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The 3 Best Eyeshadow Primers

By Marissa DeSantis

Though you can use waterproof eyeliner and mascara to ensure long-lasting eye makeup, eyeshadow is a different story. It seems to be the first thing to slide off your face, which can seriously mess with that perfect smoky eye you spent 20 minutes carefully applying. But as long as you keep one of the best eyeshadow primers in your kit, you'll never have to worry about faded eye makeup again.

Keep in mind, not all eyeshadow primers are created equal. While all of them will help your eye makeup go on smoothly and protect against creasing, if you have oily eyelids (or plan on doing any sort of physical activity that might induce sweating), make sure to buy an eyeshadow primer that's waterproof.

To use eyeshadow primer, all you need to do is apply a dab of product (no larger than a pea-size amount) onto your eyelids. Use your fingertip to gently and evenly blend the primer, and don't forget to let it fully dry (about one minute) before applying your eye makeup.

Whether you're new to the world of makeup primers or they've been your secret staying-power weapon for years, here are three of the best eyeshadow primers to add to your must-try list.

1. The Overall Best Eyeshadow Primer, According To Amazon

This Thank Me Later eyeshadow primer is transparent and lightweight, which allows it to dry in seconds. It creates a waterproof base for your eyeshadow and eyeliner so that your makeup stays on all day, even through exposure to sweat, humidity, and water. The formula also contains pearl powder to even out and brighten your eyelids, so you can even wear it on its own for a more wide-awake finish. What's more, the primer dries down matte, so it won't make your eyelids feel oily or sticky.

If you need further convincing, this primer has hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon. "Just a tiny dab blended onto the lid (and allowed to dry) helps my shadow last a solid 12 hours. No fading, no melting, no blurring. It stays exactly as I applied it. I have the added complication of oily lids and this primer kept my lids oil free and my shadow in place," reported one reviewer.

2. Best Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer For Under $10

For a waterproof pick at a drugstore price, try the NYX Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer. The durable formula applies completely clear, comes with its own applicator, and only requires a thin layer to work its magic. Like the Thank Me Later primer (above), this formula will make any eyeshadow (or eyeliner) waterproof, and it'll also help enhance any pigment you layer on top.

"This is great! My eyeshadow stays put for at least 8 hours! It also makes a great base for more sheer colors," wrote one reviewer. Another commented, "Holy crap. Best $7 I’ve ever spent on makeup. My eye creases always get weepy and my eyeliner and shadow clumps/streaks/runs. This stopped it INSTANTLY. It’ll make even cheap eye shadow brands/liners stick like magic. Love it!"

3. Best Non-Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

Waterproofing your makeup isn't always an everyday concern, which is where this Milani eyeshadow primer comes in. You won't need a special makeup remover to get rid of your eye makeup at the end of the day, but the drugstore primer still holds up against creasing and fading like a champ. Though the product appears to be tinted beige, it dries clear. Use it to intensify the shade of any eyeshadow, or wear it on its own under liquid liner for double the staying power.

This primer is also an Amazon best-seller, with over 300 five-star reviews. One customer wrote, "Wow, I completely understand all the hype around this primer. It brightens my eye shadow and last all day plus. It goes on evenly and has a great consistency, not to mention the price is oh so nice." Another reviewer commented, "I put it on at around 6:30am and my eye shadow is still perfect and crease-less at 9pm."

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