I don’t remember when I was introduced to eyelid primer, but I want to see it was sometime in the last decade. I quickly fell in love with those tiny tubes of sheer creams or gels. A swipe or two meant my eyeshadow would pop and last, and most importantly, my mascara wouldn’t leave me with black smudges all across my creases.
I’ve tried a few over the years, (and wrote about them too!) and while I’ve been pretty loyal to my favorite $2 e.l.f. version, I did get curious if there was something even better available. I had heard rave reviews for NYX’s Pigment Primer and decided to give it a try. Here’s how it stacked up:
e.l.f. Shadow Lock Primer vs. NYX Professional Makeup Pigment Primer
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- e.l.f Shadow Lock Primer ($2)
- NYX Professional Makeup Pigment Primer ($4-$6.50)
1. Primer Application
Both are pretty easy to apply. NYX requires you use your finger (though I guess you could use a sponge or brush) and the e.l.f. primer comes with a wand.
The prices of both primers are reasonable with e.l.f. costing just $2 and the NYX primer ranging in cost from $3.89 (Target) to $6.50 (Ulta Beauty).
3. Primer Texture
The NYX primer goes on more like a thin lotion, while the e.l.f. primer is more like a liquid shadow. The NYX also has a bit of sheen to it, while the e.l.f. version is matte.
4. Color Saturation
As you can see, the shadows do look a little different with each primer. The shadow with the NYX primer looked most similar to the shade on it’s own, but the e.l.f. primer gave it a much deeper saturation.
5. Rub Challenge
Pretty soon after apply the primers and shadow I gave my arm a good rub to see how the shadow held up. The shadow over the NYX primer really faded. The e.l.f. didn’t budge.
6. Easy Removal
I’m all about the fast bedtime routine so if I have to work to remove it, no thank you. Both shadow/primer combos removed easily with a cotton pad and Micellar water, though the NYX might have been a little bit quicker.
7. Product Shelf-Life
Since I’ve been using the NYX product most recently, I’d say it lasts longer than the e.l.f. primer. I think the wand makes it dry out a little quicker than the NYX tube.
For me, e.l.f. is still the winner. I’d certainly use NYX in a pinch but I think I like the wand application and color saturation I get with the e.l.f. product. And the $2 price tag means even I do have to replace it a bit more frequently than the other, it’s no big deal. I’ve been using the e.l.f. primer for years at this point so I think I’ll stick with it!
How about you? Have you tried either? Or have a favorite I haven’t tried? Let me know!