NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base Review & Swatches

NYX HD Eyeshadow Base Review & SwatchesA lot of US shoppers are frustrated and angry because of the major fail that took place recently during the NYX 12-year anniversary sale.

Sometimes crap happens, but at least they’re issuing out coupon codes to let their customers know they’re trying to right the wrong. Sure, the new offer isn’t as good as the original, but at least they’re doing something.

As a Canadian, I never got to participate in any of the crazy NYX online deals, but even after hearing about what happened, I’m still a NYX customer. I appreciate their dedication to providing affordable makeup – their prices are typically already very inexpensive whether or not they go on sale.

Today, I’ll be reviewing the NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base, which costs much less than its counterparts by Too Faced, Urban Decay, and Smashbox.

What I love about this NYX eye primer isn’t just the low price. I’m willing to spend a lot for a product that works instead of paying less for a craptastic one that will spend more time collecting dust. The NYX eyeshadow primer really works well, and that’s why I find myself reaching for it very often.

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base Pictures

NYX HD Eyeshadow Base Review & Swatches

NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base Review

NYX HD Eye Primer Review & Swatches

NYX Eye Primer Review & Swatch

NYX HD Eyeshadow Primer Review & Swatches

Yup, it got a little messy since I've been using it for over 2 months.

NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base Ingredients

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base Swatches

NYX Eyeshadow Primer Swatches & Review

Here it is just globbed on. When it's smoothed out, it blends out & my camera couldn't capture it. See how milky/liquidy it is?

To show you how well it works, I took swatch photos with and without primer using the purple shade, Shiba, from the Kat von D True Love Eyeshadow Palette, which I’ve previously reviewed and swatched.

NYX HD Eye Shadow Primer Review & Swatches

NYX Eye Primer Swatches & Review

NYX Eyeshadow Primer Swatch & Review


    Smoothes out lines
    Preps lids for eye shadow
    Makes eye shadow last a long time
    X Evens out skin tone

Key Notes

  • Name: NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base
  • Amount: 8 g (0.28 oz.)
  • What I Paid: I bought this in a 5- or 7-piece value set on HauteLook during a special sale, so I’m not sure what I paid exactly for this individually. (Retails for $9.99 CAD)
  • Where to Buy: Cherry CultureNYX US website, NYX CA website, HauteLook (when they have a special promotion) & select drugstores like Rexall

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base Review


The NYX High Definition HD Eye Shadow Base looks like a pale peachy-beige concealer.


When I spread it over my eyelid, I noticed that it wasn’t opaque, but translucent. So if you thought that this would be a dupe of the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden like I originally did, it’s not. NYX is liquidy and light. Urban Decay’s Eden is opaque, thick, and heavier.

Because of the lightweight consistency of NYX, it won’t cover up discoloration or veins on eyelids. There is such a delicate wash of color that isn’t even noticeable, at least with my skin tone. But this is a huge plus for me because it’s practically invisible under eye shadow, and it means that I don’t need to work as hard to blend it out.

Is It a Actually a Base or a Primer?

There is some confusion on the difference between a base and a primer. A base simply helps shadows look more vibrant, but they don’t make any promises about increasing the wear time of your shadows. A primer, however, is supposed to make shadows longer-lasting and most will enhance their color.

While it’s called the NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base, for me, it works like a primer.

Does It Prevent Creasing?

Without a primer, my eye shadow always creases by the end of the day, and that is never a good look. When I slap on some of this NYX eye shadow primer, I never see any creasing…even the time I accidentally fell asleep with my makeup on. (Yes, I know. Sooo bad for the skin!)

Does It Make Eye Shadow Look More Vivid?

For most of my shadows, yes, I would say that it makes them more vivid.

Does It Make It Harder to Blend Your Shadow?

Some thick primers like Eden can make it trickier to blend out your shadows. But the NYX HD primer didn’t make it any harder to blend.

Does It Smooth Out Lines?

I’m in my late 20s, and I’d like to think that I don’t really have many lines. But wow, this formula really does smooth out lines because I could really see a difference when I used this prior to shadow compared to when I used Eden prior to shadow.

The eyelid with NYX had a natural sheen (I’m not talking oily-looking…just a pretty non-matte look), and it did look smoother. Because of this, it seemed to make it look like I did a better blending job!


Unfortunately, it comes in a plastic tube with a slanted doe-foot applicator. You can never get the very last drop out of packaging like this. A squeeze tube like the Too Faced primer comes in is ideal. However, the Too Faced one also costs a lot more than NYX, so it’s a debate of packaging versus getting every last drop. I’d much rather pay less for decent-but-not-ideal packaging.


As some of you know, I’ll allergic to Bismuth Oxychloride. This known allergen is in a lot of popular eye primers. That’s why I’ve never been able to try the ones by Too Faced or even the original formula by Urban Decay.

The NYX High Definitin HD Eyeshadow Base is as close as I can get to the original Urban Decay eye primer unless they nix that ingredient. And trust me, I’ve wanted to try it for a long time.


I’ve never found an inexpensive eye primer that also doesn’t contain Bismuth Oxychloride. So, I have total love for this! Plus if you get it from Cherry Culture, it’s just $7 USD.


  • Cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Affordable
  • Makes eye shadow more vivid
  • Makes eye shadow last a long time (no creasing!)
  • Creates a smooth canvas & preps lid for eye makeup
  • No Bismuth Oxychloride (a known allergen)
  • Pretty easy to track down

  • Tube & doe-foot applicator make it impossible to get every last drop out like you would with a squeeze tube
  • Doesn’t even out skin tone as claimed (but this isn’t a big concern for me)

Final Verdict: 10/10

For an everyday simple eye base & primer, NYX has won me over because it works so well and costs me a fraction of the other primers by Urban Decay and Smashbox that I’ve been using. When I don’t want a sparkly or matte look and just need a primer to do its job, I reach for this!

What’s your favorite eye primer? Did the NYX anniversary sale fiasco rub you the wrong way? Are any of the NYX products Holy Grail items to you?


11 thoughts on “NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base Review & Swatches

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Alaeis!

      Yeah – great quality for a great price. Can’t beat that.

      Do you have any favorite new NYX products?

        1. Mary Post author

          Hehe…I don’t even know if I could pick a favorite. Right now, it would probably be their eye-shadow base. But yeah, their single eye shadows are pretty awesome, too! 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey PinkyHannah!

      The NYX US site had a crazy anniversary sale for 50% off almost everything (or some insane sitewide discount like that), but their servers weren’t able to handle the influx of visitors and crashed. There were a lot of disappointed people who weren’t able to get their order to go through because of this and missed out on all the deals.

      To make up for this, NYX sent these people a coupon code to be used at a later time if they provided their contact information. Some people were satisfied with this, but I read on a lot of blogs that a lot of people were angry with NYX (even boycotting them!) because the ‘apology offer’ was supposedly not as good as the original anniversary sale.

      I feel badly for NYX, and I think they did what they could to satisfy their customers.

      On July 1st, the NYX Canadian site had a special 50% sale and since I’m in Canada, I placed an order. It went through just fine. So it seemed to be just a US site problem.

  1. Jess

    I am so glad I didn’t get the UDPP! I wouldn’t have thought to check it for bismuth and I am terribly allergic to it. Previous experiences have left me itchy, bumpy, dry and miserable. I picked up this NYX primer today and I love it too. Thanks for the great review.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jess!

      Oh, I’m glad that you didn’t get the wrong primer and suffer an allergic reaction to it. It’s total hell – when I didn’t know about my bismuth oxychloride allergy, I would get itchy, bumpy, dry, and swollen eyelids that took days to calm down. No fun!

      Oh, the Urban Decay Primer Potions in Eden (matte beige) and Greed (shimmery gold) both don’t have bismuth. It’s just the Original and Sin that have the nasty ingredient. But, at least the NYX version is inexpensive and works just as well! 😀

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sandra!

      If you’re looking for a great place online, I recommend CherryCulture.com. They usually have coupon codes for sitewide sales fairly often, and their prices are reasonable. If you’re in Canada, they sell NYX at Rexall drug stores.


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