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Friday, February 22, 2013

Primed for Impact

“Love was a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.” ~ Paolo Coelho

On Oct. 26 I started a 2 part blog on makeup application, and both face and eye shadow primer were included in the process. Here's a tip about eye shadow primer that can help to refine your skills and expand your options. Eye makeup has, in my opinion, some of the biggest potential for expression in your makeup.

Many find that eye shadow tends to settle in the creases of the eyelids within a few hours of application. Eye shadow primer is used to avoid this, hopefully for the entire day. Well worth the expenditure of time and money considering the work you put into putting on the makeup every day, right? There are many brands out there, and they come in either an almost clear or neutral, plain 'non' color, or various colors. So far I'm loving both Urban Decay and Sigma for eye shadow primers, both neutral and colored.

If you like a subtle eyeshadow, or are only interested in preventing your eye makeup from traveling over the course of the day, then go with clear/neutral primer. It's easy and pretty much fool proof.  If your coloring is very subtle, in other words if there's very little contrast in your coloring, then the clear/neutral will help keep your eye makeup on the subtle side. Starting at about age 35 women with high contrast coloring often find their coloring goes a little softer and that the brighter, more intense colors that used to look great now look too harsh on them. Clear/neutral primer gives you the option of a softer application of color along with serious staying power.

Every color I've tried has always been softer, less intense on the eyelid than it looks in the package. When I'm going for subtle that's fine, but when I want drama it's not good.  With a powder eyeshadow you can always try wetting your brush and thus applying the shadow wet, but this requires precision, and blending wet shadow is difficult. Both not exactly my strongpoints in the morning, which is when I put on my makeup. Here's where you can get the most from colored primers.  If you simply want more intensity from a color you're using, use a matching or similarly colored primer and see what happens.  This is great for those of us with muted coloring- you can get the most possible impact from your more subtle, muted color shadow. It just gives you more options. Another great thing to do with your colored primers is to play with the effects you can get with mixing different shadows and primers. A good example is to use one color primer with 2 different shadows to help 'tie'  the two shadows together. Or use a primer color to change your shadow color slightly- make it brighter or more muted. You can also use a neutral or light primer on the mobile lid, then a dark primer in the outer edge of the lid, and create yet another dramatic effect.  In artistic terms the colored primer serves as what's called an 'underpainting-' a color painted underneath your surface color to affect the surface color in some way. 

Here are some examples of shadow alone, and the same shadow over a colored primer. These examples are with my shadows, which are muted as my coloring is muted- I haven't gotten 'creative' with these examples; I just want to give you a very basic idea of how they work.  Imagine what you can do with a bolder mix of color….

Left: Urban Decay shadow in "Hustle." Right: same shadow over Sigma primer in "Pose."

Left:Urban Decay shadow in "Creep." Right: same shadow over Sigma primer in "Sculpt." 

Left: Stilla shadow in "Poise." Right: same shadow over Sigma primer in "Persue."  
My point is you can create lots of interesting effects with the use of colored primers- it gives you so many more options and much more mileage from the shadows you already have. Have fun and play with color!

Happy Dressing!