e.l.f. Shadow Lock : w.t.f.

So yesterday’s Look Of The Recent Timeframe utilized a loose powder eyeshadow from My Pretty Zombie, right? And yeah, loose powder shadows are often really fickle, or much harder to get opaque coverage with. BUT WHAT? “Collier your lids looked super dark and pigmented, and we know your eyelid skin is a whiny li’l sissypants who cries when your Urban Decay Primer Potion (and so many other things) touch it.”

That’s all true! However, as part of Operation Shadow Primer, I ordered a couple other things to try. And also, because I’d been so favorably impressed (nay, shocked) at the goodness of e.l.f.’s Smudge Pots, I thought I’d order one of their potted semi-cream shadows, one of  their liquid shadows … and their eye primer. You guys. You guys. IT WORKS, AND IT DOESN’T IRRITATE MY EYE SKIN.

WAIT, WHAT IS THAT STUFF? It’s a fairly thin liquid, a bit runnier than UD Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It comes in a lip-gloss-style tube with a standard fuzzy doe-foot applicator. It spreads thinly and evenly, and is really easy to apply. And? It’s TWO DOLLARS.

Marvel at my $2 eye primer on some fake grass.

When it came in the mail, I shucked it out of its cardboard-and-plastic blister pack, harrumphed, and spread some over my eyelid, then waited for the inevitable reddened skin and watery eye. Which … did not happen. So then I dug out five of my most persnickety powder shadows to try over it :

An old YSL duo, one of those pretty-yet-not-good Stila Countless Colors, NARS eyeshadow single in Tropic whose exciting pan appearance seduced me, the My Pretty Zombie loose shadow in New Age Doll, and the OG Urban Decay Stardust shadow in Moon Spoon, whose rubbery packaging has gone all sticky and gross. FAKE GRASS GLAM.

Some of these are shimmer, some are matte, some are glittery, but all are notorious for being pretty sheer when applied onto bare skin, and most of them will crease like a mofo after a couple hours at best. Below at left, swatches showing just the primer stripe on my arm in two different lights so you can get an idea of its color — this shade is called “Sheer,” which it definitely is not, even if you’re as pale as me. It also comes in a shimmery white “Pearl” shade which I haven’t tried. If your skintone is anywhere past like “medium light,” you’d want to watch where you place this and make sure you don’t put it anywhere you weren’t planning on covering with eyeshadow.

Right half from top : MPZ, the violet from the YSL duo, UD Moon Spoon, Stila, NARS Tropic.

You do want to apply your shadow right after applying the primer — if you give it too long to dry down, it’s not nearly as grabby. The two right-hand panels show the above shadows, heavily swatched with finger-smear or brush, however I could best apply them. As you can see, the Shadow Lock had a HUGE effect on their opacity. Moon Spoon (the silvery grey in the middle) went from a sheer mid grey with lovely sparse sparkles (this one occasionally got bad reviews for that reason, but I loved its original formula) to SOLID SILVER WHAM. And NARS Tropic, which is an absolute mess of a shadow on its own, is almost wearable now!

BUT HOW WAS THE PERFORMANCE? Alas, I didn’t take pics before I finally washed my face free of yesterday’s LOTRT. But after eight hours, I had some very minimal creasing on my inner corners, but no fading or patchiness, so I’d call that a rousing success. I spent two bucks and have now vastly increased the number of eyeshadows I can wear! Um, except for the thing where so many shadows themselves irritate my eyelids.

Which, if that’s an issue for you as well, here’s a recap of the e.l.f. Shadow Lock ingredients (which, very few are also in UD Primer Potion) : Isododecane, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, VP / Hexadecene Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polybutene, Triacontanyl PVP, Propylene Carbonate, Retinyl Palmitate (Va), Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Silica, Tin Oxide, Quartz, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035).

VERDICT : GOOD. So, so good. O happy day, o joy and delight. And TWO DOLLARS. <3

Tried this one? Love it or hate it? Tell us!