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Best Eyeshadow Primer

What's the Best Eyeshadow Primer that you've tried?

NARS Smudge Proof is still my holy grail! 🙂 It helps products apply more smoothly, enhances pigmentation, and locks it in for all-day wear.
Thanks to Rachel for today’s topic!

— Christine


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Katherine T. Avatar

**Wet N Wild Fergie Take On The Day Primer –I’ve tried 20 of the top eye primers on the market, none work except for 2, and this is the best one for my oily lids. I’ve heard they are re-packaging it without the Fergie name, as the contract with Fergie ended
**Bareminerals 5-in-1 Advanced BB Cream in Linen –this isn’t as strong as the WNW one, but it does provide a base (WNW is more smooth silicone), the color Linen doubles as concealer/eye brightener for me (WNW is transparent), and has SPF (WNW doesn’t)

WARPAINTandUnicorns Avatar

It was the LimeCrime’s Eyeshadows Helper in the original pot (not the tube).

Now it’s MAC’s Soft Ochre Paint Pot and the Chromaline pots.

One I still like are Urban Deacy Original and Too Faced Shadow Insurgence for longevity. The colour of the shadows however are not as vibrant compare to the once potted primers.

Mariella Avatar

I’ve been happy with all the shadow primers I’ve tried – Too Faced, Urban Decay (original, Eden and Sin), Bare Minerals and LORAC – all have worked equally well for me. I’d thought of trying NARS but I’m so pleased with all the others that I haven’t yet and probably won’t until I finish up at least one of those that I have on the go now.

Fran Avatar

I have hooded lids and oily skin. When I was younger, MAC Paint Pot in Painterly was my fave. As I got more texture on my eyelids, though, it only seemed to emphasize that. So I switched to NARS Eye Paint in Porto Venere on the advice of an SA at Blue Mercury. It works great for powder eyeshadows. I’m still struggling with cream eyeshadows. They just love to crease on me, even the Laura Mercier caviar sticks. Everything but matte MAC Paint Pots and NARS Eye Paints. NARS, UD, Too Faced, Lorac, Laura Mercier primers have all failed to prevent cream shadows from creasing on my lids. So today I’m trying Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials Brightening Eyeshadow Primer. While not perfect, it seems to be holding up the best so far. It might be at least adequate to get my cream shadows to work on their own, instead of having to be set with powder shadows.

Ann Avatar

Thanks for sharing that – my biggest problem with eyeshadow primers is that they emphasize the texture of the skin on my eyelids. Will have to give the NARS product you mentioned a try.

Fran Avatar

Wwendy, what I’m using now is NARS Eye Paint in Porto Venere, as a primer. The bit of shimmer seems to diffuse the saggy, wrinkly texture (I’m 59). And shadows stick to it really well, without having their color altered.

Mariel Avatar

I know, what you mean.. It’s not easy to find good eye primer anymore:/ Have you tried Bobbi Brown’s Cream Eyeshadows already? I just ordered shade Bone because of I have heard that it would work very well as eye primer too 🙂

Lauren Avatar

I like the NARS one too. I have to use a primer and MAC paint pot though to get any shadow to stay/not crease/not fade. I heard from someone else with oily lids like mine that the Smashbox 24 hour primer is amazing. Think I might have to try that one next!

Michele @Binxcat4ever Avatar

Interesting, I don’t like the NARS primer at all. It doesn’t work for me (my lids get oily); I guess it depends on skin type and such. My go-tos are the Urban Decay Original or Eden (depending on the “pop” I’m looking for) or the new Dior 2 in 1.

Tracey E. Avatar

I use the UD eye shadow primer but find it heavy on my eye lids. I also bought a Lancome eye lid primer but it is awful in comparison. Bought a Bobbi Brown version but have yet to try it out. Once these are used, will look for another from the recommendations here.

Mariel Avatar

Thanks for great recommendation 🙂 I have to try it next! Do you know, is it oil free? I just bought Smashbox contour sticks and love them 🙂

Nancy T Avatar

Without a shadow of a doubt: WnW Fergie Take On The Day Eyeshadow Primer! It not only gives my eyeshadows their best intensity, pigmentation and excellent wear, but it is one of only two e/s primers tgat I’ve used that didn’t activate eczema on my eyelids that I’ve had happen with everything else! The other one that didn’t give me eczema was Nyx HD Eyeshadow Primer.

Katherine T. Avatar

Nancy, I’m also a huge fan of the WNW Fergie eye primer, but it’s disappeared from stores and websites everywhere. I heard that WNW is re-issuing it without the Fergie name (think the contract with her ended), but just in case they are DC’ing it, I stockpiled 6 tubes, should last me 10 years. I think you can still find some leftover inventory in stores (Walmart was the last one to carry it) and amazon.

Susan Avatar

I will add my voice to the choir for the NARS Smudge Proof. My one complaint is it is very expensive compared to how much product you get. I am currently using Smashbox’s eye primer, which I find to be very good and a better value than NARS

Nicole Avatar

I’m back and forth between the original Urban Decay and the Anti-aging formula. I think I like the latter a bit better. I really can’t tell much difference. As far as a white base for brightening, I usually use Painterly by MAC. But, I don’t like the dryness as I age. Maybe I need to try the UD Eden PP.

Erica Avatar

UD primer potion is highly overrated and my e/s never holds up. Mac paint pot in soft ochre is the only thing that keeps my e/s looking as it did when I first applied it in the morning!

Gen Avatar

I used the UD Primer Potion today with my matte palette. Everything’s almost gone. I’m going to have to experiment with another primer, but does anyone have any suggestions for good primers for matte shadows?

Wednesday Avatar

Sadly, I cannot do NARS smudgeproof any longer. Right now I’m working a little sample tube of Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion (original) and it is fantastic. It was not a product I cared for a number of years ago when I first tried it, but my lids were definitely much oiler then versus now.

I find I can slap this product on very quickly and easily. It does not adhere/stick to my skin in my more textured patches and therefore create uneven shadow application. It spreads easily across my eye using just my finger. It’s not thick and white so it’s not stiff and does not require a brush to apply. It’s a winner for me. Reference: 52 years old, good skin, but definitely textured skin issues around my eyes… especially the right corner or my right eye… It drives me batsh*t when creating my faux crease (I also have hooded eyes).. pffffttt..

Pearl Avatar

I really like MAC 24 Hour Extend Eye Primer because it stays a little bit tacky, but I bought a few UD eye primers when they were on sale at Sephora, so I’ve been using those and found they were comparable. I used to like NARS, but I found it doesn’t work nearly as well for my lids as MAC or UD.

Rachel Avatar

Love the NARS (-all time fav), but when my skin gets very sensitive and I need a moisturizing primer and I use the UD anti aging.

I’ve tried the cover fx anti aging and it feels nice, shadow applies well, but my shadow creases.

Aj Avatar

LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, it’s my number one and nothing’s better than that for me. I found out about it just before Sephora stopped carrying LORAC my senior year of high school when I was just getting into makeup. Thankfully a tube of it lasts me a good amount of time, so I don’t need to constantly replenish it.

Chelsea Avatar

UD Primer Potion is probably the best performance wise, but Benefit Air Patrol has an edge because it color corrects and provides SPF protection.

Pami Avatar

I don’t always use a primer, but when I do, my fav’s are NARS Smudge Proof which I like so much better than the original UDPP. UDPP in Anti-Aging & NARS Eye Paint in Porto Venere which brightens the lid beautifully. I find it works best for me applying with my fingers.

Arpita Avatar

Nars smudge proof, UD primer potion and The Balm Put a lid on it are the ones I usually buy… But UD ( the original one) is definitely my favorite

Anne Avatar

The one I’ve been using for ages is the Urban Decay one, but I’ve been hearing about the Nars one for ages now and due to my recent stop at the counter there, I’m seriously considering picking it up once my UD one runs out (or sooner if they are different enough).

Marta Avatar

Maybelline Color Tattoo. Locks eyeshadow all day (6am to 10pm) and does not make my eyes itch.
But I haven’t ever gone HE for primer. Wanted to get the UD primer potion but I am afraid it will itch me in a while as most wet formulas eyeliner/eyeshadow/primer do after a week or two.

Maggie Avatar

I have tried a lot. L’oreal de-crease was not worth trying BC it creased. Also tried rimmel, prestige, milani, lorac, bareminerals, Sephora, kat von d, MUFE, nars smudgeproof, smashbox, toofaced shadow insurance, all of the various UD primers, tarte, and there are probably some I forgot about. Urban Decay original performed the best but I get a horrible reaction if I use more than twice in a row–similar story with most primers so I stopped wearing shadow for a while. I think it has something to do with the drydown. Recently purchased TheBalm Put a Lid On It on Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation bc it wasn’t as drying as some primers and she is right. Still have not tested it with shadow.

Claire L Avatar

I like theBalm’s Take the Lid off eye primer, it’s very good on my oily eyelids. My next favourite is BareMinerals’ 5in1 primer, it provides a good neutral base as well.

Learnincurve Avatar

I use a coupe of non-primer products as primer, NYX shadow stick in milk, Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Infinite White when I want to fix bad shadow to make them pop, but my HG primer primer is TheBalm’s and I will be very sad when the little sample tube I got runs out.

Leslie Avatar

Best one I’ve tried is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I used to use UD Primer Potion but it got to where my e/s started creasing again while using it…not sure why. I wasn’t sure about Shadow Insurance the first time I tried it…it seemed too oily but when you put it on your lids, it’s like buttah lol and my e/s goes on so smoothly and WILL….NOT…CREASE for as long as I have it on. I love it.

Dreamer19 Avatar

All the eyeshadow primers I’ve tried have worked superbly on my very oily eyelids.
1. Artdeco (in a little black pot).
2. Lorac Behind the scenes.
3. Elf (sheer? or something like that)
5. CK One
(Since only nr.5 is available where I live now, that’s my latest purchase and I’m very happy with it.)

Laura Avatar

I like Urban Decay Original Primer Potion and Lorac lid primers equally well. I do not have oily lids, but I do have sensitive eyes, so I do care if the primer stings my eyes. I have tried several other eyelid primers which include NYX and MAC Paint Pots, but they are too heavy on my eyelids. So I stick to UD and Lorac.

pePear Avatar

I love both UD and Too Faced tho. I normally used Too Faced Shadow Insurance on everyday basic makeup but when I knew I need a little sticky primer to help my powdery/too creamy eyeshadows to work and not fall out under my lower lash I’ll used UD Primer Potion.

Sarah Jensen Avatar

Milani eyeshadow primer is my HG! I had read about it being amazing from somewhere along time ago and decided to give it a try. I’m never going back to anything else! And for the price you can’t beat it.

KJH Avatar

Thanks, ladies. Had a big ?deluxe sample? of Nars; did not suit me @ all. Prefer UDPP, anti aging. TFSI is ok. Painterly is good enough. I’m old & cannot expect unwrinkled lids. Agree with Fran that a bit of shimmer diffracts. Flat mattes, esp. In shadow, seem to emphasize the crinkle. Will try Porto Venere in-store. Haven’t ventured into eye paints. Also will maybe try to snag the WNW. Nancy will relate: now I’ve got psoriasis on inner upper lids. It’s spreading, and it hurts. Psoriasis never hurt before. Thought it was product, until I googled it. Wear shadow maybe once a week, when the mini plaques are low. My skin is basically oily, but drying out. (Thank god for Paula anti aging/anti acne line…)Time for the doc.

Lotte Avatar

I have very oily eyelids and all the eyeshadow primers that i’ve used just didn’t work for me. But recently i’ve been using the Smashbox 24 Hours Photo Finish shadow primer and i aboslutaly love it! Definitely a must try for people with oily eyelids!

Deidre Avatar

MAC 24 Hour Extend Eye Primer is the one I have been using for over a year now. I have tried many over the years but the MAC is the one that I am loving and have found works the best for me. I don’t have oily lids but my eyes tend to ‘eat’ eyeshadow so I have to use a primer otherwise all the hard work I do in applying my makeup will be for nothing after a few hours.

Cat Avatar

TF Shadow Insurance and UD’s Anti-Aging create the smoothest base on my dry lids, but I prefer the feel and performance of UD’s Eden or Enigma. I’ve never thought about mixing them to see how they work together until just now. It’s worth a try.

Andrea Avatar

I have tried just about every primer on the market. Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer is my HG. I also like NYX Proof It waterproofing shadow primer. I have super oily lids and these two are the only ones that keep shadow on my eyes.

Sacre Avatar

Catrice new primer with doe foot applicator. Is good with anything + mineral eyeshadows too, since it’s kind of siliconey-tacky. I have very oily lids – it’s the oiliest place on my face D:

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