10 Best Eyeshadow Primers 2018

To create a makeup look that will last, you need to prime your skin with the right products.

Not only do they help keep your foundation firmly in place, but also to prevent carefully applied eyeshadow from melting away after an hour.

Are you wondering who makes the best eyeshadow primer on the market today?

Find out which brands made the cut when our team of experts put them to the ultimate test and learn more about how to choose one with the help of this useful buying guide.

Top 10 Eyeshadow Primers Table

PictureNameUsePriceRating (1-5)
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1. Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer. Paraben-free and Cruelty FreeOily Lids$$$4.7
2. bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer, Original, 0.1 Ounce All Day Staying Power$$$4.5
3. Milani Eyeshadow Primer, Nude, 0.30 Fluid Ounce Cream or Powder Shadows$$4.5
4. E.l.f. Glitter Primer Applying Eye Glitter$$4.4
5. LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer Oily Lids$$$$4.3
6. Ruby Kisses 24 HR Eyeshadow Magic Primer Normal Skin$$4.2
6. NYX Cosmetics Eye Shadow Base, High Definition, 0.28 Ounce Different Skin Tones$$4.1
8. Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer 0.35 OZ All Day Staying Power$$$$3.9
9. L'Oréal Paris Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer, 0.19 fl. oz. Cream, Powder or Gloss Shadows$$3.9
10. e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer, Sheer, 0.11 Fluid Ounce Oily Lids$3.8

How to Choose the Right Eyeshadow Primer

There isn’t just one single best eyeshadow primer out there because everyone is different, so to help ensure that you choose the right one for your needs, we will offer you a few shopping tips to keep you on track.

  • Tint. Primers come in different tints, so before you purchase one, be sure you know what color is coming out of the tube.

Clear formulas are great for everyone, but not all of them offer you the staying power you need.

Others may work great but only come in a single shade – most often light – which can show through too much on those with darker skin tones.

There are two products on our list that come in different shades: NYX Cosmetics’ Eye Shadow Base and e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer. The latter is also great if you have oily lids!

  • Application. Many come in a tube that requires you to squeeze product onto your finger. As the more hygienic option, we recommend one like this.

Other products like the two we just mentioned and L’Oréal Paris’ Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer have a wand that you dip back into the product. In this case, each application can also cause you to pick up traces of oil on your lids that end up going in the tube when you close it.

We know that this is exactly what happens every time you apply mascara, but mascara is only touching your lashes and not your skin.

We wouldn’t eliminate a product because of this small detail, but it is something to think about as you compare them.

Useful Tips for Those with Oily Lids

The best eyeshadow primers for oily lids are Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow PrimerLORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Shadow Primer, and e.l.f. Cosmetics Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer. These three products have proven their worth in the battle against oil, and there is something for every budget.

Oil is one of the biggest enemies of your eyeshadow, but did you know that there are some things you can do to help combat the oil?

  • You Might Need to Change Your Skincare Products. Using the wrong products for your skin type can cause pimples, redness and excess sebum production.
  • Avoid Cream Eyeshadows. Creamy eyeshadows can create a soupy mess on your lids, so if yours are excessively oily, be sure to use powders rather than creams.

These are a few simple things you can try to help keep the oil under control, but we also realize that some things are out of your control.

Hormones can also have a big impact on the body’s sebum production, and if you have certain allergies (whether to pollen, dust, skin care products or makeup), your body might be producing more sebum than normal.

Top 5 Best Eyeshadow Primer Reviews

1. Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer

Elizabeth Mott’s “Thank Me Later” Shadow Primer continues to dominate the category. What makes it even more lovable is the fact that it is a cruelty-free product, which many of you are starting to look for now to help promote better treatment of animals.

So, getting back to the primer as a product, we must say that it is truly impressive. It dries clear and dries quickly, which is nice so that you don’t have to sit around waiting for it to set.

You can easily get 8 to 10 hours of staying power when you use this as a base, and for most of us who wear makeup, that is more than enough. If you go longer than that, chances are you’ll have some makeup meltdown no matter what products you use, but the reviews of this don’t lie. It works, and it works well.

It is also a much more affordable option to Urban Decay, which didn’t even make our list!

2. bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer

If you have super oily lids and you’re looking for a mineral-based makeup, then check out Prime Time from bareMinerals.

Just out of the tube, you’ll notice that it has a light tint, but once you apply and it dries, it is pretty sheer. One of the main selling points of the Thank Me Later primer was the fact that it is cruelty-free, but we are happy to report that this product is not tested on animals, either!

While it is slightly more expensive than the previous product, it is also more natural.

If you need a product that will keep your shadow looking as flawless at 8 hours as it did at 8 minutes, Prime Time won’t disappoint.

3. Milani Eyeshadow Primer, Nude

Some of you probably want to know who makes the best drugstore eyeshadow primer, and we would have to say that Milani stands out above the rest.

The ingredients aren’t quite as natural as Prime Time, but that is probably one of the reasons why it works so well (sadly). We know that many prefer to use natural products, but many of them just don’t work as well as the chemical ones. Personally, we prefer natural products, but they are usually more expensive, and sometimes we can’t have it all. If we had to choose a non-natural eyeshadow primer that works extremely well and don’t cost a fortune, Milani is the clear winner.

We were quite impressed by the staying power of this product. If you have a formal event and not much time to do makeup touch-ups throughout, it won’t let you down.

4. E.l.f. Glitter Primer

If you ever need to apply glitter to your lids for a special event or performance, try this one from e.l.f.!

This primer helps bond the glitter to your lids, and since the formula is so light, it absorbs quickly into your skin without looking like a thick layer of glue.

There are plenty of more expensive glitter adhesives out there that don’t perform as well, so why waste your money on them?

This one is cheap and effective, and even if you don’t plan to use any glitter, it still works well as a regular primer.

5. LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer

We have mixed feelings about LORAC’s Behind the Scenes Eye Shadow Primer. Ultimately, it did make the list because we know that it works.

The price is one of the biggest issues. It’s more expensive than the first two products and not always as effective. On the other hand, those who have tried the other products and not had the results they expected end up liking this one.

If you have sensitive eyes, this might be one of the few products on the list that you can use. It doesn’t contain any fragrance or oil, and it is also paraben-free.

We love that it goes on sheer rather than looking like you are wearing white eyeshadow, and it seems to work well for the majority of users who try it.

Based on all of the other products we tried, however, it is hard to justify the high price tag based on the overall performance.

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