April 23, 2011

Battle of the Bases: Urban Decay versus MAC

A couple of years ago, when I first stumbled upon the internet beauty community, everyone and their mother seemed to be pontificating about Urban Decay Primer Potion. I was a steadfast MAC gal at the time and decided to shun the popular option in favour of MAC Prep+Prime Eye. I fast fell in love with MAC's offering and never considered getting UDPP or even the slightly less popular Too Faced Shadow Insurance. 

However, when I picked up my Urban Decay Naked Palette, it came with a free UDPP and, sure, it would have been rude not to compare it to my beloved MAC primer. I based the comparison on four categories; formulation, longevity, ease of use and uses.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

  • Formulation: A sheer, milky liquid that dries clear on the lid. I found this to be quite greasy even when fully dry. This is quite a common complaint based on other reviews I've seen and, even though I don't have oily lids in the slightest, there was some definite movement of eyeshadow with this underneath.
  • Longevity: Following on from my previous point, the greasy nature of this primer meant that there was some movement of eyeshadow. While it didn't crease, it didn't look as clean and precise as I would hope after a few hours of wear.
  • Ease of Use: This is probably a defunct category as UDPP is now becoming available in a squeeze tube but, based on the traditional design, it is not easy to use. The curved tube, even with the curved brush, means that a lot of product gets caught and stuck and, if I'm not careful with how I extract the brush, I loose a lot of product along the side of the tube.
  • Uses: The clear nature of UDPP means that it can be used for pretty much any look from neutral to smokey to high colour. While it won't add any intensity to the shade you are using, it won't distort them.

MAC Prep+Prime Eye
  • Formulation: MAC P+P Eye is a solid cream product. It almost has a cream to powder type finish meaning that it mattifies the lid. It is also a tinted product, coming in shades Light, Medium and Dark which results in all discolouration being removed from the lid.
  • Longevity: Creasing and movement is minimal with this primer. Once applied, it creates a flawless canvas of your eyelid and seems to bond the eyeshadow to your skin.
  • Ease of Use: That this product comes in a flat, screw-top pot is a big plus. It gives the options for use with either a brush or fingertips and you can totally control how much or how little comes out. This is perhaps not the most hygienic but, for self-use it's grand.
  • Uses: Again, this primer won't intensify your eyeshadow colour but, it won't change it either. It's preferable for looks with light-coloured lids as the nude colour will remove all discolourations giving you a clean canvas to place pale shades on i.e. no nasty veins, pigmentation or coloured skin tags to contend with.
Based on this comparison, I would say that MAC Prep+Prime Eye is the outright winner- at least for my needs. It creates a smooth and blank surface to apply eyeshadow onto and application is overall easier as there is no dodgy-shaped tube to deal with.

I would be interested in trying this again with the Too Faced offering in the mix and seeing which comes up top. 

What eye shadow primers do you favour?


S x


  1. Haven't tried the Mac one but it sounds brilliant so I might buy it when my UDPP runs out.

  2. Ive never tried eyeshadow primer but I might try that mac one now

    Ms Red


  3. Wonderfully explained!! I loved how you introduced the details!
    Great work!

  4. @cornflakegirl and @Ms Red I definitely think it's worth a shot, really great product!

    @Catanya Thanks so much! x

  5. I've never bought UDPP by itself but I have so many palettes that I have tons of the mini primers. My eyelids can get quite dry though so maybe I should stick with the liquid

  6. Yeah I would say the UDPP is ideal in that case, my eyelids just tend to stay normal so the UDPP just sits there! X

  7. I am a big fan of UDPP, and I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance too. ♥

    The Cat Hag


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