Please tell me I'm not the only one who loves discovering new eyeshadow primers! :D In fact, I like trying out new primers as much as I like experimenting with new colors and texture. The latest one to entice me is the Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extended Eye Base from MAC that has just recently been released. MAC has one of the largest selections of eyeshadow in the market and it's quite hard to believe that this is the first-ever actual eyelid primer they've ever made. I suppose better late than never right? I have a full review for you today as well as a quick comparison swatch with other popular eyelid primers from NARS, Too Faced, and Urban Decay at the end of the post. Without further ado, let's dive in!
MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extended Eye Base comes in a standard squeeze tube similar to most eyelid primers. Quick, easy to use, and convenient but if there's one thing I wish they could have done differently, it's the size of the opening. I find it a little too wide and dispenses a little too much product considering that you only need just a touch for each use.
However, a possible reason for the wide opening is perhaps due to the thick texture of the primer. It is much, much thicker than all the other primers I've tried. It is also very balmy and very, very silicone-y. The texture reminds me quite a bit of the Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer Stick (review) but is much more emollient. It is super easy to spread to a thin layer, though, provided you only use just a dab each time. It comes out of the tube pink beige in color but turns invisible once blended on the lids.
Despite the thicker texture, I don't find it to be heavy or thick on the lids at all. It feels virtually weightless and comfortable once it sets. Like most eyelid primers, it leaves a slightly tacky feel so that your eyeshadow has something to grab onto. What it differs from most primers, though, is the fact that it seems to “plump up” the skin on my eyelid making it look smoother, fuller, and less textured. At first I thought it was my imagination so I tried it on one eye and applied another primer from a different brand on the other and I could see clearly that the MAC one did in fact plump up the skin and make the texture of my eyelids smoother and more even. This is a major plus in my book and I can see it being a great option for those who have thin or mature eyelid skin.
(Note: The other primers that I tested side-by-side with were the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Different one on different day.)
Performance-wise, it really does keep my shadows looking fresh and vibrant throughout the day as promised! Humidity- and sweat-resistant, I did not notice any creasing or fading of my shadows at all and I have oily lids! At the end of the day, I checked my eye makeup in the mirror and saw that it still looked just like when it was first applied in the morning. So, another major plus for a long-lasting performance!
But does it amp up the shadow vibrancy as well as the other popular primers on the market, though? Check out my comparison swatch below.
As you can see, the MAC primer significantly increases the vibrancy of the shadow compared to the “no primer” control (1) on the first lane. Although it doesn't amplify the hue as well as the NARS (2) or the Too Faced one (3), it still does considerably better than the Urban Decay one (4).
(For each lane, the eyeshadow was applied with a fingertip in 3 layers over its corresponding base or without base. I tried to control the pressure during application as best as I could. Results may vary based on individual factors such as skin condition and/or tools used to apply the shadow.)
Overall, if you don't mind the silicone-y texture, I think you will really love the MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extended Eye Base. It may not perform best in terms of dialing up the shadow intensity compared to the other primers but I still consider it to have the best texture all around. It never leaves my eyelid looking and feeling dry but more importantly, I just love the way it preps my skin to create such a soft and smooth canvas so that my eyeshadow applies better and more evenly.
Do you also like experimenting with eyeshadow primers? What are some of the best (or worse) ones you've tried?