Top Ten Eyeshadow Primers

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time and our topic is primers this week. It will come as no surprise to regular Beauty Info Zone readers that my list is all about Eyeshadow Primers. It’s not that I don’t have enough facial primers to use for our topic but I’m a little nuts (or maybe a lot) and have this need to have all the eyeshadow primers available. While 10 are mentioned here I have more that I like but maybe not quite as much as these.

Eyeshadow Primers come in all prices which I’m demonstrating for you today with versions that range from $2 to $32. Price isn’t always the determining factor when it comes to this type of product. My $2 primer from E.L.F. works almost as well as my $20 Too Faced primers. The important thing to me is to use an eyeshadow primer every time I do my eyes. Primer is meant to even out skintone, make the colors last without creasing, help eyeshadow colors go on more evenly, and create a more vibrant look.

Top 10 eyeshadow primers
Top 10 eyeshadow primers

$1-$2 E.L.F. SHADOW LOCK EYELID PRIMER || There are 3 shades of this primer available. Right now E.L.F. is having a moving sale so the colors left are available for $1 but normally they are $2. My favorite is Champagne (there’s also Sheer and Pearl) because it is a light taupe/champagne shade adding some interest without a bit of shimmer.

$6.49 MILANI EYESHADOW PRIMER || This is one of my very favorite primers. I usually look for a sale on it and pick up 2 at a time. It took me a while too appreciate it since it’s thick at first but I learned to love it after running out of Too Faced Shadow Insurance once and now I always have one handy.

$6.99 NYX EYESHADOW BASE ||  My only pot eyeshadow primer although that’s all I used to use. This has good points and bad. I’m not a fan of the pot itself. For someone with long nails it’s just a pain. I bought this in Pearl because I wanted the tiny bit of pearly shimmer which makes this worth getting out a taklon brush to apply it. It’s stiff and doesn’t go on as easily as a cream product but it does the job well and Ulta often has sales on NYX. This is also available in white and skintone.

Milani, NYX, ELF eyeshadow primers
Milani, NYX, ELF eyeshadow primers

$15 em cosmetic eyeshadow primer ||  No one ever talks about em cosmetics anymore. This Michelle Phan line came out with a bang but it’s whimpering away. Out of all the products I’ve bought from the line this is the stand out. There’s a slight gleam to it that peeks through and makes eyeshadow more vibrant. I’d buy this again without a doubt.

em cosmetics eyeshadow primer
em cosmetics eyeshadow primer

$18 bareMinerals PRIME TIME EYESHADOW PRIMER ||  This is a great primer but it’s really small. It’s a perfect size for travel though but I’m going through this pretty quickly for home use. I wish I didn’t like it this much or that the price wasn’t quite this high. My shadows stay so well when I’m using it.

bareMinerals eyeshadow primer
bareMinerals eyeshadow primer

$20 TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE ||  This is the eyeshadow primer that changed the game. It’s the most talked about, that’s for sure. Be sure you shake it before using it the first time and then again about once a week. It can come out watery which you want to avoid. TFSI is the one I use the most because I can really rely on it. I know it will keep me creasefree under all conditions.

$20 TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE CANDLELIGHT ||  Too Faced created a few more of their Shadow Insurance to meet the needs of everyone. The one I have is Candlelight which is a bright gold that just lights up my eyes. There are days I’ll put Candlelight on my lids, TFSI original on my brow bone, and a beautiful brown toned shadow in the crease. There’s no glitter in Candlelight but it is a bright shimmery gold. If I wore more glitter eyeshadows I’d buy TF Glitter Glue Shadow Primer since I know the quality of the brand.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight and original
Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight and original

$21 LORAC BEHIND THE SCENES EYE PRIMER ||  I don’t know why everyone isn’t shouting about this from their rooftops. It’s a fabulous eyeshadow primer. There was a small one in my LORAC Pro Palette and once I used it I knew I needed it in a full size. It’s $1 more than the Too Faced but it’s considerably bigger so there’s more bang for your buck. It has a slant tip opening which can get a little messy but I usually squeeze it out on my hand to apply rather than directly on my eye. I’m telling you – you are missing out on a gem if you don’t have this primer.

Lorac Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer
Lorac Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer

$29 BENEFIT AIR PATROL ||  I had no intention of buying this because it’s obvious I don’t need another primer in my life. But I got a sample that lasted me for a few days and that sold me. This is very yellow which is why I wasn’t going to buy it. But once I used it I realized that the color wasn’t an issue once applied. This is considered to be a BB Cream Eyelid Primer and it has broad spectrum SPF 20 which I’m happy about. The tip is different since it’s a “cushion calm” tip that is exceptionally soft. A little goes a long way with this so I expect it to last a good amount of time.

Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer
Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer

$32 EDWARD BESS ILLUMINATING EYESHADOW BASE ||  Edward Bess was my splurge item. I bought it much before the Benefit so even though the prices aren’t too far different I knew it was a splurge. It comes in three shades (Dune, Cashmere, Suede). Cashmere was my choice and I’m happy that I bought it. It looks a lot like a concealer with its brush applicator. Once I let it dry shadows really adhere to it. Anytime I have a poor performing shadow I turn to this Illuminating Base since I know if it doesn’t work with this, then the shadow just isn’t going to work. It’s worth the extra money even if I save it for special days.

Edward Bess eyeshadow primer
Edward Bess eyeshadow primer

I have other eyeshadow primers that I like (Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever, and IT Cosmetics for example) but they don’t get used as often as these 10. I know not everyone needs 10+ eyeshadows in their life but I’m obsessed and obviously obsessive! — Marcia

Join my friends in finding out what primers have changed their lives.


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  1. Carol | 5th Apr 16

    I’m still a huge fan of MAC Paint Pot In Painterly and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shows in Shore and Malted as eye shadow primers!

  2. Carol | 5th Apr 16

    Shadows not shows! ?

  3. Shannon | 5th Apr 16

    I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without a primer prior to realizing how awesome they were years ago. My favorite is Urban Decay. I really haven’t strayed from it because it works so well.

  4. Never Say Die Beauty | 5th Apr 16

    The Benefit sounds appealing because of the SPF. I love Milani Eye Primer, but my fave for the past few years is Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eye Primer but I’m not sure if they have changed their lineup in which case I will be very sad.

  5. Nidia - Lit From Within | 5th Apr 16

    I don’t need any more eye shadow primers, either, but you’ve got me wanting to try the Lorac one! I’ll have to dig through my samples and see if I already have a tester. I use UD the most often – probably because I have a ton of samples of it! I also do love the ELF one and Milani, too.

  6. Phyrra | 5th Apr 16

    The Edward Bess sounds nice!

  7. Neha Kaul | 5th Apr 16

    The Urban Decay primer is my go-to …haven’t found one that is as good but will give some of your recommendations a try once I run out!

  8. Stacie | 5th Apr 16

    That’s a great collection. I always wear primer on my lids. Mac Paint Pots are my all time favorite.

  9. Erika | 5th Apr 16

    I LOVE Lorac Behind the Scenes. I think it’s my fave.

  10. The Beauty of Life | 5th Apr 16

    Urban Decay has always been my favorite.

  11. Carleen | 5th Apr 16

    Great list. I tend to use UD the most.

  12. Teri | 5th Apr 16

    I love that you went with all shadow primers. I love UDPP the best, but there is always room to try more 😉

  13. Destany | 5th Apr 16

    I like the Milani primer a lot, but my favorite is from Jesse’s Girl!

  14. Bailey | 5th Apr 16

    I picked up the Prime Time after using a sample (and falling in love) but agree, it’s so tiny! Even more so when you factor in the Canadian price.

  15. Aleya Bamdad | 5th Apr 16

    I’ve been between my MAC and Smashbox primers for a while now but I want to try Too Faced.

  16. Cindy (Prime Beauty) | 5th Apr 16

    Oh shoot, I forgot the LORAC and Benefit eye shadow primers!

  17. Kat Dinges | 5th Apr 16

    I see a few of my faves here!!! I want to try the Michelle Phan one though!

  18. Kath Thefabzilla | 6th Apr 16

    I wonder what happened to the em cosmetics, is that brand still existing? I like Too Faced eye primer the most

  19. Lisa Brown | 6th Apr 16

    I have the Lorac one and Too Faced and like them both.

  20. Renu | 6th Apr 16

    I want to try Air Patrol. My favourite eye primer is Kat von D High Voltage.

  21. Honeygirlk | 6th Apr 16

    Milani Eye Shadow primer literally is my holy grail along with Too Faced Shadow Insurance, great list.

  22. Babi C | 6th Apr 16

    I always use Stay Don’t Stray from Benefit but I’d love to give those Too Faced ones a try!

  23. Kristina | The Feminine Files | 6th Apr 16

    I’ve heard the Lorac one is amazing, and Too Faced is my usual go-to!

  24. Laura Gallaway | 7th Apr 16

    Definitely some great primers out there

  25. Miki | 8th Apr 16

    I really need to try NYX’s eyeshadow base!

  26. Nora | 9th Apr 16

    The Milani primer will be the next one I buy, I’ve heard so many positive things about it and the price is great.

  27. Terri S | 16th Apr 16

    I want to try the Lorac primer. Thank you for sharing.

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