We love hearing from our panel of beauty pros about the latest and greatest beauty tricks. Today, we're lucky enough to hear from Los Angeles-based makeup pro Emily Oliver on the benefits of face 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 eye shadow. 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.
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 does one work primer into their makeup routine? And what’s so great about it? And how much should I use? We get to the bottom of all of these questions, and more. Check out our rundown on all things primer.
What Exactly Is Eye Primer?
In a nutshell, eye shadow 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 your eyeshadow and makeup, making it last longer and ensuring it sticks to your lids and doesn’t stray. It can also help enhance your makeup hues and make them even brighter.
Why Do You Need it?
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 shadows to get that “creased” effect throughout the day, or have patchy and uneven application. Adversely, those with dry, primer-less eyelids will have shadow pigment disappear entirely in a matter of hours.
Also, just like lips, eyelids often can 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 pop. Heck, 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!
After applying your daily eye creams and facial moisturizers, squeeze a tiny bit of primer onto a flat eyeshadow brush, (I like the Giorgio Armani Concealer Brush) or your fingertips. The layer should be thin and quickly absorbed into the skin so it can make the skin 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.
Want to reach makeup pro status? Check out our latest makeup tips and tutorials! Click through our slideshow to find the perfect eyeshadow primer for you.
There’s a reason the word “proof” is in this title. This white priming formula is ultra durable against the elements that threaten the state of your eye makeup. Creasing, smudging, melting are no match against the steel-like strength of this primer. The stark white color of the cream also serves as the perfect canvas to make any shade pop.
Eyelids can be much like other areas on our face—textured, red, dry, etc. This neutralizing base aims to create a smooth working space for even the most intricate makeup masterpieces. The soft natural shades (taupe, tan, and beige) serve to cancel out any discoloration or pigmentation on the lid. The formula works as a veil that smooths out the lid’s surface and grips the color and shadow textures.
Nothing is more irritating than seeing the perfectly applied and blended shadow you just mastered disappear into your crease and form a very not-cute line across your lid. Nothing. Our friends at L’Oréal Paris understand our pain and created a perfect priming formula to prevent this dreaded makeup moment from happening. The formula keeps your shadow from budging and creates a clean, flawless lid for any makeup look.
You probably have never encountered a time you needed your eyeshadow to last all night. Well, as rare as this occasion probably is, should you need your shadow to last a very long time, this primer has you back. The warm beige matte shade allows for vibrant color, no creasing and smoother application. That’s a product we can get behind.
One person’s nude is another person’s pink or taupe. That’s because all skin tones are different and have different undertones, therefore require different natural-colored makeup. Lancôme understands this, and has created an eye primer that comes in six different shades to match a multitude of skin tones. Oh, and it’s waterproof, so you can put those eyelids through anything and not have to worry about your beautiful masterpiece being ruined.
An eye primer that ensure hours worth of wear is A-okay in our book. The key to keeping your eyes crease-free with primer is all in the application. When it comes to any base, a little goes a long way. Make sure you keep the layer of primer thin and light. Just swipe it over the lid with a gentle hand. If you go to heavy, the shadow will look too cakey.
Now this is technically not an eye primer. This transparent priming solution works all over the face, including the eyelids! And the same magic this formula works on the complexion, translates to the eyes. Yep, the weightless veil-like primer washes over the lids and mattifies, blurs any imperfections and smooths out the skin.
In addition to its prep-work and radiance-boosting properties, this primer also has good-for-you ingredients that pump the skin with antiaging benefits. Apply the primer to the upper and lower lids to make sure you’re prepping and treating the whole region, including the parts that are line- and wrinkle-prone.
We love a product with the word multitasker in the title. This “primer” isn’t your typical prepper that you swipe on before reaching for the makeup. This solution is mixed in with your eyeshadows and eye makeup to strengthen them and make them stay smooth and last longer. Try it with your liquid or cream shadows, or loose glitters.