May 8, 2012

KATE Eyeshadow Base Primer Review & Swatches

Japanese brand KATE, has released two new Eyeshadow Base Primers for Summer 2012. These little pots come in two finishes for around $10 each (within Japan).

Being on the hunt for a new eyeshadow primer I decided to give both a whirl!

These sadly, won’t replace my Urban Decay Primer Potion as I’m not really a potted eyeshadow primer kinda girl, I like slicking on primer with an applicator of some sort, however, they are a nice little treat and worth picking up if you enjoy using creamier products like MAC Paint Pots as a base of sorts.

These come housed in a very tiny tin, much like a lip balm but smaller, about the size of a US quarter (a little bigger). I’m unsure how great this style packaging is as I fear that it won’t keep the creamiest of the product stable and within a month or two you’ll end up with hard primer due to how much air gets let in and out of this tiny jar. The tops are fairly loose as well which does not bode well for how long the product will remain fresh. I’ve only had them a week or two and so far, thankfully, they are ok but not sure how they’ll be in a month or two or three…

I thought perhaps the size of each would prove bigger than the actual packaging but sadly you’re only looking at 0.17 of primer per tin. By the time you convert from Yen to USD, pay for airmail (these aren’t sold in the US), and possibly have to deal with higher costs from online sellers, you do have to question whether it’s worth going out of your way to get these.

On the plus side…

Both are great primers.

The BE-1 shade is my favorite of the two as it works as a great concealer of sorts for lids as well as an eyeshadow primer. Think Benefit Lemon Aid in a beige shade. The color is a soft, creamy beige that conceals darkness, redness, and/or fine veins on lids and preps for shadow. The formula is creamy with a mattifying finish that blends easily and flawlessly. Of course, the finish isn’t as smooth and weightless as Urban Decay Primer as you’re looking at more of a cream base that you’ll be applying your shadow on top up versus the thinner, silkier finish of Primer Potion. This type of finish sometimes results in cakey eyeshadow looks.

If nothing at all, I’ll get plenty of use out of this as a concealer above my lid in the place of Benefit Lemon Aid on occasion.

The wear time on shadows is indeed good. I had no problems with creasing or fading and the creamier base gives a certain intensity to colors.

The second shade, GD-1 is a shimmering white gold. If you purchase both shades you’ll be able to quickly tell the difference between the two without opening them thanks to the fact that the GD-1 version has a lid with little stars on it versus the solid black of the BE-1 version. Nifty right?

This reminds me of a primer Too Faced used to do called First or Second Base? I have it in my stash somewhere but the name eludes me at the moment. I don’t think Too Faced even carries it anymore…

This one actually has issues with some creasing towards hour five. I blame it on the chunkier sparkle in the formula. However, it does make a nice wash of sparkle on lids if you want to go with this on only. As a primer, it adds a dash of sparkle to shadows. It’s an interesting effect considering the sparkle is below the actual shadow you’ll wear but it does come through somehow and adds a nice glimmer to your shadow of choice. The formula is quite creamy, blends easily, but fails at holding shadow in place for more than five hours. Around 2pm or so my shadow started showing some wear and tear after morning application.

Overall, I like how versatile these are as they not only act as a primer but also as a product all their own, one as a concealer of sorts and the other as a cream shadow. I love the multifunction of each! If you typically use cream eyeshadows or products like MAC Paint Pot to prime with I think you’ll enjoy them immensely particularly the beige shade which holds shadows in place very well. However, those who like and use thinner primers such as Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance you might find the texture a little heavier and the overall look of your shadows a little cakey. I’m unsure if they are worthy of a pick up due to the small sizes, higher price tag, plus additional shipping as you can get twice the amount of a primer of your choice here in the US for around $20 and after shipping, higher costs, etc…online you’ll probably be paying close to that price rather than the cheap as chips retail of 950 yen you’d be paying at a Japanese drugstore.

There are a ton of retailers online that are selling them for around $13 per pot plus shipping. I recommend who has fairly reasonable prices as well as shipping.

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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  • midori

    Hi Muse! How are you?
    So now KATE has a primer. I used to use the Lunasol one which I liked well enough; I wonder how it compares…

    • the Muse

      kinda sorta the same midori if you’re referring to the one they recently released…! although lunasol’s is a little, tiny bit more creamier. ;-D

      • midori

        Thanks! I had the older version of Lunasol’s and I was thinking of trying the new one, actually….I love my Nars pro prime, but I found Lunasol’s version to be better at glitter adhesion. Might try out this Kate version, since it’s much cheaper : )
        Oh, btw, did you get my e-mail? I know you are super busy; I just wanted to make sure it reached you ; )

        • the Muse

          I think kate’s version is great for glitter, this type of creamy base is def perfect for that loose medium. I prefer something thinner for eyeshadows though so understand why you love nars pro prime! oh gosh I didn’t I’m SO SO sorry! my inbox is crazeee! I’ll be sure to look for it when I get to my emails this week ;-D and will reply!!!!!!!!!!! <3!

  • Andrea

    just bought this in beige 🙂 Kate cosmetics were 30% off at a lot of Japanese drugstores while I was there for the last 2 weeks! awesome awesome stuff

    • the Muse

      lucky girl! they are always 30% off in drugstores :-/ wish we got the same deal darn!

  • Sarah S.

    I have found that primers with shimmer, from any brand, always tend to crease! Primers should just be matte, imho

  • Caitlin

    Muse, have you tried teh Sephora Primer Pot? It has a kind of tacky finish like you might be seeking and it’s only $8. This is a different primer than their regular cream one; it’s a little potted one like this, designed for glitter shadows I think.

    • the Muse

      mm i wanna say yes but I don’t think I have…! I’ll have to check it out but honestly not a big big fan of primers in the pot. that was my beef with kate’s version ;-D

  • Libby

    Aw, I guess the primer search continues! 🙁

    I don’t like potted primers much either. it just means I either need another clean finger (I already use one for concealer! and sometimes for my foundation too) or I need yet another brush. I’d rather be able to slick it on and go without having to worry about contaminating anything!

    Although, I do like the paler BE-1 shade…xD

    • the Muse

      same here libs :-/ same here! the BE-1 shade is kinda nifty as you can dab a little under eyes too to conceal if you want ;D!