By Laura Hogan
I must admit, until maybe a year ago I wasn’t a huge fan of eyeshadow primers. I had no good reason for my opinion; really, I was just in too much of a hurry to add an extra step to the morning routine (probably a quarter of the time I um accidentally hit the off button on my alarm instead of the snooze button and wind up oversleeping until the cat whomps right in the middle of my stomach, wanting to be fed). But a friend persuaded me to try Urban Decay Primer Potion, and she wasn’t kidding when she said it made a huge difference — no more creasing! And no more smudging! So I was a convert.
But then another friend turned me on to Jesse’s Girl Eyeshadow Primer. My apologies to all you Urban Decay cultists out there — and I know there are a lot of you — but the Jesse’s Girl does the trick just as well as the UDPP. The biggest difference I was able to detect is that the Jesse’s Girl can be had at the drugstore for about a third of the price: $6 versus $19 for the UDPP.
In fairness, there are two other differences, although I consider them one to be minor and the other to be a little more significant but still relatively minor; neither of them has anything to do with the products’ performance. First, the Jesse’s Girl comes in only only one finish (flat, no shimmer) while the UD is available in four finishes — one flat, three shimmery (original, the flat one; and Eden, Sin, and Greed, the shimmery ones). The shimmery ones, in addition to acting as a primer, can be worn alone as eyeshadow. So if you’re wild about the shimmery finishes found in the UD products, or if you want your primer to serve double duty as base and shadow without an extra step, you might want to drop an extra $13 bucks on the UDPP. But if you’re fine with the flat finish, there’s no discernible difference between your eyeshadow at the end of a day with Jesse’s Girl and at the end of a day with UDPP.
Second, the Urban Decay now comes in a squeeze tube, while the Jesse’s Girl has a doe-foot applicator. I don’t find one to be markedly superior to the other; I don’t know about you, but with tubes I usually wind up having to cut off the end to avoid wasting a ton of product. (The Jesse’s Girl has awfully cute packaging, too, in a sleek minimalist sort of way.)
And of course, the Jesse’s Girl has it all over the UDPP in one other way: while you probably don’t have the urge to sing while you put on the UDPP, I promise that you won’t be able to resist bursting into “YOU KNOW I WISH THAT I HAD JESSE’S GIRL/I WISH THAT I HAD JESSE’S GIRL/WHERE CAN I FIND A WOMAN LIKE THAT” at the top of your lungs while doing your eyes every morning. While this sort of thing might not endear you to significant others and neighbors who might want to grab a couple more minutes of shuteye, I can attest that it’s a lot more fun than staring morosely into the mirror while wishing that the coffee would hurry up and drip.