This is part 2 in my Lady Luxe vs. Lady Less series, and today I’m turning my attention to eye primers and mascaras. These two products, together with a dab of concealer (more on this in a future post), and a slick of lip gloss can easily take you from drab to fab and ready to face the world. As my friend, Cath says, it doesn’t even take two minutes to pop a coat of mascara on, so there really shouldn’t be any excuse to make a bit of an effort on the make-up front.
As in the first part of this series, to qualify as a budget buy, it needs to cost £10 /$15 and under. So, without further ado, here are my luxe and less picks for eye primers and mascaras.
Primer for the eyelids is a pretty essential piece of kit to have in your make-up bag. If you want your eyeshadow to go on smoothly, not crease and to stay put and last all day, then if you don’t already own an eye primer, I’d strongly suggest you consider purchasing one.
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High Definition Eyeshadow Base by NYX, is a great cheaper alternative. If this is your first foray into eye primers, and you’re not sure you want to spend the money on the Laura Mercier or Urban Decay ones that I review below, or are on an economy drive, then I would definitely consider giving this one a whirl. It comes in a tube with a built-in applicator, but only comes in one colour, so doesn’t have the dual capability like the Laura Mercier and Urban Decay one. Overall, this is a good basic primer. In my opinion it doesn’t perform as well as the Laura Mercier and Urban Decay offerings, but it’s around a tenth of the price and will help your eye make-up stay put all day, so does what it says on the tin!
Revlon’s PhotoReady Eye Primer is a bit of steal, because aswell as being a great primer for your eyelids; making sure your eyeshadow goes the distance, it can also be slicked on under your eyes to disguise dark circles and to brighten up and freshen tired eyes! Two in one? I love it! It has a lovely, creamy texture, which blends really well and felt quite hydrating, which is great for any dry skin sufferers out there.
After reading part 1 of Lade Luxe vs Lady Less, it’ll come as no surprise to anybody that my favourite eye primer is the Eye Basics from Laura Mercier. I’ve strayed a few times to try other brands, but have always come back to this one. It comes in 8 different shades, so can match-up to most skin shades. I have it in buff and linen. I use buff on it’s own with a couple of coats of mascara, as it’s got enough colour and shimmer in it to double up as a cream eyeshadow. I use linen as a primer before applying my eyeshadow. This product gives lids a flawless and bright look. I can honestly say my eyeshadow stays put all day, even in the steamy, balmy climate I live in. I can whole-heartedly recommend this for your make-up bag.
Make-up artists the world over can be found using this eye primer from Urban Decay. It comes in a handy tube, which makes application very easy and is available in four different shades. I’ve used the original shade, in much the same way I use the linen colour from Laura Mercier, and my other favourite from Urban Decay is sin, which gives a nice shimmer finish and can be worn on its own with a few coats of mascara. Whilst the Laura Mercier primer is my favourite, Urban Decay comes a very close second, as my eye make-up stays put all day. I just slightly prefer the colours and consistency of the Laura Mercier eye basics. I’d suggest visiting each respective beauty counter and testing them both out to see which one you prefer before making a purchase. You won’t go wrong with either one!
I love mascara; I think it’s probably my favourite item in my make-up bag. I’m constantly trying out new ones. It’s not unusual for me to have two or three on the go at the same time! A couple of coats of mascara can make such a difference. It really opens up your eyes and make them look bigger – and who wouldn’t want that?
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The Soap & Glory brand was created by the genius behind the Bliss spas and products. So when I discovered that Soap & Glory had moved into cosmetics and not just body products, I really was quite excited. The Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara creates great volume, without any clumping or flaking. It comes with a nice big brush that makes application quick and easy, and ensuring even coverage. It does give lashes a bit of length, but it’s more a volumising mascara, than a lengthening one. A good budget mascara that will give you thicker, jet-black lashes.
Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express mascara both lengthens and volumises your lashes. Like the Soap & Glory mascara, it has a big brush, so makes applying it very easy. I didn’t find any clumping or flaking when I used this mascara. In fact it lasted all day, without me needing to re-apply it. Build-up layers for a more dramatic look, or just apply one or two coats for a subtler look. Many reviews said they felt they looked like they had false lashes on when wearing this mascara – I didn’t find that, but it still created lovely, defined lashes for me.
My friends readings this post will probably be surprised to read that Yves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils is not included in my luxe choices. A couple of months ago, it absolutely would have been my top pick mascara, however, I think YSL have changed the formula, as after a few hours of wearing it, I look like I’ve done ten rounds with Mike Tyson (and no it’s not after crying!) So, after being a loyal devotee to YSL for I don’t know how many years, I needed to find a new mascara. And I’m pleased to say I was successful. My search led me to Diorshow New Look and Bobbi Brown’s Extreme Party mascara.
I’d been reading about Diorshow New Look mascara for a while before taking the plunge and I’m so glad that I did. It’s quite a “wet” mascara, as opposed to the more creamy texture I was used to with the YSL Effet Faux Cils one, but the “wetness” helps create long, luscious lashes. I was concerned that it wouldn’t thicken my lashes (I have quite long lashes, so lengthening isn’t really a top priority for me when using mascara), however, it plumped them up really nicely and helped create fantastic wow lashes. I apply just one coat for daytime make-up and for a more dramatic eye, give my lashes two to three coats. A great mascara all round!
As I said, it’s not unusual for me to have a few mascaras on the go and now is no exception! The other mascara I’m currently using is Bobbi Brown’s Extreme Party. The product spiel on this mascara says that it gives the effect of wearing false lashes, without actually having to apply them, with a claim like that I just had to have it! I LOVE wearing falsies, but don’t always allow myself enough time to apply them, so this sounded like a good alternative. It’s definitely a mascara that needs to be built-up. One coat is perfect for opening your eyes up and for day wear. But to create that false lash effect two to three coats are needed. Unlike some mascaras, there was no clumping. Instead my lashes were long, separated and even without curling, seemed to curl. It’s safe to say I love this mascara. I’ve also read that this is a great mascara for those who might suffer with sensitive eyes.
Do you use primer on your eyes? And which is your current favourite mascara? I hope you’re enjoying this Luxe vs Less series – please let me know in the comments section if you have any products you’d like me to cover in future posts.
With much love
The Domestic Princess