Why does my eyeshadow never stay put for long?
Stars behind the scenes have long been a secret kept by professional makeup artists. They would use similar products like us, but somehow it always looked more vibrant and held longer.
Eyeshadow primer is one of those hidden magic potions. This multipurpose product is primarily used to improve the performance of eye shadows. When applied over a primer, any formula stays longer and blends better.
Primers come in different hues that blend with various skin tones. White primer serves to make eye shadow shades more vibrant for a dramatic effect.
Best eyeshadow primer preps your eyes for eyeshadow, assists with more extended wear, and makes the shadow easier to blend. It provides a smooth canvas to paint on, and keeps everything securely in place for hours.
We have put together the list of best eye primers to help you choose the right one just for you.
The 10 Best Eyeshadow Primers
1. Eyeshadow Primer Potion by Urban Decay
This award-winning, creamy primer for eyeshadow ensures the color stays vibrant and crease-free all day. It’s a customer favorite for a reason, due to the easy application and long-wear properties.
Related: Best Cream Eyeshadows
Eyeshadow Primer Potion lets you create endless looks that last. This creamy eyelid primer keeps your eyeshadow crease-free, your eye color vibrant, and your application smooth. It’s formulated with polymer technology, to serve as a perfect base for your eyeshadow and eyeliner, filling in any surface imperfections and prepping lids for all-day wear.
This vegan beauty essential is paraben-free and cruelty-free.
For best results, apply just a tiny touch of this formula before your eyeshadow for more vibrant color and crease-free, all-day staying power. Blend your favorite eyeshadow over this base for crease-free, custom looks.
2. Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eyeshadow Base by Estee Lauder
This eyelid primer comes in a sleek and elegant mini glass jar packaging. It’s lightly scented, creamy and lightweight.
Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eyeshadow Base by Estee Lauder is suitable for all complexions and skin types. It works to extend the wear of powder eyeshadow and keeps it smooth and crease-free.
It works wonderfully on every skin tone. This primer mattifies and brightens the skin without imparting any change of the original skin tone. It supports the corrector in hiding any dark circles or pigmentations without emphasizing crow’s feet or fine lines after a few hours of wear time.
The base easily spreads on skin with gentle dabbing motions, settling down to your skin tone with a brightening effect. It gives a dry matte finish and keeps your eye color in place with reliable staying power for up to 15 hours.
3. Photo Finish Shadow Primer by Smashbox
This eyeshadow primer works by locking on shadow and maximizing color vibrancy for 24 hours. This formula is proven to last for full 24 hours, whether you’re at a morning yoga class or after-hours drinks. It works great with oily lids, locking-in even the most shimmery shadows.
Related: Best Primers for Oily Skin
Smashbox’s 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer secures your eyeshadow in place. The color remains smooth, crease-free, and vibrant all day.
It delivers a layer of a smooth base onto your lids, making the application of every type of shadow a breeze. Photo Finish Shadow Primer acts like glue to lock on the eye makeup. The waterproof formula is resistant to sweat and humidity, preventing budging, fading, and creasing.
This product is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without fragrance and sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and phthalates.
Warm a thin layer between fingertips, apply on bare lids, and let it set for 30 seconds. Follow by an eye shadow, and you’re good to go.
4. Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base by MAC
Prep + Prime is specially formulated to prolong the look of your eye makeup. This eyelid primer keeps your eye makeup looking fresh and vibrant all day. It has the power to extend the wear of your eye shadow for up to 24 hours.
This innovative formula prevents shadows from creasing and fading while allowing hues to stay color-true for up to a full day. Lightweight and comfortable, it is infused with the rich antioxidant vitamin E and is ideal for all skin tones and types.
Prep + Prime base keeps the eye shadow color hold longer while preventing the formula from fading and creasing. It’s lightweight and suitable for all skin types.
This formula is ophthalmologist tested, dermatologist-tested, and non-acnegenic.
Related: Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin
The best eye primer application is to blend it all over the eyelid and allow it to dry. Wait about one minute before the application of eye makeup.
5. Stay Don’t Stray Primer for Concealers and Eye Shadow by Benefit Cosmetics
This dual-action power primer from Benefit works 360 degrees around the eyes to make concealers and eyeshadows stay put. It prevents your creamy products from creasing while keeping the color lasting, vibrant, and authentic.
It contains sodium hyaluronate to hydrate your lids and vitamins C and E to help fight crow’s feet, fine lines, and other aging signs. This moisturizing formula is perfect for the “no-makeup” look.
Dip and dab wand secures easy application and consistent results with the right amount of product. Apply three small dots under your eyes and blend well. Follow with three other small dots on eyelids, blend again, and let it set. Finally, apply concealers and eyeshadows as usual.
Stay Don’t Stray primer allows you to create dramatic looks, with distinctive shades that will hold. You can even wear it alone to minimize the appearance of dark circles and puffy lids.
6. Shape Tape 12 Hour Eye Primer Stick by Tarte
Shape tape stick acts as an eye primer, neutral eyeshadow, correcting the tint, and soft eye highlight in one. This multitasker is excellent for traveling, and it will keep your makeup crease-free and cake-free for up to 12 hours.
Tarte’s Shape Tape 12-Hour Eye Primer Stick comes with a creamy-smooth texture that’s easy to apply. It’s shaped like a pencil that you swivel up from the base, so there is no sharpening required.
The stick smoothly glides over the eye area, adding light coverage, pink-beige color, and a touch of shine. The color of this primer is ideal for light to medium skin.
Related: Best Contour Sticks
The crayon’s tip is convenient to both apply and gently blend eye primer. Just spread it across the upper eyelid from the lash line to the brow bone. It can also be used in the undereye area to neutralize dark circles’ appearance and prepare the skin for concealer application.
Tarte’s Shape Tape 12-hour Eye Primer Stick makes everything go on smoother and last longer.
The formula is 100% cruelty-free and fragrance-free. It contains nourishing shea butter to hydrate and pamper the delicate eye area, and Vitamin E as an antioxidant.
7. Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Primer by Too Faced
Like the name says, this primer provides a full-coverage insurance policy against all fading, creasing, melting, or blurring. No more oil-slicked and hard-to-blend eyeshadow accidents.
The Shadow Insurance silicone-based eyeshadow primer transforms any eyeshadow into a perfectly blendable, color-drenched, intensified version of itself. It takes the most out of your makeup and then locks it down perfectly. Your eyeshadow stays put until the time to take it off.
Its formula is skin-soothing, enriched with Vitamin E. The silicone base helps to even out the skin tone on your lids and minimizes crow’s feet and fine lines. At the same time, it secures a barrier between the oils of your skin and your makeup.
The Shadow Insurance will also help your eyebrow products to stay on all-day. One drop is enough, apply and blend evenly from lashes to brows before all tinted applications.
8. Prime Time Eye Primer by bareMinerals
An essential element for maximizing color intensity, the Prime Time Primer provides the perfect base for all your favorite eyeshadows. It’s designed to neutralize creasing and color fading while locking your makeup smoothly for a long-lasting effect.
The Prime Time eyelid primer is designed especially for Bare Escentuals eye colors but works as effectively with other brands. It helps eyeshadow effects last longer, build color intensity, and maintain a sleek and uniformed texture. Additionally, it combats excess oil so that your eyelids don’t look greasy and smudgy.
Apply our silky, lightweight primer to maximize your eye color, improve its wearability, and prevent creasing. It will work overtime, perfect for when you need all-day, all-night staying power.
This formula from bareMinerals is paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and SLS-free. It also contains no synthetic-fragrances, nuts, or talc.
9. Eye Shadow Primer by Bellaterra
Bella Terra’s Eye Primer allows for a more even application of your favorite eye shadows. It sticks the makeup to your eyelids, thus improving its performances and extending longevity.
With this primer’s help, your color will last throughout your day and continue well into the night. Additionally, Bellaterra Eye Primer is waterproof and resistant to tears, sweat, and humidity.
This base glides on smoothly and dries evenly, leaving no heavy residue. It will absorb excess oil and stop eyeshadow from settling into pores and lines.
Related: Best Primers for Large Pores
On top of all, it hides veins and conceals dark circles, supporting or entirely replacing your concealer.
Apply Eye Primer to the eyelid and blend from lash line to brow, before adding color. Additionally, Eye Primer can be mixed with glitters and shimmers before application to create a matte appearance, allowing for more versatility.
This formula contains only pure, healthy ingredients of the highest quality. It’s free of alcohol, talc, oil, additives, toxic chemicals, and Bismuth Oxychloride. Also, there are no fillers, harsh preservatives, dyes, or harmful chemicals, only pure and natural minerals.
Bellaterra primer is cruelty-free, hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory,
10. Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer by Elizabeth Mott
Thank Me Later Eye Primer works hard behind the scene to help the star genuinely shine. This cruelty-free primer enhances the performance of your eyeshadow and protects your makeup all day.
Apply it in the morning and go till night without worrying. Thank Me Later applies flawlessly, dries quickly, and transparently preps your eyelids for a silky, even application of your shadow.
This transparent, long-wear eye base locks in and improves your shadow color for a flawless look. Its paraben-free formula features a sebum-controlling powder that combats oiliness and pearl powder that enhances eye shadow color. At the same time, it brightens and balances your skin tone.
Thank Me Later is a lightweight, well-balanced primer that will prevent creasing and locks the color.
Elizabeth Mott is a cruelty-free brand engaged in PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Do I need a primer for eyeshadow?
Not everyone needs an eyeshadow primer, but everyone can benefit from using one. If your eyelids are prone to oiliness, or your shadow creases, then a primer is the perfect product for you. It will also help your eye makeup last longer, especially if you live in hot or humid weather.
Is eyelid primer necessary?
While the primer is not the obligatory step in your makeup routine, it certainly offers significant benefits. Eyelid primer sticks your shadow to the eyelid to ensure it stays in place, improving wearability and overall performance of eye makeup.
Is face primer the same as the eye primer?
Some women use their foundation or face primer as an eyeshadow base. While it may look like the same type of product, formulas are a bit different. Face primers do not feature the same adhesive properties and won’t hold shadow in place as effectively as eye primers.
The Best Eye Primer is a Hard Worker
Eye shadow primer is a useful multitasker. It will even out skin color and discoloration for better, more even color application. For those suffering from dark circles and puffy eyelids, a primer for eyeshadow works like a charm.
Primer formulas affect the pigments in eye shadows, helping you to achieve more color. Additionally, they act as a barrier between skin and makeup, keeping oils away from the eye shadow to prevent fading or smudging.
When used underneath the eyes, the best eyeshadow primer also works to support your concealer, making it last longer.
Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!