Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eyeshadow Primer Comparison- Lumene, UDPP, and Smashbox

A somewhat belated topic here, but today's topic is eyeshadow primers; more specifically, a comparison between Lumene's eye base, Urban Decay Primer Potion, and Smashbox's new photo finish eye primer.
I feel that all 3 are decent primers and all have their pros and cons.
First up is Lumene. Lumene is a nice primer that was found in drug stores like CVS for $10 and came in a nice little squeeze tube, which is a step up from Urban Decay's craptastic packaging. As you can see below, it's slightly yellow toned before you spread it out. However, once smoothed into the skin, it dries clear/nude without any problems. It's got a bit more texture than UDPP, so I like to use this primer for loose shadows and pigments as I get better pigmentation from this base than with UDPP. My eyeshadow lasts all day without creasing, although it does fade a bit by the end of the day.
Next up is Urban Decay's Primer Potion. This baby retails for $17 in it's regular size and is currently being sold in an XL size for $22. This is my favorite primer out of the 3. It is neutral toned when first applied and dries nude/clear. Eyeshadows are intensified when applied on top of this primer, and it also makes an excellent base for your brow powder. Eyeshadows last all day without creasing with this primer, though again I get some fading. The downside to this primer is that eyeshadows become a bit harder to blend on top of this primer, but this problem is easily fixed by dusting a nude/base color over your lid.
Last up is Smashbox's Photo Finish eye primer. This one was my least favorite out of the 3. IT retails for $20, more than either Lumene or UDPP, with only 0.02 oz in the tube...MUCH less product than UDPP has. I decided not to return this right away and give it a try, but unfortunately I decided that I prefered UDPP over Smashbox, though the smashbox is still a decent primer. Smashbox's eye primer is the darkest and warmest of the 3 primers and does not dry clear on my skin. On darker skintones than mine though, it probably would be pretty nude/clear. It did intensify colors and lasted all day without creasing, but fading still occured for me. Additionally, I felt that it made cooler toned and neutral toned shadows a bit warmer. It does have two pros over UDPP though; shadows are still easily blended over this primer, and it does not seem to be as drying as UDPP. nevertheless, it was not for me, and went back to the store right after these swatches.
Primer comparison before smoothing out. Lumene is a creamy yellow, UDPP is a neutal cream, and Smashbox I'd say is about a NC30 or so.
Smoothed out: I'm ot sure if it's visible here, but the Smashbox did not dry clear. It's a bit warmer than the other two primers. Lumene may have a slight yellow cast to it, but is clear for the most part. UDPP is completely clear on me.

For the eyeshadow swatched over the primers, I used Urban Decay Last Call..a red-magenta shade. Lumene intensifies color a bit, but not as much as UDPP or Smashbox. Again, the Smashbox changed the color a bit, but as Lst call is a warm based color to begin with, the change may not be all that apparent.

One more pic for color comparison:


  1. cool comparison! i did i didn't read the content but only view the picture, i'd think that Lumene looked the best on my screen. but from what you said, UDPP seems to be the best. i don't like Smashbox changing colour bit...

  2. It's just personal preference..though the Lumene is quite nice as well :]

  3. Awesome - Thanks for posting this comparison.
    Very Helpful!!!!