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A New Holy Grail Eye Shadow Primer? Benefit Stay Don’t Stray

Benefit Stay Don't Stray, Eye Shadow, primer, review
As part of my never ending quest to try every primer on the market (it’s similar to my obsession with trying every eye makeup remover, useless but fun to fill my time, and you get the benefits when I can tell you which products not to buy), I finally decided to give in to my craving for Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray primer.

I have a little bit of a spotty relationship with Benefit items. I love Benetint. I’ve had great success with many of their primers and concealers. But some of their “amazing” quick fixes (like the Brow Zing) I’ve not had good luck with. So, I was a bit nervous about spending $24 on this primer, but I figured that you can only visit a product so many times at Sephora before you need to take the plunge and bring it home with you. Plus I was lured in by the promise that it is not only a primer for eye shadow, but also for concealer!

This primer comes in an airless pump, and I have to say that this was my least favorite feature of the product. Benefit’s website says “The best way to dispense stay don’t stray is to lightly tap the airless pump using your index finger until the product comes out.” What? Tap a pump? Basically, the pump is VERY touchy. I’m not certain why it isn’t calibrate correctly, but if you use a full pump, it will give you easily 3-4x the amount of product you need to cover both eyelids and undereye areas. The tapping helps a bit, but not much. I’ve probably wasted about half of the tube just by using the pump. I’m very tempted to just dispense the whole thing in a little pot, but have been too lazy to do this.

The primer itself is a little bit mouse-like in texture, a little fluffy, but also pretty liquid. It is a light nude shade and is very easy to blend into my eye area. I’m very pale, and the color seemed to match me perfectly, but I can’t imagine that it works for those with darker complexions than me (aka- about 99.9% of the United States), so if you’ve tried it I’d be very interested to know how it worked for you. Anyways, after blending I can’t tell that there is anything on my lids or under my eyes.

So, how does it work? It works really well actually. I found that it definitely is better than no primer under shadows, though my Urban Decay Primer Potion is very slightly better. I do think that I had a little longer staying power with UDPP and a little more creasing with Benefit. Honestly, it took me a week or so of using one on each eye in order to tell this difference. The Benefit was particularly great with concealer, resulting in much longer wear with all of my concealers. No creasing or cracking issues there.

Overall, a great primer. I very slightly preferred UDPP for shadows, but this wasn’t a huge difference. The Benefit Stay Don’t Stray pump is also a bit of a problem, as way too much primer was routinely distributed. I’m a little leary of the airless pump as well, given that I have no clue how much product could be left in there when I’m “out”. I’ll be sure to cut this one open ala Brittany at Clumps of Mascara and let you know. Keep in mind that this pump is actually pretty large, and I really don’t think that’s going to be any time soon.

Update: This primer no longer features that problematic pump dispenser, instead there is a wand with a doe foot felt tip. This makes it much easier to get out just the right amount of product, but I do think I waste a bit in the tube.

Buy this primer at Sephora, Nordstrom or ULTA
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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 6.4.10
    Chris said:

    It didn't work for me. My eyeshadow lasted about 4-5 hrs before it started creasing. UDPP lasts me all day. I ended up selling it on E-bay

  2. 6.6.10
    Jaime Leah said:

    I have the same complexion as you where MOST people are darker than me. I find that UDPP is almost exactly the color of my skin and I can use the UDPP in Sin as a shadow and it looks great. I would love to try this product but I seriously forget to use primer anyway.

  3. 6.8.10
    Anonymous said:

    I've found it actually works better than the UDPP for me…the shadows are easier to blend. Definately tap the top rather than depress it all the way. I also use it around my nose and other areas I get red before applying my makeup and it helps keep them concealed.

  4. 6.8.10
    Peanut said:

    I much preferred the old F.Y.Eye to this product for an eye shadow base. This is too thin and watery for my skin and didn't create a matte lasting base like the F.Y.Eye used to. It's almost like it sat on top of my skin. I used it a week or so and took it back to Sephora. (Oh and yes, I'm pretty pale – but this was too light for me to use under my eyes!)

    I've found a great product, similar to F.Y.Eye, from MAC – and my eye shadow is back in place again.

  5. 6.10.10
    Kristen said:

    You know I was just looking at this product the other day and was curious about it. Thank you for your post. Looks like some other people having been giving mixed reviews, so I'm still torn.