Review: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

(This post was written for The Glosse Posse.)

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Two months ago, I wrote about my disappointment in Smashbox’s Photo Finish Lid Primer (see post). I wanted an eyeshadow primer that wouldn’t crease but would be able to stay on my oily eyelids. When I went to return the product, I was recommended to try Benefit’s Lemon-Aid (C$26) instead. Although I am usually a fan of Benefit, the pale yellow colour correcting cream seemed pretty drying and just a little too yellow. It probably wouldn’t matter if one applied eyeshadow over it but I certainly wouldn’t be able to wear it on its own (or so I thought).

Having heard my friend rave about the amazing Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original) during our trip to Seattle, I decided I would give her favourite primer a try. I don’t usually try new brands but I had noticed that her eyeshadow never creased or flaked and she looked picture perfect from morning to evening. This primer potion retails for $20US/C$24 for the full tube (11ml) or $12US/C$14 for the travel tube and can be found at Sephora and some Shoppers’ Beauty Boutiques (Canada). The colour of the Original is a ‘sheer nude’ or light beige that blends into my fair/light or light/medium skin quite well. There’s also a nude matte option called Eden which seems to act as a concealer and primer in one. You will need only the tiniest amount (as small as a beauty mark) for the entire eyelid and brown bone.


  • Cute packaging and matching name. It really does look like a fairy potion tube, wouldn’t you agree?
  • Does not irritate sensitive eyes
  • Skin feels smooth and moisturised
  • Does not allow eyeliner or mascara to run
  • Crease resistant for at least eight hours


  • Good for 6 months: I’ve barely used any product in my two-month-old primer tube and I can’t imagine how I’ll be able to finish the product within six months. There’s more than enough product!
  • Can crease on very oily eyelids, with or without makeup on top. It’s not as bad as Smashbox, and as soon as I notice creasing, I smooth it out. I think I have very oily eyelids and the crease is the oiliest of all. Otherwise, the rest of the skin around the eyes are fine.
  • Price: If it’s not going to last very long, it should probably be a little cheaper, in my opinion.

Tip: I generally apply the primer potion after I’ve applied mascara because trying to remove any mascara mistakes is impossible when they’ve become smudge proof. As for eyeliners, it’s a relief that even non-smudge proof or non-waterproof liquid eyeliners have the ability to stay put throughout the day. In my case, that means not being removed by my naturally oily eyelids. However, the primer potion does not make them waterproof. In fact, if you do make any eyeliner mistakes (wiggly line or accidental smudge), you might find that you’ll have to remove and reapply the primer.

Overall, I am very pleased with the primer. If the travel size tube were available, I probably would have opted for the cheaper tube that would last for 6 months. I’m also wondering if applying more primer would help with the creases. Perhaps I did not apply enough?


Drugstore DupeEssence – I love Stage Eyeshadow Primer

According to some pinners, this is the drugstore dupe that works as well as Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It retails for about $3.50 and can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada), Ulta (USA), Boots (UK), DM (Germany). There’s only one shade available – a medium or dark beige. This eyeshadow primer not only works for eyelids but under eyes as well, according to some bloggers. It comes with an applicator similar to the ones used for lip glosses. The packaging is certainly an advantage as you won’t have to worry about squeezing too much product onto your eyelids or under eyes. I have yet to try this primer but it is certainly on my list once I’ve finished using UD.

P.S. If you need a good under eye primer, my recommendation would be Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer ($32). It’s meant for the under eyes only to treat puffiness, dark circles, and to prime concealers. You’ll only need a raindrop (i.e. the smallest amount possible) of this pearly pink (or peach) primer to feel revitalised. I would stay away from applying creamy (more liquid-based) concealers over the primer because those concealers have the unfortunate ability to give my under eyes wrinkles. Very strange.

What’s your eyeshadow primer recommendation?

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