Can You Use Concealer as Eyeshadow Primer? A Celebrity Makeup Artist Weighs In

September 08, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
Can You Use Concealer as Eyeshadow Primer? A Celebrity Makeup Artist Weighs In
If you’ve ever sat through a makeup tutorial or two, it’s likely you’ve seen a beauty vlogger start an eyeshadow look with concealer or foundation in lieu of proper eyeshadow primer. The look, of course, turns out fabulous in the end, convincing all of those watching that eye primer isn’t necessary because you can use your concealer all over. Recently, while watching a tutorial (and staring in awe and pure admiration), though, we wondered if using concealer as an eyeshadow base actually holds up throughout the day. Or does skipping a proper lid primer result in your eyeshadow crumbling after a few fateful hours? To quell our curiosity (and yours), we hit up celebrity makeup artist Billie Gene.

Can You Use a Concealer as an Eyeshadow Primer?

According to Gene, face concealers and foundation don’t work as eyeshadow primers due to their slip and added coloring. Concealers can alter the color of the shadow, forcing you to apply more product or lose the true pigment of your desired shade — which is the opposite of what you want, especially when working with a particularly unique hue (think duochromes and bright shades). 

Instead, Gene recommends paint pots and the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer, both of which are formulated to grip your eyeshadows and offer the best pigment payoff possible.

When it comes to application, Gene recommends only using a pea-size amount, so as to not overdo it. “You only need a thin coat to grip your shadow,” says Gene, who cautions against thick layers of primer that can actually lead to the appearance of texture on the eye and distorting the pigment of your eyeshadow.

urban decay primer potion

So should you be using concealer on your lid? Not if you want a flawless eyeshadow look that’ll last throughout the day. Concealer works if all you need is to even out your skin tone overall (looking at you Dermablend Cover Care Concealer and NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Concealer) — but otherwise we recommend letting eyeshadow primers do their job.

nyx can't stop wont stop concealer, dermablend cover care concealer
Photo: Britney from @glamxbrit

Read more