Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

image from

I have a confession for all of you. When I was in Las Vegas last week I had an affair....with another eye primer.

It all started innocently enough. I go to Sephora, I buy a lip gloss and the temptress (AKA Sales Associate) behind the counter asks me if I would like to use 100 of my kazillion Sephora Beauty Insider points for a sample of the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. As if in a trance by her siren song of a sample, I felt my heart beat faster, my pupils dilate and in a low breathy voice I whisper, "Yes".

Somewhat shamed somewhat paranoid I keep my new NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base separated from the rest of my makeup kit. I don't want Too Faced Shadow Insurance to know that I am "seeing" someone else.

The NARS sample, while tiny, has enough product for at least 10 uses if not more. As you only need a little bit for your eyelids. The pristine white doe foot applicator brings forth just the right amount of primer for both eyes and I use it stealthily. I only hope that my Shu Uemura eye shadow does not reveal my secret of using a new primer. The Shu shadow is picky and will crease with certain bases...thankfully, as far as I know the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is blissfully unaware of my infidelity.

The 107 degree temperatures in the dry desert heat was no match for this NARS primer. By 6:00pm my shadow looked as fresh and as crease free new as it did 10 hours ago. No fading, no creasing, no drifting for 10 hours? Was this an affair I would continue when I returned home?


You see the high desert temperatures of Las Vegas are no match for the high humid temperatures of Washington, DC. When I returned home I continued my tryst with the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and that's when things changed. The humidity was no match for this base. After 5 hours in the humid weather my shadow started to fade and slightly crease. Would I break it off with NARS after this one slip? No. I decided to try and be objective. I used the Too Faced Shadow Insurance on one eye and the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base on the other. I used the Shu Uemura shadow on both eyes and ventured out into the jungle hot heat and humidity.

You know what?

I had the same result on both eyes. Some fading and slight creasing after 5 hours in HIGH humidity. My whole world came crashing down in that instant. What I thought was the love of my life in Too Faced Shadow Insurance could easily replaced with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base!

I started doing some research into this NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base to see what exactly I was getting myself into. According to the NARS Cosmetics Website the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is a polymer and mineral powder blend which is fortified with special deep-sea and antioxidant rice extracts. It does all the things my Too Faced Shadow Insurance does
  • Extends the wear time of eye shadow
  • Preps my skin for shadow application
  • Maximizes the color intensity of my shadows
I then compared ingredients: (Identical Ingredients in PURPLE)

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 [OryzaSativa (Rice) Bran Oil Extract] · Triethoxycaprylylsilane · Castor Oil Phosphate · Sea Whip Extract · Mica · Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide) · Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).

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).

Humm. Aside from some Rice Bran Extract, Sea Whip (? WTF?) and Beeswax I don't see much of a difference. So I compared Size. Because after all, I don't care what they think, But SIZE DOES MATTER.

NARS Size: 0.26 oz for $24
TFSI Size: 0.35 oz for $17

So there you have it. The Too Faced Shadow Insurance is larger than the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and costs $7 less to boot! I think I have made my decision.

While it was a nice fling with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, it was only just that, a fling. I can't see paying more for less in the future. I'm sticking with Too Faced Shadow Insurance. But NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base won't be forgotten....We'll always have Vegas.


  1. I ordered the Nars base yesterday, it's on its way to me. I have a love-hate relationship with TFSI because it tends to separate and spit disgusting oil out of the tube, which is a tunr-off for me. UDPP could never replace it (too sticky) so now I hope Nars, even at that price, will be able to fulfill my expectations.

  2. I am so jealous. My sister (Whitney, another of your faithful taupe-loving followers and most recently superstar makeup maven) and I have been lusting after a vegas trip to mark her 21st birthday... and here, you tease us with posts about Vegas, massive awesome sephora, Minx nails, ahhh!!!! HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME(us)??
    Just kidding.
    Sort of. We are just trying to figure out how we are going to go see the Vegas sites and try our luck on the casino floor when we have tiny tots under 3.
    Either way, this post is so very clever, and I wanted to tell you again that you are awesome!!
    Glad you're home El-Vie-Ruh!

  3. Wow, I love this post. It's hilarious and insightful! I wonder how the Nars primer compares to UDPP?

  4. Musing on Beauty: I think you will really like the Nars Base. No separation like w/ TFSI (However that is easily remedied by squishing the product in the tube b4 dispensing. But I think you will be very happy w/ the new Nars primer.

    Meagan R. Sorry to tempt you. It was a business trip so it's not like I had to spend a lot of my own money. LOL. But I will say. Vegas is NOT for kids. aside from all the smoking in the casinos and the freaks handing out Porn/call girl services ads on the streets it's just too crowded for kids. I was fortunate enough to get my mother in law to babysit. Perhaps a grandma will be willing to watch your critters for a short trip to Vegas.

    K: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I find UDPP to be stickier than the NARS. Nars dries quickly to a powdery matte finish while I find UDPP always remains a bit tacky. I also found it easier to blend using NARS than I have using UDPP. For your info UDPP is 0.34 oz at $18.

  5. Omg this review is amazing. I'd love to see a similar comparison to UDPP and TFSI!?

  6. I strayed too E, I had a brief fling w/UD Eden but I've gone back to TFSI. Good thing Too Faced doesn't hold a grudge.

  7. Thanks for review, I've been wanting to get this because there's no primer that works on me.

  8. Sea Whip - is that like Cool Whip?

    Yes, I have the same sample and I'm also using it today. I usually rely on pigment pots or Benefit's creaseless shadows as my base. But I really wanted to test the powers of the NARS eye primer too. I live in SF, where it's foggy 85% of the year so this keeps my eye shadow in tact. However, I see very slight fading after an hour at the gym on my lunch break.

  9. side note - I agree with Vegas not really being "kid/family friendly" I would never take my daughter with us the next time we go to Vegas for a weekend for all the reasons you mentioned. Yes, there is a hotel that is family friendly but you'd have to stay inside the entire time if you don't want Jr. to ask you what "does Greek" means on the pamphlet he picks up with a scantilly clad woman named, Candy on it.

  10. This is such a well-written review! Glad I read it because I was itching to try the new product. More money for Illamasqua and Beaute now!

  11. Hi Becca: Humm UDPP and TFSI? I think UDPP is stickier and not as easy to blend with as TFSI but TFSI does tend to have separation issues. Honestly I prefer TFSI over all other primers

    Monica: No primer at all the works on you? That sucks. Have you tried Fyrinnae primer (Not the pixie epoxy)?

    Lexi920: So it's not working as well for you huh? Bummer, but hey at least it was a sample and you didn't lose any money of it. and Yeah. Vegas + Kids = Yikes!

    My Lips But Better: Ohh. I'm glad I saved you money! Illamasqua you say? What are you gonna get?!?!?

  12. I'm currently trying tfsi and...not in love with it. It gets the job done, I guess, but for me udpp was like rubber cement, even after a shower. But I'm so cheap that I'll probably keep using it so I don't feel like I wasted money, I do plenty of that already.

  13. Pink, you have me in stitches. ;) And, you saved me from having a lemming over NARS eyeshadow primer. As much as I like NARS, their prices are ridiculous.

    Glad you had a good time in Vegas.

  14. LOLLLL. I love your writing Elvira. :D

    I really need to try TFSI one of these days. My UDPP is still going strong though, and I'm lazy... When it dries up lol.

  15. a reader rec. this to me so your review is most timing! thanks and i pass it. :)

  16. hi, at first I thought it was a funny translation from japan - "sea whip" could be "seaweed" only to realise its NARRSSSS not Shu Uemura. Silly me.

    I looked up on sea whip, its other name is sea fan and gorgonian. So... does it mean they're harvesting corals from the ocean for production of NARS primer? Boo :(


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