2 Jun 2013

Getting gel liner to stay put on oily lids - Illamasqua gel liner and NARS smudge proof shadow base review

I have ridiculously oily eyelids, so getting my shadow and liner to stay put is a struggle.  I've been using Urban Decay's primer potion for years, but lately it's just stopped working for me and my shadow is creased and patchy within a few hours.  I asked around for some advice on twitter and decided to give the NARS smudge proof shadow base a try.  I also took the plunge and ordered Illamasqua's new gel liner, even though I new my lids would probably be too oily for it - I was hanging my hope on the new primer sorting it all out.  

So, first impressions of the NARS smudge proof eye shadow base - it's a bit pricer than others I've tried at £19 for 8g of product, but the texture seemed nice and light and it dried quickly and clear on my lids.  I've been applying this and then leaving it a few minutes (usually while I fill my brows) before I start with any shadow and then liner goes on last.  When I use this technique this primer works perfectly with powder shadows - it's not quite as good with creme products unfortunately, by I tend to use powder more often any way.  I'm really pleased to have found something that works for me and I don't think I'll return to a cheaper eye primer, although if my eyelids stop being so oily in the future then I might have more choice.  

The Illamasqua precision gel liner is a lovely product.  It's an intense black and creamy liner which goes on really smoothly and doesn't set too quickly, so it's perfect if you're mistake prone like me as you have time to fix and touch up any wonky bits.  Unfortunately this slides straight off my eyes within a couple of hours.  It transfers onto my upper lid after a little while of blinking and if I wing it out it manages to smudge messily.  I sort of expected this to happen, so when my NARS shadow primer arrived I tried them together and got much better results.  I still found the Illamasqua liner prone to sliding even with the primer on - I think generally gel liners don't suit oily lids at all and I should probably stick to waterproof liquid liners.  Not one to give up on a product I like I did a little more experimenting and I've found that adding a dusting of Illamasqua's translucent loose powder over the top of the liner gives it the extra staying powder I need.  A little bit of a faff, but hey, I wanted to be able to use a gel liner too!

Do you have oily lids too?  Feel free to share your tips with me in the comments :)



  1. I've always been curious about the nars primer but always stopped myself because of the price. Thanks for the review!

    1. Same here - so pleased I went for it now :)

  2. My face is crazy oily all over so this sounds perfect for keeping my smokey eye ON my eye of a night time! xx

    Visit The Other Side Of Cool

    1. Me too - now I have my lids under control I need to address the rest of the oil slick!


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