Many of us like to dedicate most of our beauty budget to quality foundation and primer. These products cover most of the skin, and their higher costs are justified since high-quality ingredients equal fewer skin problems.
While brands like Estee Lauder, Urban Decay, and Smashbox may offer high-end cosmetics worth the splurge, not all of us have a ton of cash left over to get the extras like an eyeshadow primer.
The good news is that there are plenty of affordable products available, and today, we will share a list of the best drugstore eyeshadow primer brands with you so you can achieve the look you want without emptying the piggy bank.
Primer – How Important Is It?
Primer is essential, especially for those who spend a lot of time creating a distinct look on the eyelids. Applying those products to bare skin is like painting on an unprepared canvas, so always prime.
If you are a beauty enthusiast, you may already be familiar with some of the beauty gurus such as Nikkie Tutorials. Nikkie is known for her glamorous and bold eye makeup looks. And as the queen herself always say, no prime is a crime so you better prime your makeup especially if you expect a flawless eye makeup look with no creasing.
Drugstore formulas are often tinted, which can be a problem for those with darker skin tones.
There is only one colorless product that we found (and liked), which is the Milani Eyeshadow Primer.
The LA Girl Pro Primer is unique since it goes on white and is designed like a pencil, but once you blend it and apply shadow over the top, the colors are pretty vivid and vibrant. We recommend it if you have fair skin and want your shadows to stand out more.
However, tinted primer shouldn’t be a big problem here since we will cover it with tons of eyeshadow pigments anyway.
What to Expect from Drugstore Primers
If you are willing to use a budget-friendly eyeshadow primer, then there are a few things you should understand when using it:
- They may not use the highest quality of ingredients since they can be expensive.
- It might not show great results as high-end brands, but some products may surprise you.
Of course, results vary from person to person, but the drugstore primers aren’t known for working miracles. They are usually more affordable because the cost of the ingredients is lower, which results in lower product quality, but that isn’t to say that they don’t work. Some end up working just as well as – or even better than – some of the high-end brands, which is why we highlight only the top products for you.
Top 15 Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Primer to Try
A vegan eye primer infused with vitamin E that is available in 4 skin-adapting shades. The skin-adapting feature makes it suitable for all skin shades from light, medium, to deep. It increases vibrancy of shades and extends wear of eyeshadow and eyeliner. It has a creamy formula with a soft blurring effect. It is lightweight and helps you prepare a smooth canvas for a crease-free, long wearing eye makeup look. Very affordable and has a vegan formula.
- Vegan formula
- Can be used alone for natural look
- Not suitable for oily lids
Prep your eyelids to maximize the color intensity of your eyeshadow with this eye primer from CoverGirl. It has a quick-to-dry formula which helps you to save some time doing your makeup routine. It has a thin consistency and you may have some doubt when you first try it. But once you let it dry, it will perform so well in holding the eyeshadow pigments. Very affordable and can be used daily.
- Quick to dry
- Helps the eyeshadow to last all day
- A little bit tacky
This eye primer is infused with caffeine to keep your eyes fresh all day and night. It smoothed very well on the eyelid creating a smooth surface to work with. It also increases the color intensity for a vibrant eye makeup look. However it doesn’t last for 24 hours and by the end of the day you may see some creasing. The formula is also a little bit thick and you will notice that you’re wearing a primer on your eyelids. Very affordable and worth trying.
- Smoothen the eyelids
- Increase eyeshadow color vibrancy
- Thick formula
- Doesn’t last all day long
A must have product for a crease free look that lasts all day. It can prolong the eyeshadow wear and reduce creasing. translucent flesh color shade that does not affect the color of your eyeshadow. This affordable primer is also vegan so you can wear it with no worries. You can rock an amazing eyeshadow look during the day and night since this primer does hold all day and not even budge.
- A little amount is enough to prep smooth eyelids
- Long lasting
- Vegan formula
- Not suitable for oily and matured eyelids
I Prep I Prime Eyeshadow Primers helps create a weightless and seamless base for eyeshadow applications. The creamy formula creates a smooth base so you’re ready with your eyeshadow look. It is also able to cancel out pigmentation or discoloration. It intensifies color with zero creases. Very affordable and suitable for every skin tone.
- Long wear
- Minimize creasing even on oily lids
- A tiny amount goes along the way
- Shimmer eyeshadows may not work well with this base
Milani Eyeshadow Primer Intensifies your favorite eyeshadow and increases wear from day to night with lightweight, crease-proof formula. The lightweight and non-sticky formula helps create smooth canvas for your amazing eyeshadow looks. It prevents shadows from smudging and helps eye makeup look fresh all day. It dries down clear, making it suitable for all skin tones. Very affordable and can be your go-to primer.
- Dries down clear
- Not tacky enough to hold shimmers
The Beauty Amplifier Eye Shadow Primer is a great primer for all matte, shimmer and metallic shadows. It will help with the longevity of your eyeshadow as well as stop it from creasing. However, if you are using a loose glitter, you may find it doesn’t have enough tackiness to keep the product in place. It is not heavy and can help your eyeshadow and liner stay for up to 10 hours. Very affordable and can be a great product to keep on your makeup bag.
- Doesn’t work with glitters
- Not suitable for oily lids
This eyeshadow primer is so good that so many people rave it as a fantastic dupe for the P Louise primer only a lot cheaper. It contains moisturizing ingredients that help balance skin tone, reduce pores and fine lines.The creamy formula can be dried in a few seconds. It has a perfect pre-makeup effect without creases. This affordable primer is light and evenly applied for the smoothest base you can get.
- Make the eyeshadow color pop
- Can be cakey so use a just a tiny amount for the whole lid
Stick eyeshadow primers are easier to use and can be a great option for travel. This HD eyeshadow primer locks eyeshadow pigments and provides long lasting looks. It has a lightweight, non-sticky formula that sets for a long-lasting eye makeup application. The smooth texture glides over eyelids to prep your eyes for a flawless, even application. It is the most affordable eyeshadow primer you can get and it is suitable for all skin types.
- Easy to use
- Provides long lasting look
- It comes in nude and may reduce color vibrancy in some eyeshadow color
Matte primer enhances color payoff for extended wear. This eyeshadow primer can be used as a stand alone for a natural no-makeup makeup look. The soft sponge applicator glides smoothly over the eyelid for an even and precise application. This primer makes your shadows go on smoother, stay on longer and wash off easier. It is fairly affordable and can help to prevent crease even on oily lids.
- Holds up to sweat and heat
- Suitable for oily lids
- The bottle design may left you with quite a lot of product to waste
The color stay technology does help to keep vibrant eyeshadow color to last upall day long. It creates a smooth base with a non-drying and non-greasy formula. It is suitable for all skin type including wrinkled mature skin. This drugstore eyeshadow primer dries down translucent making it suitable for all skin tones. It is super affordable and can help you to achieve an even and smooth eyeshadow application.
- Dries down translucent
- Since it is sheer and dries down transparent, it may not cover some red spots on discoloration on your lids
If you have troubles with your eye makeup to stay on, you definitely need to give this eyeshadow primer a try. You only need a tiny bit for the whole lid and it will ensure your shadow stays all day, even up until the morning if you have to party all night. It can stand heat, sweat and humidity and will not budge. It comes as an easy-to-squeeze tube and will not dull the eyeshadow color. Very affordable and works well even on oily lids.
- Easy-to -squeeze tube packaging
- A little amount goes along the way
- Suitable for oily lids
- Not suitable for mature skin
A super affordable eyeshadow primer with great staying power that won’t budge. It dries quite light making it more suitable for lighter complexion and may not work well for deeper skin tones. It does a good job in covering veins and discoloration. Once it sets, it will not crease, creating a smooth base for your eyeshadow to go. For its price point, this product is awesome and works wonders even on oily lids.
- Great coverage
- Suitable for oily lids
- Not suitable for darker skin tones
- Tinted, so you need to wait until it is fully dry before applying your eyeshadows
Burt’s Bees Eye Shadow Primer comes in a neutral ultra sheer/translucent beige color that works beautifully with all skin tones. This primer creates a smooth surface for enhanced color payoff and wear of powder eye shadow. It applies easily and locks eyeshadow in place. A lightweight and creamy formula that melts away on your eyelid upon blending, it blends smoothly with any makeup palette without any buildup or patchiness. Very affordable for a product that contains nourishing ingredients.
- Nourishing ingredients
- Recyclable packaging
- Natural formula
- Ultra sheer/translucent making it suitable for all skin tones
- Doesn’t holds up well on hot weather
A dynamic eyeshadow primer duo in a matte and a shimmer finish. The formula creates an invisible canvas for longwearing, crease-resistant eyeshadow. It has smudge-resistant formulas to keep eyeshadow in place. It is also hypoallergenic making it safe to use even for sensitive skin. Very affordable for a set of two primers with different finishes you can pick based on your makeup needs.
- Hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive eyes
- Fragrance free
- Glides on smoothly
- If you don’t like something that is a little too sparkly, you may won’t like these products
What kind of primer do you use for eyeshadow?
You need an eyeshadow primer to use for eyeshadows because they’re usually formulated specifically to create smooth eyelids allowing your eyeshadow application to go on nicely and blend effortlessly. Eyeshadow primers also help to increase the color vibrancy as well as the staying power of your eye makeup. Make sure you get the right primer that is suitable for your skin type and skin tone.
Do you need eyeshadow primer?
If you want to create a flawless eye makeup look that stays longer with no crease, then yes, you need an eyeshadow primer. It is not mandatory to use eyeshadow primer. Some people use foundation or concealer. But bear in mind that they don’t work the same way as eyeshadow primers. Eyeshadow primers help to hold the eyeshadow pigment stronger making it last longer. When you wear eyeshadow without an eyeshadow primer, it should come as no surprise when your makeup starts to budge or crease over time.
Is primer the same as eyeshadow primer?
No, face primer is not the same as eyeshadow primer. They are identical when it comes to their main purpose which is to create a smoother canvas before applying makeup, but the formula is different. Face primers often focus on pore filling while eyeshadow primers often focus more on covering discoloration as well as helping the eyeshadow to actually stick on the eyelids.