When possible, I like to purchase cosmetics with the best value. I usually determine the value of something for myself by looking at the cost, whether or not it will be useful, and sometimes, brand loyalty plays a role.
Unfortunately, I recently noticed that Prime Time eye primer ($16), may be a really crummy deal when it's in the click pen. I was surprised and saddened to see this. Now I'm on the look out for something that's a better value, but part of me doesn't want to because BE's eye primer is the first eye primer I used and it was because of it that I realized how amazing eye shadow is. Is my love for this brand going to keep me from saving money?
The reason I noticed the disparity is because of the the mini primer potion in Urban Decay's Book of Shadows II and the Alice in Wonderland Palette. In that mini primer potion, you get 0.13 fl oz. So I said to myself "I wonder how much I get in my tube of BE primer." I was completely shocked to see that in the click pen, you get 0.05 fl oz of product. You get approximately 2x more product in a mini primer potion from Urban Decay and approximately 7x more product in a full size bottle ($17) of primer potion.
I go through 4-5 tubes of BE primer a year. And I usually purchase two or three tubes every year during the fall/winter Friends and Family sales and two tubes in BE's summer sale. It's really obvious that if I switch to Urban Decay, I'd be saving a bit of money every year.
Prime Time Face and Eye primer duo available at most BE outlets that contains the eye primer in a tube. The kit is $18, and you get 0.1 fl oz of eye primer (plus 0.5 fl oz of face primer, which is half of a full size bottle). That's 2x eye primer for $2 more! You might as well be getting the face primer for free.
The cost of the two piece kit tells me that what I'm paying for in an individual tube of eye primer is the packaging.
When it comes to packaging though, I think both the BE primer and the Urban Decay primer are packaged stupidly.
With the BE click pen, the product doesn't flow out unless I twist the pen while the cap is still on tightly. Not only that, more primer flows out in the summer than in the winter - heat makes the product less viscous. The HUGE downside is that I always lose a bunch of product in the cap since I can't see how much is being twisted out.
With Urban Decay's primer potion, users had to cut up the packaging to get out every last bit. I haven't heard if this is still the case since they changed the shape of the wand though! The new wand hasn't even been available for a full year yet, so I suspect in the next few months I'll see some one talk about it in the blogosphere or on youtube. I think I'd be ok with sawing through the bottles to get out left over product given the savings...
Both BE's eye shadow primer and Urban Decay's primer potion work for me. I have to use two layers of the Urban Decay stuff though.
Oh, one more thing. Urban Decay primer potion has parabens (preservatives), which is a big deal for some people. However, both the FDA and a report published in 2008 in the International Journal of Toxicology state that the use of cosmetics containing parabens is safe. There are no scientifically proven links between parabens and health problems, but there are groups that strongly believe parabens are linked to cancer. I think it's interesting and important to point out that most of the groups that believe parabens are toxic are basing their information on studies published prior to 2008. So while I know the information is incomplete on parabens (as it is on many other chemicals we are regularly exposed to), the most recent information indicates that there are no teratogenic or carcinogenic effects to the levels of parabens in cosmetics.
I have gravitated towards cosmetics that happen to not have parabens only because I am sensitive to many products that contain silicones.
Will I save money with Urban Decay? Yes. A lot.
Will I be able to use it? Seems like it.
What's holding me back? My love for BE. Bare Escentuals was my first step into the world of cosmetics, and I don't want to let go sometimes. I also keep holding on to hope that BE will stop packaging their eye primer in that darned click pen.
I haven't decided if love will triumph over money or if I love extra money in my pocket. I'm going to use up my current tube of BE eye primer and my two mini tubes of Urban Decay primer potion before I decide which brand to go with.
From a purely budgetary stand point though, Urban Decay has a really, really, really big advantage.
Photo credit: self, sephora.com