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

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Lisa’s new and improved top ten primers list

I wrote my original ‘Top ten primers‘ post back in 2010, a few years after my primer obsession began. Finding an excellent primer was life-altering for me because for the very first time my makeup actually lasted all day.  I’ve always had strange skin, products don’t last long on me at all – I put blush on and an hour later, it’s completely gone.  For a long time I thought there was nothing I could do about it – until I found a primer that actually made my makeup (and most happily my blush) last a whole day.  I think I bought every primer on the market for the next few years after that. I have owned and used so many different primers I am ashamed to put a number on it. 

Lisas top ten primersThis list is a long overdue update of my personal choices for the top ten primers – each one is unique, they all have their advantages, and they are all excellent.  Which primer I choose is determined by the condition of my skin that day, my skin tone, and the foundation I am going to use. (A side note – I was astounded by the price increases when I updated them!)

My top ten list is not in any particular order – these are my top favorites, but they are all equal in terms of play time they get.

Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer

Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer

1.  Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer ($68)

The earlier version, called The Sensual Skin Primer, was actually the primer that began my obsession.  I used it one day and could not believe how vibrant and fresh my makeup was 10 hours later. The new version is even better – I use the Normal to Oily one.  The texture has slip but it doesn’t feel extremely silicone heavy.  It dries quickly to a satin finish.  It keeps makeup on like no other.  There are some drawbacks, though – it is an expensive item, so expensive that it hurts to buy it.  I tend to use this on special occasions only to try to make it last as long as possible.  And while I love the hygienic pump bottle, it drives me crazy that I never know how much I have left.  Regardless, I will never be without a bottle – and a back up.

Grand Central Beauty Skin Perfecting Primer

2.  Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting SERUM+PRIMER ($68)

I like to say that the only time I have ever been wrong was that one time I thought I made a mistake.  Unfortunately, in reality I have been wrong on a few more occasions than that…and I was completely wrong about the S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting SERUM+PRIMER.  While it has a slew of cool ingredients, including squalane from brazilian sugar cane, apple, watermelon, lentil, rice and soybean protein, I initially thought it worked better as a serum than a primer…totally incorrect.  This is a kick ass primer.  It keeps makeup looking totally perfect for 12 hours.  Every time I use it I think, “How could I have been so wrong??”

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer

3.  Reviva Labs Makeup Primer ($19.50) This is absolutely one of my favorite primers of all time.  It has silicone, but it isn’t super thick.  I find that it works best if I apply the primer and then let it sit for about three minutes.  It has a slightly wet texture at first that will collide with your concealer and foundation application. If you wait a few minutes it dries down to a beautiful finish that helps concealer and foundation apply and wear perfectly.  It does everything a primer should do:  makes skin super smooth, allows even application of concealer and foundation, and increases longevity.  

Pur Minerals green_primer

4.  Pur Minerals Colour Correcting Foundation Primer in Green ($31):

This is the primer I reach for when I’m broken out.  The green color balances out redness from acne, broken capillaries, and rosacea.  It doesn’t make me look like an alien – the green transforms into a beautiful, even skin tone color.  Less is more with this primer. You don’t need much to neutralize redness and create a perfect canvas for foundation.

OCC Skin Primer

5.  OCC Skin Primer ($27.50):This is a really cool primer.  Not only is it great for the face, but you can also use it as a lid primer for mineral eyeshadows.  It’s unlike most primers.  You HAVE to shake the bottle before squeezing some out – and then be careful when you do, because it has a thin, liquid consistency.  Once applied, wait until it dries because it applies quite wet, but does dry down to a super smooth, satiny finish.  And boy does makeup stick to this stuff!

Paul and Joe Protecting Foundation Primer

6.  Paul and Joe Protective Foundation Primer ($32)

This is, by far, the strangest primer I have ever used.  And I love it.  It has an SPF of 30.  It’s also super watery – it must be properly shaken before squeezing the product out.   It has a very thin consistency that dries down to a satiny finish.  It also has super fine, really tiny microshimmers in it, which gives skin the best natural looking glow.  The primer looks really yellow, but it goes on colorless – aside from the glow.  Makeup lasts and lasts with this primer.  I find that I reach for it when I am using very matte, oil-inhibiting foundations like Clarins Truly Matte Foundation because the microshimmers counteract the flatness.

Cle de Peau Correcting Cream Veil

7.  Cle de Peau Correcting Cream Veil ($76)

I have a love-hate relationship with Cle de Peau.  Some products I adore and will buy despite the exorbitant price tag.  Other products I can’t stand, and I get offended at the price of items that do absolutely nothing for you.  This primer, however, is well worth the price.  At the same time, I get the sample sizes at the counter when I can…they are great for travel and give several weeks of use. This primer is a thick, creamy lotion.  You don’t need a lot of it – a little goes a very long way.  In fact, if you use too much you will get a distinctly white cast to your skin.  Use the right amount and it sinks into your skin nicely, leaving no white or greyish cast.  Skin is super smooth, lines are filled in, and makeup goes on beautifully and lasts all day.  Pores look smaller and it lessens oil production throughout the day.  Get a sample at the counter before investing, but I’ll bet once you try it, you’ll want the full size version.  I love this under cream foundation.

IT Cosmetics Feel the Moment Primer

8.  IT Cosmetics Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Primer Serum ($38)

The Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Primer Serum is a thick, super hydrating primer that makes skin baby smooth.  Ingredients include caviar extract, hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, E, and C, argan and jojoba oils, and avocado.  The serum is in glass jar with a dropper,  and two drops is more than enough to prime and hydrate.  It goes on slightly tacky then dries down to create a perfect canvas for makeup. This is just what I need for perfect makeup when I have dry skin.  I have gone through two bottles of this and am halfway through my third!

Algenist Pore Corrector Anti Aging Primer

9.  Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer ($42)

This primer comes in an opaque airless pump which keeps the product integrity and effectiveness safe and sound.  It does everything a great primer should do – it reduces the look of pores, creates a satin finish for easy makeup application, and it keeps that makeup in place and reduces fading throughout the day.

Ingredients include Alguronic Acid, which ramps up the anti-aging quotient. I am thrilled that over time it actually improves my skin – but I am even more thrilled with the immediate results of perfectly primed skin. And, of course, not looking like a sad clown with melted makeup at the end of the day is a huge plus!! The Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer has a beautifully lightweight texture that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. While liquidy, it dries quickly and truly makes that beautiful canvas you need to happily play with all the rest of your cosmetics art supplies.

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy

10.  Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy ($7)  So this is a bit of a cheat…it’s not a face primer, but it is such a fantastic eye primer I had to put it on the list.  If you like pigment eyeshadows, you need this.  If you have oily lids, you need this.  Heck, it’s only seven bucks…try it out!  A tiny dab makes eyeshadow not only cling to your lids for dear life, it also brings out a vibrancy you never knew the eyeshadow had in the first place.  I think of my Pixie Epoxy as liquid gold.

The biggest difference I notice between my original list from five years ago and the one I have now (beside the price increases!) is the addition of primer/serums.  Primers don’t just prime anymore, they also treat the skin.  Most people probably only need or want one, maybe two different primers.  I happen to be just a *little* obsessive about makeup, so my collection is extreme – but if you are looking for a primer, I am sure you can find something perfect for your needs on this list.

Ok ladies, what is your favorite primer?  Is there another amazing primer out there that I just have to try??  There’s always room for one more!  – Lisa