e.l.f.’s Essential Eyelid Primer is the final of my e.l.f. freebies that NailPolishCanada.com. It’s also the only e.l.f product that’s actually disappointed me.
Part of that is my fault. When NailPolishCanada.com contacted me and asked if I wanted to try some e.l.f. items out, I said sure and picked the primer as one of them. However, I failed to notice that this primer comes in three shades: sheer, Champagne and pearl. I was sent the pearl and quickly discovered that “pearl” actually meant “sparkly.”
When I first received this product, I immediately thought of NARS’ Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. The packaging is almost identical, as is the spongy applicator. The primer itself looks white, just like Smudge Proof. But then I put this primer on and it was sparkle city.
On its own, this sparkly primer is actually quite pretty and you could go out with just it on. But all of those sparkles do limit when you can use this product. Unless you wanted to jazz up your matte eyeshadow, this primer really only works under eye colour that’s already sparkly or shimmery.
The other downside to these sparkles is that they shed. Yes, this primer, at least the pearl version, doesn’t stay in place. And as a result, this product doesn’t do a very good job at keeping eyeshadow in place.
e.l.f.’s description of what this product should be doing perfectly sums up an ideal eye primer: “Preps your eyelid for smoother, longer-lasting and crease-proof eyeshadow. The lightweight liquid formula quickly absorbs into the skin for comfortable wear and increases eye color longevity.” I agree that this is a lightweight product that goes on smoothly and is comfortable to wear. However, it’s impact on colour longevity was minimal.
To better test this product out, I did a couple split tests, multiple times. The first involved comparing the e.l.f. primer against the primer that came with Revlon PhotoReady shadow. The Revlon primer easily kicked the e.l.f. primer’s ass.
My second split had one eyelid getting the e.l.f. primer and a shadow while the other eyelid just got the shadow. The eyelid with the primer did keep colour in place for longer, at least in the morning, but by the afternoon both eyelids looked about the same. The primer did do a decent job at keeping shadow out of my crease but that doesn’t mean much if the shadow isn’t staying on my lid.
I will agree that this product is better than no primer but that's about it. At least it's cheap. NailPolishCanada.com sells is for only $2.25.
Would I buy this product: While the pearl shade was a surprise, and limited this product’s use, I can see how I would use it. However, it would have to be over another primer because I would never buy this item to use as a primer.
Should you buy this product: Depending on how you like your makeup, this product could have a role in providing some added sparkle to your eye colour. But don’t buy the pearl version as a primer. As for the other two shades, other people seem impressed with them. Maybe the problem with the item I received really is the shedding sparkles.