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What Is Eyeshadow Primer and How to Wear It | Makeup.com

We love hearing from our panel of beauty pros about the latest and greatest beauty tricks. Today, Los Angeles-based makeup pro Emily Oliver schools us on the benefits of eyeshadow primer.


For most people, primer’s that stuff that goes on a wall before you paint it. For makeup artists, like myself, primer is a must-have product that should be applied before any makeup products, especially eyeshadow. Think about it: What’s worse than creating a perfect masterpiece on your eyes, only to have it crease, fade or smudge just an hour or so later? Nothing. It’s important to keep your eye makeup insured, and primer is that insurance.

 
 
 
 
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Primer is quick and easy to swipe on and makes a world of difference in the pigment and longevity of your shadow. These days, primers are stronger and more efficient than ever and often do way more than just prime. So how can you work primer into your makeup routine? Keep reading to find out.

What Exactly Is Eyeshadow Primer?
In a nutshell, eyeshadow primer is a liquid- or cream-based product that is applied on the eyelids to make shadows and eyeliner go on smoother and last longer. It serves as a double-sided tape of sorts that grips to both your lid and your eye makeup, ensuring your artfully applied shadow doesn’t budge. You can also use it to help enhance your makeup hues and make them look even brighter.

Here’s How It Works:

Primer creates a base for the eyelids, absorbing excess oil and allowing for an even surface on which to work. Without primer, greasy eyelids can cause eyeshadows to get that “creased” effect throughout the day or have patchy and uneven application. Adversely, those with dry, primer-less eyelids may have shadow pigment disappear entirely in a matter of hours.

Also, just like lips, eyelids often have a slight natural pigment or tone to them that can make it difficult for certain shadow colors to pop. Primers, especially those with nude or white tones to them serve as clean canvases that allow any and all shadow colors to stand out. If you doled out big bucks for those shadow singles and palettes, you should get your money’s worth with solid makeup looks, right?

If any of these issues are happening to you, grab your favorite eye shadow primer and follow my how-to below!

How to Apply Eyeshadow Primer Like a Pro
After applying your daily eye creams and facial moisturizers, squeeze a tiny bit of primer onto a flat eyeshadow brush or your fingertips. The layer should be thin and quickly absorbed into the skin, so it can make the area smooth and shadow-ready. Just a mustard-seed-sized amount for each lid will do the trick. Use rapid, gentle tapping motions to blend the formula into the skin. Start at your lash line and work all the way into the brows (yes, the brows — this will make your brow products last longer, too). Remember to apply primer under the bottom lashes as well if you intend to use shadow or liner there. Allow about a minute for the formula to dry and absorb.

Ready to pick a primer? See a few of our favorites, ahead:


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