Of the various lotions and potions applied to your face during makeup application, I find eyelid primer to be one of the most important. Since the eyes tend to be the focal point of most looks, using primer underneath the shadows can really help in packing a punch!
The picture above helps illustrate the power of eyelid primer because the swatches with no primer look far more sheer and have less vibrancy when compared to the swatches over primer. In addition to amplifying color, eyelid primer also helps shadows last longer, prevent creasing, and in some cases it also can control oil or cover imperfections on the lids.
Using an eyelid primer is quite simple; you dot a small amount on your lids and blend it all in before you get started with your eyeshadow look. No fuss, no muss.
Up until recently eyelid primer was normally only found in high end brands, but with increasing popularity some drugstore brands have started carrying more affordable options so you don’t have to break the bank in order to have fabulous eyeshadow.
If you’re new to eyelid primer and don’t know where to start here are some popular options:
Urban Decay Primer Potion, $20
Although Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP) is a bit on the pricey side, this cult favorite is worth the splurge and with 0.37 oz of product per tube you won’t be needing to buy anymore any time soon! UDPP also recently redesigned their packaging so the primer is now in a sanitary squeeze tube and not in a bottle with an applicator (the problem with bottled primers is that the oil or whatever is on your lids transfers to the applicator and back into the product which alters it and you also end up wasting product because you can’t extract it all once you’ve gotten to the point that the wand can’t reach it).
This primer comes in 4 different shades:
- Original (no pigmentation)
- Sin (a sheer champagne shimmer)
- Greed (a sheer yellow gold)
- Eden (a matte light nude).
Out of the 4 I would recommend Original and Sin since they work the best.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer, $18
Another pricey (but good) primer. Shadow insurance also comes in a tube so the product will stay more sanitary and you get the maximum amount of product. This tube contains 0.35 oz of product so you’re getting quite a bit.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance also comes in several varieties:
- Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer (sheer light nude)
- Shadow Insurance Lemon Drop (a sheer yellow which neutralizes discoloration)
- Shadow Insurance Candlelight (a sheer light golden glow)
NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base, $24
Even though this primer comes in a bottle with a doe-foot applicator and it’s on the pricey side, I still recommend it because it’s good for people with oily lids. It’s also more light weight than most other eyelid primers. NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base has 0.24 oz of product, and due to the fact that it’s in a bottle and has less product than a lot of other eyelid primers you may find yourself “running out of product” after a few months. What’s actually happening is that the applicator can’t reach the product on the walls or bottom of the bottle and you can cut it open and scoop the rest into a little sanitized jar so you can get the most for your money.
NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base comes in one color which is non-pigmented.
Palladio Herbal Eye Shadow Primer, $7.99
Here’s a cheaper option when it comes to eyelid primer and although it does it’s job well you’re saving money but sacrificing product. There is only 0.17 oz of product in Palladio Herbal Eye Shadow Primer, but even that small amount is enough to keep you going for a few months. Since this is a bottle with an applicator, you can cut it open and scoop out the product once you find that the wand isn’t reaching it.
Palladio Herbal Eye Shadow Primer has one shade which is non-pigmented.
e.l.f Essential Eyelid Primer, $1
If you’re really on a budget this little primer is the way to go! It’s incredibly cheap, but don’t let the price tag fool you into thinking that it’s a bad product. This stuff works pretty darned well. I highly recommend this for people just getting into makeup that don’t want to shell out the big bucks. Again, you’ll have to cut open the tube and extract the rest of the product once you can’t reach it with the wand.
e.l.f Essential Eyelid Primer comes in 4 shades:
- Sheer (non-pigmented)
- Champagne (a sheer champagne)
- Pearl (a sheer silvery pearl)
- Golden (a sheer gold)
I’ve only ever tried ELF and UD primers but they both work just about as well. Some people say they have way better results with Shadow Insurance but I haven’t had reason to try it.