Primed and prepped: a guide to primers

which_primer - 2 of 6 (1)Many a times I went on about how primers changed my life and how important they are in the makeup routine. I will give you a brief round-up not to bore you.

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Review: L’Óreal Paris Color Riche Eye Primer Base

L'Óreal Paris Color Riche Eye Primer Base

Since I first discovered primers, I cannot imagine my life without them – for face or eyes, a primer is an essential item in my makeup bag.

The L’Óreal Paris Color Riche Eye Primer Base comes as a handy chubby pencil. Not too soft in consistency, it glides well on the lid, delivering a light nude colour.

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Product review: Eye primers – Urban Decay x e.l.f. x NYX

It is not a surprise my eyeshadow tends to crease after a full day at work; our eyelids are the one of the greasiest part of our faces, even for people who don’t have oily skin.

Using an astringent on the lids before applying make up can help, but a good primer is the best bet to keep your peepers looking freshly made up all day.

I had used MAC’s Moisturelush eyecream, used by a MAC MUA as a primer, but I felt it was more like an eye are cream than anything else. It has a nice sheen to it though.

E.L.F. Eyeshadow primer

The first real primer I bought was the e.l.f. one; at £1.50 and alright reviews, it was a no-brainer! I was quite happy with it for a while, and although shadow durability didn’t seem to be much better with it, it really made shadow colours stronger, and that was enough for me.  I bought the sheer one, and it has a wand applicator, which is quite practical. The consistency is quite nice, a bit on the thin side compared to the others I am reviewing, it applies evenly and dries colourless. It served me well for many months!

NYX Eyeshadow Base

Also based on reviews, bought the NYX primer, priced at £5. I went for the white pearl one. Its consistency is quite hard, and I found it quite difficult to use from the pot as it is small, round and quite deep. For someone like me, with long nails, it is a nightmare, so I had to use a make up spatula in order to avoid having tons of the product under my nails everyday. Again, durability wasn’t amazing. A bit better than the e.l.f. but nothing to write home about. Also did the job well on making shadows colours stronger.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Now, the star of this review has to be the Urban Decay primer.  Seriously. AMAZING!!!!! I went to their counter at House of Fraser to pick up the All Nighter long lasting make up setting spray (review to come soon), which I had tried a few days before in the same counter, and the girl was sooooo nice (seriously, I cannot say this enough!), she offered me a sample of their new foundation (reviewed here) and  when I asked about the eye primer, she put a little bit in an empty foundation sample bottle so I could try at home.

Next morning, I used it on my morning make up routine; went to work and went for a spin class on my lunch break. I kid you not, after sweating buckets (as you do on a spin class!), I went off to the changing room and when I looked in the mirror, to my surprise, my eyeshadow and liner were still intact. It didn’t all melt into the crease, I had no smudges; I didn’t look like a panda, as I often do after the mentioned class.

So I am sold, with no doubt, the Urban Decay is the best from this lot. I bought the product since, at £14.50 for a 11ml tube and have been so happy I cannot describe. On holidays, baking in NY and then at an outdoors wedding, the primer, used in conjunction with the make up setting spray, kept my make up in place and eyes and face looking fresh for a whole day.

I am very impressed and have now developed a love affair with Urban Decay!

Eye make up – daywear

I could not live without make up. Really. I cannot imagine my life without the colour it, literally, brings into my face. Not that I don’t like my clean face; there was a time I had severe acne and yes, and I would never think of leaving the house bare-faced. I think this is the reason I have such a passion for make up; I had to make it work really hard to cover my problematic skin. Today, its main purpose is not to hide, but to enhance my features.

Anyway… I thought I’d share some very basic, day wear eye make up ideas; I wear it to work pretty much everyday. It is usually a variation of what you see here, with different complementary colours, different products,  but I tend to stick to this for the daily grind. It is usually a 5-minute job (providing I don’t mess up the eyeliner which I occasionally do).

Super mega staple eye shadows for me are MAC’s Expensive Pink, Nylon, Vex, Carbon, Naked Lunch and Brown Down and a light gold L’Oreal one. I mean, they are amazing, have a good staying power, truly everyday shades you can mix and match, build up or strip down for neutral daywear which will not fight with your lipstick, even if the chosen shade is red (like mine, most days).

I prep my eyes with the e.l.f or the NYX primers. Sometimes, I just brush Vex or Nylon on eyelids and brow bone and apply an eyeliner, across the whole lash line of just under half, for more sultry but at the same time lighter eyes.

I usually wear Vex (an iridescent pale silver, goes fabulously with blues and greens, but also with pinks) or Nylon (a shimmery very pale gold – and this my friend, goes with everything!)  as bases, they look great on the brow bone.

Then from the outer corner of the eye and the crease, blending towards the inner corner, I apply the “middle” shade – this could be the golden L’Oreal, Expensive Pink or Smoke ‘n’ Diamonds. Most of the time, I stop there but sometimes, I use a darker shade, if dealing with warm tones, Brown Down (when I use Silver Ring, I don’t add anything darker, it is dark enough!) in the outer part of the crease and the corner, to give a subtle smokey effect.

When lining my upper lid, I sometimes do just 1\3 of the eye, leaving the inner corner clean and bright; sometimes, I do the whole thing, most of the times with a flick at the end – I am really into them now, I think it help flatters my eye shape.

Slap on the mascara on top lashes and eye liner to the water line. Now, depending on my mood (again!), I might do it just a third from the outer corner or the whole line; sometimes I add it to the lower lash line too and smoke with a pencil brush to make it less harsh, but any combination will look good! Promise!

At the moment, my favourite liners are Collection 2000 felt tip pen liner (amazing, and great value), MAC gel liner and Maybelline’s Lasting Drama gel liner, all of which I find easy to apply and long lasting. I love eyeliner, really do.

For the more grungy look coming for A/W12-13, I have been trying a chubby liner, from Miners, it is great for smoking after applying, with a pencil brush, but it smudges quite a lot, and its staying power is rubbish, sadly, as the effect is ace!

For mascara I am currently using Maybelline’s Falsies (one of my favourites).

So, what are your tested, quick day to day eye make up routine? It would be nice to know what works for other people!