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Eye Primer Battle: UDPP vs. Lumene

Posted Nov 29 2008 12:00am

I haven't done a formal review for either of these products, but I'm presenting my findings as more of a comparison post. Until I ordered the Book of Shadows from Sephora during their Friends & Family sale, I never used Urban Decay's Primer Potion (or UDPP for short); I got the miniature/travel size UDPP in the Book of Shadows and thought it would be worthwhile to compare to the other eye primer I've been using.

I'll admit that I normally don't use a primer when I apply my eye makeup. It's an extra step in the morning, and my eye makeup is simple and neutral (taupe shadow, liner, and some mascara) so it's not really worth the effort to make it last until evening. The few times I have used a primer, I've opted for my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, and more often than not, Lumene's Eye Makeup Base.

Today's battle? The famed Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP) vs. Lumene Eye Makeup Base (LEMB)

Price: UDPP is $16 for .34 ounces, LEMB is $10 for .25 ounces

Round 1 - It's a minor price difference of a few cents per ounce between the primers, but if you're comparing it on price alone, LEMB is the cheaper alternative.

Availability: UDPP is available at the Urban Decay website, Sephora/Sephora.com, Ulta/Ulta.com and other online retailers; LEMB is available at Lumene.com (only in Europe), CVS (while cosmetics supplies last), and Ulta/Ulta.com

Round 2 - UDPP is more widely available for purchase compared to LEMB. If you're curious to try LEMB, I suggest you try to find it at CVS while they're in the process of dicontinuing their makeup line; the makeup is 50% off right now, and it will be switching over to Ulta stores as a premium item.

Packaging: UDPP is housed in its infamous genie bottle package, creating frustration and anger for many who near the end of their bottle, only to have to cut it apart to use the 50% that is inaccessible through the plastic wand. LEMB is contained within a squeeze tube with a fine tip, allowing control over how much product should be dispensed.

Round 3 - LEMB wins for simpler packaging over UDPP's bottle. The purple bottle is pretty and all, but I prefer to get to all of the available product without having to destroy the original packaging.

Ingredients:
UDPP - Isododecane, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trihydroxystearin, Triethylhexanoin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Methicone, Isobutylparaben.
May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).

LEMB - Cyclopentasiloxane; Nylon 12; C20-40 Acid; Jojoba Esters; Boron Nitride; Aluminum/Magnesium Hydroxide Stearate; Polyethylene; Lauroyl Lysine; Dimethicone/Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer; Dimethicone; PEG-8; Isododecane; Tocopherol; Sodium C8-16 Isoalkylsuccinyl Lactoglobulin Sulfonate; Trimethylsiloxysilicate; Ethylene/VA Copolymer; Ascorbyl Palmitate; Ascorbic Acid; Citric Acid; Propylparaben; May Contain: [+/- Mica; CI 77491; CI 77492; CI 77499/Iron Oxides; CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide]

Directions: For both products, apply to eyelid and smooth over skin until primer is dry. Apply shadow over primer for more vibrancy and added staying power.


Application/Wear: I swatched both primers on my hand for comparison; UDPP has a runnier texture at first, compared to LEMB's thicker consistency. UDPP is also lighter in color compared to LEMB, but after smoothing the primer, both primers are transparent on the skin. As a test, I swatched NYX Green Tea eyeshadow over each primer, and swatched it without any primer on my hand to compare. Green Tea is a very light eyeshadow that I own, so it takes some work to get it to show up if I don't use a primer underneath. UDPP actually makes Green Tea shimmer more, which lightens the color, while LEMB enhances the green color.

I also tried each primer on my eyelids - UDPP was on my left eye (right side of photo) while LEMB was on the right eye (left side of photo). Both primers smooth the eye area and are not noticeable on my skin. I wore shadows from Urban Decay's Ammo Palette (Smog and Mildew) and went about my day running errands. After 8 hours or so, I took a photo of my eyes to see how each primer performed - the LEMB had a little more creasing compared to UDPP, but it wasn't a major difference.

Pros: UDPP seems to last a little longer than LEMB, but applying shadow is much easier with LEMB as the primer. I felt more of a drag when I applied shadow on top of UDPP. LEMB was also easier to apply to my eyelid compared to UDPP. Eye shadows seem to show up with more vibrancy when using LEMB vs. UDPP.

Cons: On my eyelids, LEMB had a tendency to crease faster than UDPP, but the effect is minor in comparison to overall application and effectiveness of enhancing the color of the eye shadow. UDPP's applicator is another con for me - the mini version has a doe foot applicator, while the regular size bottle has a plastic applicator - both of which come into contact with your skin and cann harbor bacteria. Since LEMB is housed in a tube, the tip is the only area that comes into contact with skin. I will usually squeeze the LEMB onto the back of my hand, and actually hold it above my hand so that the tip does not come into contact with my skin - to prevent any possible contamination. Once the LEMB is on my hand, I apply it on my eyelids with my finger.

Overall: Despite its fame, I would have to say that Lumene Eye Makeup Base wins this battle - I prefer the packaging and ease of application cocmpared to UDPP, and how easy it is to apply powder eyeshadow after using it as a base. The colors seem to show up more when I use LEMB, even if the lasting power isn't quite as great. Price range is better for LEMB as well. LEMB is harder to find than UDPP, but it's worth the effort to track it down.

For the time being, if you can find the Lumene Eye Makeup Base at CVS, it's marked down 50% the original price, so you can snag some primer for a mere $5! I read that they're switching over to Ulta because the cosmetics line wasn't selling that well at CVS, so you'll have to try your luck at either store to see who's carrying the cosmetics. 

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