10 Best Eye Primers 2018

Whether you are shopping on a drugstore budget or want to splurge for something high-end, you have plenty of options at your fingertips when it comes to eye primers.

If you find a good one, eye primer will keep all of your shadow detail work exactly where you put it, free of creases and smudging, but picking out the good from the bad isn’t as easy as it seems.

Not sure which brands are worth the purchase? You can find the best eye primer for your lids by comparing the top brands in this detailed guide.

Top 10 Eye Primers Comparison Table

PictureNameBest For…PriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameBest For…PriceRating (1-5)
1. Thank Me Later Eye Shadow PrimerSensitive Eyes, Oily Lids$$$4.7
2. bareMinerals Prime Time Eye PrimerOily Lids$$4.4
3. theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid PrimerMature Skin$$$4.3
4. LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow PrimerSensitive Eyes, Oily Lids$$$$4.3
5. Milani Eyeshadow PrimerNormal Skin$4.3
6. Mary Kay Eye PrimerSensitive Eyes$$$4.3
7. Ruby Kisses 24 HR Eyeshadow Magic PrimerNormal Skin$4.2
8. NYX Cosmetics Eye Shadow BaseNormal Skin$4.1
9. Too Faced Cosmetics, Shadow InsuranceMature Skin$$$$4.0
10. SHANY Eye and Lip Primer/BaseSensitive Eyes$4.0

How to Successfully Choose an Eye Shadow Primer

Now that you have had a look at the top primers in our list, it’s time to decide which is the best eye primer for your skin type and your budget.

One of the best ways to choose a primer is by looking for one that matches your skin type, and in our table, we have listed this info to help make your search quick and easy.

  • Mature Skin. So many products out there are designed with the younger user in mind, but what about those of us with mature skin?

An anti-aging primer like Too Faced Cosmetics Shadow Insurance is great because it has Tocopherol, which is an anti-aging and antioxidant moisturizer that will give your eyelids the hydration they crave.

If you want to spend a little less, try The Balm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer, which is also another good option for mature skin.

  • Oily Skin. That waterfall of oil in your T-zone always seems to find its way down to your eyelids, so if you are in need of a great primer to help prevent it from ruining your shadow work, then make sure you look for formulas that are oil-free or designed specifically for greasy eyes.

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer, Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer and LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Shadow Primer are three that we have had great success with and recommend for those of you with oily lids.

Looking for Cruelty-Free Products?

We are always looking at labels and researching to understand better what exactly is going into the products we put on our faces, and along the researching journey, we have found a few great products that just happen to be cruelty-free.

The first and last products in our table are both registered with PETA, so if buying cruelty-free is important to you, try one of these two products.

Top 5 Best Eye Primer Reviews

1. Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer

Elizabeth Mott’s Thank Me Later primer is hands down the best eye primer on our list.

The generous 0.35-ounce tube of product contains a lightweight formula that is waterproof and dries transparent once you apply it to your lids. Their claim that it lasts all day? Absolutely true.

Even with super oily lids, this product works extremely well to keep your shadow locked in place. We would say that it will last 8 hours without a problem, and could probably go up to 12 hours if you don’t have oily lids.

One of the things we love most about this product is that it is cruelty-free. Add that to the fact that it also does its job well, and we have no doubts about spending the extra money on it.

Great product!

2. Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer

Another product that also gets rave reviews is Prime Time by Bare Minerals, and we are also fans of it.

One of the nice things about this product is that you only need very little of it. A little goes a long way, and it dries on smooth (no cakey chunks that make it look like your eyelids are too dry).

It definitely has a matte finish once it dries and shadows adhere to it very well. The ultimate question is…does it last?

Even if your eyelids are mini pools of oil, this stuff does an awesome job at keeping everything in place all day long.

True, the tube is small, and the price is higher than some of the others on our list, but it is a great product with gentle ingredients.

3. The Balm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer

If you’re sick of paying for and want a more affordable alternative, The Balm’s Put A Lid On It works surprisingly well.

Using it is a bit more time consuming than some other primers because you really need to let it dry well before proceeding with shadow. You don’t need very much, either, and it goes on clear. You will get a good 8 hours of crease-free shadow if you use this, which is great for the working woman who doesn’t have time to do touch-ups throughout the day.

The texture is smooth when it goes on, but some felt that it left the lids feeling a little heavy. Again, the key is using very little product and spreading it on eyelids that aren’t bone dry.

Again, it is one of the top alternatives of Urban Decay fans and definitely something we would purchase again.

4. LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Shadow Primer

Have sensitive eyes? Try this oil-free, paraben-free and fragrance-free primer from LORAC.

This silky primer goes on clear and creates a smooth barrier over your lids for the shadow to cling to.

We liked how LORAC gave a breakdown of the ingredients they used, reminding you that the beeswax and Net Trioctanoin help condition the skin, the Mica helps brighten and the Micropoly520 fills in the fine lines. Would you know what those ingredients do if they hadn’t told you? Most of us don’t, so we appreciated the extra info and felt more comfortable purchasing it after reading.

We noticed that a lot of people who have used this as an alternative and weren’t pleased. While it is a great product for many with sensitive eyes, it just doesn’t seem to keep the creases away for more than 4 hours.

5. Milani Eyeshadow Primer

If your makeup fund has been mostly spent and you are still in need of a decent primer Milani’s is probably your best bet.

This product goes on much creamier than some of the other primers, which might be a new feeling for some of you who are used to the silky smooth formulas that feel like foundation primers.

It held up pretty well throughout the day, and we would say you could get a good 8 hours out of it if you don’t have extremely oily lids.

If you have sensitive eyes, this might not be the best choice since it contains quite a few ingredients – parabens included – but if products like this never seem to bother you and you don’t want to fork over tons of cash for a little tube of primer, this is the right one for you!