Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Best Eyeshadow Primer…?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so great?

Thanks to Janelle for today’s topic!

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146 thoughts on “Hit List: Best Eyeshadow Primer

  1. Erica

    Urban Decay Primer Potion, especially in Sin. It never fails!

  2. UDPP and Kat von D High Voltage primer!~

  3. I’m in love with Shadow Insurance of Too Faced. I have oil eyes and it’s the only one that the shadow stays in the eye for many hours. How many? 12 hours!

    • Jamie A

      I second Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I have oily lids and have tried UD Primer potion in original and eden. They both crease whereas TFSI does not.

  4. Melissa

    NARS. No doubt about it.

    A lot of people I know complain about creasing, but the trick is to let it dry a little first.

  5. Caroline F.


  6. Ellen

    I really like the Too Faced Shadow Insurances (both original and candlelight). I’ve had great success with them helping make my eyeshadow last all day. Also, the Candlelight adds a pretty gold sheen to your eyes, so I make sure I add it all the way to my brow for highlighting!

  7. Becky

    Hands down, urban decay!

  8. GUSnail

    For me, it’s MAC Paints. Paint pots and MUFE Aqua creams crease on me. The Paints have been the best on my oily lids.

  9. Kristina

    I use Urban Decay. It’s very long-lasting and powerful

  10. I’ve been using Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper since June and I really like it with my semi oily lids. Too Faced Shadow Insurance has been a good one to use for many years but I find the Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper also intensifies the colour a bit more. *_*

  11. My personal favorite is NYX jumbo eye pencils. I love how they create a slightly sticky surface to grip onto powder better, but they don’t crease under the powder.

  12. Laura R

    Urban Decay Primer Potion. Works great for me. I like the Eden too, but the original is so versatile that I have to say it’s at the top. Eden’s more matte, so depending on the look you’re going for it may or may not work.

  13. Kristabelle

    I hate to say it, because i reallyy hate the company, but I can’t live without Lime Crime Candy Eyed shadow helper. It really brightens colors and keeps them on forever, I always have fading with UDPP. I feel bad every time I order candy eyed but I really do love it.

  14. Em

    UDPP!!! I prefer the color Eden because it evens out my eyelids while helping my eyeshadows go on more vibrant and last longer.

  15. Trina

    Urban Decay tops the list as best overall, but ironically I like Too Faced Glitter Glue shadow insurance with UrbanDecay glitter shadows such as midnight cowboy.

  16. Chelle

    Urban Decay Primer Potion, the original one.

    Sin is awful – the stuff gets everywhere and you end up having shiny places on your lids where you didn’t want the shine!

  17. Certain brands of shadows work better for me with different primers.

    Chanel, Inglot, The Balm and any mineral shadows get Too Faced Shadow Insurance to bring out their full glory

    Everything else gets Urban Decay Primer Potion.

    For anchoring eyeshadow as liner or wetlining, Inglot Duraline kills it.

  18. Jae

    My favorite/HG is NARS primer. I’ve used several different ones and have always come back to NARS – no creasing, absorbs quickly and hands down! =)

  19. Carly

    I used Urban Decay Primer Potion for a while and loved it, but I decided to try something new. I’ve been using MAC Painterly Paint Pot & it normally works very well. I’ve had a few times where it’s creased, but I think I didn’t use enough. (I have very oily skin)

  20. Lately I’ve been loving Smashbox Photo Finish Lid primer.

  21. Monica


  22. Jessica

    Top 3: UDPP or Too Faced Shadow Insurance for basic primers, Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Flax or Wheat(?) if I want to even out the color, too. UDPP or TFSI + Laura Mercier for SERIOUS staying power (but sometimes can be a bit drying if used to often).

  23. Liz

    UDPP, it was the first eye primer I bought and it works wonderfully. I haven’t tried any others because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  24. Amelia

    I love UD primer potion and NYX eye shadow base.

    I have a friend with oily lids and she said milk of magnisia (totally spelt that wrong) works wonders as a base for her

  25. Laurence

    Urban Decay Primer Potion and Mac Soft Ochre Paint pot :)

  26. Emily

    UDPP and MAC’s Painterly

  27. I’ve tried Mac paint pots, UD primer potion and NYX eyeshadow base and so far ai love MAc paint pots. It stays and is waterproof.

  28. I like MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as an eye primer but for a bargain eye primer I recommend ELF Lid Primer, I picked it up from Target when I was on holiday in the USA last year for $1 absolute bargain and works very well :) Jude x @jadlgw

  29. Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
    Loving it from 4 years, I tried other products but it stands out to me so much… make up lasting all day and more (I tested over 20 hours) and I have oily lids.

  30. Dana

    I like UDPP and TFSI, but my favorite primer is NARS.

  31. nitnot

    Just a verdict from someone with VERY oily lids:

    UDPP – creases in a couple hours, then oily mess. Hard to blend.
    Bare Escentuals Primetime Primer Shadows – 4 hours then creases. Then oil mess. Also migrates. But beautiful on the eyes.
    MUFE Aqua Eyes – lasts pretty much all day with some fading after 6 hours. Some oil, but very tolerable.
    UD Shadow Pencil – haven’t worn past 4 hours but up til then, still pretty much perfect. Wish they make matte shades.

  32. t_zwiggy

    The best one for my lids is NARS Smudgeproof. But even with that primer and good quality eyeshadows I get some creasing after about 5-6 hours. I can usually get 3-4 hours without creasing with UDPP and maybe 2 with TFSI (but the last one fades and smears on me). Poor quality shadows (like NYX) only last about 1 hour on me (regardless of primer). Without any primer everything creases withing 5-10 minutes. I really hate having super oily lids :(

    • nadine

      Have you tried letting the primer dry completely first?

    • AnnC

      I thought i was the one! My first primer was UDPP, my eye make up used to last all day. I dont know what happened but it stopped working, and ever since I hv tried Lorac, MUFE, NARS and so far NARS is the best to prevent creasing, but only for 4-5 hours, 6 if i’m lucky.

  33. Tori

    Nars smudge proof primer. It allows for easy blending

  34. nana k

    i used to LOVE Bobbi Brown shadow sticks for years until they were discontinued; then i moved onto MAC shadesticks, which are okay, but they are also not permanent. now these three are my faves:

    NARS smudge proof eyeshadow base
    MAC paint pots with matte finishes
    MAC select moisturecover concealer (for me this is a bad concealer, but a great base for the lid)

  35. Ann

    I use L’Oreal De-Crease. My eye make-up still looks good and crease-free after 16 hours.

    • Vanessa

      Me too! L’Oreal primer works better for me than UDPP or TFSI. Also MAC paint pots stay all day on me.

    • Katrina

      I wonder if body chemistry plays a role in how the primers work, since the same primer doesn’t work for everyone. L’Oreal De-Crease was the worst for me. I hope that Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo eyeshadow comes out in a nude color; their formula makes a great base.

  36. Mango the mango

    My favorite is Lorac Behind the Scenes. TFSI comes in second.

    I must have freak eyelids, because UDPP creases on me! :(

  37. Angel

    Stila paint pot in “Taffy”!

  38. amy

    I don’ have the issue of oily lids, nor are the particularl dry, so I can get by with a bit of Maybelline concealer stick. Long ago, I used Max Factor Erace, in white, or Wet N Wild, but those have been sadly DC’d. It took some trial and error before I finally settled on Maybelline’s formula. It costs about $6, and lasts a really long time. I can’t say if it holds as long as say UDPP, as I remove my makeup after only 6-8 hours.

  39. Marie

    NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow base, hands down.

    I tried the Urban Decay Primer Potion, and it creased on me after a few hours. Still better than without it, but I need my eyeshadows to last longer.
    I liked the Too Faced Shadow Insurance until the product started seperating after a couple of months.
    So I turned to the NARS one, and it works wonderfully well.

  40. Gisela

    Too Faced Shadow Insurances (original)..very nice texture!

  41. MonicaP

    None. I mean they all crease on me and I’ve tried them all from Urban Decay, Nars, Two Faced, Benefit Stay Don’t Stray .. etc.

    Makeup Forever Aqua cream shadows are probably the best for me with the least creasing .. guess I’m just an oily eye lid gal :-(

    • Ali

      I know this feeling. I’ve tried a good deal of those super popular primers (Nars, Two Faced, Benefit, etc.) and have had immediate creasing issues – Benefit’s will crease before I even get my shadow applied! Used to use Urban Decay but a recent change had my lids increasing oil production (my skin may be better than ever but my lids are imitating the Exxon Valdez spill), so UD is now out.

      Bare Minerals worked for a small while (guess my lids weren’t used to it) but now only last a couple of hours.

      A combo of UD and Kat Von D (because I love that sparkle/shimmer primer) will give me a few extra hours these days.

      For a cheap solution, I’ve found that Nyx (the pot works better than the one in the little tube) works decent well. Still, it doesn’t have that extreme staying power you’d want and need for a long day.

      For my go-to these days, I’m a Laura Mercier girl. The primer in the little tubes (like lip gloss) works the absolute best, but they don’t give the colour punch that you’d get with using the UD primer.

      Laura Mercier’s new primer (in a pot) is supposed to be for oily lids exclusively, and I can definitely attest to it working. You’re supposed to apply with a brush only (which I don’t always), so that makes it a pain. But it does dry relatively translucent and does give some of that oomph to shadows like you’d get from the UD primer. The Sephora reviews on it are surprisingly bad, but I’ll say that this was pretty much my last option before giving up eye shadow except for night outs and other [short] events [that don’t involve dancing and/or heat].

    • Katrina

      It seems counterintuitive, but I find that it helps a lot if I apply a gentle moisturizer on my eyelids the night before. Otherwise, my eyelids get crazy levels of oil trying to overcompensate for lack of moisture. The rest of my skin and my eyes (inside, eye drops for this to prevent watery eyes) do the same thing.

  42. The best primer is “eye shadow helper” from Lime Crime! :)

  43. Chelsea

    Nars, definitely! UDPP didn’t work at all on me.

  44. Mel

    MAC paint pot in Painterly. Nothing works like that one does for me. I personally have never understood the U D primer obsession as they do nothing for me.

  45. Stefani

    Too Faced Shadow Insurance, I was actually really surprised how long it lasted for me, I wore it to a concert where I was in the crowd for hours and my eyeshadow stayed all night long!

  46. NARS hands down! Blows UDPP out of the water.

  47. Laura

    Urban Decay Primer Potion is my favourite. But MAC paints/paint pots are pretty good too.

  48. Miss J

    The two that work the best for me are MAC Paints and Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original.

    I’ll give a lil background info… I have a fold in my eyes/slightly hooded lids, and that spot gets SUPER oily. My entire lids are oily, but even more oil collection in that crease. Without eye shadow primer, my eye shadow disappears within a few hours. The first eye shadow primer I ever tried was L’Oreal De-crease, which didn’t do anything at all…applying that product was the same as if I didn’t put any primer on at all. The next product I tried was MAC Paint in Bare Canvas, which I did really like. Paints are a drier formula, so it worked well, but I would still get fading and creasing in the fold of my eye. I was told by a girl at MAC to try UDPP, so I did, and when I first started using that product I didn’t experience fading or creasing, but then maybe after 6-8 months of using it, I started to notice creasing again. WompWomp. :( I thought maybe it was just because it was an older tube or something, so I repurchased and also got the Eden formula, too. Unfortunately, UDPP never went back to fully working for me, but I haven’t found anything better for my oily lids, yet. Eden seems much creamier, and even when I get a pin sized dot of product, it still spreads out too much and never dries down enough to not crease and fade. I’ve also tried Paint Pots and Shadesticks (MAC) as well as Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I love the tones of Painterly and Soft Ochre as well as how they feel on my lids and grab shadows, but they do crease on me more than UD. Shadesticks didn’t crease, but tugged too much at my lid, and my lids always felt tight after using the product…plus, they applied splotchy anyway, so wasn’t my favorite. TFSI didn’t work at all for me. I thought because it felt tackier than other bases that it would grab, hold in place, and intensify shadows better, but it seemed to dull down that colors, and it creased. I’ve tested NARS Smudgeproof Base on the hands, and it feels like it could work on the eye, but for the price tag + little amount of product, I just can’t bring myself to buy the full product.

    Are there any other primers out there to try? I know I wrote a novel above, sorry! I just get so discouraged from putting on eye makeup because I spend the money on good quality products and the time to pick colors, apply, blend, etc. And then it only last nicely for a few hours. :( Waaah.

    • Shemariah

      Bare Escentuals Prime Time Eyelid Primer, hands down the best! I don’t understand why UDPP is such a beloved favorite, because it creases on me within 2 hours. I tried waiting for it to dry, not waiting for it to dry, didn’t matter. It always creased. I also tried the Nars primer and got the same results. Finally I tried the Bare Escentuals Primer and I found my HG! It holds up for 12 hours on me, and probably would hold up longer, but who wears make up for more than 12 hours? You should try it. Good luck!

      • Miss J

        Thanks, Shemariah! I appreciate your response, and will definitely add the BE one to my list!!

        • Jackie

          I have the same problem with my lids.. I noticed that painterly works better if I put a little on my crease area, then spread it up and down from there.. and don’t use too much.. also Benefit Stay Don’t Stray is like a holy grail primer for me, I put it on the same way, dot it in my crease, then spread it out from there, a little goes a long way.. Also, if you go to sephora, ask the people on the floor for samples of primers you want to try, they’ll be happy to oblige, then you don’t break the bank on shtuffs that won’t work for you. 😉

      • I’m with you, Shemariah! BE original eye primer works best for me. UDPP creases like CRAZY on me! I also like MAC paint pot in Bare Study.

  49. Sarah M

    My favourites are NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (original) and MAC Paint Pots.

  50. Lime Crime helps the most with color payoff, but it can be pretty tacky on the skin and sometimes hard to use. Otherwise, blah blah UDPP blah blah I’m a lemming blah blah.

  51. Janelle

    Yay my question made the list!!! I’m currently using Urban Decay and I have tried Mac paint pots and Laura Geller spackle. I like UD the best. I still have problems sometimes. I use the All nighter spray by UD sometimes and it helps. Just wanted some other choices! THANKS!!!!

  52. tuss

    Urban Decay Primer Potion. 12 hours wear or more, I never go that long with makeup. Makes the colours look great. =)

  53. BH Cosmetics Lip and Eye Primer works very well; a little too well. You have to use a skin tone lid color first to blend colors, but the shadows last all day. I also like UDPP – Original.

  54. Nars, is the best. The shadow stays put all day.

  55. Mariella

    For long wear and providing a perfect “blank canvas” on my lids, hands down it’s UDPP in the shade Eden. For long wear, good ol’ UDPP (the original) and for providing a blank canvas and reasonable wear (though not summer sauna weather/14 hour plus wear) MAC Painterly Paint Pot. So, “best” is really Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden.

  56. Cat

    I have only tried UDPP and Mac Paint Pots. I use Mac Paint Pots.

  57. barbara

    my e.l.f. eyelid primer never lets me down!

  58. Olivia

    Bare Escentuals eyelid primer is the best so far

  59. AdelinaItaly

    MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre…. I can’t live without it!

    • Sandra

      my new favorite is Nars smudgeproof. Easy blending,doesn’t change color of the e/s and keeps shadows for many hours without creasing

  60. Sandy

    UDPP in original for me, although I haven’t tried others.

  61. Bertha

    UD Primer Potion. I’ve tried the Too Faced, NARS, and Prime Time but I always go back to the UD.

  62. Violet

    What do people think of the one by Gosh? I have it, but I’m a little on the fence about it.

  63. I love Urban Decay Primer Potion (the original one) I also really like using cream shadows, especially the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liners, they truly do not crease, which I love. (:

  64. Makaegan

    Just out of the plain old primers (keeping paint pots, aqua creams, etc out of the mix) I’m definitely most impressed with the Nars eye primer. UD and Too Faced are good, but I always feel that they start to wear off about 8 or 9 hours into the day. But I’ve worn the Nars for nearly 48 hours–all day in the California sun and then through an overnight flight–and it didn’t budge. I’m still working on using up my other primers, but after they’re gone I’m undoubtedly sticking with the Nars. It’s amazing.

  65. Jennifer

    Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

    I much prefer this to Urban Decay since it controls oiliness much better and has a smoother, more spreadable, consistency.

  66. Krystal

    Control Freak by Glamour Doll Eyes.
    It’s so smooth on your eyes and you barley use any of it. Last’s all day long without any creasing. It’s all natural and made by hand by the lovely Vee (owner of GDE) It only cost about $12 or so (can’t remember exactly) and has .39oz of product in a nice little air tight tin.
    I am so in love with it. I find it works so much better the Urban Decay Primer Potion.

  67. Cyntha

    I love Urban Decay Primer Potion in original. It makes the colors stand out and stay all day. Greed is good too for gold looks.

  68. Taylor Sutton

    I love my Laura Mercier Eye Basics. It works so well and keeps my eyeshadow in place all day!

    • Brenda

      yes! I second this. I can’t believe theres so little comment about laura mercier, her eye basics primer is AMAZING!!!!

  69. JenJ

    Nars, Nars, Naaaars!!! *throws glitta*

  70. Stephanie t-p

    Nars smudge proof for matte looks, mac bare study paint pot for shimmer

  71. Dominique

    Urban Decay ! Without it eyeshadows never hold very long whatever the brand I use.

  72. MAC soft ochre paint pot

  73. Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper is the one!

  74. Tyler

    For non-creasing: NARS Smudge Proof

    For color-intensity: Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper

  75. cyan4c

    i love the ARTDECO eyeshadow base with passion. it’s only available in europe, around 5 Euro and has never failed me.

  76. Jackie

    Painterly Paint Pot by MAC, or Benefit’s Stay don’t stray… that stuff is amazing.

  77. Let me guess. Everyone is going to say Urban Decay Primer Potion!

  78. Erica

    Too Faced Shadow Insurance
    Urban Decay Primer Potion

    It’s a toss-up!

  79. Tessa

    My ArtDeco primer is the best. :) I am currently trying out UD, but I don’t think it’s that great. It creases after 5 hours. I wonder why this ‘holy grail’ doesn’t work for me..

  80. By far and away, Laura Geller waterproof eye spackle!!!

    I have oily eyelids, plus seasonal allergies which can cause my eyes to water – so the product has alot to overcome. It is a creamy formula in a brush pen, so very easy to apply and blend. Let it dry for a couple of minutes and apply your eyeshadow – works for creamy as well as powder eyeshadow formulas.

    I have tried many eyeshadow primer products over the years (I am in my fifties) and this is the only one that works.

  81. barbiewithmuscle

    I’ve never like UD or TFSI. For the longest time I used the Laura Mercier which will ALWAYS be in my collection, and finally watched gossthemakeupartist talking about the lime crime primer. OMG… Did a gross test. Kept my eyeshadow on without creasing for 36 hours and I have hooded eyes, THAT should tell you something.

  82. Liz

    I’ve tried them all, seriously. And they always crease horribly on me, maybe I’m doing it wrong? But so far, my favorite and the best I’ve tried are MAC Paint pots, love ’em. It’s like painting on a smooth, blank canvas.

  83. Alexandra Escobar

    I have so many primer’s such as NARS, UDPP, Too faced, MAC paint pots, etc, but I love Lorac: Behind the Scenes primer. I feel it doesn’t get enough acknowledgement. It’s great. The consistency is like UDPP but I think a whole lot better. I also like Kat Von D’s primer in the flesh tone shade.

  84. Keyonna

    I used to LOVE UD Primer Potion but I got a sample of tarte’s Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Primer and love it more! I find myself reaching out for it.

  85. Alexandra

    Art Deco is the best!

  86. Diana

    Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I found that Urban Decay PP creased on me by noon. Something about the ingredients just didn’t agree with me. With my Shadow Insurance, my shadow lasts all day until I take it off (sometimes at 10pm or later).

  87. Madison

    i use anything. right now i switch between urban decay and too faced. if i don’t use a primer then i get creasing but it doesn’t matter too much which one i use. although i was using e.l.f for a while but it doesn’t last that long so I through them out after going out all day and my bold eye makeup creasing on me half way through =(

    I always use a m.a.c paint pot on top of them though.

  88. Tinkerbell

    mac paint pot in soft ochre! i find it a bit dry and it tugs my lids, so i apply it with a damp brush. once set, it doesnt crease.
    i use it more as an under eye concealer than shadow base, and it stays all day long! love it!!

  89. Ana

    Too Faced Shadow Insurance… It feels so smooth on my lids and really works!
    UDPP it’s quite drying on my lids and my shadows crease!

  90. Veronica

    I have fairly dry to normal skin with little oil on the lids, but I do have a very sharp crease and deep set eyes that cause folding on the lids themselves and crease makeup easily.

    The first primer I ever tried was Sephora brand, and I was surprised at how well it lasted on me. It does start fading around eight hours, and I had the tiniest bit of creasing in the outer corner, but otherwise it wore quite well.

    The only UDPP I have was a sample that came with my Naked palette. It held up decently, but I didn’t have the AMAZING results a lot of friends talked about. I actually had fading in about about the same time as the Sephora, though it did anchor it slightly better. Still vascillating over whether I was impressed enough to go for the full tube. I think I’m more likely to try something new, like Too Faced’s.

    I also have to add that I envy anybody who can use cream shadow/paint pot/pencil (NYX jumobs, espcially) as bases for eyeshadow. If it’s even slightly sticky or dry, it causes outrageous creasing on my lids. o_0

  91. Ginny

    I think that the best primer is Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin. It’s perfect if I don’t have time for eyeshadow and just want a nice gleam, but its also perfect to put under shadows so they don’t budge and the shimmer comes out in them.

  92. Felicia

    Lorac’s “Behind The Scenes” eyeshadow primer is an even better version of Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which was my holy grail primer for years and years! It works on every type of skin and holds for hours and hours. I got it in my Lorac Unzipped palette (which is probably one of the the best palettes of all time – so gorgeous), and fell in love. I’ve fallen asleep with my eye makeup on by accident, and when I wake up? No exaggeration, it still holds perfectly and my makeup still looks beautiful…not to mention, there’s never any on the pillow!

    EVERYONE should try it. Love, love, LOVE.

  93. Liz

    UDPP has worked well for me! No need to try any other unless I end up with a sample some day.

  94. C_Justine

    Hard decision: I love the Urban Decay potion primer, but because of the package I’m going to vote for Shadow Insurance of Too Faced! Great stuff! And you can cut the package at end to really use it all.

  95. Emily O.

    Reading my Bust magazine this month and they had a small feature on Doe Deere. I sort of felt violated. Do people know her business ethics and still choose to patronize her business? This is a completely honest question.

    I still haven’t found a primer that works, I have NARS, Pixie Epoxy, UDPP, Benefit, Laura mercier, and TFSI, Le sigh.

  96. Nars is best for my oily lids :-)

  97. For me it really is UD primer potion. I used to use Too Faced Shadow Insurance, but my eyelids suddenly became super oily after a dry winter and UDPP kept my eyeshadow the longest of any of them. I couldn’t go an hour without creasing when I used anything else.

  98. nadine

    NARS smudgeproof primer…hands down!