Product review: Benefit Stay, Don’t Stray Eye Primer + Concealer

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 7 Comments

Guest blogger:  Amy Remeikis is a married, twenty-something, beauty-and-fashion-obsessed journalist, who has swapped newspaper deadlines and police rounds for a year of teaching kids English … in Korea.

Benefit Stay, Don’t Stray Eye Primer + Concealer $45

The Facts: Benefit San Francisco, a company known as much for their retro-cute packaging as their products have released what they call the first primer to help both eye shadows and  concealers stay exactly where you put them all those hours ago.  Available in three fair skin friendly shades, Stay, Don’t Stray also proclaims to provide a smooth surface for those eye colours to glide on to, helping to avoid that dreaded caking and creasing which, let’s face it is sooo Barbara Cartland circa 1995.

The Review: It started off so well.  Fresh faced.  Dewy.  Eyes made mysterious with a hint of smoke and a dash of glitter.  All traces of the working week carefully concealed. And then – disaster.  How it happened, how it ever happens, remains a mystery.

Fresh faced somehow morphs into crone skin.  Dewiness makes the transition to oily.  The only mysterious thing about the eyes is how they manage to see out of the smudge of black goop which has melted from lids to bags.  The ravages of the working week are back in all their scary glory, magnified by the concealer which now does nothing but bring attention to those unavoidable creases polite people call smile lines. Ugh.

Nothing can be as shocking as the sight of yourself under fluorescent lights five hours after you left the house. So when my local Benefit counter claimed to have the solution, I was intrigued and to be honest, a little dubious.

Stay, Don’t Stray Eye Primer and Concealer works in two ways – first it creates a smooth, crease free surface for your eye shadows to fall on – (think of it as laying a primer on a wall to fill in those cracks before you paint it) and secondly whatever you lay on top of it, it will grip on to.  Allegedly. Three dots above and below the eye is all the company claims you need and I should have listened, as at first I was too liberal and I looked a little like Beetlejuice’s Bizarro World twin (picture white ringed eyes instead of black).

The second time round I followed directions and the result was much better. I then applied my eye make up as usual and headed out. Five hours later I made a trip to the rest room to check out the progress. Conditioned to dread the sight of myself under those evil yellow lights, I approached the mirror as if it smelt bad.

Taking a deep breath I looked up and … nothing.  Well my eye liner had moved a little but was nowhere near as far as usual.  A soft wipe and all was back in place.  My lines and creases were still happily snoozing under a light coat of concealer and my eye shadow was still happy to stay on my brown bone. Two hours later and the story remained mostly the same.  Seven hours of laughing and animated talking had had a small effect but I didn’t feel like I needed to wash my face immediately and go hide in a corner, less the hag police make a surprise appearance.

Washing off my make-up (A MUST) was a little easier as well as those smoky colours hadn’t had a chance to melt into my skin.

Now if only they could create something to keep my eyes open after a long day and even longer night …

Stockists:,, and Benefit counters at participating Myer stores and boutiques.

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