I cannot live without eye shadow primer. I know. It's yet another product added to an endless array of things I put on my face in the morning while getting ready, but this type of primer has made itself indispensable to me. Eye shadow primer is one of the easiest makeup tools to use, but there are a few key points and products you do need to know in order to get the best results. If you use eye shadow primer effectively, your eye makeup will stay all day and won't migrate down your cheeks. For those of us with long days and even longer nights, that's essential. No raccoon eyes for you!
There are tons of textures, finishes, and packaging when it comes to eye shadow primer, but trust me, it's not as confusing as it sounds. I will hold your hand with this nifty little guide and it is all you will ever need to consult when it comes to making primer decisions.
When I first started reading about and using primers, I was not firmly Team Pro Primer. "Why can't companies just make shadow with primer built in?" I would whisper angrily to my reflection in the mirror. Science be damned! There has to be some way to get it all in one, right? Until that happens, I guess we're stuck with this two step process.
Pre-primer, I noticed that by 5PM most days, my shadow or line had faded out, lost intensity, or slipped right off my oily skin. It was a real mess. So, I'm not exaggerating when
This quick, easy guide will help you sift through the primer ether, and find the perfect one for your personal shadow needs.
1. For All-Day Wear: Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay's Primer Potion is largely considered the Holy Grail of eye shadow primers. It's a thin, blendable texture and when you use it, sparkly, loose shadow and even liquid liner DOES. NOT. MOVE. Whatever product you use, this baby makes sure it adheres.
2. For Smoky Eyes: MAC's Paint Pots
MAC's Paint Pots are everything. They come in all sorts of shades and finishes, like matte and pearl, which look great alone or can amp up shadow you layer on top. I use Painterly, a my-skin-color shade, for when I want to do an intense, multi-shadow smoky eye. It's a solid base that doesn't transform the colors, but holds them in place. When I want to switch it up and intensify or add some texture to a smoky eye, I'll use Constructivist, which is brown with pearl, or Blackground, a sparkly black. It definitely changes the properties of the shadow and adds a whole other element of either sparkle, shimmer, or texture. I also apply with my finger for more control, but you can use a makeup brush with synthetic fibers, too.
3. For Liquid Liner: Cate McNabb's Tube Primer
Cate McNabb is a fairly new brand, but their tube primer, which basically looks like concealer, is aces. At first, it has a wetter texture, but it dries down to a creamy matte finish and it adds no color, doesn't clump, and keeps my liquid liner in check. You apply it with a wand and it blends beautifully so you don't get those telltale primer demarcation lines.
4. For Oily Skin: Julep's Mattifying Primer
Julep's Blank Canvas mattifying primer is a wand that is right up there with Cate McNabb, in terms of sheer awesomeness (literally) for me. It doesn't add any color or finish. It just helps me overcome my oily skin, creating a smooth canvas, grabbing onto the product and keeping it where I originally put it. It's all about that base, 'bout dat base, 'bout dat base.
5. How To
You cannot and should not apply primer to the eye area capriciously. I can't stress enough how important dabbing, blending, and not overusing the product is. Less really is more. You use a little primer and you get a longer life out of the day's makeup look and products. Dabbing is your friend. And remember that the primer you use, in terms of color and finish or formula, should directly correlate to the look you want to achieve.
TL;DR? Use a matte, color-free primer when all you want is a smooth, strong base and use a sparkly, colored primer when you want to amp up the finish or texture of your eye look.