Budget beauty,  Make up and beauty,  Primers

Eyeshadow primers {Budget vs Splurge}

It’s usually very disappointing to splurge on a product and then find that it’s awful or sub standard. On the other side of the spectrum, it’s also easy to spend a huge amount of money on budget products and find you hate it. Even budget purchases add up, so it’s a wonderful feeling to find a budget item that is of good quality. Right? Makeup was never my thing. I got into the game very late in life, as I was the one asking my sister or cousin, or heck any 5 year old in the vicinity, to do my makeup. Not a word of a lie, once my 8yr old sister in law put makeup on for me and I thought she did a great job. #TrueStory

I just found that no matter what I put on my eyes, it always looked like somebody had beaten me up. I couldn’t figure it out and just told myself that eyeshadow was just not for me…..until I started following beauty blogs and learnt about eyeshadow primers. Say what??

I’ve purchased a few eyeshadow primers, and thought it would be a good idea to compare and test 2 of my favourite eyeshadow primers, one being a budget spend and the other being a slight splurge (for me).

Essence I <3 Stage eyeshadow base vs the Benefit Stay Don’t Stray primer

I tested this by doing my eyeshadow identically on both eyes, but with the Essence on the left and Benefit on the right side. There was supposed to be pictures to accompany this post, but I forgot!! So sorry. I did however randomly ask family members which eye looked better every few hours, so rest assured, an in depth study was done 😉

Essence’s I <3 Stage

Both primers have doe foot applicators, so application is really easy. You just dot on each eyelid and then I blend it in by lightly dabbing with my ring finger or a tool of your choice.

Essence (L), Benefit (R)


Both of these are available in 2 different shades. The Essence also comes in a lighter shade and the Benefit comes in a darker shade as well. So there’s a shade within each brand to suit any skin tone. (In picture above, Essence is the deeper more tan colour and the Benefit one is the lighter porcelain colour)

Wear test

The results? After about 8 hours my eyeshadow looked identical! No creases, no fading. My family members did think the eyeshadow on the eye with the Essence base looked slightly more vibrant. Seeing as it’s a darker shade, I think that provided more intensity to the shadows, as the Essence suits my skin tone better. The Benefit product doubles as an eyeshadow and concealer primer, so it can be used on the under eye area as well, as a primer for your concealer.

I LOVE Benefit cosmetics as the quality is great and the packaging is so cute! I also LOVE Essence as it’s a brand that doesn’t break the bank and they produce high quality products. You can’t go wrong with either of these primers in my opinion, it just depends on what suits your pocket I think.

Essence is available at Clicks and Dischem and this primer retails for around R51,95. Benefit is available on Red Square (for us Port Elizabeth gals) and retails at R365 for a full sized product. The one in the pictures above is a deluxe sample size I received as part of a kit I bought.

Do you use an eyeshadow primer? Have you tried any of these? If you know of any other good ones, let me know and I’ll be sure to try it out.


I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!


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