Eye Shadow Base or Eyelid Primer?


In our recent Crème de Couture posts, we mention the use of Eye Shadow Bases. Today we explain the difference between an Eye Shadow Base and an Eyelid Primer (also called Eye Shadow Primer), as they are two completely dissimilar beauty tools with different applications and results.

Eyelid Primer

An Eyelid primer is a light textured cream with a soft, slightly silicone-like feel to it. The primer is applied directly onto the eyelid, helping to mattify any oils that are present. This cream creates a foundation (never use actual foundation on your eyelids – this is much too greasy and will only cause your eye shadow to run) for you to apply your eye make-up over, helping to prevent creasing and fading of your eye shadow. Using a primer also helps your make-up last through the day. Usually the primer is colourless, but there are products available that have a slight sheen to them, have a slight neutral colour or even a bit of shimmer. We are very fond of the Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potions, the Smashbox Lid Primer as well as the MAC Prep + Prime Eye.

Eye Shadow Base

An Eye shadow base is a creamy product with a much thicker consistency than primer. You would typically need to apply the base with a brush as using your fingers could mean that too much product is used. If applied correctly the base can also act as a tool to prevent your eye shadow from creasing. The purpose of an eye shadow base is to intensify or enhance your eye shadow colours and are thus available in many different colours and finishes:

Light coloured bases intensify the eye shadow colour

Dark bases highlight the different colours of multi-faceted eye shadows

Bases with shimmer or sparkle will lift matt colours

Matt bases, or bases that are neutral (skin-toned) simply work as a tool for your eye shadow to stick to

A base in the same colour as your eye shadow will enrich your look considerably

There are very many different eye shadow bases available, so we suggest that you experiment with the application as well as the amount of product you use in order to get the most out it. Our favourite bases are the Sigma Eye Shadow Bases, as well as the MAC Paintpots.

It is possible to use the base without a primer, although for best results we would recommend using a primer under the base. 

Turquoise Studio
Turquoise Studio


3 Responses


January 01, 2014

Rubybox has an Urban decay primer potion set, not exactly sure if they’re full size or not but I know they’re 4 in a set. :)

Turquoise Studio
Turquoise Studio

December 23, 2013

Hi Alae,
Rubybox (www.rubybox.co.za) stocks one or two of the Urban Decay products, otherwise the only manner in which to get hold of the brand is through international on-line stores.
Turquoise Studio is working on carrying the brand – hopefully we will have news for you next year.
Team Turquoise xx


December 20, 2013

Thanks for a very helpful article! You mention Urban Decay products… I have heard so much about them and would love to get my hands on some of their products (especially the eye shadow palettes). Any idea where to buy it in SA? What are the chances of you importing and selling their products? I’m sure it’ll be a big hit! ;-)

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