Monday, April 11, 2011

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base


Waaaaay back in February, Vulcan Butterfly (of asked for a review of NARS' Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. Since then, I've been trying to pay extra attention to how it works; I knew I liked it better than other products, but I wanted to be able to give some more details in an "official" review! So, after a little more of a month of wearing shadows with no base, with other bases, and with NARS' base, I feel like I'm ready to let you guys know how NARS' base stacks up!

The verdict? I still love it, although I was surprised to discover that Make Up Forever's Aqua Creams (at least in 16, which is the only color I've been using as a base) work about as well; however, NARS' base is colorless, whereas the MUFE Aqua Creams have color and shimmer. I definitely think that this base works better than Urban Decay's Primer Potion, a cult favorite. UDPP was the first eye shadow primer I ever used, and for awhile I thought it was as good as anything else I could get, since so many people swear by it. But when NARS came out with their Pro Prime line, I decided to try their product out since I am consistently impressed with the quality of their products. Yes, it's more expensive- considerably more expensive, at $24 for .26 ounces, vs UDPP, which will run you $18 for .34 ounces- but it works better. Powder shadows never crease (although particularly tricky cream shadows still do), they stay on my lid all day long (think 12, 14 hour days) and look the same when I take them off as when I put them there, and maximize colors in a way that I simply do not see UDPP doing. I haven't tried every primer out there; I was unimpressed by samples of Smashbox's and Benefit's formulas, though, and I think this works much better than UDPP, which I've had years of experience with. I use MUFE's Aqua Cream in 16 to save time if I know I want a shimmery champagne base anyway, but NARS' base is still my go-to eye shadow primer, since it is colorless and relatively textureless (it smooths my lid and has a satiny texture), and blending on top of this base is easier than on the Aqua Creams. This product is pricey, but so worth it; I am definitely repurchasing when I get through this tube, which I should add, has lasted me close to six months! I haven't used it every single day, but at least a few times a week. It only takes a small dab to cover each lid. I also love the packaging; it's like a lip gloss tube with a doe-foot applicator. Unfortunately, that probably means it will be hard to get every little bit out, but like I said, I'm not even at a point yet where I need to try digging product off the walls of the tube, and I'm sure sitting this in some warm water will help loosen product up and bring it to the bottom. 

I've included pictures of the product, for those of you who may not have a chance to see it in person, but no pictures of me wearing it, since you can't really tell it's there! Go back through any of my posts, and you'll more than likely be looking at its handiwork. :) 

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Part of their Pro-Prime line! 

And here's NARS' Base's applicator

And just a daub of it on my wrist; this is more than enough product to coat one eyelid! Maybe close to enough for both. It's creamy straight out of the tube, but it looks colorless (hah, at least on my pale skin!) once it's on. If anyone with a different skin tone than mine has used this and can comment on how it looks on them, please let us know in the comments here! I'm hoping it works for everyone, and not just people as melanin-deprived as me. 
Rating: 10 out of 10

I love this product! It's my most favorite, most versatile eyeshadow base. I wish it were less expensive, but it's worth it; with the amount I spend on eyeshadow and eye liners, it doesn't make sense not to invest for it to look its best. If you're on the hunt for an eye shadow base, this one has worked marvelously for me; there might be others that work as well, but I'm not willing to risk it and try anything else, this is everything I could ask for in an eyeshadow base. (I say this now; let's see if I'm still using this in two years, or if my wandering eyes have gotten the better of me!) It works great with all brands of eye shadow, in cream, liquid, and powder formulas alike. The only ones that still crease a little are bad cream formulas  that crease TERRIBLY without a primer; I haven't had anything smudge with this, even if I accidentally touch my eyes; however, this won't make things waterproof. Try it out, I highly recommend it! 


  1. Great review! I have sworn by UDPP and I wear it every day and have for several years. It rarely lets me down, but there are issues such as the shape of the bottle (which has been corrected)and I find that it works poorly with matte eyeshadows. If you say it is better than UDPP, I may have to try it out! I don't mind spending money on things like primers because for my skin type it makes a HUGE difference in the wear of my makeup. I must agree that Benefit's primers SUCK (Benefit stuff is all crap in pretty packaging) and Smashbox primers tend to not agree with my skin type. Once again, thanks for the review!

  2. Vulcan Butterfly, I don't want to promise that you'll like this better than UDPP, because I know different products work differently on different people, but I know that this worked better for me! If you're 100% happy with UDPP, it might not be worth messing with a good thing, but if you think there's room for improvement, I'd for sure make this product your next stop!


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