If you’re a makeup lover (and we know you are!), you’re probably used to experimenting with every primer under the sun, from eyelash primers to face primers and more. But if you’ve never tried out an eyeshadow primer, allow us to school you—because this is a lesson that will change your glam routine as you know it.
We chatted with makeup artist, content creator, and queen of gorgeous eye looks Jaleesa Jaikaran about what eyeshadow primers can do for you, plus what some of our favorite formulas are to keep your eye looks flawless for hours on end. Because, ICYMI, eyeshadow primers have so many benefits beyond just helping your makeup last.
About the Expert:
According to Jaikaran, “The natural creasing and oils on your eyelids will cause any eye makeup to fade. Using an eyeshadow primer helps it to last longer and, in most cases, give more vibrancy.” That means that swiping on an eye primer before eyeshadow will help boost color payoff to make bright shadows look brighter, and make any shade look more pigmented. Another benefit? As Jaikaran mentioned, the thin skin on your lids can produce oils that smudge makeup. “I love using a clear primer to help prevent oily lids throughout the day, especially if you're just doing liner or keeping the lid bare.”
With insurance built right into the name, we’re already feeling safer. This shadow primer by cult-favorite brand TOO FACED does it all, including neutralizing lid discoloration, providing waterproof protection, and intensifying the pigment of any shadow color. It also promises to lock eyeshadow in place for up to an impressive 24 hours.
SMASHBOX products come with a big reputation—and one they totally live up to. This eyeshadow primer is designed to last all day without caking, creasing, or fading, and it even comes in a few different shades to color-correct darkness, redness, and more. Plus, it helps protect the delicate skin on your lids from the sun's rays.
Ipster chase_presson says, “Very impressed by this primer. Love that the color is great for creating a base for eyeshadows and covering veins/darkness on the eyelid."
If you’ve read our smoky eye tutorial, you already know that we love using ELIZABETH MOTT's hydrating primer to lock in bold pigments all day. This formula dries down quickly and transparently to a pearl powder finish that combats oiliness, evens your skin tone, and brightens your eyeshadow. Need another reason to love it? This formula is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and helps protect your lids from sun damage.
Ipster denahopkins says, “This is a miracle. My eyeshadow looks the same when I go to bed as when I apply it in the morning. It only takes a small amount. I LOVE IT.”
This nude shadow primer creates a brightened-up base for your favorite pop of shadow color. Plus, since it has dermaxyl and kalpariane built into the formula, it helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and plumps, firms, and hydrates skin as it improves elasticity. Skincare + makeup = always a winning combo in our books.
Have sensitive eyes or struggle to find formulas that are contact lens-friendly? No worries—this vegan formula is so good and gentle on your eyes, it’s even backed by dermatologists and ophthalmologists. Bonus: The formula is also powered by an Eye Revive Complex, which supports your skin's natural collagen production.
Nothing’s worse than an amazing eyeshadow job that fades into a blurry mess in just a few hours. Lock your look in place with this lightweight shadow primer that’s made with only clean ingredients and is never tested on animals. BAREMINERALS is a foolproof brand to reach for if you have sensitive skin, and that includes the thin skin around your eyes!
Real talk: Who doesn’t love NARS? If anything, this primer proved to us that we just can’t live without this brand’s powerful formulas. This primer comes in five different skin-matching shades, and it uses a polymer and mineral powder blend that grips the shadow color you play with and keeps it crease- and smudge-free all day long. It’s even fortified with deep-sea extract and an antioxidant rice extract to soothe your skin.
Even if you’re not the type to wear eyeshadow frequently, you’ll still want to add this primer to your collection. Apply it just on its own to look a little more awake and refreshed, as the formula smooths out and brightens up eyelids without any additional product needed. It’s basically like your morning coffee in a primer form—minus the caffeine crash.
People with oily or sensitive skin, this one’s for you. In this formula, a blend of mineral pigments go to work to keep excess oils at bay, while ingredients like healing aloe, de-puffing arnica, and rosehip will help heal irritated skin. Wear this versatile primer alone or with cream or powder shadows to brighten up pigments and keep your lids crease-free for hours.
Because the skin around our eyes tends to be thin, any hint of discoloration has a habit of showing through, despite our best efforts to conceal it (*ahem* like those severe eye bags we got from staying up late scrolling through TikTok). Thankfully, this primer comes in a variety of colors like blue, peach, and more to correct discoloration on the eyelids and under the eyes. Pro tip: Peach brightens and lightens to correct tired, dehydrated skin, and blue minimizes purple and pink hues on the lids.
Whether you want your lids to be smoothed out, mattefied, or illuminated, MAYBELLINE has a primer for you. Even better, you can wear these alone or under your favorite shadow color. This primer comes packaged like a lip gloss so you can easily swipe it on with the sponge for even and precise application.
If you’re trying to pare down your makeup essentials, get this eyeshadow primer that also works on the lips for setting your favorite lip color. This formula is enriched with vitamin E, chamomile, and pomegranate seed oils to hydrate and protect skin from the elements. And you can bet it also keeps your favorite colors in place for all-day, smudge-proof wear.
Want in on all the IPSY Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.
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