Eye primer is an essential makeup tool that helps eye shadow stay put longer. Eye primers are specially formulated to be used around the delicate and sensitive eye primer. Although some people attempt to use a foundation primer or foundation on the eye lids instead of primer, it is not the best option because it is not formulated for the eye area. Some foundations and foundation primers contain ingredients such as salicylic acid which can irritate or injure the eye. Instead, it is important to use a product specifically made for the eyes.
Each person’s eyelids are different, so it may take a little bit of trial and error to find an eye primer that is suitable. For instance, Sephora carries an eye primer made by Tarte, called Lifted Natural Eye Primer with Firmatol. Lifted helps keep shadow in place all day, helps to give the shadow pigment a ‘boost,’ making it more intense, and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the lid and in the eye area in less than ten minutes. Of course, Tarte is formulated without parabens, petrochemicals, pthalates, sulfates GMO’s or Triclosan, making it one of my favorite brands. The plastic container is supposed to have an indefinite shelf life in your bathroom, but once placed in a landfill breaks down completely in one to five years. This sounds like a dream product, but the price is a bit steep at $20.00 for just .1 ounces. Well worth the investment for the ecologically conscious glamour consumer.
If that price is too steep and you don’t need too much in the way of anti-aging products but just want your shadow to stay in place, Clinique and Mary Kay both make a quality eye primer. Clinique’s primer is priced at $14.00. This cream formula can be worn alone or underneath eye shadow. It comes in six different colors that can be coordinated with skin tone, eye color, or shadow colors.
Mary Kay’s eye primer comes in a small silver tube and goes on like an eye cream. This formula is especially great for dry skin as it contains Vitamin E, which is both a preservative and a moisturizing agent. The tiny .3 ounce tube will last through many applications as only a tiny bit of this product is needed. Allow to dry completely after applying for a velvety eye shadow finish, or apply shadow while the product is still damp to make the pigment even brighter.
If you have oily skin or a tighter budget, try Mark.’s Please Hold Eye Primer. It goes on like a cream but dries to a powder finish. It comes in two shades: light to medium for fairer skinned folks or medium to dark, for medium to darker tones. This primer has a concealer effect – it hides veins and discolorations well so it can be worn alone for a natural look or with powder eye shadow. At just $8.00 for a small compact it makes a great addition to any makeup bag.
To apply eye primer, use clean fingertips or a small, clean, synthetic makeup brush. Apply from the base of the eye lashes to the bottoms of the eyebrows. Some eye primers, especially those with anti-aging properties, can be applied under the eye and at the outer corners of the eye to disguise fine lines and wrinkles. Oily skin should use a drier, more powdery eye primer, as adding extra moisture to the eye could cause the eye makeup to slide right off. On the other had, drier skin should use a creamier eye primer to moisturize the eyelid, which also helps to disguise fine lines. Experiment with allowing the primer to dry completely, or drying partially before adding eye shadow to get the look you want. As always, follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe use of each product and be careful when applying any product around the eye area, especially for sensitive eyes. This small extra step in your morning routine can save you from repeatedly reapplying makeup throughout the day.