LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer vs. NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Posted on August 17, 2015 under Reviews

Despite Reddit’s more-than-fair-share of umitigated grossness, there are a handful of subreddits that I consistently frequent: /r/toronto and /r/montreal, to keep up-to-date with my cities, /r/declutter, for vicarious satisfaction and a super supportive community, and, of course, /r/makeupaddiction, for inspiration, news, reviews, and makeup chit-chat. A newer discovery is /r/makeupexchange, a marketplace for new or barely-used makeup.

Recently, someone in Ontario was selling their lightly swatched LORAC Pro palette for $35 – a steal in itself, irresistible when combined with the inexpensive (and quick) domestic shipping.

Tangent: I’ve actually barely had any interest in this palette despite the nearly unanimous glowing reviews. LORAC is essentially unavailable in Canada, and I told myself I didn’t need it because it’s just another neutral palette. The moment it was available, however, I realized that I had been holding onto a latent desire for it for awhile.

The seller shipped the palette with two bonuses: a sample of the NARS Copacabana liquid Illuminator, and a tube of the LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer. Being perilously close to finishing my beloved NARS primer, I eagerly gave the LORAC a try. If it was as good as the eyeshadows, it would save me dropping a borderline exorbitant $31 on a new tube of the NARS.

It was not as good as the eyeshadows. Not even close. Actually, it pretty much sucks, at least on my eyeshadow-eating hooded eyelids of doom.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Here we have LORAC Light Pink, Light Bronze, and Mauve over the LORAC Behind the Scenes primer. Top: Freshly applied, 3pm. Right: after work, 12:30am.


Excuse the terrible bathroom lighting. Natural light was long-gone by the time I got home from work!

Uh, yeah. What little eyeshadow hasn’t disappeared has creased like nobody’s business in those blasted eyelid wrinkles. This is much more prominent with the darker shadows; knowing I was using the primer for the sole purpose of photographing the disaster, I purposefully used light colours so I wouldn’t look like a mess at work. But trust me, I could have lived without my beautiful coppery eyeshadow being eaten by the crease in the middle of my mobile lid.

Now, you may be thinking that this is the fault of the shadows and not the primer. Without a control variable, we can’t make any meaningful conclusions. Given that the LORAC shadows are so soft, maybe they are simply prone to creasing.

In the interests of science, I applied the same shadows over the NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (phew, what a mouthful). Here is a comparison of post-application (3pm), my break (8pm), and just before makeup removal (12:30am):


Um… it’s definitely not just the shadows. To save you the work of scrolling back up to compare, LORAC on top, NARS on bottom:


I think these images tell you pretty much everything you need to know. However, I will add a word about the applicator. While more hygienic, I find the LORAC’s squeeze tube a bit hard to control. We all know that a thin layer of eye primer is ample, but sometimes the tube squirts out more than necessary. I find the NARS doefoot gives me much more control.


Top: how much product the tube squeezed out on me. That is enough for, like, three applications! Bottom: blended into the skin. It ends up being colourless on the eyelids, so is really a primer and not a base to even out the eyelids.

The NARS eye primer is more dependable than 90% of the people I know; I wouldn’t trust the LORAC one to buy me the right flavour of chips when running to the corner store for junk food. Honestly, it would probably take my money and run. Unsurprisingly, I have repurchased the NARS.


Friends old and new. Friends that get DISGUTINGLY DIRTY easily. But that’s a small price to pay for amazingness.

The NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base retails for $31 CAD for 0.26oz ($119.23 per oz) at Sephora and NARS counters.

The LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer retails for $21 for 0.53oz (a much more reasonable $39.62 per oz) on the LORAC website. Shipping within the US only.

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