Monday, September 30, 2013

Urban Decay Primer Potion Vs. Too Faced Shadow Insurance Comparison

A long time ago the wonderful Y sent me a sample of Urban Decay Primer Potion so that I could review and compare with other primer brands. Well years came and went and my cosmetics making venture took over, life was busy and my blogging waned. 
It hasn't been until now that I'm attempting to get back into the swing of things and although I won't be doing a full primer comparison I've chosen to compare in a short straightforward review my favourite primer Too Faced Shadow Insurance with the inaugural Urban Decay Primer Potion!

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP) - Famous for its controversial 'genie in a bottle' shape packaging and dating back at least 2004 this primer came in an original invisible nude colour (which I possess in travel form) then expanded to Eden: Nude colour, Sin: Dark 'Champagne Shimmer', and Greed: a Shimmering Yellow Gold. The coloured forms can double as highlighters. Now the packaging has changed to a squeeze out tube.
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance (TFSI) - This primer was in direct competition with UDPP and split customers opinions on which company was the best. Often it came down to packaging with TFSI always having the friendly squeeze tubes. Later Too Faced released variations, Lemon Drop: Neutralises skin colour, Candlelight: Golden Shimmer, Glitter Glue: Specifically for Glitter and Shimmer, and a cousin called Lockdown: Cream Eyeshadow colours that contained TFSI.

How I performed my research

Over a few different sessions I experimented with different colours, products and finishes.
On each one of my eyelids I used UDPP, on the other eye TFSI. Typically I focused on the application of the eyeshadow products and then monitored throughout the day the performance of wear. Observations were made solely on a comparative basis.


I am using the original travel sized UDPP and the original full TFSI for the testing but both original sizes only in the price comparison. I decided showing a score in different categories, who won and later who will benefit most from each primer. Total score is not solely based on each criteria score.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Blending: 4.5/5 Smooth and easy, no drag.
Colour: True to colour.
Pigmentation: 4/5 Good.
Lasting power: 4/5 Very good, just under TFSI.
Consistency: 4.5/5 Thin, easy to spread, uses less product. Applies colourless.
 Removal: Not a problem.
Price: 3.5/5 For the original full sized version cost is $20USD for 11ml. That's $1.82/ml.
This is generally unavailable to buy in Australia.
Packaging: 3/5 Wand is slanted (good) but tube is irregular (except new full sized).

In each picture Urban Decay Primer Potion is left and Too Faced Shadows Insurance is right.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Blending: 3.5/5 Harder to blend than UDPP
Colour: Can be slightly muddy but generally true to colour.
Pigmentation: 4.5/5 Sticks well to build up product.
Lasting power: 4.5/5 Noticeably better than UDPP, best lasting power of any primer.
Consistency: 4/5 Creamy, easy to spread and even. Applies colourless. Prone to splitting.
Removal: Not a problem.
Price: 4/5 $18USD for 11gm. That's $1.64/gm.
HOWEVER, in Australia in selected Myers last time I saw it it costed $35AUD for 11 gm (OUCH).
This is by weight than volume. No exact comparison can be made.
Packaging: 4/5 Squeeze out tube with small tip, easy to use and dispense the right amount.

Image of creasing after several hours. Top: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Bottom: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Which primer is for you?
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion - You will like this if you are a makeup novice, especially if you not good at blending out eyeshadow, also if you want Sin or Eden.
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance - You will like this if you want the best in staying power, if you have oily eyelids, don't need to blend or are good at it, want to use other variations, the Glitter Glue or Lockdown. 
One thing I should point out is that although UDPP applies consistently it's because you use a wand to physically pump up the product which also is less hygienic. TFSI doesn't have an applicator that does it but there is less contamination.

Remember the quality of your eye makeup products greatly affects the application and staying power. Bad quality eyeshadow or eyeliners just won't last no matter what you do.
So how does this compare to other products out there?

Last time I compared primers it was an all out battle against 3 different primers: Evileyes, ELF and MAC. If you want to know more you should check out my post. Generally speaking without going into too much depth both UDPP and TFSI rank around 9/10 on the graph in the post
Either way both are a good long term investment as they last a long time.
Personally they both come close but since I like better staying power over anything else TFSI has my ultimate seal of approval.

So who do you go for? Are you an UDPP fanatic or a loyalist of TFSI?

Love Porcelaine.

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