Welcome to the Age of the Eyeshadow Primer, young lady. Right now there are loads of them out there to choose from, many of them un-tinted, like Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and my current go-to girl, NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, to name just a few.
But there’s another great way to prime your lids, and all it takes is the right long-wearing cream eyeshadow.
Since they’re pigmented, some of them (especially the neutral ones) can also be used as color correctors, and they’re a great way to give depth to your other favorite eyeshadows. MAC calls their line of cream shadows Paint Pots, and one of my absolute faves of all time (okay, at least the past four years) is also my Unsung Hero today, Soft Ochre ($16.50).
Why Soft Ochre?
MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot ($16.50) touched down a few years ago with the MAC N Collection of neutrals and nudes, and shortly after that it was added to the company’s permanent line. It’s a neutral yellowish beige with a matte finish, and many gals consider it one of the line’s primo primers.
I think it looks great worn all by itself on my lids with some liner and mascara, but I also use it to extend the wear time of other shadows and to intensify shadows that contain yellow or gold tones.
Dang if it doesn’t brighten my eyes as well as anything. It also evens out the skin tone on my lids — mighty convenient when I’m chronically sleep deprived, as I’ve been this week.
For me, Soft Ochre actually seems to work better than many dedicated primers billed as color correctors do (Benefit Lemon Aid and Too Faced Lemon Drop, for example) as it doesn’t turn gray on my tan skin.
Today I asked Melissa Street, a makeup artist friend of mine who works on celebs for television and movies (she’s great; check her out on Twitter and Facebook), why some yellow-based color correctors turn funky shades on darker skin.
“Dark skin tones tend to have a variety of undertones,” she said. “Sometimes they have blue undertones, red undertones, orange; all kinds of different things.”
Yellow-based color correctors have a tendency to oxidize, changing colors or turning ashy on darker skin. “In the eye area,” Melissa said, “in general, there’s usually blue undertones. To counter balance that you need to use something with a peach tone or an orange tone, or you risk oxidation.”
SIDE NOTE: Melissa is down in San Diego, California right now working behind the scenes at Comic-Con. Earlier today she did the makeup for Jason Momoa, aka Khal Drogo, the former tightlining hottie from Game of Thrones.
I dunno if Soft Ochre officially has any peach in it (I think I can see a little?), but for whatever reason it doesn’t turn ashy on my NC42 skin, and I love, LOVE it for that.
An application tip
If you’ve never tried any of the MAC Paint Pots before, they have a dense, somewhat dry texture that some find difficult to apply and blend across their lids. The texture doesn’t really bother me much, and I think its thick consistency makes up for it by helping the product latch onto powder shadows so incredibly well.
The quickest way I’ve found to apply it is by using warm, clean fingers instead of a brush. First, I rub my palms together, Mr. Miyagi-style, to warm them up. Then, I pick up a little bit of it with a finger and apply with a patting, rather than a swiping, motion to my lids. The warmth from my hands seems to soften the product and make it easier to spread.
Oh, and sometimes I also pat a small amount of MAC Fast Response Eye Cream, a non-oily, quick-absorbing eye moisturizer, on my lids beforehand, which seems to make the application even smoother.
When I wear Soft Ochre as a primer, I don’t have a problem with it creasing, but I’ve heard that some people with really oily lids do. If you have super oily lids, it might help to start with a layer of a colorless primer first, like Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Kettle Corn: A Love Story
Honestly, this stuff needs to be classified as an addictive substance.
I find myself wanting to both hug and slap whoever invented it. I got a huge bag at the Farmers’ market last night, and I kid you not — it took every ounce of my willpower to refrain from finishing it in the car.
Mmm… those hot and fluffy puffed corn bubbles, and that magical trifecta of butter, sugar and salt… ZOMG! I’m drooling on my keyboard right now!
I’m pretty sure it’s high in calories…but hey, at least it’s got fiber!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Soft Ochre Paint Pot
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Ricepaper Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Heroes: This Cremesheen Glass Is a Veritable Deelight
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Lipglass in Spite
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Impassioned Lipstick (and Watermelon)
- MAC Unsung Heroes: This Lip Pencil Is In Synch
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Soba Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Bombshell Lipstick
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Sunbasque Sheertone Shimmer Blush
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Clear Lipglass
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Humid Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Naked Lunch Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Russian Red Lipglass
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Syrup Lipstick
- MAC Unsung Heroes: MAC Blushbaby Blush
- MAC Unsung Heroes: MAC Vex Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Fast Response Eye Cream
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Strobe Cream
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Blot Powder/Pressed
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Subculture Lip Pencil
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Soft Brown Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Hero: Woodwinked Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Hero: Powersurge Eye Kohl
- MAC Unsung Heroes: All That Glitters Eyeshadow Is Not Just Another Gold
- MAC Unsung Heroes: The Technakohl Liners
- MAC Unsung Hero: Groundwork Paint Pot
- MAC Unsung Hero: Nymphette Lipglass
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Viva Glam V
- MAC Unsung Hero: Blacktrack Fluidline
- MAC Unsung Heroes: Lychee Luxe Lipglass
- MAC Unsung Hero: Gorgeous Gold Eyeshadow
- MAC Unsung Hero: Patina Eyeshadow
P.S. Kinda random, but have you heard the new Kanye/Jay-Z song with the killer Otis Redding sample? I’m not sure if I like it, but I can’t stop listening to it over and over for some reason (probably because of the awesome Otis Redding song).