Bad or Rad | Milani Cosmetics Eyeshadow Primer

Bad or Rad | Milani Eyeshadow Primer Review

When it comes to everyday beauty staples like eyeliner, eyeshadow primer, mascara, and brow gels, I’d much rather spend my money on affordable products rather than luxury items. Why? With the exception of liquid liner, it is often easy to find basic staples that perform just as well as high-end products.

However, as someone with oily lids, I could never find an eyeshadow primer, luxury or high end, that I’ve loved more than Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Urban Decay’s game-changing and iconic eyeshadow primer locks makeup into place all day without creasing, cracking, or allowing the shadow to fade throughout the day. Despite all of these positives, not everyone has the money to spend $24.00 USD on an eyeshadow primer.

In today’s Bad or Rad review, we’ll be exploring Milani’s $7.00 USD Eyeshadow Primer to see if it is a potential dupe for the Urban Decay Primer Potion.

Milani Brand Ethos

Founded in 2001, Milani is an affordable, Cruelty-Free, American brand that takes its inspiration from the art and culture of Milan. Furthermore, even though Milani is a drug store brand, they want their products to embody the style and essence of Milan from their formulas to their packaging, and shade offerings. However, unlike the high fashions sold in Milan, the brand sells their cosmetics at a super affordable price point that all consumers can appreciate.

Moreover, unlike many of the brands that have been trying to feign inclusivity, Milani maintains continuously aims to releases products that reflect the needs of the multicultural, American consumer. And consumers are noticing.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Claims

The Milani Eye Primer promises to intensify the color of your eyeshadow and increase the wear-time of eyeshadow on the lids. This is intended to be lightweight and crease-proof. Milani promises that this nude primer will make the shadow look smooth on the eye and dry invisibly.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Bad or Rad Review | Milani Eyeshadow Primer Packaging
Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Price & Packaging

The Milani Eye Primer retails for $6.99 USD online in the brand’s online shop and at Ulta,  for $8.19 USD at CVS, for $6.39 USD at Target and Walmart.

From a packaging perspective, this primer comes in a small grey squeeze tube with a black design imprinted on the packaging. Very simple and minimalist, as there is no special wand or applicator.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Ingredients & Cruelty-Free Status

Surprisingly, Talc is one of the top ingredients in this primer likely due to the mattifying properties of Talc in cosmetics products. All Milani products are Cruelty-Free and are Vegan.

The full ingredient list here: Isododecane, Talc, Mica (CI 77019), Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Trihydroxystearin, Polyethylene, Triethylhexanoin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Dimethicone, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-40 Stearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Propylene Carbonate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Water (Aqua ). +/- May Contain/PEUT CONTENIR: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Swatch & Demonstration

In the below swatch photos, I’ve squeezed out a tiny amount of product (enough for me to apply to both eyes) and blended the primer on my arm.

The below photo is a demonstration of how a red shimmer shadow from ColourPop swatches over top the Milani primer versus how the shadow swatches over bare skin.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Review | Affordable Urban Decay Primer Portion Dupe | Swatch Comparison
Top: ColourPop Maraschino Eyeshadow (Main Squeeze Eyeshadow Palette) applied over the Milani Eyeshadow Primer; Bottom: ColourPop Maraschino Eyeshadow (Main Squeeze Eyeshadow Palette) applied over bare skin

Hopefully, you can see that the shadow applied over the primer looks more vibrant and even in tone than the shadow swatched solely on my bare arm.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer Application & Wear-Time

For the best application, squeeze a small amount of product on your fingers and dab the primer onto the eyelid area. A very small amount of product will go a long way.

Personally, I don’t set this eye primer with setting powder or a nude shadow because I prefer a tacky base (as this makes colors pop more). However, be aware that this may cause the initial color application to need more blending to even out the eyeshadows. Also, this primer is not completely translucent on my skin, so keep this in mind if you have a very fair or medium-to-deep skin tone.

But the real question is: does this help your eyeshadow to pop and to last all day? Hell yeah, it does! In complete honesty, this primer works better than several higher-priced drug store and prestige primers I’ve tried over the years. My eyeshadows look vibrant and last all day (12+ hours) on my oil-slick eyelids without creasing, cracking, or fading. Additionally, this primer doesn’t add any unwanted texture to the eye area.

Where is the Milani Eyeshadow Primer Sold?

As mentioned briefly above, Milani Cosmetics is sold in drugstores and big-box retailers across the US, including CVS Health, Target, Walgreens, Walmart. Additionally, Milani is at specialty beauty retailer, Ulta, as well as online via MilaniCosmetics.com. To purchase the full range of products, visit MilaniCosmetics.com. Currently, Milani only ships to the United States and Canada. Internationally, Milani Cosmetics can be purchased via Beauty Bay and Amazon.

To find the closest Milani distributor in the US, check out the brand’s store locator.

Final Thoughts: Is the Milani Eyeshadow Primer a Dupe for the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Not only is the Milani Eye Primer the best drugstore eye primers that I’ve used, but it is one of the best primers that I’ve used – period. Funnily enough, on the Milani Website, there is a logo that shows this primer is Jeffree Star Approved. While I don’t watch Jeffree Star, his opinion holds a lot of weight in the online beauty community.

Is this a dupe for the Urban Decay Primer Potion? Yes (and no). From a performance and consistency standpoint, the Milani Primer is a total dupe for Urban Decay’s Original Primer Potion. However, Milani lacks the same formula variety as Urban Decay, specifically in terms of creating extensions that are aimed at aging eyelids or lids with veins and dark spots.

Overall, I recommend the Milani Eye Primer to anyone in the market for a new shadow primer.

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Looking for more in-depth reviews on other hyped up brands and products? Check out my Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow ReviewGlossier Brand Review, or ColourPop Sweet Talk Eyeshadow Palette Review.


Do you wear eyeshadow primer to make your shadows last all day? What is a staple that you love purchasing at the drugstore? Please let me know in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Bad or Rad | Milani Cosmetics Eyeshadow Primer

  1. So good to know! I don’t think I’ve ever tried another eye primer since I just love the UD one. Recently I’ve bought the ABH eye primer and so far I’ve been loving that one too. This Milani one goes on my ‘to buy list’ for sure!

    1. Omg girl – why are we so similar lmao!! I stopped buying primers for a while bc morning compared to my UD one… I did grab a mini of the ABH primer so I’m curious to see how it compares to UD, too! But so far, this Milani Primer is the only thing I’ve used that could compare

  2. Omg girl – why are we so similar lmao!! I stopped buying primers for a while bc morning compared to my UD one… I did grab a mini of the ABH primer so I’m curious to see how it compares to UD, too! But so far, this Milani Primer is the only thing I’ve used that could compare!

  3. I’ve never tried Milani but, I’ve seen it at the stores. I never knew they were CF & vegan– that’s awesome. I can totally see the difference in the swatches on your arm. So glad this has worked out so well for you! Personally, I’m not a fan of UD’s primer potion. I’ve never found one I do like though. Maybe you’ve convinced me to give this one a go, it’s so inexpensive, I may as well, right? Great review, as always!! 💗

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