My Favourite...Eyeshadow Bases and Primers

When I first started playing with make-up, practically all I wore was eyeshadow and mascara. For the longest time people told me I should invest in a decent eyeshadow primer and for the longest time I ignored them. I really couldn't see what kind of difference it could possibly make, but when I finally bought one I was kicking myself for not doing so sooner! Then I started using bases too, which opened a whole new set of ideas when it came to colour placement and different effects. So anyway, here are my favourite eyeshadow primers and bases!

Eyeshadow Primer
Preps the eye area for make-up, creating a barrier between the skin's oils and eye make-up. Makes eyeshadows bolder, easier to blend and longer lasting.

[[ TFSI alone, TFSI with UD 'Peace' eyeshadow, 'Peace' alone ]]

1. Urban Decay Primer Potion is a real cult classic - with good cause! A tiny amount spreads over the eye area smoothly and evenly, creating the perfect base for eye make-up. Eyeshadows last at least 12 hours for me without any signs of creasing or fading, though of course this varies person to person. £12 from Boots or Debenhams.

2. I prefer Too Faced Shadow Insurance to UDPP, since not only does it create a smooth, even base and make my eyeshadows crease and fade resistant, but it makes colours a touch bolder. I'd also say that it is a touch creamier than UDPP. Available from Boots and Debenhams for £16.50 (the price has SHOT up since I bought it for £11!)

Eyeshadow Bases
Eyeshadow bases are placed over an eyeshadow primer to either help the eyeshadow stick, make the eyeshadow colour bolder or alter the eyeshadow colour all together. 

[[ UD 'Lucky' alone, UD 'Lucky' with UD 'Honey', 'Honey' alone ]]

1. Pencil eyeliners. The first pencil eyeliners I used as bases were the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners, which I still love using today! Eyeshadow stick to them really easily and they don't crease at all. Fantastic :) I love using 'Lucky' in particular, it is the creamiest of the bunch and makes anything slightly golden look incredible. available from Boots and Debenhams for £11.50 each. 

[[ ELF black cream eyeliner alone, ELF black cream eyeliner with UD 'Fishnet' eyeshadow, 'Fishnet' alone ]]

2. E.L.F black cream eyeliner, this is fabulously opaque and easy to layer up. It will crease if you take it further that the lid, however, so I prefer to line my eyes, soften the edges and apply eyeshadow over the top for a smokey effect. Available in seven other colours, I'm eyeing up the copper shade next! £3.50 from the E.L.F website.

[[ Beauty UK 'Blue' metallic eye spark, Beauty UK 'Blue' metallic eye spark with UD 'Goddess', 'Goddess' alone ]]

3. Eyeshadow pencils. NYX jumbo eye pencils are probably the most widely regarded, especially 'Milk' which I have reviewed recently. I also love the Beauty UK 'Metallic Eye Sparks', although they do crease fairly quickly, even over a primer. NYX jumbo pencils - £2.99 from Beauty UK 'Metallic Eye Sparks', £2.49 from Superdrug and the Beauty UK site.

[[ Fyrinnae 'Pixie Epoxy' alone, Pixie Epoxy + UD 'Absinthe' eyeshadow, 'Absinthe' alone. ]]

4. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy/ Hi-Fi Eyeshadow Base. Both basically work in the same way, though I would say that Pixie Epoxy is less prone to creasing and takes to mattes much better than the Hi-Fi base. These are gels which give a 'foiled' look once eyeshadow is applied over them. They work particularly well with metallic and glittery eyeshadows. Pixie Epoxy is $7, available from the Fyrinnae site. Hi-Fi High Impact Shadow Fix is $5.99, available from Hi-Fi's Etsy store.

Have you tried any of these? What do you think of them? What are your favourite primers and bases?


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love UD products and even though they are highly pigmented some do lack umph when put on alone, think I'm going to invest in some cream eyeliner to help!

    Love J.

  2. lovely post! I have to say I was like you before I started working in retail and discovered the UDPP.. i haven't yet tried TFSI, but I have so much UDPP I don't know when I will!

    And yes the price has DEFO shot up, coz of VAT rise, but our pay doesnt increase with it does it?!

  3. Great post! I have tried the UDPP and the TFSI and I love them both. I NEVER thought of using the 24/7 liners as a base but that is such a brilliant idea! Thanks for the tip! Also my favorite base is MUFE gel liner in Aqua doesn't budge! thanks for the post!

  4. interesting post! I often wonder if I should try one of these famous primers... So far I have found one that does work - - and it's definitely cheap, being from an almost unknown brand... I can never decide If I want to risk the splurge to see if the big name brands work better, or not!

  5. Great post, I love UDPP - I've had mine for over a year and it's only just started to run out. I've never tried an eyeshadow base but those UD eyeliners look lovely. x

  6. I love UDPP but ended up steering away and using MAC Paint Pots, the color selection is what did it! But have to stick my fingers in and end up jabbing it with my nail is annoying (brushing it on just doesn't work the same). I love using NYX Milk under brights. Never thought to use an eyeliner as a base! Will have to try, Lucky with Honey = amazing! I truthfully didn't like Pixie Epoxy, I find it impossible to blend over. And I've never tried Too Faced but the tube shape alone is appealing.

    Long comment is long!

  7. Great post, I am not a fan of the UDPP really either and haven't tried Two Faced yet. I usually use MAC's paint pot in Painterly although I don't think it adds to the shadow's color like the TFSI

  8. I love UDPP, and I think I'll have to get a black cream eyeliner to use as a base. Fishnet looks amazing over that black e.l.f one! xx

  9. TFSI is £16 now? Blimey O'Reilly. I'd like to try the Shadow Insurance but UDPP works so well for me that I don't know if I want to risk it...

  10. Great post! I'm not a fan of UDPP but I shall check out Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I'd never thought of using my e.l.f. liner as a base. Will definitely give it a go :) I think I'm definitely going to have to get some NYX Jumbo Pencils too! xxx

  11. i have UD PP in Sin and as pretty as it looks its a complete pain the the ass as it creaaaases so i think ill just have to get some TFSI i had no idea it was sooo expensive though thats a crazy prize increase :\

  12. I need to try the Two Faced Primer. It is the next one that I am going to pick up once I run out of my UDPP. I have a couple NXY pencils that I love!! They really do make all the difference. What do you think of face primers?


  13. Like you, it took me a while to buy into the whole primer thing. But after realizing I wasn't getting good results with what I was using, I finally gave in. I went with TFSI due to the packaging. I'm so glad I finally invested in it! I also love Pixie Epoxy!

  14. Fab post! I use ELF's core line eyelid primer and even compared to UDPP I'd say it's as good (having used UDPP for a while) but for £1.50, I couldn't believe it!

    I also love my NYX pencils, though I've never used my UD eyeliners as bases, will play around with that! ELF cream eyeliner in copper is beautiful!


  15. I use UDPP, havenmt managed to get my mitts on a NYX pencil yet :( but got some inglot cream eyeliners Ive now been inspired to try out !
    Hollie x

  16. @ Bon Vivant Clique, I think the UD satins/ metallics have fab pigmentation/ finishes but the mattes and glitters need a little extra help!

    @ esteeem, the rise in the price of TFSI is well above the last VAT rise I think...No idea why it has risen so high :/ Tbh though, it is more or less the same as UDPP so you aren't missing out too much!

    @ Alaina, glad you like the ideas :) I love the purple UD liner with MAC 'Violet' pigment if you have that - try it!

    @ alhrayth, it looks like your cheap primer is doing just as good a job as the more expensive ones!

    @ Lily, I love how long UDPP lasts! I think I've only had to buy two in the last five years :S It helps getting the mini sizes with the palettes, though! Bases are ace, try some out for sure :)

    @ Dainty Darling Digits, MAC paint pots did tempt me but it's like you say - jabbing your fingers in the pot/ having to use a brush would annoy me! Nyx 'Milk' is ammmaaazing under brights! Bought it a little while ago and was kicking myself for not doing so sooner. I don't notice any difference with blending with Pixie Epoxy :S I just use the tiniest amount imaginable, so that it doesn't even feel like you're wearing any. The thicker it is, the more annoying it will be.

    @ Tracy D, you might like the Too Faced - it's smoother and easier to blend over than UDPP.

    @ Kat, duochromes/ metallics look incredible over dark bases! Definitely try it out!

    @ Robyn, I know! I couldn't believe it! If udpp works you may as well stick with it, the difference between the two isn't worth the £4.50 price difference.

    @ Kim, definitely try the Nyx jumbo pencils - especially 'Milk'! Fabulous product and so handy to have :)

    @ xSafarE, it is a crazy price increase :/ You might want t o try the UDPP again, using the tiniest amount you can manage. Usually when it creases it's just down to too much having been applied :)

    @ AllThingsGirly, I hope you like the TFSI primer as much as the UDPP. In general, I'm not a huge fan of face primers. I have oily skin and most primers are geared towards dry/ combination skin. All in all, if you have a decent foundation and nice skin a primer isn't necessary.

    @ The Peach, primers are so worth the investment, right?! Pixie Epoxy is fab :)

    @ Rachel, thanks! I might try the ELF primer - I've heard it's a bit hit and miss for most people.

    @ Hollie, I hope you like the result you get with your Inglot pencils!

  17. I like both UDPP and TFSI. I have a lot of the UDPP mini's from different purchases and the TFSI as well, plus they had the full size in a kit at Sephora a while back. Honestly, they both work the same for me, the difference for me is the color of the primer, I think TFSI looks better on my lower eye area.

    Just getting into the shadows/liners as bases and haven't really reached any opinion here yet. Your blog is sure one that inspired me to give this a try, and so far I like it. I have my first order of NYX on the way, I have yet to find it locally. Can't wait to try Milk!

  18. Great post, very interesting. Love the way you can create so many looks with a few products.

    Ms Red


  19. Hi! This is a very good explanation of the difference between a primer and a base! I put a link to this entry in the info bar under one of my videos on youtube, I really hope you won't mind. I clearly state that it's not my blog, and that you explain it better than I could have done myself :) xoxo Sandra

  20. @ Sandra, liked the post! Of course it's fine for you to link on your Youtube, hope your subscribers find it helpful :)


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