eyeshadow primers: the basics.

Do you apply eyeshadow in the morning before work and wonder where it went by the time you get home at night? 
Have a great eyeshadow palette, but the colours don't show up on your skin like they do in the pan? 
Maybe your oily lids are always sabotaging the hard work you put into that smoky eyeshadow by leaving creases? 

FRET NO MORE, READERS. It is SO (so, so, so) easy to prevent these annoying tendencies and keep you shadow locked and looking just how you like it from application to face-a-washin'. Enter EYESHADOW primers! I'll even explain a way to hack your shadow primer using makeup you probably already have, if you're thrifty like that. 


Essentially, an eyeshadow primer works as just that - it primes the eyelid for the application of powders. Imagine trying to apply powder eyeshadow to a dry piece of paper - it ain't gon work. The same theory applies to our eyelids - the eyeshadow, being a dry texture, simply needs something to stick itself to. Another example: your bedroom walls are painted pink, but you want them to be green. First, you'll have to prime the wall to neutralize its current shade to make it easier for the new one to appear accurately. Eyeshadow primers can do that for your skin, too. Often our lids can be darker, veiny, uneven, etc. - primers can be a great way to prepare a clean, blank canvas. 

My favourite primers: these are tried, tested, and true; inarguably makeup artist (and enthusiast) favourites across the board. 

1) Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
One of the first eyeshadow primers popularized on the consumer market, this eyeshadow primer now comes in several different "shades" or finishes. The classic, purple tube pictured here ^ is essentially clear, but you can also find it in other finishes: an opaque beige, a shimmery pink, etc. This classic formula won't add any colour to your lids, but it will provide a smooth, silky, even surface for your shadows to stick on to. It's very basic, but for that reason, foolproof. I recommend this to those of you who don't wear much shadow to begin with, but really - no one can go wrong with this one! Don't be put off by the price - it will last you YEARS (you need a pin-prick amount on each lid). 

2) MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots
These smooth, pigmented creams glide on your lids easily with fingers. Slap it on and you can either top it off with your desired shadows, or leave it as is. They come in a variety of colours. I use Soft Ochre (baby yellow) and Painterly (soft pink) - both matte - to prep lids on my clients. They cancel out any discolouration or veining on the lids, allow shadows to pop off of them/appear true to colour, and most importantly - these DO NOT MOVE. They are waterproof and I can always count on them to last all day. I also use Groundwork (soft brown) alone as a cream eyeshadow all the time! It's one of my holy grail items so please place it in my grave with me when I die. 

3) NYX Jumbo Shadow Pencil in 'Milk'
Now, you could use any brand or colour jumbo pencil to prime your lids - used to intensify a following shadow colour or as a sticky base. BUT, NYX "milk" is special. So special. It's a cult favourite. As the name implies, it's a white jumbo pencil - swipe it over your eyelid and blend it out with your fingers, leaving a light white space. Any shadow colour you put on top of this white base will show up exactly as it does in the pan. This is especially important for bright colours like neons, but also makes using any of your neutral shadows even easier. Less powder is needed to intensify colour, and that saves time - muy bueno. 


Fine! Just hack it. A dab of foundation or concealer on your lid blended out and set with a swipe of powder will even out the tone of your lid, and also provide a smooth and prepped surface for shadows to adhere to. Experiment with what you've got! 

Until next time, 

xoxo Gossip Girl i mean Morgan, Makeup by Morgan