer’s remorse.

NYX HD Eye Shadow Primer

Packaging: 8/10

I love the doe foot head which makes it easy to dab on the primer. However, I think the packaging could be a little more fun. NYX is famous for making cute packaging that has bows and other embellishments on it, and so this looks boring with it’s shiny black finish. I also am not fond of the shape of the whole container, as it looks far too much like a mascara/lip gloss tube, which early in the morning can cause a bit of trouble.

Quality 10/10

This stuff works like no other. I have never found an eye shadow primer that works this well, especially with drugstore eye shadows, which can sometimes have quite a bit of fallout.

Value 10/10

This is a great price and works better than anything I have ever used. For the price and the way it works, I would say that this product is a great value!

Overall 9.3/10


Conclusion: NYX beats Urban Decay any day.

*All Products were purchased with my own funds. I have not been given any products to try, or am being endorsed by any products. All opinions are entirely my own.

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I'm a girl who loves fashion, beauty, cowboy boots and American University.
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