Look, I know there’s a camp of haters who think primers are a scam, trust us when we say the best eye shadow primers have time and time again elevated the staying power of our eye looks. I mean, fine, you’re entitled to skepticism — just don’t act surprised when your next cut-crease ends up muddying together because you applied your product to bare, oily lids. But for the ones who know, they understand that an eye primer is one of the most underrated essentials that’s probably missing from your makeup bag, especially during the sweatier months of summer.
Face primers are one thing, but eye shadow primers are another (and even less debatable in their efficacy, in my opinion). Eye shadow primers are an essential base step in the eye makeup process because, in all honesty, your eyelids are, like, the least practical place to put makeup on your entire body. Think about it: your eyelids are tiny spaces with super thin skin that disappears into a crease in your face, which is why most of us (even those of us with the driest skin) have oily eyelids.
As you’ve probably experienced in the past, excess oil on lids causes even some waterproof, long-wear formulas to crease, smear, and smudge, so a product that minimizes oil throughout the day, is basically non-negotiable — which is one of primer’s biggest jobs, by the way. They also provide grip as an eye shadow base, keep powder or cream pigments in place, and increase your eye makeup’s color vibrancy. As an added bonus, these multitasking formulas are also great at smoothing skin for even product application and evening out skin tone discoloration.
If you’re wearing a dramatic eye look that you want to be seen and admired, you need to be wearing one of the best eye primers, period. You didn’t spend all that money on liquid eyeliner and TikTok-approved eye shadow palettes just to watch it all fade away before lunch, did you? Of course not. So, here’s our definitive list of Allure editor-approved eye bases for any and every budget to help you keep your makeup look locked down all day.