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10 Best Eyeshadow Primers in 2020

 

Eyeshadow Primers – are they worth another step in your routine? Absolutely. Your eyes are the window to your soul, so oily slicks of eyeshadow are an unwelcome, preventable distraction. Evolving formulas and primer potion products are now silky, light, and fast-drying, locking down your look instantly.

They’re used to intensify eyeshadow pigment and achieve a flawless finish that won’t betray you as you run from the office to dinner. As makeup pros already know, eyeshadow primers are incredibly versatile. Try a dab under the eyes to prevent concealer creases, seal a spot for hours, or keep brows in place – it’s your secret weapon in a fix!

View The Best Eyeshadow Primers Below

1. Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Primer

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Primer

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When investing in your essentials, Korean skincare is still all the rage and with good reason. Blending ancient wisdom and modern culture, Elizabeth Mott’s perennially popular primer wins rave reviews. It’s the top of our list as the best eye primer overall.

Thank Me Later from Elizabeth Mott has gained a reputation for its effective, waterproof barrier against oil-prone skin, keeping its crease-free promise, even in humid environments throughout the day. The lightweight, non-greasy formula glides on smoothly and dries quickly to reveal the perfect even-toned, blank canvas to build on. Pearl powder helps to illuminate further and brighten the skin, so you get the very best from your shadows and liners for a big impact.

Pros:
+ Great for all ages and skin types
+ A perfect eyeshadow base
+ Keeps eye makeup in place all-day

Why We Liked It – Not only does this eye primer live up to the hype with its ease of use and staying power, it’s also unscented, paraben-free, and PETA registered, making one of the best primers out there. Give it a go today!


2. Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

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For a Premium Quality product, look no further than Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer. Also specializing in cruelty-free makeup, this brand delivers results, with a long-lasting eyeshadow base that can be worn alone or with color.

The oil-absorbing formula sets fast with no flaky patches appearing in your shadow, irritating your eye or ruining your work! Use your ring finger to glide onto lids gently and underneath the lower lash line to diminish imperfections, as the soft focus pearls work to banish dark circles. All eyes will be on you.

Pros:
+ Use on lids and under-eye area
+ Oil-absorbing formula
+ Luxurious feel

Why We Liked It – Perfect for glamming up your eye makeup or for more natural days, this primer gives you a bright, wide-awake eye without looking like you’ve put anything on at all.


3. Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Milani Eyeshadow Primer

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Gracing the runways of London and Milan fashion weeks, LA-based Milani offers the best value with their Milani Eyeshadow Primer. Priding themselves on real results for real people, and being affordable for all, this Jeffree Star approved eyeshadow staple, offers over 8-hour wear and a non-sticky texture on your lids. This means if you accidentally blink when applying, you won’t need to start over.

Its invisible finish means that whatever your skin tone, your eyeshadow is guaranteed to be vibrant and secure. Plus, whether you’re new to a primer or not, it’s pretty hard to get wrong! Just sweep the nude cream across your lids, wait 30 seconds and watch your makeup intensify effortlessly.

Pros:
+ Lightweight
+ Crease-free, invisible base
+ Vegan and cruelty-free
+ Suitable for every skin tone

Why We Liked It – For the price, you may be skeptical. But this eyelid primer gives some pricier eye primer brands a run for their money. It’s versatile, easy to use, and is a great starter primer if you’re nervous about color matching to your eyeshadow.


4. bareMinerals Prime Time

bareMinerals Prime Time

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When you need a sheer primer formula that doesn’t alter the color of your eyeshadow, look no further. bareMinerals Prime Time Original has been developed to work best with their Bare Essentials range of eyeshadow and makeup, but it also works like a dream with other cosmetics. Unlike some other eyeshadow primers out there, this one has: No. Drying. Time.

Yes, you heard it right. Glide a small amount of the lightweight primer over your lids with your finger (the silky texture means less is more here) and voila! What’s more, the oil fighting ingredients ensure you’re not left with a greasy finish around the eyelids. Plus, this primer guarantees an all-day, all-night flawless face.

Pros:
+ A little goes a long way
+ Staying power keeps eyeshadow in place all day
+ Apply and go

Why We Like It – This instant drying eye primer is a revelation. With so many steps in our routine, every second counts when putting on makeup. Eyeshadow looks true to color, but brighter on the eye and the lids and eyeliner go on easily, making the overall application a breeze.


5. Too Faced Eye Shadow Primer

Too Faced Eye Shadow Primer

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Waterproof, hydrating, and anti-crease shadow insurance in a sweep, Too Faced Shadow Insurance offers both a sheer and a champagne toned primer to make eyes pop. The unique champagne primer has a stunning shimmer that can be worn alone on the lids for a natural glow. Or you can turn up your look by pairing with eyeshadow to create a custom metallic eye.

This is a real day to night, all-in-one primer, taking you literally from desk to dancefloor with little effort or refreshing needed. As Too Faced Shadow insurance lasts up to 24 hours, it’s longer lasting than most eyeshadow primers, but you can also rest assured that your eyes are cared for and pampered with the added benefit of vitamin E to soothe and hydrate.

Pros:
+ Create metallic eyeshadow
+ Vitamin E soothes the delicate eye area
+ 24-hour wear

Why We Like It – The Too Faced shadow insurance is a multi-purpose eye primer with the potential to transform existing eyeshadow. What’s not to like? The hard-working 24-hour, crease-free primer is also one of the best and longest-lasting for hard-working (or hard-partying) people.


6. theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer

theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer

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Fun and funky brand theBalm delivers their Put a Lid On It eyeshadow primer in the best, super cute packaging you won’t want to throw away! The clean and easy squeeze tube ensures minimal mess. Just apply a dot of the perfect amount of primer onto a finger, dab away, and relax for a minute while the weightless cream dries.

Apply your eye makeup as normal, and you’re ready for a whole day of glamour. Filled with skin-saving ingredients, the soothing formula offers your eyes some love and care while preserving your makeup for hours, making this a timeless addition to your makeup bag.

Pros:
+ Quick-drying
+ Eyeshadow appears smooth
+ Cares for skin

Why We Like It – theBalm is such a cool and refreshing brand. Plus, they’re cruelty-free, they don’t use talc or parabens in their products. The eyeshadow primer not only keeps your peepers looking wide awake but also ensures your eye makeup stays in place all day.


7. Wet & Wild Photofocus Eyeshadow Primer

Wet & Wild Photofocus Eyeshadow Primer

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An award-winning brand, loved by makeup pros everywhere, Wet & Wild’s Photofocus eyeshadow primer provides Instagrammable results that enhance and improves the application of your eye makeup. Think of them as a helping hand to get the best from your shadow and eyeliner. Use the precise applicator to apply a small amount and watch as it dries clear and smooth. Apply shadow on top to increase intensity without the risk of spillage onto the rest of your face.

Pro:
+ Makeup artist favorite
+ Translucent when dry
+ Photo ready eye makeup

Why We Like It – There’s a reason you’ll find this brand of eyeshadow primer in makeup trailers in Hollywood! It’s affordable, smudge resistant, and gives the best photo finish, amplifying the effect of your cosmetics.


8. NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

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Winter, spring, or summer, the weather can always be a tad unpredictable, from showers that catch you unawares, to sideways rain lashing at you. It can spoil your day, not to mention your face. Well, fear panda eyes no more with this waterproof, smudge-proof primer from NYX.

Once smoothed on around the eye area, this vegan formula seals your shadow, making it waterproof without altering the texture or color. Fans of this product have claimed it lasts perfectly for up to 18 hours in adverse weather conditions. You could be outside at a sweaty festival in a thunderstorm and be confident you look camera-ready – well, your eyes will, at least.

Pros:
+ Crease free shadow
+ Wand applicator
+ Weatherproof

Why We Like It – Not only does this primer come with a handy applicator that keeps our hands clean, but it works brilliantly against the elements and in humid environments to keep eye shadow in place.


9. SUNSENT Eyeshadow Base Primer

SUNSENT Eyeshadow Base Primer

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With a clear, almost gel-like texture, this refreshing primer from Sunsent is suitable for all skin types and tones. Moisturizing ingredients plump the skin, helping to create a flatter, more even base. Apply a pea-sized amount and allow it to dry completely. This allows more of the pigment in your eye makeup to latch on to the primer, creating a depth of color that stands out from the crowd.

Pros:
+ Added Moisturizers
+ Enhances color
+ Suitable for all skin types

Why We Like It – The contrast between using primer versus getting made up without is stunning. Sunsent Base primer lasts for ages, making it a great buy. It emphasizes the effect of your makeup while providing moisture and care.


10. NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Eyeshadow Base Primer

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Eyeshadow Base Primer

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This is a little pot of magic. The cream-based primer is the second product on the list from NYX. Available in three colors, including a skin tone and black one, the White Pearl primer stands out with the ability to make the color appear 100 times more vivid on your lids. The pearl base creates an iridescent sheen, while the white eradicates imperfections to give you the boldest color yet.

Pros:
+ Pearl base illuminates skin
+ Color 100 x more vivid
+ 3 tones available

Why We Like It – When it comes to preventing fallout, this base primer from NYX hits the mark for fixing eye makeup in place. The innovative white base creates a flawless canvas for the most concentrated color possible from your shadows.


Special Mention: URBAN DECAY Eyeshadow Primer Potion 

URBAN DECAY Eyeshadow Primer Potion

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Ever popular, the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion is beautiful to look at and can be used with a range of colors to accentuate and fix your shadows. Whether anti-aging, optical blurring, clear, or deep caffeine appeal to you, Urban Decay has one of the best ranges of primers available to experiment with.


Eyeshadow Primers Buyer’s Guide

Primer is your friend and ally, and far from being just another thing to remember. It will quickly become essential once you (and others) see the difference. When looking for a top product, look for one that suits your needs best, whether it’s combating oily lids, staying put all day, or boosting the color of your eye products.

Eye primer isolated on white background

With so many choices, you may even find yourself ending up with a primer for two for different occasions. Sensitive skin types should look for ones with added moisturizers such as vitamin E to help soothe, whereas tired eyes will benefit from formulas with brightening pearl extracts. If you’re new to or nervous about primer then definitely try one that dries clear on the lids.

Choose a silky smooth finish to ensure that your eyeshadow blends well and only sticks in place when you’re ready! If you’re more confident, go for something like Urban Decay and play with tones under your shadow. No matter what, there’s a primer for everyone.

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