Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Eyelid Primer review

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Our tester announces a new reign in eyelid primers…

Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Eyelid Primerphotos: we heart this

Eyeshadows have it difficult on oily lids, just ask my collection. Never believe the words “creaseless” or “long lasting”—these promises will let you down harder than a boyfriend’s when they break. Some shadows, of course, are better than others but honey, they all crease sometime. But today, with eyelid primer in hand, I declare that “creaseless” is no longer an empty promise. I share with you one of the greats: Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Eyelid Primer ($18) by Bare Escentuals.

Everyone by now knows that I adore Bare Escentuals. My difficult-to-please, sensitive, super-alternativer oily skin and myself were amazed at what Bare Minerals foundation could do: cover splotchiness, even out skin texture and tone…yet feel light and un-makeup-y. This is what made me a die-hard fan.

At some point the folks at BE introduced me to the Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer. It’s a great smoother and mattifier that I use all summer long when my sebaceous glands hit high gear. So it stands to reason that the Prime Time line would hit another high note with their eyelid primer.

Truthfully, when I received the Prime Time Eyelid Primer for review, I wasn’t in the market for another eyelid primer. I was exceedingly happy with Urban Decay’s version that paints a matte, acrylic-like, thin gesso on the eyelid, creating budge-proof shadows whether loose, creamy or compact. I was happy as a clam to tout UD as Queen of the eyelid primer. Well Queen, a coup is at hand.

Closer look of Prime Time Eyelid Primer

The Prime Time Eyelid Primer is available in two hues, Brightening (Sephora calls it “Gold”) and Brightening Pearl. We tested the Gold version and the first thing you notice as it comes from the tube is the beautiful champagne shimmer.

Prime Time Eyelid Primer swatchesleft: as applied, right: blended

The texture is creamy, not paint-like. Once I patted some on my eyes I instantly looked more awake and refreshed, and really didn’t need any shadow at all. Though the texture is creamy, it has an almost cream-to-powder-type finish with no downtime for drying. Shadow can be applied immediately. True to its word, there is no creasing throughout the day—this primer is a great performer.

The squeeze tube gets high marks from me as well. There is a slanted tip if you’d like to apply directly to the lid, but squeezing a bit on your fingertips is a great way to get precise application. Squeeze tubes also make it possible to extract every bit of product before having to relinquish to the trashcan, another plus for sure.

The only drawback is its size. A 3 ml/1 oz squeeze tube of Prime Time is significantly small, nearly gone after a few weeks. A quick visit to Bare Escentual’s site says “New easy-to-use tube comes with twice as much primer for only $2 more,” and recommends replacing this product every three months. While the size assures you’ll always have fresh primer, I’d suggest they go a bit bigger still.

All in all, the concept, shimmer, texture, performance and packaging of the Prime Time Brightening Eye Primer score big points and produce a new winner for me in the primer category.

we heartsters and Testers – Have you crowned the Prime Time Brightening Eye Primer as your new queen of eye primers?

Shop Bare Minerals at Sephora and get 3 Free Bare Escentuals best sellers! Enter code BEBARETRIO for the original formula or BEMATTETRIO for matte.

Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and of course, a wht writer!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • sherrishera

    Sherri is a writer, dog lover, old movie fanatic, history detective, political junkie, fashion pundit and social media consumer advocate. “A fancy dinner and expensive champagne are better than writing a rent check any day of the week.” skin tone: NC 25 skin type: oily/sensitive favorite beauty product: anti-aging anything

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  1. Maybe it’s me, but Bare Escentuals Prime Time Eye Primer didn’t brighten my eyes as much as frost them. I only used a tiny bit, yet I looked like I had sparkly spackle on my lids. My skin tends to be dry during the winter, and this primer is very dry, too– I’m guessing this is the problem.

    Every time I wore it, I had glittery fallout under my eyes and on my cheeks, and for the first time in my life, I understood what “crepe-y” meant in regards to eyelids. Eek! When I tried playing down the frost factor with matte shadow, the color went on clumpy and uneven.

    On the plus side, the gold color is pretty and warm, and I’m sad it didn’t work for me. Based on your review, @sherrishera , I think this is probably a product for oily-lidded girls only. I’ll give it another try in the summer. 3 stars.

  2. Unrelated comment: @stef — I assume you took those pictures. Where’d you get those nail polish appliques? So cute!!!

  3. Wow that is a really tiny tube. I’ve been in the market for a tinted primer, I was planning on going with UD’s but I really like that this is in a tube. I hate paying for a ton pr product and then not being able to get it out of the container. How do you think the color compares? It seems like the UD is more of a shimmer and this is more of a micro-glitter.

  4. @turboterp (Melissa) – thanks for giving us the dry-skinned gals perspective on this, too – it helps to have both sides reviewing! This does look like a gorgeous color, though.

  5. Oh @Melissa, I experienced none of what you did. Fallout? That seems especially odd to me considering the creamy nature of the product. Then again,I will never know about dry or crepe-y skin on or around the eyelid. I’m really curious to hear if any others experienced this. For me, this was heaven-sent. If only heaven could keep on sending ’cause that tube is so darn small!

    @pinkshaya, UD’s version is outstanding and bigger, but mine has no shimmer. I have Eden and it’s a flat color that goes on thin like a watercolor, then dries quickly. It works wonderfully but I do prefer this BE version between the two. It really is like a cream-to-powder champagne eyeshadow that stays put. It’s not too shimmery…you can wear it lid to brow during the day and it won’t do more that give you that bright-eyed look. No glitter.

    I give this product 4 stars. That tube size kills the value, but I will most likely overlook that and concentrate on the texture and the shimmer (and even the squeeze tube) that make this one amazing product..better looking than UD but equally as good a performer.

  6. @sherrishera – there’s no glitter in your BE primer? I wonder if we got different colors to test. Mine is full of tiny glitter and is super frosty (on me, at least). But like you said, we have totally different skin types. I’m glad this primer works so well for you!

  7. I too am a longtime fan of Bare Escentuals and was anxious to try: Prime Time Eye Primer. Well, first and most important, it needs to be used sparingly. It is full of light once on lids and didn’t budge all day after I put shadows on afterwards. It actually looks nice all on it own, as long as you go lightly.. it can be a bit much if you have a heavy hand/finger! My skin is not oily so this went on over a moisturizer and it really did brighten the lids considerably. Someone in the office called me bright-eyes! I had no fallout under my eyes that I could see and like this as much as UD and a couple others out there. I give this product a four star rating.

  8. @turboterp, to me this falls well within the shimmer category. Much of BE’s stuff is shimmery, but they don’t do glitter. I can see how maybe using too much may produce too much shimmer or may be cakey since it’s not a wet type of creamy. Like @irene mentions, go lightly. I didn’t apply this directly from the tube, rather I squeezed a tinyl bit on my index finger and rubbed between my fingers a bit like I may a moisturizer before applying. One tiny squeeze was enough for me to do both eyes.

  9. On a slightly different note, I should mention that some of BE’s glimmers are on on the brink of glitter. That’s probably why they call them “glimmer”

  10. @kate2004rock – Those appliques are Sally Hansen’s new stick on nail thingies (I can’t remember the technical name) in “Laced Up” (funny that I can remember the pattern, but not the name, huh?). They’re $9.99 and available at CVS and Walgreens and I think at grocery stores like Jewel-Osco.

  11. I’m torn on this product. I did get a fair amount of brightening from it, but also a fair amount of glitter (ok @sherishera – glimmer!) Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but not something I want everyday either. It makes a great base for a night out, but for day to day I prefer to start with a neutral canvas.

    I think the staying power is superb. This really clung to my lids, and shadow to it. Like @Sherrishera I have oily lids, so unlike the girls who had issues with it being dry and crepey – it really does seem to work best for the oily girls.

    And while I appreciate the built in expiration factor with the tiny size of the tube (you can’t keep this a long time, you won’t have it for a long time!), I wish the price reflected the size a bit more. $18 seems too much.

    I’m going 3 stars for this. And my quest for a perfect eyeshadow primer continues…

  12. Lol @stef, shimmer, glimmer, glitter…you say tomato, I say to-mah-to…a rose by any name… I guess you all have to give this a test run to see your shimmer to glitter capacity.
    If you all out there are still trying to figure out the shine wattage factor from your computer monitor, this is my scale:
    Most Urban Decay shadows fall into the glitter category with largish, visible pieces of multi-faceted glitter. I do wear Midnight Cowboy, a beige glitter in the daytime cuz I’m just that kind of girl.
    Micro-glitter to me is slightly smaller, yet still multi-faceted and really reflective. Urban Decay’s Stardust shadows are, to me, microglitter. Also, BE’s glimmers may enter this realm.
    Shimmer is what I think of as most reflective mineral shadows as having. Like sand or L.A. sidewalks. This is where I think this primer falls.
    But again, I’ve found that everyone has their own definition and mine isn’t necessarily right. Maybe my comparisons will help.

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