Differences Between Eyeshadow Bases and Primers

10 Jan

Eyeshadow Primer and BaseA lot of times these two things are confused as being one in the same. While they may seem similar, they have completely different purposes.

So, let see what are the differences between  primers and bases?

Eyeshadow Primer

An eyeshadow primer is used to prime the eyes to create an even surface to apply an eyeshadow. Most eyeshadow primers use silicone, which creates an even surface by filling in the crevices on the eye. This creates a barrier between the skin and eyeshadow allowing it to last longer as most eyeshadow primers are designed to prevent the natural oils from the skin from penetrating the barrier and breaking down the eyeshadow. This leaves the eyeshadow lasting longer and often also provides greater intensity to the shadows allowing them to have a more true colour payoff. Primers can also help neutralize the color of your lids so that discolorations don’t show thru the shadow, basically giving you the benefits of a light-weight concealer.

Eyeshadow Base 

As for bases, you can use just about anything moist or sticky and get great color pay-off. Bases are the products used to help intensify an eyeshadow by helping it stick to your eye — but not all of them “prime” the eye. You can use concealer, moisturizers, paint pots, cream eyeshadows, gel eyeliners, eye pencils — anything emollient to use as a base and usually end up pleased with the results. However, bases don’t always have the same ingredients as primers to help prevent creasing — but several companies have combined both base and primer to give you a little more protection.

The base does not have to be the same colour as the eyeshadow applied on top and depending on what colour the base is, it will create a different effect. For instance, a nude base will mute any eyelid discolouration and create a more even colour distribution across the eyelid. A coloured base, such as black, will make the shadow have a darker, often more sultry look to it.

Lots of people tend to go overboard when applying either a primer or a base. The key is to find the right amount for your individual eyelid. You basically want to get enough just to give a super thin barrier between your oily lid and your eyeshadow.

More and more cosmetic companies are introducing primers/bases into the market, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed for feel the need to try them all.

Here are some great ones that may be easier to get a hold of:

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • NARS Smudge-proof Eyeshadow Base
  • MAC paint pots

Overall, primers and bases can casually be called the same thing in general. There are technical differences between the two, but nobody is going to shoot you if you refer to a primer as base or vice-versa. You can get the same results from either one, but it varies from person to person.

Not everything will work for everyone — and you should go into each product with neutral expectations so that you don’t come out feeling disappointed if it doesn’t work for you. Just try different things until you’re happy.

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