November 23, 2010

E.L.F. Cosmetics Essentials Eyelid Primer Review, Swatches, Photos

Mmm having a little bit of bad luck with E.L.F. lately haven’t I? My last few purchases have been a real miss sadly but I’m still actively trying to find the best budget picks from the brand.

E.L.F. Cosmetics Eyelid Primer a buck….we taking bets on whether I’ll love it or leave it? Who’s in?

Do you love it?


Do you leave it?


Find out what I think after the jump!

An eyeshadow primer for a buck!

This comes housed in a tube with a sponge tip applicator for application. The formula is a nude, creamy base that applies transparent. I’m hearing words like brilliant, amazing, can’t believe this works for a $1 thrown around in other reviews which makes me wonder if I’m terribly unfair about how much I dislike this product….

The formula is loosely packed with a thinner liqud-y creamy feel that feels very greasy on my lid. Once blended I felt like it simply absorbed into my skin due to the thinner consistency of the product rather than sit on top of my skin creating a barrier for shadow to adhere to. After application it remains a bit dewy to the touch so I’d suggest doing other parts of your makeup before following up with shadow.

Shadow hold? Non existent. My shadow faded, creased, and migrated around my lid within 2 hours of wear so it’s obviously not doing that great of a job holding shadow in place.

  • Anyone who wants to even out their eye area on a budget (this could be used as a nice prep for lids sans shadow to even out the lid and create a brighter appearance much like Benefit Lemon Aid does).
  • E.L.F. fans may potentially adore this.

  • Anyone who wants to keep their shadow on for hours on end.
  • Anyone seeking a budget eyeshadow primer that will keep shadow locked in place.
  • Anyone with oily lids (this makes my dry lids oily, imagine what it’ll do with oily lids?!).

A dollar? That’s exactly what this is worth or less. Tossed it right in the trash. Sadly, I can’t get behind an eyeshadow primer this bad. If you own it already and feel the same you might use it as a quick way to even out and conceal your eye lid when not using eyeshadow or as a quick way to brighten this area up but even that it doesn’t do such a fab job of.


Don’t bother.

Anyone try it?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kristen

    Oh wow. I have this and actually love it. I’ve never had creasing with it, and I wear shadow from 6-8 hours at a time.

    • the Muse

      kristen you’re lucky girl! it was absolutely awful to me. It feels nice at first but blended out it gets a greasy, oily finish and proceeds to sit and absorbs into my skin. Just doesn’t work at all! 🙁

  • Wendy

    Oh Muse, I love you for your reviews! I have the mineral eyeshadow primer and have been testing it, was having a crazy blending issue where my shadows were blending right off of my eyes! I tried looking up other reviews and everyone just kept raving about how it doesn’t crease… but there’s other qualities needed in an eye primer! I’m glad to see that someone else doesn’t like one of their primers, and now I am more willing to put the bad review on my site as I’m not as worried I did something wrong in terms of application. Thanks again!

    • the Muse

      my pleasure wendy. It’s not you, sounds like the product hun. I read ALOT of raves for this primer as well so I do sometimes wonder if I’m being unfair in my judgment but I think alot of the raving might stem from the dollar price tag?! Who knows…but fact is, that the product is NOT that good.

  • breyerchic04

    Someone told me it was exactly the same as UDPP, I don’t order ffrom ELF online and have never seen this one at Target (our Target sells out fast, college town with no Sephora or Ulta). So I haven’t tried it. I’ll stick with udpp (still want to try eden).

    • the Muse

      they lie breyer LOL. No offense I would NOT call this a UDPP review. That’s insane to even say ;-D hehe! No way. Not UDPP AT ALL! ;-D

      • breyerchic04

        That’s what I thought. The only other primer I’ve used was Mary Kay. Not impressed with it either.

        Love UDPP.

  • KimiErin

    I love this product. In fact, I tried a few others including UDPP and MAC primer and I ended up liking this one the most. But to each their own.

  • Courtney

    I haven’t tried this yet (and to be honest probably won’t) but I’m wondering if its effectiveness has anything to do with your eye shape or the level of oiliness on your lids. I have deep set hooded eyes and the only thing that keeps my eyeshadow in place is UDPP. However, other eye primers that I’ve tried that didn’t work for me worked just fine for my friends. This is pure speculation of course, but it makes me wonder.

    • the Muse

      hey courtney! I dunno hun. I’m dry on my eyes but not hooded, pretty wide eyed as you can see from pictures with alot of space to work with and cover in regards to primer but I will say I have had the same prob as you with UDPP working fab but other primers that everyone else raves not nearly as good such as Shadow Insurance for example!

  • Claire

    I bought this since I’m a poor high school student and it absolutely sucked. I really hate that primer.

  • Cassie

    Thanks for the review! Sometimes it’s easier to rave about the effectiveness of a cheap product, saying that for a buck, the quality is not bad at all. But does that mean we’re getting £1 worth of quality?

    I really like how you give both the good and bad points to each product review – so much more useful that way! Would definitely love more ELF reviews, since it’s a bargain brand I can get here in the UK, as opposed to say Covergirl, Physicians or Wet and Wild.

    Incidentally, I’ve just tried the ELF cream eyeshadows today (berry mix, I think) as a shadow base and it hasn’t caused any creasing. Of course, the formula is too greasy to use on its own and I had to pat on quite a lot of Mac and UD shadow on top.

  • Dao

    It works for me, albeit muting the colors slightly. I have the same experience with UPDD Sin so I’m not complaining too much about this. It only costs me a buck. The thing is, you need to let it dry completely before doing your eye shadows. I wonder if yours belonged to a bad batch, Muse.

    • the Muse

      perhaps dao!? 🙁 just greasy to me, kinda absorbs fully, doesn’t leave a barrier for shadows. blah!

  • clementine

    I had the Mineral Primer, so not this one. It was thicker, but the greasy feel sounds similar. :/ I wish I could’ve loved it… but alas. [sighs]

  • Stephanie

    really? I have it and it’s almost exactly the same as UDPP for me. My shadows never crease :). Then again, I don’t have greasy lids and don’t experience much fading from my eyeshadows without UDPP.

  • Laura

    I know you’re not having much luck with ELF products, but would you review the ELF $3 eyelid primer? I hear it’s much better. I’m all out of UDPP and just lost my job, so I’m not wanting to spend tons of money on a new eyelid primer… but since my Target doesn’t carry it, I don’t want to spend $3 and whatever it costs to ship.

    • Laura

      Side note — lately I’ve been using a L’Oreal HIP eyeshadow paint as a primer, and it’s working pretty okay, but it’s no UDPP.

    • the Muse

      gotta try that one laura, seems to be the majority likes the mineral one ;D!

  • Hana

    Weeeird. It works great for me. It doesn’t last as long as the Urban Decay one, but it’s quite reliable for a full day out for me.

    • the Muse

      hi hana maybe you are using the mineral one too?! it was suggested the mineral one was better ;-D

  • vivienne

    I tried this once, and it really sucked. I had to dump it and get the Too Faced Shadow primer instead. I’m so glad you’re reviewing elf products though, but might work as a brightener but as a primer it sucks =P

  • tini

    I wouldn’t even waste the dollar to try this. I’m strictly UDPP FOREVER. Especially after a bout with stay don’t stray… shudder.

    Elf can’t get their eye shadows to stick, can’t imagine their primer.

    • the Muse

      aw sorry to hear about stay don’t stray tini, I actually liked it but UDPP is way better ;D!

  • Renata

    Hi, Muse. I have the mineral eye primer, and it’s not that bad. Not comparable to UDPP at all, but probably not bad as this one.

  • Tala

    I have the ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer. I think that’s the one that comes close to UDPP. 🙂

    And because you mentioned it, Lemon Aid is a godsend! I always rush my makeup in the mornings, and when I know I won’t have time to blend eyeshadows, I just slap it on. With some eyeliner and mascara, it’s a quick ‘I’m-awake’ look.

    Although when I rush too much, I tend to put too much on, and it just creases. (Like it did today. Fail.)

    • the Muse

      hi tala must try this ;-D lots of raving!

      Isn’t it!? I can’t live without Lemon Aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha same here! I actually put it on and “set” it with a little UDPP! and it doesn’t crease after that ;D

  • Carol-Patricia

    I think maybe some people are mistaking this with ELFs MINERAL eye primer. The regular primer, which you have posted here, is terrible.
    The mineral one is fantastic and even my high end snob(I say that with love 😉 ) friends think the mineral one is second to UPDD. There are even many positive comparison videos on Youtube.

    My advice(if you are going to go with ELF) is not to buy the $1 one but the $3 mineral one.

    • the Muse

      Carol I was wondering about all the raves LOL! Maybe that’s the case ;-D I’ll have to try that one, thanks!

    • Marian Johnson

      Actually, I have not tried the E.L.F. primer. The one I described in my comment was the plain, old $1 primer. It works great to me and apparently to others, as well. Perhaps it is subjective 🙂

      • the Muse

        hi Marian sadly no go for me. Seems we are split half and half with here. Some say yay others nay ;D

        • Marian Johnson

          Exactly…..that is why I stated that it is subjective. It depends on the user. Different techniques, skin type/textures, environment/climate, and other various factors are key to the differences in all of our opinions. I don’t really think anyone can say something sucks, because I guarantee someone else somewhere is going to like it. Besides, some people can just make anything they purchase, whether it costs $1 or $100 work for them. I am so glad that we can all agree to disagree on this topic. BTW I loved your Night Elf (Wet N’ Wild)look, it was awesome!

          • the Muse

            hey marian. absolutely! different strokes for different folks!!!!!!! Makeup and skincare is like that ;-D Aw thanks I appreciate it greatly. I’m amatuer at it but appreciate the lovely feedback xoxox!

  • Robin

    I haven’t tried the $1.00 elf Eyelid Primer, but I have the elf Mineral Eyeshadow Primer and it’s not bad. I use it once in awhile with decent results.
    Unfortunately, UDPP made my lids look crepey after using it daily. Shame because it definitely did its job of not allowing shadow to crease or budge. All in all, TFSI is my all around fave for drier lids. That’s my e/s primer saga and I’m sticking to it!

    • the Muse

      aw sorry to hear about the UDPP. TFSI is actually to oily for me ;D go figure right?

  • Sarah G.

    I use this stuff a few times a week and I quite like it. It’s like a cheaper, slightly not as effective version of UDPP. It’s good for when I’m using the muted gray tone that I usually end up wearing when I’m strapped for time in the mornings. For a dollar I think it’s worth it. I use UDPP and MACs cream color base in Luna when I need serious staying power and vibrancy.

  • Maya

    i just ordered this item from based on the raving reviews on the site. I hadn’t seen this review yet, lol. I have tried the mineral primer, and it seems to work ok for me, but after several hours, even it gives in to these oily lids of mine. I have never tried UDPP, though. Strangely, in an effort to save the money it would cost to purchase UDPP, I’ve spent way more on experimentations… odd. Anyway, I hope it was a bad batch you got, and mine will work better….it is only a dollar though, so oh well if it doesn’t. 🙂

    • the Muse

      ha maya that’s a true statement ;-D I sometimes waste loads on crap when I can just indulge in the good stuff at the price I’m paying to toss junk that doesn’t work out. Update us on your progress with this!

  • Marian Johnson

    I love it, it works perfectly for me and I have extremely oily skin and eyelids. I do also have the udpp and another primer I got from free from sephora online, I think it was from Kat Von D’s line (??). Anyway, just to attest how well E.L.F. eyelid primer works, on Thanksgiving day, I did my eye makeup at about 10 am and went on about my holiday. I even took a nap and rubbed my eyes upon waking. Well, at 11pm I left to get in line for a black friday deal that began at 12:01 am and a woman in line asked me what kind of eyeshadow I had on (coastal scents metal mania pallete) and where she could buy it from, I was like wow, I didn’t even think it would still be on after 13hours of wear. I am with Dao, maybe it was a bad batch,or maybe I got a magically perfect one 🙂

  • Leah

    Hey muse!

    Have you tried the elf studio eye primer? It’s $3 and I heard it works jut as well as UDPP. Might be better than this since it’s $3 instead of $1…

  • Linda

    I tried this, too (bought 2 of them from a well known youtuber’s blog sale @ $0.75 glad I didn’t pay any more, because this product is crap. Not only do I agree with all the reasons you dislike it, this STUNG my eyes and made them burn like crazy.

  • ndoodles

    I just wanna say that I really like this primer! I think that w/ any primers, you have to use it for awhile for the skin to adjust to the product. When I first got UDPP, it creased on me terribly as well. Same with ELF. However, I kept using it and it has pretty much held up it’s end. I use it for day time look b/c it doesn’t enhance the pigmentation but it doesn’t crease or fade on me. Idk, maybe people who are really looking for a good budget eyeshadow primer should give this a chance for a bit… then decide if they should toss it.

  • Deanna

    I cannot disagree with you more with your reviews on ELF products. Yes, there are some hit or misses out there, for example I find some of their lip products sticky. I have had nothing but great results with their 32 eyeshadow kit. I have never had an issue with creasing, whereas my MAC eyeshadows will crease. I bought this primer and again, it works wonderfully. However, I do wish it wasn’t so bright as it sits on my eyelids.

    I think it’s just a matter of skin. : ) I love ELF and can’t stop buying!!

      • Deanna

        me too, with my sad excuse for a budget, this is what i can afford. whatever works for ya!!

        on a side note; your blog is wonderful, and i enjoy reading it every day. thanks for all your posts, and time. have a great one!!

        • the Muse

          hey d! so long as it works for you, that’s the ticket ;-D! I kinda liked the nudes in this palette but some of the others shades not so much :-/ aw shucks thanks chica! Thank you for commenting to say so, it means more than you know!

          Have a fab day! Happy Almost Weekend!

  • Linda

    I actually just bought this primer last night out of curiosity since it was only $1. I was definitely skeptical. But I put it on this morning around 7 a.m. and it’s 3:30 in the afternoon and my shadow hasn’t creased. I have oily lids and can NOT go without a primer so I’m actually pleasantly surprised so far. I’ve been using the Urban Decay primer and have for quite some time. But if this lasts throughout the evening, it may be a contender.

  • Kate

    I love this eye primer! I’d never used eye primer before I got this one. My shadow lasted awhile when I didn’t wear eye primer but I decided to see if primer really made a difference so I got this because of the price and it works great! It definitely made a difference and now my shadow never creases, it stays pigmented and it lasts for hours, I can put this on at 6 am when I get ready for school and when I take it off for bed at 9 pm it still looks fresh!

  • Grace

    HI, thank you so much for the review. I’m from Malaysia, hence E.L.F. products will cost slightly pricier for me. I have been thinking of purchasing this eyelid primer (RM24++ after exchange rate) and boy, do you save me time and money. I have oily eyelids and I am looking for a much reliable eyelid primer that doesn’t crease.

    Thank you so much!

  • Linda Najok

    I take it back… the ELF primer seems like a decent primer to have as a back up and use temporarily till you buy more Urban Decay. With the cream shadows, it seemed to crease almost immediately. At first with the powder shadow, it really did last all day but more recently I’ve noticed that it’s creasing later in the day. I dont know if it’s just the heat that’s making my lids more oily or what but I’ve restocked on the UD.

  • Sam

    That’s really interesting… I use this primer all the time and it keeps my eye shadow looking like I just applied it 12 hours later. Maybe you got a bad one?

  • Taylor

    I actually love this primer! I have really oily eyelids, and I never have creasing since I started using this. For the price, the quality is amazing. 😀