We all know that eyeshadow never lasts how you want it to. I have a problem with it, and I don’t even have oily eye lids! I din’t even own an eyelid primer until just over a year ago but my life changed the moment that I picked one up.
I’ve got three types of bases that I reach for on a semi-regular basis for different reasons and I want to share with you why I choose one over the other, as well as tips to prolong your eyeshadow wear. And I’ll try to find cheaper alternatives for a couple if I can!
Most people go for a standard Eyeshadow Primer as a base, with my favourite being the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (but I do reach for TheBalm Put A Lid On It and the Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer on occasion; they’re just feel a little more like a silicone base which I don’t love). I tend to swipe them over my eyes and blend out with my fingers rather than using a brush, and this is due to the thin consistency (these tend to seep into brush bristles before any real application comes off. You don’t need a whole lot of this for your shadow to last all day, and I’ve had all three of these primers for almost a year and they’re all just coming to an end, even though they’re travel sizes. They have a fairly neutral colour (although they’re slightly coloured to neutralise veins in the eye lid) and blend out to be almost invisible on the lids. These are the bases I go for most often as they require the least precision.
I really struggle to find a base similar to any of these from the drugstore, although I have used the MUA Pro Base Eye Primer in the past and it does the trick (and Rimmel does a similar one although I haven’t tried their offering). Although I would highly recommend grabbing yourself a travel size of the Urban Decay Primer Potion for £10. It lasts absolutely ages and works wonders.
A Cream Eyeshadow Base also works wonders as a primer, and they last ages! This is a MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in the shade Camel Coat and it’s a lot thicker than a standard primer. I like to pack this on with a flat eyeshadow brush and blend out. This particular shade obviously isn’t skin toned, but there are slightly more neutral shades out there (with a lot of people opting for Soft Ochre or Painterly). I often reach for this if I want a light base colour that I know will last all day, then tend to blend a slightly darker shade through the crease to make a really easy every day eye look. This retails for £16 which is pretty pricey, but I picked this up from a CCO for only a tenner which was worth the buy. Although I’m not saying that I won’t be buying one at full price in the future because it is a really good product.
The best drugstore offering that I’ve found is the Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoos which I adore! However, they are lacking matte shades which is what I like for a base. The only matte tone I can think of is Permanent Taupe which is a grey cream shadow. I tend to reach for their shimmers for an all over shadow as opposed to a base, especially On and On Bronze.
For shadow that requires a brightening on the lids, I reach for the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. This is a stark white eye pencil which works beautifully as a base and really allows bright shadows to pop. This is great for bright pinks and greens, and although I don’t wear them that often this is so useful to have, especially at £5 a piece! Obviously this is a bargain buy and doesn’t require a dupe, but any eyeshadow pencils will work. I really like the KIKO ones but they tend to work better as an all-over wash of colour rather than as a base.
If you’re not ready to buy a dedicated eye primer, concealer works just as well! I personally don’t use concealer and I find it can be a little heavy on my lids but I know so many people who use this instead of a primer and it seriously works.
I also advise powdering your lids after primer application. I didn’t know this trick until a few months ago but believe me, it makes blending over the top a hell of a lot easier! My eyeshadow game has come on leaps and bounds since learning this little technique because everything blends so much more seamlessly.
What’s your favourite eyeshadow base? I’m dying to try the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base!