Top 10 Eyeshadow Primers

10 Eyeshadow Primers Reviewers Love For Keeping Their Eye Looks Intact

10 Eyeshadow Primers Reviewers Love For Keeping Their Eye Looks Intact

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What if we told you that your eye makeup's staying power is only as strong as your eyeshadow primer? Prepping and priming every inch of your face might seem unnecessary, but a good eyeshadow primer is actually the star ingredient of a stellar eyeshadow look—especially during these sweltering hot days. The best formulas will ensure that your eyeshadow is resistant to sweat, humidity, and, in some cases, even water. Acting as an insurance policy for your eye makeup, eyeshadow primers preserve that just-applied look by providing a smooth base for your shadow to adhere to and increasing pigment's vibrancy. They prevent smudging, fading, caking, and creasing to lock in your shadow for hours on end. In other words, you need one.

So whether your everyday makeup routine consists of a full-face look or just a few sweeps of shadow, a primer is a must if you want it to stick. To help you find your favorite, we rounded up a list of the Top 10 eyeshadow primers on the market. From pigmentation-neutralizing formulas to options that take care of oily lids, there's an eyeshadow primer on the list for every skin concern, budget, and beauty routine.

Our Method For Finding The Best Eyeshadow Primers

To make sure your eyeshadow sticks with you throughout even the most sweltering days, we're bringing you 10 reviewer-approved primers with serious staying power. Whether you're in search of a drugstore pick or something for sensitive skin, we've got you covered. With the help of our data-driven algorithm, we searched through over 70 retailers' inventories to find 10 eyeshadow primers with proven efficacy. Backed by best-seller lists, real user reviews, and social media buzz, the picks ahead will keep your eyeshadow looking its best all summer long. Keep scrolling to shop the 10 best formulas.

Next up, check out the 10 Best Makeup Setting Sprays. Opening image: smashbox.com

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June 2, 2021

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The Rankings

Rare Beauty By Selena Gomez Weightless Eyeshadow Primer
Rank & Style Approved


Rare Beauty By Selena Gomez Weightless Eyeshadow Primer


WHAT IT DOES: Give your lids a dose of instant hydration with this creamy, weightless formula. It moisturizes and preps lids to ensure your eyeshadow delivers longer-lasting color that won't crease, fade, or smudge throughout the day.

FROM THE EXPERTS: In an independent consumer study, 98% of participants said that this primer holds color and keeps eyeshadow from fading, while 97% of participants reported crease free, extended wear. 

Laura Mercier Eye Basics Primer


WHAT IT DOES: This primer works overtime to make sure that discoloration, redness, and veins won't stop your eyeshadow from looking its best. Formulated to work for all skin types, it boasts a medium-coverage, semi-matte finish that can be worn alone to camouflage imperfections or be used as a primer. 

WHO IT'S FOR: If you're looking for a formula that can tolerate splashes of water and a little sweat, this water-resistant primer will fit the bill.

MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base


WHAT IT DOES: Resistant to sweat and humidity, this lightweight primer uses the nourishing properties of vitamin E to create a smooth base for eyeshadow to stick to and minimizes creasing and fading for up to 24 hours. 

BEAUTY HACK: For best results, apply this eyeshadow primer with a firm brush or your fingertip and press eyeshadow directly onto your lid.

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Pro Filt'r Amplifying Eye Primer


WHY YOU NEED IT: Made with a universally flattering hue that melts into all skin tones, this color-boosting formula allows for better-blending, longer-lasting, crease-proof wear thanks to its eyeshadow-gripping formula. 

USER REVIEW: "I've used a lot of eye primers, but this is without a doubt the best of the best. It glides on so smooth and has real staying power. I swatched this on my hand with a Fenty eyeshadow after getting it. Hours later, it was still on my hand, even after soaking in a tub. This stuff is amazing, and you'll definitely want to add it to your collection."

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eyeshadow Primer


WHAT IT DOES: Bid adieu to slick, oily eyelids and sliding eyeshadows. This oil-absorbing primer acts like a glue to lock down shadow and maximize pigment's vibrancy for up to 24 hours.

FROM THE EXPERTS: In a clinical study, 96% of participants said that their eyeshadow did not smudge all day.

bareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer


WHO IT'S FOR: If your skin is on the sensitive side, this fragrance-free, allergy and dermatologist-tested formula will keep your eye makeup looking its best without causing irritation.

LOVED FOR: People rave about this eyelid primer for its convenient applicator.

Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base


WHY YOU NEED IT: Using a unique polymer and mineral powder combination to get a firm grip on color, this lightweight primer is strengthened with fortified ingredients like special deep-sea extract and antioxidant rice extract.

THINGS TO KNOW: This primer comes in five different shades that can accommodate skin tones ranging from porcelain to deep.

Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion


WHAT IT DOES: This anti-aging priming formula helps combat the look of wrinkles and improve skin tone with a boost from blurring pigments that minimize redness and smooth texture.

THINGS TO KNOW: Battling tired, hooded eyes? This formula works to improve skin texture and brighten the eyelids.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer


WHAT IT DOES: This waterproof formula protects your shadow from fading, creasing, and melting and improves its blendability. 

LOVED FOR: Discolored lids are no match for this potent primer. With just a bead-sized amount, the formula neutralizes lid discoloration and creates a long-lasting barrier between oily skin and makeup.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion


WHY YOU NEED IT: This vegan formula is powered by polymer technology that intensifies the look of eyeshadow and eyeliner by filling in surface imperfections and prepping the lids for all day-wear.

LOVED FOR: This nude eyeshadow primer intensifies the pigment and vibrancy of metallic, shimmer, matte, and glitter eyeshadows.

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