Essential Eyelid Primer
Last Updated:12.27.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This eyelid primer has a lightweight, liquid texture that sets to a matte finish. We did a split face test and noticed that shadow held up slightly better throughout the day (in terms of being more resistant to creasing and smudging) on the eye that had the primer, though the results weren’t all that dramatic. A good, matte-finish concealer plus pressed powder can provide the same results (if not better), but if you still want to give this a go, at this price you don’t have much to lose.

There are a few different shades but they go on so sheer there is only a slight hint of color left behind. We recommend sticking with the peachy color (labeled “Sheer”) over the others (some of which have a glittery finish).

  • Lightweight, liquid texture sets to a matte finish that helps eyeshadow stay put.
  • Results weren’t dramatic (you still get creasing by the end of the day).
  • The glittery shades aren’t as flattering.
Brand Overview

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

Strengths: Bonafide beauty bargain prices; several praiseworthy makeup products including the powder blush, bronzer, and eyeshadows; some great face powders; oil-blotting papers are a steal; excellent brushes in the Studio line; a few good, inexpensive skincare products.

Weaknesses: Mostly average to poor skincare formulas; a multitude of terrible concealers; limited options for foundation; average to not-worth-it-at-any-price eyeliners (with the exception of one); some of the skincare products aren't on par with better formulated options that cost a bit more.

From a line of cosmetics whose claim to fame is its rock-bottom prices we weren't expecting much. With many of the makeup products selling for just $1, could there be any outstanding finds to rival the best options from drugstores and department stores? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Yet although that's good news, the entire picture isn't so rosy, and many of the products from e.l.f. (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) are as basic as can be, while a few are resounding disappointments we wouldn't even give away.

e.l.f. was founded by Scott Vincent Borba—the same businessman responsible for the Borba "beauty waters" once sold at Sephora boutiques—and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in an unnamed "dollar store" (where everything sells for a dollar) and noticed women dressed in designer clothing and sporting designer handbags loading up their baskets with inexpensive nail polish, eye pencils, and lip balm. He took note of the products being sold in such stores and quickly decided he could offer products of even higher quality at the same competitive price. His idea paid off, as e.l.f. has enjoyed continued success and increased distribution online and in retail stores like Target.

As you might expect, not everything in the e.l.f. line is great. When you're offering almost every product for $1 (OK, there's plenty for $3 and $5, too), they're not going to be nearly as luxurious or innovative as the company proclaims (most of the ingredient lists couldn't be more basic and the packaging is sometimes slipshod). Many e.l.f. items have packaging that, while functional, can only be described as cheap. In terms of value, yes, almost everything is inexpensive, but in most cases the container sizes are much smaller than the norm. Still, if you're considering spending a few dollars on fun, occasional-use colors, size becomes much less of an issue.

This line can be found at select Target stores and some regional drugstores, but the best place to experience the collection is online (none of the stores provide testers). The cheaper elements are a given based on the price point e.l.f. has established, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains (especially makeup brushes) that raise the bar—at least to a height that's taller than your average elf!

For more information about e.l.f., call (800) 231-4732 or visit www.eyeslipsface.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:
Not even worth $1

Tried this because it was a dollar and all the reviews on youtube, etc. said it was as good as UD primer potion. First of all, even for a dollar there is a miniscule amount of product in this tube. Secondly, it worked OK as a primer, but not better than my usual powder over concealer, and third it made my eyes sting. I think it really dried out my lids. A couple weeks later my eye lids still haven't completely recovered from it.

Reviewed by
Jenny A
Great product, Great price

I really like this primer. I must have oily eyelids or something, because my eye-shadow always ends up in a line in my eyelid crease-yuck. Even with concealer and powder it creases. This actually keeps it from creasing at all. I tried the NYX HD primer that Paula recommends, and that actually creases for me. You can't beat this deal!

Reviewed by
Sonya H
Works great.

I actually really dig this product. I have deep set eyes so rarely wear eyeshadow or liner as what's on my lid inevitably transfers to the brow bone above the crease of my lid. But when I do glam it up with a smoky eye or liner I want to stay put, a bit of this over my lid is a no brainer. It's so cheap and works so well for me, I refuse to buy something more expensive on principle. Great little tool.

Reviewed by
Lauren F.
Eyelid Primer

I like to use the e.l.f. eyelid primer when I am traveling because it is pretty small and can fit easily into my carry on plastic bag. It is decent at what it does. For me it neutralizes my eyelid otherwise certain "natural" matte eyeshadows look weird on my skin tone. For $1.00 it gets the job done. I prefer to use the primer that comes with the UD Naked palate but I feel like this is good enough for every day causal makeup.

Reviewed by
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585632-IIS4 v1.0.0.431 10/6/2015 1:11:58 AM