Saturday, 19 February 2011

Review: Bare Escentuals Prime Time Eyelid Primer & Brightening Eyelid Primer

Disclosure: PR sample

Ah, I do love putting eyeshadow primers through their paces.  My ultra-oily lids are an absolute nightmare, turning eyeshadow into an oil slick within half an hour without primer.  On a bad day, even UDPP doesn't cut it.  Anyway - Prime Time is the Bare Escentuals primer range, and their eyelid primer now comes in three varieties - regular, brightening, and brightening pearl.  We were given samples of the brightening and regular varieties to try out.

First off, I love the packaging.  A tiny tube with slanted end, it's easy to squeeze out a little bead of primer onto your fingertip.  Both the brightening and the regular primers are relatively thick, and squeeze out of the tube slowly, and I've found that I've had pretty much no wastage due to dispensing too much.  Despite being relatively thick, the primers both spread easily over the lid; you don't need a lot to cover the entire lid.

Once again, brightening in this case equals gold and shimmery.  From a distance, applied alone, it does brighten the eye area up, but no more so than any pale gold shadow.  Both primers effectively even out the skin of the eyelid, with the regular variation giving a lovely natural, even finish.  I'd be quite happy to use it on it's own for a pared down but polished look.

Eyeshadow applies and blends easily over both primers, which is excellent - as much as I love UDPP it can make blending a bit difficult with it's ultra grippy formula.

The real test, though, is in the wear.  With different shadows on each lid (both from the same range, though), I left my oily lids to do their worst for six hours.

Six hours later and the regular variation has held up very well - the eyeshadow is still in place, looks fresh, and doesn't have a great deal of oil shining through.  The brightening variety, however, has totally lost the fight - my oily lids have eaten through the shadow, effectively leaving my lid patchy and in some places, virtually bare.

I'm a bit disappointed in the brightening primer, but I've experienced this in the past with primers with a shimmery finish - only the truly matte primers seem to be able to defeat my oily lids.  The regular version of Prime Time, however, is a bit of a gem - so long as you apply the right amount, it's very effective at keeping shadow fresh on the eyelids.  At £16 a tube, it's more expensive than UDPP (which is £11), but relatively similar in terms of performance - and you won't need to cut the tube up to use up every last drop.  So well worth a shot if you too need a hardworking primer which doesn't compromise on blendability.

You'll find the Prime Time range in select department stores and spas, and online via Debenham's, who have the full range.  Have you tried this primer?  What do you think?


  1. really good review :) i also love your eyes in this, really well done.
    i don't own anything from BE i dont think, really need to give this brand a go. x

  2. Great review! The regular one looks great, I wonder why I havent heard more about it.

  3. I'm useless, I have about 3 eye primers and I never, ever use them! :/ The normal one sounds great, blendability is very important. Shame about the Brightening one! Thanks for the great review!

  4. I love the idea of a brightening primer, and would probably buy it for the prettiness of the shade and the simplicity of the packaging. A combo of oiliness and crepiness are not conducive to eyeshadow at all which is why I avoid, but the sheen of the brightening is calling to me. Thankyou. Jan x

  5. I reckon BE primers are kinda ignored because people tend to be polarised between UD and Too Faced, primer wise - very little other than Primer Potion and Shadow Insurance is really mentioned!

  6. Great review! I've just started using face primers, including the bare minerals one, I'm not sure how well it works though. I love the No.7 eye primer, have you tried that?x

  7. Thanks Rebecca - I've not tried the No. 7 primer - I will add it to my list of eye primers to try out!

  8. Thanks for the review :) I am living in Denmark and can not buy it online (amazon and Debenhams), but I am going to London this year and would like to know it somebody know which stores sell it? :)

  9. Thanks for the review, I have tried to buy it online (amazon and Debenhams) but with no luck, they do not ship to Denmark (where I live). But I am going to London in August and would like to know if anybody knows which stores in London sells this product? :)

    1. Many department stores in London have Bare Escentuals counters - John Lewis, Selfridges, etc. Suggest checking out the Bare Escentuals site and looking for a store locator :)


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