Make-Up Moves: Primer and Base

By Torrey, Make-up Maven

If you’re new to makeup and eyeshadows, then this is one of the most important posts for you to check out.

If you’ve ever been putting on eyeshadow and had any of these questions:
– Why isn’t the color appearing the same as it does in the pan?
– Why is my eyeshadow fading throughout the day?
– How do I make my looks last?

Chances are, you aren’t priming! Your eyelids are typically more oily than the rest of your face, so eyeshadow primer is a MUST if you are going to wear any type of eyeshadow. Primer helps your shadow apply better, last longer, and crease less.

Now, there are primers and there are bases. They are not one in the same.

Primers are usually a creamish color and melt into your skin as your rub it in. Bases are usually colored products that help build the boldness of the shadow color you will place on top.

Some of the most popular eyeshadow primers are:

– Urban Decay primer potion (this comes in 4 types)

– Too Faced Shadow Insurance



– Make Up For Ever (MUFE) eye prime


– NARS smudge proof eyeshadow base

Bases can be anything from cream shadow pencils, eyeliners, paint pots, and other creamy, colored, products.

There are two items that I am very familiar with that can be used as both a primer and base and they are MAC paint pots and Make Up For Ever (MUFE) aqua creams. These come in a variety of colors and finishes.

– Paint pots are more thick in texture and are not as creamy

– Aqua creams are very creamy and many can be used on the eye, lips, or cheeks.

If you skip the primer while using either of these products, you won’t experience immediate creasing and your shadows can last all day.

The only trick is, don’t apply too much. If you apply too much, your shadows will not adhere to the base properly and your look will not last.

You can also use these products alone for a wash of color. One of my favorite everyday looks is a brown smokey eye using MUFE aqua cream in #14 (shimmery brown color), with a midtone brown in the crease, a goldish shadow in the inner corner, mascara, and liner, and I’m done! quick and easy!


Using any other base, including an eyeliner, you want to make sure to first prime your eyelids.

If you’re using bright colors, using a white base will make them pop.
If you’re using darker colors, using a black base will make them more bold.

You can also use a base the same color as the shadow you will use. this will also help to make your shadow pop and last longer.

Eyeshadow primers don’t have to be restricted to the eyelid. use them on your lower lash line so that you can apply your eyeshadows evenly around your eye and they will stay put.

You can also use eyeshadow primer on your brows (a thin layer) to help your shadows or pencil stay on throughout the day. no runny brows!
And you can use eyeshadow primer under your eyes before applying your under eye concealer. Ihis will help prevent creasing and enhance longevity.
While eyeshadow primer is a bit expense, for a good one, it’s definitely worth the investment. It can be used a variety of ways, and keeps you from overusing your makeup products and preserving your looks!

Make-Up Moves: How long should I keep this?

Nothing’s worse than using an old mascara that’s been sitting in your stash for some unknown amount of time… It burns!

It can be dangerous to use products that are far past the expiration date. Here are some general tips on how long to keep certain makeup products and how to prolong their life.

Generally you can continue using mascara for about 3 months; depending on amount of use, you could possibly get away with keeping it fresh for a longer amount of time. I have about 7-10 mascaras (don’t judge me) that I cycle through each time I wear makeup. Using it on clean, fresh eyes is always best. Always wash your face before applying any makeup products, especially around the eyes. This will ensure you are not leaving any germs on the mascara wand.

Another tip is to use disposable mascara wands. Makeup artists use these while working. It prevents contamination and ensures the proper sanitation of the mascara.

If you find your mascara is clumpy, dry, or stings your eyes when you use it, THROW IT AWAY. No need to risk an eye infection. You can get very good mascaras for $7-10 at your local drugstore; my favorite: L’Oreal Carbon Black.

Powder products
Powder products (powder foundations, eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers) are the easiest to sanitize and last the longest. The rule of thumb is no more than 2 years, but I have several products I’ve had for longer that are doing just fine. ALWAYS use clean brushes on your powder products. Before and after each use (depending on your preference, just after) wiping the surface with a clean tissue will get rid of the top layer and remove any germs that may have been present. To take it a step further, you can spray your powder products with 91% alcohol or Beauty So Clean, a product on the market that works the same. This will not ruin your makeup. As a makeup artist, I do this all the time and have not compromised any of my products.

Loose powders are a little different. You should be able to keep them just as along, but sanitation is going to be different. You should not spray your loose powders, as this could ruin them and it won’t be effective. Instead, use the cap as a palette and pour what you need into the cap. Don’t dip your brush directly into the loose powder.

Emollient products
Generally you can keep these for about a year. Anything that is gel like (eyeliner, eyeshadow bases, paint pots, aqua creams, cream foundations, blushes, and bronzers) is considered to an emollient product. To sanitize, again, you can wipe off the top layer and always use a clean brush or clean fingers. Spraying these with alcohol, however, may not have the same sanitation effect.

Pencils are easy (eye and lip). These can last until they run out, however long it takes you. To sanitize, simply dip in alcohol and sharpen.

Liquid products
Your liquid foundation, highlighter, bronzer, etc. can last more than a year. Having a pump on the products makes it easy to practice better sanitation. If your foundation does not have a pump, consider getting one or transferring the product into a different container. If you are unable to find a pump or separate container, try using clean Q-tips to dip into the bottle to remove product. You can also pour the product out onto the back of your hand or other clean surface (this may lead you to use too much product). You’ll know when these products are bad when they smell, start to change colors, or no longer seem to be the same consistency as when you first got it.

Lip Products
Lipsticks can last longer than lipglosses. I would say about a year or more for lipsticks and 6 months to a year for lipglosses. You can easily sanitize a lipstick the same as you would a pencil, dip it into alcohol and wipe. Lipglosses cannot be sanitized. You can keep them from being contaminated by using disposable lip brushes, same as for mascara. There would be no “double dipping.” Obviously, if this is your personal product, just don’t share with other people. You risk sharing and spreading germs.

Overall, your makeup can last as long as you take care of it. Always remember to only use clean brushes and only apply your makeup on a clean face. The less double dipping you do, the longer it can last.

One last important part…
When storing your makeup, it is best to keep everything in a cool, dry place, away from light if possible. Storing your makeup in the bathroom is the worst thing you can do for the sanitation and longevity of your makeup. The steam and heat that comes from showers, baths, etc can expedite your makeup’s expiration. You can even place liquid and cream products in the refrigerator to make them last longer.