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My first big Eyeshadow Primer comparison was written in November 2009 (seems like such a long time ago!) and compared 7 primers. My second eyeshadow comparison in June 2010 compared a whopping 10!

This comparison pits my reigning champion, Holy Grail Too Faced Shadow Insurance, against two new contenders, NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base.

The four eyeshadow colors I chose for this comparison are:

Fyrinnae Futuristic Glamrock – A gorgeous bright sky blue with strong green sheen. Closer to light, the green sheen becomes violet, giving it a strong lavender highlight. Metallic & sparkly.
BftE Lava Momma – bright hot fuchsia with pink iridescence.
Sugarpill Dollipop – vibrant, matte hot pink.
Urban Decay Fishnet – iridescent purple.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Ingredients:
Isododecane,Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Glyceryl Triethylhexanoate, Polyethylene, Trihydroxystearin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Isopropyl Lanolate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base Ingredients:
Isododecane, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Dimethicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Carbonate, Peg-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Phenoxyethanol, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Oryza Sativa [Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil Extract], Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Castor Oil Phosphate, Sea Whip Extract, Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).
-Blend of Polymer and Mineral Powders (Mica Titanium Dioxide and a clay derivative): Deliver a firm grip on color.
-Deep Sea Extract: A naturally occurring marine extract. It’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is harvested from deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
-Rice Bran Extract: A multi-functional natural ingredient derived from rice bran oil.

Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base Ingredients:
Isododecane, Talc, Beeswax, Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Propylene Carbonate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Phenoxyethanol, Phenoxyethanol/Methylparaben, Ethylparaben/Butylparaben, Propylparaben/Isobutylparaben, Colorant, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxide Yellow (CI77492), Iron Oxide Black (CI77499), Iron Oxide Red (CI77491).

The ingredients are all very similar! NARS has a few extra luxe ingredients.

I applied all primers with my finger to my bare skin.
I applied all eyeshadows on the primers with a cotton swab.

The top row is NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow. The middle row is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. The bottom row is Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base.

The shadows from left to right are: Futuristic Glamrock – Lava Momma – Dollipop – Fishnet.

I feel that Nyx and TF look more intense than NARS. However, NARS still looks vibrant.
None of the three primers dull colors.
All three of them work well with sparkly / glittery shades, mattes and duochromes. So for me and my oily lids, they work well for all types of eyeshadows.

The Nyx primer has creased a few times, but been fine other times, when worn.
The NARS primer has not creased on me at all.
TF doesn’t crease on me at all.

The Nyx primer makes blending slightly more difficult.
The NARS primer and TF primer make blending easy.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow base is very light, nearly see through. Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base is a porcelain shade. Too Faced Shadow Insurance is a light beige shade. I don’t feel that the hue of the primers negatively affect the colors of eyeshadows. I think all three primers portray eyeshadows as very true to color.

I still love the Too Faced Shadow Insurance container. I can get just about every single drop of product out of this design. I love that!
The NARS and Nyx containers are pretty much identical. Since the design is circular, not a genie shaped bottle like Urban Decay’s original Primer Potion design, I theorize you could get almost all of the product out of the containers. That said, I still prefer the TFSI design.

Pricing and Size:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance – $18 for .35 oz (on – cost per one ounce $51.43
NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow – $24.0 for .26 oz (on – cost per one ounce $92.31
Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base – $6.46 for .28 oz (on – cost per one ounce $23.07

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Pros:
Never creases on me. Never dulls my color. Great container design. Works well with all types of shadow.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Cons:
In my opinion, none. However, I feel I should point out that it is over twice the cost of Nyx per ounce.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base Pros:
Never creases on me. Never dulls my color. Makes blending easy. Luxury ingredients. It’s practically colorless on the skin.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base Cons:
It’s expensive. It’s nearly twice the cost of TFSI per ounce.

Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base Pros:
Very economical. Less than 1/2 the cost of TFSI per ounce and NARS costs nearly four times as much as Nyx.

Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base Cons:
Creases on occasion. Makes blending slightly more difficult.

Overall Winner:
For me TFSI is the clear winner.

However, both NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and Nyx HD Eye Shadow Base have their own good points. If you don’t have oily lids like mine, give the Nyx a try. The Nyx is the most economical choice of the three. If you want extra ingredients that are good for your skin, give the NARS a try.

In my opinion, these are all three great primers. Each have their own pros and cons. I feel that they’re all worth recommending.

All three get a 5 Star Rating from me.


What’s your favorite eyeshadow primer? Have you tried any of these? Which would you chose?

Products purchased by me. All opinions are my own.