A Trio of Natural Eye Shadow Primers

For as long as I've been blogging, I've gotten questions about natural eye shadow primers.  Nobody wants to be walking around with creased eye shadow, so it's completely understandable why this comes up so often!  I've heard a lot of quick fix suggestions - using everything from lip balms to oil control powders and concealers as primers - but none of those have worked quite right for me.  It's been a bit of an epic search, with many primers and varied results, and while I don't still have all the ones I've tried on hand, I promised a comparison post of the ones I do, and today I'm finally going to deliver on that!  I wanted to see how these held up in the hotter, summer months, so now that it's officially fall, let's talk about the three primers I've currently got in rotation: Detrivore Cosmetics Original Eye Shadow Primer, Faerie Organic Forty Winks Eye Primer, and The All Natural Face "Magic" Vegan Eye Shadow Primer.

In terms of ingredients, the Detrivore and Faerie Organic primers are fairly similar formulas, comprised mainly of oils and waxes.  Because they're oil-based and contain no water, no preservative is needed, although the Faerie Organic does contain vitamin E and rosemary, which will help extend the shelf-life.

The All Natural Face, on the other hand, is a water-based product, and as such, contains polyaminopropyl biguanide and potassium sorbate.  Potassium sorbate doesn't worry me, but I've had a difficult time finding clear information on polyaminopropyl biguanide, so I'm not sure how I feel about it as an ingredient.

Winner(s): Detrivore and Faerie Organic

In terms of application, the Detrivore and Faerie Organic primers are, again, very similar.  Both are semi-solid creams that come in small pots and I like to apply them with my fingers.  The All Natural Face primer comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator and, in that way at least, is more comparable to traditional primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion.  I use the wand to swipe it on, but again, I prefer to blend it out with a finger.  The Detrivore and All Natural Face primers have a slight tint initially, but once you blend them in, both become invisible.  The Faerie Organic leaves a sheer wash of white for you to apply your shadows on top of.

(L to R) Faerie Organic, Detrivore, The All Natural Face
The key for all three is not to use too much product.  What you're going for here is a thin, even layer that's just enough to give your eye shadow something to grip on to.  If you apply too much, everything gets goopy and you're back in hot mess territory.  Also keep in mind that the consistency of all three primers does change slightly depending on temperature - they are softer in warmer temperatures and more solid when it's cooler - so you'll need to tailor your application accordingly.

Winner(s): Comes down to personal preference.  No clear winner.

Detrivore's primer is the tackiest of the three and it definitely makes shadows pop the most.  Most colors end up slightly darker and any shimmery shadows end up looking almost foiled.  It's the best at holding on to anything glittery and does an excellent job showcasing more complex and duochrome colors.  It doesn't fare as well with matte colors, which can end up looking a little patchy.

The All Natural Face's primer does very little.  Once it's blended out, it basically feels like you haven't applied anything.  Colors are unaltered and look basically the same as they would on bare skin.  Fallout can also be a problem with certain shadows, since there's not a lot going on to improve adhesion.

The Faerie Organic falls somewhere in the middle.  It dries to a powdery finish, so it doesn't serve as a tacky base like the Detrivore, but the white color does make your colors appear more vibrant.  I haven't had any problems with fallout.

Winner(s): Detrivore and Faerie Organic, depending on eye shadow color/finish.


Faerie Organic blows everyone else out of the water in this area.  Wear time is a bit less in the summer, but in the colder months, I can easily make it through a 14-hour day with perfect eye makeup.  Ah-mazing.  Detrivore lasts about 8 hours in the winter before I start to see creasing, but it only makes it 4-5 in the summer.  The All Natural Face only gives me a wear time of around 4 hours, regardless of the time of year.

Winner(s): Faerie Organic

Faerie Organic is definitely the primer I reach for the most, and on an everyday basis, that's what's on my eyes.  For more complex, duochrome shadows or anything with lots of glitter, I opt for the Detrivore.  I'd happily repurchase both of these.  While I love other products from The All Natural Face and the primer is a hit for lots of people, it just didn't live up to my expectations.  It's something I rarely use and I won't be buying it again.

Have you tried any of these?  What's your favorite eye shadow primer?


  1. Now you got me curious. I only have the primer from The All Natural Face and this is the best so far from the more natural ones I have tried.
    Can you recommend anything else from Faerie Organics?
    Faerie Organics seems to have changed the packaging, but I am very pleased that they ship worldwide :)

    1. I know the ANF primer is popular with several other bloggers, so maybe it's just me it didn't work out as well for!
      The primer is actually the only thing I've tried so far from Faerie Organic. I've been totally eyeing their glosses though! I think the pot, like I have, is the current packaging, as opposed to the tube on their website, but I'm not 100% sure.

  2. I personally love the Silk Naturals Stick'em primer. It makes eye shadows look foiled and really pop. The wear time is probably about 8 hours though so I might see if I can get the faerie organic one. There are literally no companies that do a natural eye primer in the UK, let alone a good one! x

    1. I may have to try the Silk Naturals one next! I don't think I've seen any companies with natural eye primer in Canada either...general advice here tends to be just to use a concealer!

  3. I'm going to have to try the Faerie Organic primer! I have the All Natural Face primer in a pot and it honestly works better as a concealer than as a primer as I have very oily skin and my shadows crease after an hour or so..:-( Hopefully the F.O. will work out better.

    1. I hope so too! It's worked really well for me :)

  4. I just picked up the ANF primer in a pot and I'm not sure about it lol? The primer is really white and doesn't blend very well for me (I'm east asian so when I put the primer on it already looks like I put some eye shadow on!) Which isn't a bad thing when I put on light coloured shadows but when I used my darker ones it doesn't do anything for them. After about 4 hrs the dark shadows just seem to disappear on me. Happy I tried it out but I'm thinking the Detrivore might work better for me, its on my wish list! Thanks for the reviews :)


    1. You're welcome! The Detrivore is fantastic for gripping shadows and the color blends into your skin, so I find it works for both darker and lighter colours. Hopefully it'll be a hit for you too! :)

  5. Thankyou for this article! When you google "eco eyeshadow primer" there are hardly any results! I tried a ANF pot primer several years back and I remember it being pretty disappointing- as were all the other products I tried from them(all very wishy-washy/don't do much),except their brow powders which are amazing. Definitely going to get the Faerie one!

    1. You're welcome! I hope the Faerie Organic works as well for you as it does for me! I find the ANF is a little hit or miss but I do really like their cream foundation and cream blushes, if you're ever up for giving them another try :)