Don’t Have Eyeshadow Primer? Try This Quick Alternative

October 21, 2022
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | by L'Oréal
Image of a person applying concealer as eyeshadow primer to their eyelids

Skin prep is essential to flawless foundation and concealer, and the same holds true for creating an eye look. An eyeshadow primer can help your eye makeup stay on longer, make the colors appear more vibrant and help prevent creasing or fading. But if you don’t have one on hand, or you just ran out of your favorite formula, we have a makeup artist-approved alternative. Below, celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay shares what you can use instead of eyeshadow primer for similar results. 

Do You Need to Use an Eyeshadow Primer?

While an eyeshadow primer isn’t essential, Gabbay recommends using some sort of eyeshadow base before you start creating your eye look. “Eyeshadow base is crucial for both color payoff and longevity,” she says. A good base can also help mattify oily lids and prevent cream eyeshadows from creasing or sliding off your lids.

What Can I Use Instead of an Eyeshadow Primer?

If your first guess was concealer, you’re right on the money. “If you’re looking through your makeup drawer and don’t see an eyeshadow base, using concealer can also work well,” says Gabbay. “Be sure to set your concealer lightly with powder before applying shadows.” Setting your concealer with powder is key, as this will prevent the concealer from creasing and make it easier to lend powder eyeshadows on top. 

We recommend a matte and oil-free concealer, such as the Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer, with an oil-absorbing translucent powder on top. Try the NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Mattifying Pressed Powder in Bright Translucent


Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer

Gabbay adds that “even a chubby pencil” will work to make your eyeshadow appear more vibrant. Try a creamy white pencil, or one that matches the color of the powder shadow you’re applying. We love the NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eye Pencils, which are multipurpose pencils that come in a wide range of colors and can act as both eyeshadow and eyeshadow primers. 


NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eye Pencil


Photo: Dana Renee

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