Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and while I'm not usually one to fuss around with eyeshadow I make an exception for special occasions. After all, don't people say the eyes are the window to the soul? And when you're gazing at each other lovingly by candlelight, those windows should look as pretty as possible. Luckily for me, the new Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer ($29) crossed my beauty desk late last year and seems tailor-made for this.
Air Patrol boasts a bevy of benefits and innovations that elevate it above your average eyeshadow primer. The pen's "one click per eye" design takes the guesswork out of exactly how much product you should apply. Its EnviroDefend complex and SPF 20 protect the delicate skin around the eye from sun, smoke, and pollutants.
The patent-pending Cushion Calm Tip applies product gently without tugging at skin and boasts a cooling, soothing sensation to boot. The formula hydrates and colour-corrects redness (although darker-skinned gals might find the yellow-based shade too light). In short, Air Patrol isn't just designed to make your eyeshadow stick (which it does very well)—it boasts skincare benefits like a BB cream should.
Some online reviewers have complained this primer is too sticky and renders their eyeshadows unblendable. That's easily mitigated with proper technique though. Don't overload your eyeshadow brush and tap any excess powder off before you apply. Instead of moving your eyeshadow brush back and forth in a stripe-y, swiping motion, lightly buff the shadow on in small circles; this'll help blend as you go.
It would've been so easy for Benefit to do a straightforward eyeshadow primer whose sole job was to make eyeshadow stick effectively, but I like the fact that they tried to innovate and deliver a better formula and more user-friendly form factor. Air Patrol a delight to use from the fun aviation-inspired motifs to the cooling gel sensation of the Cushion Calm Tip and the easy-peasy click mechanism. Plus, it's been 12 hours of wear as I write this and my eyeshadow hasn't budged or creased. A winner? I think so.