Kevyn Aucoin's The Eye Pigment Primatif isn't your normal cream shadow. As the brand puts it, this is as an, "elastomeric gel" (AKA putty) "that delivers non-tacky, non-sticky, non-oily and silky feel to the skin." While that sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo, once you touch this product the description makes complete sense.
The Eye Pigment Primatif has a soft, pliable, cushiony, almost sponge-like texture, which blends on suede-smooth, and stays put remarkably well once in place. It isn't the best option if you want strong color payoff, but otherwise The Eye Pigment Primatif stands out for its noteworthy performance!
Whether you apply The Eye Pigment Primatif with your fingertips or a brush, one of the advantages to this kind of texture is zero fallout during application (or over the course of wear, for that matter). Better yet, its finish dries down in a way that makes it resistant to creasing. In fact, one of our staffers who is prone to incessantly creased eyeshadow made it through the entire workday without having to touch up once—a notable feat without the aid of eyeshadow primer!
Those niceties aside, we were a bit surprised by how sheer some of the colors went on versus how rich they appear in the packaging. In most cases, layering the formula didn't do much to build the pigmentation. That's not a deal breaker if you prefer an ultra-blendable, mild wash of color, but something to keep in mind if you're hoping for bold pigmentation.
Speaking of colors, the main staple shades have a finely-milled shimmer finish. We particularly love the soft glow of the "Champagne" shade, which works beautifully to highlight the inner corner of eyes. Currently there are only four shades on the Kevyn Aucoin website, but we found a handful of other shades in the department store, including a couple of matte finish options.
One peculiar thing we'd be remiss not to mention is that this jar packaged formula has a tendency to look dried out the first time you open it up. Of the three shades we bought, each had "shriveled" in its container to a certain degree. This was also the case for the testers we saw in the store. Fortunately, they still all performed well, but we have to admit, it's a little off-putting to see when you're paying this much for makeup!
So, the million dollar question is, "Is The Eye Pigment Primatif worth splurging on?" That answer, of course, depends on your beauty budget. But if you want a fragrance-free shadow that blends on enviably smooth and resists fading/flaking/creasing, this is a beautiful option. On the flip side, if you want a shadow with stronger color payoff from the get-go, you will need to look elsewhere.
Kevyn Aucoin was arguably one of the most iconic makeup artists of the 20th century. A self-trained, highly sought celebrity makeup artist and best-selling author, his work appeared regularly in countless fashion magazines, as well as his monthly column in Allure. Not surprisingly, his work has influenced countless makeup artists and YouTube beauty vloggers—whether they know it or not—and at the time of his passing in 2002, he had just launched a small range of products under the Kevyn Aucoin brand. Although Aucoin left us far too soon, at least his products serve to compliment his lasting legacy.
Today, the Kevyn Aucoin brand continues with his motto that anyone should be able to experiment with makeup and feel beautiful while doing so. The brand's range of unique products reflects the emphasis on makeup’s role in our lives as more than just utilitarian—it should be enjoyable, accessible, fun, and the outcome always rewarding. The approach is enhancing one’s self-esteem rather than using makeup to cover up what you or others might perceive as unattractive.
Thus, the products themselves are something of an experience to use—from their packaging (beautiful) to their focus on perfecting skin and mix of basic to bold color options. This line isn’t for those who think of makeup as a chore!
The price points are higher, to be sure, but there are also quite a few exceptional and unique standouts that allow this brand to nicely distinguish itself in a sea of makeup artist-fronted lines. There are some shortfalls here and there, but overall, it is a range that is well worth experimenting with should you happen upon a Kevyn Aucoin counter at your local Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. (Note: Kevyn Aucoin is sold online at a number of beauty sites, from Sephora to Beautylish.)
For Beautypedia, we have chosen some of what we feel are Aucoin’s best products along with those that are OK, but for one reason or another may not be worth the expense.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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