Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Roadtest: Essence I love Stage Primer Review & Comparison

I have been an avid fan of Too Faced Shadow Insurance for the biggest time, before I seriously got into makeup I don't know how I could have lived without it. Before TFSI I tried L'oreal Decrease & because I didn't know any better it worked alright. I've only tried a few over primers (Australis Eyeshadow Primer, Face of Australia matte & shimmery eye primers) but I could never stray away from my love.
When I was hauling last time I came across the Essence line & thought I'd give the primer a go. Only because I'd like to have a reliable backup that I could places with TFSI from time to time (my first TFSI did last for 2 years, though).

Packaging: Essence I <3 Stage (EI<3S) Eyeshadow base is in a plastic bottle with a doe-foot applicator. It has 0.13 fl.oz/ 4ml of product, which is surprising because TFSI is 0.35 oz/ 11g. The only downside with the packaging is that it would be harder to get all the product out towards the end, unlike being able to cut open a tube. However the wand is quite flexible so you should be able to dig it out from the corners lol.

Texture: EI<3S has a consistency of a liquid concealer so it is really easy to spread all over the eyelid. It blankets imperfections on the eyelids such as veins & discolouration which so you could use it on it's own if you'd like. All you need is a few dots to spread it all over the eyelid. It doesn't take too long to dry but I like to make sure it is still tacky so my eyeshadow sticks. It would also be nice to use as an under eye concealer on it's own (if it matches your skin tone, of course).

Compared to TFSI I think EI<3S is on par. Although it had mainly bad reviews on I think if you couldn't get your hands on anything else that this is a really good primer. I had no problems with creasing and my eye makeup lasted all day with a good colour payoff.

Here is my roadtest with Essence I <3 Stage primer review.

 On top of my primers I used Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Tenacious Teal, MUG Mermaid, Seamist & Razzelberry.

 Lunch time ~4 hours later. Still holding up nicely on both eyes.

 ~9 hours later. Not as fresh- definitely on the lower lash line but I can't remember how much primer I put there, & minimal creasing. The color tattoo was an unfair advantage so I had to test it again.

 Day 2- - I applied too much Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil (french fries) to the eye with TFSI so obviously that creased hideously, creasing is not normally that bad with TFSI.

~9 hours after application. So the TFSI wouldn't have performed that terribly but you can see EL<3S still looked nice hours later. I used shadows from the UD Naked 1 palette.

Day 3
 These sets of pictures were 9 hours apart, and I didn't use any other base for fair testing. The colours both stayed on pretty well, but the Essence eye looks fresher.

All in all, I think Essence I <3 Stage is a nice primer that helps my makeup last & prevents creasing, and  I would probably buy it again to alternate between my TFSI. It's definitely worth a try for $4.95 compared to TFSI ( I buy it on eBay for ~$9.95 not incl. shipping), although noting the amount of product in each one they both work out around the same value for money. You can buy it from Target or Priceline in Australia.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you've tried this and what you thought.

*Disclaimer: Product bought by me, not affiliated with Essence. All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.*


  1. Thanks for the review :) hopefully I can find this product in Canada. It looks like it does an awesome job :)

    1. no problem, I hope you can find it too!

    2. Cherry Berry- you can find Essence products at Shopper's Drug Mart in Canada. I am also a big fan of their mascara, nail polish, lip gloss and gel liner. Really solid brand and inexpensive. Oh and their sharpener is made in the same place as Urban Decay's Grindhouse but is a fraction of the price! (*I don't work for Essence or anything like that.- haha!*)

  2. awesome review!~! I saw it and passed cause I didnt think it would be any good- sounds like I was wrong! !:)

    1. Haha- I give the benefit of the doubt for most products lol. If you buy it you'll have to let me know what you think :)


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