During my journey through learning about the basics of makeup is that primer, specifically eye shadow primer, is something I’ve learned is a very important factor in creating any impressive eye look.
Primers not only provide the eye shadow with something to stick to, but it enhances the opacity and vibrancy of the eye shadow. I truly believe that a good eye shadow primer can make even the cheapest, least pigmented eye shadows workable and noticeable.
I decided to pick an eye shadow from a popular palette that a lot of us already have in our collection. This way many of you have seen, swatched or even worn this shade so many of you will know what it looks like in person. The shade I’ll be using is ‘Smog’ from the Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette. If you would like to see this done with a cheaper eyeshadow like one from Maybelline or ELF I would be happy to do that, just let me know in the comments!
There are many types of eye shadow primers, and today I’ll be showing you some of my favorite ways to prime, as well as my favorite types of primers and bases.
This is one of my number one ways to prime for shadow because it is a multipurpose product. The concealer works similarly to an eye shadow base or primer which has a skin toned color that is rather opaque.
Applying a small amount and patting in on quickly with your finger will make most concealers become a tacky, and a good base for your shadow. It will also conceal and cancel out any veins or discoloration around the eyes, giving you an even base to work with.
As with any primer I use, I will grab a fluffy eye shadow brush and a skin toned eye shadow (or even pressed powder foundation) and lightly dust it over the entire lid. This will give you the most even application of other colored shadows, skipping this step may cause your eye shadow to look patchy. If this happens you might never be able to blend it out, no matter how much or how long you try.
Thin Liquid and Cream Eye Primers:
I’ve seen these liquid/thin primers come in 2 types, mainly. A pearl base and a peachy base. The 2 I own from ELF basically disappear once blended in, but I packed it on for the photos. It leaves your lids tacky and ready for a layer of powder to ensure smooth application of your eye shadow. Some of the peachy or skin toned primers provide a small amount of coverage from veins and discoloration.
You can get a colored base in any color if you look hard enough. There are multiple types of colored bases. There are shadow sticks like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk or cream pots like NYX Eye Shadow Base. A creamy eyeliner can also be a great colored base. Most cream shadows are great colored bases. You can go with the same colored base as the shadow you plan to use, or you can go with skin toned, white or black bases.
A skin toned base will help the eye shadow color show up better because you’re working on an evenly colored base to start building your product on, and it gives the shadow something to stick to, as do all bases. The shadow also sets the cream base in place so you don’t get any creasing (hopefully!).
A white base like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk will make your eye shadow color really pop and be true to the color in the pan. This is a great choice for brightly colored eye shadow looks, which is what I personally use it for most often. The staying power of NYX Milk is excellent, and my shadow stays bright and in place all day and night.
A black base is mostly used for dark colored eye shadow looks. Its great for intensifying that is not pigmented enough on it’s own. It can be used as a base for colored shadow looks as well, the result will be a deeper version of the original eye shadow color. It can completely transform an eye shadow shade that is packed on top of it, which is a pretty cool effect. It will also help the reflects in the shadow (if there is any) to show up better as it is against a dark base that will absorb the light, showing off the pretty and different colored reflects or sparkle/glitter.
As for my opinion of my favorite way to prime. On a regular day where I’m wearing a simple eye look, I will go with concealer. Since I’m going to have it out to apply to my face anyway, it makes sense to put it to more than one use, and its easy enough to blend up from around the under eye onto the lid with a beauty blender, other sponge or makeup brush. When I’m going for a bright or bold look, I usually go for a white base because it makes the eye shadow apply true to color. However, my all time favorite way to prime is with a skin toned eye shadow primer, let it dry a little and then apply a white cream shadow like NYX Milk over top to help the eye shadow shade really pop!
As for whether an expensive primer is better than an affordable one, I think the photos in this post prove that you can achieve the same result with an affordable product.
What’s your favorite way to prime? Let me know in the comments!