Review: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

By Voxy  

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I think it would be fair to say that I’m generally underwhelmed by the whole face-primer thing. They just don’t seem to make a difference for me. And since they were out on the market before eyeshadow primers, I figured that an eyeshadow primer would be more of the same non-event, just in a smaller tube.

I love it when I’ve been all cynical and then turn out to be wrong, don’t you?

I ended up with a deluxe sample of Too Faced Shadow Insurance when I made some other Sephora purchase; I think it was a Beauty Insider sample or something. I certainly know I would not have wasted my hard-earned cash on what I thought at the time to be a whole lotta nothin’.

My most beloved Too Faced Shadow Insurance, I cringe at my failure to appreciate you properly. I abase myself and humbly ask for your forgiveness, O Magical Aqua Tube of Eye-Shadow-y Goodness.

TFSI is everything for me that a face primer is not — an incredibly effective product that keeps whatever is applied over it looking fresh and clean all day, and a product that I will never be without. I don’t know why TFSI works so outstandingly when regular old face primer seems to me to be made of blah, but there it is.

The product itself is a light, mousse-like silicone cream that comes out of the tube a medium beige color but that blends to near-invisibility on the eyelid. You need only the tiniest bit, an amount smaller than a grain of rice, so the tube will last forever. It dries quickly and I haven’t had any problems with eyelid irritation or itching.

I apply it to the whole lid from the lashline up to the brow, and it is a beautiful base for shadow. It actually made me fall in love with colored (i.e., non-neutral) shadows and liners again; I’d stopped using them because I was so tired of putting on purple shadow in the morning and having it be grayed out and halfway gone by lunch. Now I’m just as purple or green or gold when I get home from work as I was when I went in (uh, not counting any extra bruising I might have received from the slings and arrows of outrageous snowflakery during the day). No smudges, no fading, no oily eyelids. Both the TFSI and the shadow on top of it remove almost completely with cleanser and water; a makeup remover isn’t really necessary.

This is definitely one of my very favorite products — if I could find a face primer that made me as happy as this, I’d buy it by the truckload. I do feel, however, that I must give a nod to the other product in this arena that also has a cult following: Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. MAC also has a lid primer, and Benefit is coming out with one shortly, and there are an increasing number of other contenders as well. I don’t anticipate abandoning my TFSI, but I’d love to hear about your experiences with this or other brands in the comments!


Too Faced Shadow Insurance: $17.00

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent. That tube lasts forever.

Purchase again? Yes, without even blinking. (Sorry. I’m out of good puns, so you’re stuck with the bad ones.)

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ITL, that’s awesome customer service (and it never would have occured to me to let them know about the bubble; note to self!)

    Vox, do you put it on before eyeliner or after eyeliner/before eyeshadow?


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted December 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I put it on before anything else. It helps my eyeliner keep its color as well as helping it stay put.

      When I remember, I put it on right after washing my face and moisturizing; since my usual morning routine then involves drying my hair, it has a few minutes to be really dry before I actually start putting on makeup.


  2. avatar Inthelab
    Posted December 24, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    They were samples from Sephora, LORAC and Boscia. I don’t have oily skin but you know how it is with powder foundation and blush: usually looks good for a while, then fades away. Since I aim for the really natural look, I don’t care everyday, just for the wedding I want makeup to last.

    The recent eye shadow bases that work well for me are Borghese and Lumene. The Borghese is expensive; I had a bubble in my tube and a lot of it popped out (maybe a quarter of the tube’s volume). I contacted Borghese and they sent me 2 free tubes! I may stick with it forever for the excellent customer service.

    And happy holidays!


  3. avatar Inthelab
    Posted December 24, 2009 at 6:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    How is this different from eye shadow base (which I swear by for years)?
    BTW, I’ve tried a few face primers for daughter’s wedding, and at least on me with powder foundation and blush, they seem to make a difference in makeup lasting all day. I bought the small tube of the one by SmashBox for us gals in the wedding party to use.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted December 24, 2009 at 7:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is just based on my experience, but I think the term “eye shadow base” is interpreted (by manufacturers) in a bunch of different ways. I’ve used two versions of something called a “base” that were both peachy creamy things, like a cream concealer, that were supposed to cover up darkness on the eyelid and serve as a base for eye shadow. Then I used a different kind of “base” that was a powder and supposed to do the same thing. But none of them actually made the shadow stay on my lids or prevented the color from fading.

      For me, anyway, the critical difference seems to be that the primer absorbs or otherwise prevents the natural skin oils of the eyelid from dissolving the makeup. If you have a base that does that, then this would be a lot like what you are using.

      And since I generally don’t have a problem with most makeup staying put for most of the day, maybe my lack of rah-rah for overall face primer just means that at this point in time my particular face is not producing the same kind or quantity of oil that would make an oil-absorbing primer beneficial.

      On the overall face-primer front, which others did you try besides the Smashbox?


Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *