Thursday, August 11, 2011

E.L.F. Essential Beauty School Eyelid Primer Collection Review and Swatches

I've been playing with the three primers that came in the adorable little primer set I snagged at Target the past few days, and thought it was time to share some of my observations.

Nude is the most versatile of the shades, as would be expected.  It blends to a transparent finish (though those with very dark skin may see a slight lightening of the eyelid after application) and amplifies the color of eyeshadows worn over it while sustaining wear.  Definitely the most versatile of the three primers, and my favorite.

Champagne is, in the tube, a rather dull brown, but once applied, it's a sparkly sheer neutral-cool tan.  It sheers out very easily on the lid, unlike a cream eyeshadow, so if you're looking for a straightforward shadow/primer, this is not your thing.  However, it is not billed as such, so I can't fault it for that!  The shimmer becomes much more pronounced once it's blended out, though, which is a little irritating.  Because of the sparkle, you can't blend it far above the crease without it looking very glittery, though topping it with a matte highlighter shade (like Heaven from the Too Faced palette) fixes that.  It does add a brown note to shadows; when I wore it under the very warm Honey Pot and Tiki, it cooled both shades down and made them much more wearable for my neutral skin.  I'll definitely keep using it with such shades!  As a primer, it works very well, with no creasing or fading.

My least favorite of the primers is Pearl, a sparkly white.  My biggest problem with it is that I really dislike the bright white finish it leaves.  For days when I'm doing a full eye of shimmery, dark shades (you can imagine how infrequently this happens...) it's the preferable choice.  I have to be very careful to apply only a teeny tiny dot of it or else it looks too stark.  As a primer, though, it works as well as the others: extends the wear, doesn't crease, and amplifies the pigment of shadows.

Here are some swatches of each of the primers.  The order, from top to bottom, is Pearl, Champagne, Nude.

With matte eyeshadows:
Too Faced Sexpresso over (top to bottom) Pearl, Champagne, Nude
With satin/shimmer eyeshadow:
theBalm Insane Jane over (top to bottom) Pearl, Champagne, Nude; you can really see how the underlying primer changes the shade of the eyeshadow here
With shimmer/frost eyeshadow:
Too Faced Silk Teddy over (top to bottom) Pearl, Champagne, Nude
And here are they all lined up:

$3 for 0.24 oz (0.08 oz / tube), available from E.L.F., Target, and other places where E.L.F. is sold

Pros: Get to try 3 different primers, extend eyeshadow wear, amplify shadows
Cons: 2 out of 3 are very sparkly

Price: 10 ($3 for 3 primers?! Heck yes.)
Value: 9 (they're only 0.08 oz each, which is 0.24 oz total, which is pretty standard for a normal eyeshadow primer)
Quality: 9
Ease of Use: 4.25 (Nude is easy peasy, Champagne is okay, and Pearl takes some time and care to get right)
Pigmentation: 4.5 (Nude is good, Champagne is a bit sheer, Pearl is too pigmented)
Duration: 5
Consistency: 4.75
Grade: A-

These are a great option if you're wanting to try out eyeshadow primer.  I'm especially a fan because it's easily available at Target, but if you're just looking for a nice nude primer, I would recommend getting the individual tube (either the $1 Essential, or the $3 Mineral, which is the one I used before I got this set).

Have you tried this set?  What did you think?  Would you want to check it out?
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