What is Eyeshadow Primer?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2018
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Eyeshadow primer is a cosmetic that is used to coat the eyelids prior to the application of eyeshadow so that the makeup can be applied in a smooth, even layer, and so that it will stay in place on the eyelid. Some people find that creases appear in their eyeshadow during the day as the result of simply blinking and normal eye movements. Primer works to keep these creases from appearing and can also help to boost the vibrancy of the eyeshadow color.

Most kinds of eyeshadow primer come in either a tube or small tub and are applied either with a brush or with a wand with a soft end. A concealer brush can be used to apply it as well. Although there are slight variations in the colors of the primer, most come in shades that blend in with most skin tones. This is because the purpose of the primer is not to accent the eyelids with color, but to prepare them for eyeshadow that will serve that purpose.


Although the primer has a slightly wet consistency, it dries quickly once it is applied. In order to make sure that it dries correctly, the cosmetic should be applied in a thin, even layer. Once it has dried, there is a smooth, even surface that will accept eyeshadow well and will work to keep it in place. The principle behind the use of eyeshadow primer is quite similar to the principle behind using primer on a wall: creating an even layer of the product covers the structure beneath and creates a better surface for the top coat of product.

This cosmetic can be especially important to people who spend their days in warm or humid conditions. The condensation of humidity or sweat on the eyelids can cause eyeshadow to crease, move, and even run, and using a primer can keep this from happening. The product can also be important for people who like to wear very dramatic eyeshadow, which, if smudged, can go from looking beautiful to messy in the blink of an eye. By simply keeping the eyeshadow in place, primer eliminates this problem.


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Post 5

Factor 50+ sunscreen also acts as a good primer; the really cheap high factor sunscreens (the ones that go on thickly and make your skin whiter) do this very well.

Also, some of my friends use Sudocrem in very small quantities, but the oils in it can irritate your eyes.

Post 4

@SauteePan -I wanted to add that the eye area is really sensitive and when you apply concealor you should apply it lightly using your ring finger from one hand to hold the brow up and with the other hand you should use your middle finger to apply the concealer using upward swings.

A make up artist told me that if you apply it this way you won’t damage the eye area and produce more wrinkles because you won’t be pulling your skin outward.

Post 3

@Cupcake15 - I agree. I also use cream eye shadow but I buy the matte colors rather than the shiny ones because they tend to make me look older. The matte colors are more conservative and if the colors are light enough they make me look refreshed.

I think that you have to be careful with dark colors because if you over do it, it can really age you fast. That is that last thing that I want for my eyes.

Post 2

@Mutsy -I love the eye shadow premiers in the tube that start as a liquid and turn to powder. These are so easy to apply and sometimes I combine two shades to make a nice waterproof look.

I usually use a pinkish beige tone along with a light brown tone. These colors seem to work with almost any eye shadow. What I really love about these eye shadow premiers is that my eye shadow never creases and looks stale. I always maintain a fresh look hours after initially applying my makeup.

When I use plain eye shadow the color is gone in about an hour, and I really hate that. I look washed up. I think that best eyeshadow primer is a concealer because you can use it for your under eye circles and you can also use it as a premier for your eye shadow. It really acts as a cheap eyeshadow primer.

Post 1

I think that when you use an eye shadow primer your eye shadow tends to last longer. A great substitute for eyeshadow primer is concealer. You can apply cream concealer on the lid and up to the eyebrow area and then seal it with some press powder and then apply your eye shadow on top.

You can also use a colored eye shadow premier that is a soft beige or grey tone in order to bring out the tone in your eye shadow. Sometimes when I want a simple make up look, I will just apply eye shadow premier, eye liner and mascara and I will skip the eye shadow because the eye shadow premier offers a nice hint of color.

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