The 10 Best Eyeshadow Primers of 2024

No creasing, fading, or flaking here.

product collage of eyeshadow primers from nars, milani, urban decay, ruby, lorac,
(Image credit: Future)

Whenever I find myself getting ready for a night out, choosing one makeup product is of ultimate importance: eyeshadow. I’ve found that a touch of glitter shadow or a swipe of my favorite eyeshadow stick instantly transforms my look from day to night. But I’ve also learned that if I skip out on a crucial step, my eyeshadow will end up as a creased, smudgy mess by the end of the night. Take it from me, you need a great eyeshadow primer for a killer (and lasting) beauty look. 

Think of eyeshadow primers as the white canvas equivalent of makeup—it gives you the perfect base to paint on. This single product will ensure your eyeshadow stays vibrant and crease-free and lasts through your night of sweaty dancing. And don’t think a swipe of concealer across the lids suffices, either. Concealer might be okay if you’re in a pinch, but according to pro makeup artist, Disco, it’s a technique that’s best left for the pros. “There are so many primers out there that will get you the look you want much faster and easier,” she explains. “The concealer has other steps and needs other products to do the full job of a primer.” 

So, save your concealer for those pesky dark spots and invest in one of these great eyeshadow primers instead. Each of these little tubes below will make your eyelids silky smooth for a flawless eyeshadow application, plus they'll ensure your eye makeup won’t become a melted puddle by the end of the day. We even got a few pro-approved picks and shopping tips, courtesy of Disco. Be prepared, though—once you discover the magic of these eyeshadow primers, you'll never go back to bare lids. 

What to Look For in Eyeshadow Primer

One quick Google search for “eyeshadow primer” and you’ll find a ton of options on the market. To weed through to your best pick, you need to consider what kind of priming you want to do, says Disco. “There are clear options available that extend the wear and then there are also options that give your lid some coverage and make the shadows more vibrant.” So if you need your eye makeup to last all night, look for keywords like “long-lasting,” “waterproof”, and/or “extended wear.” And if vibrancy is your goal, look for “amplifying” and “fade-proof.” 

Coverage varies from primer to primer, so you may want to consider your skin’s needs. Do you have discoloration around your eyelids? Go with a pigmented primer with coverage, like MAC’s Paint Pot. And if you’re just looking for a primer that provides staying and smoothing power, a colorless option like Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is the way to go.   

Lastly, texture is another factor you may want to consider when shopping for eyeshadow primer. Overall, a tackier texture in an eye primer will provide a better grip for eyeshadow, meaning your look will last longer. Texture is also important to consider when working with certain skin types. For example, you may want to look for a matte primer if you have oily skin or opt for a creamy, moisturizing primer if your skin is on the dryer side. 

The Best Eyeshadow Primers

Meet the Expert

Headshot of Disco, pro makeup artist

Disco is a leading expert in the beauty industry, with over 12 years of experience as a makeup artist. She has worked with international clients and celebrities, and has participated in NYFW for 14 seasons. In addition to her work as a freelance makeup artist, Disco is also the co-founder of Kitpak, a professional makeup organization company.

Brooke Knappenberger
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she specializes in crafting shopping stories—from sales content to buying guides that span every vertical on the site. She also oversees holiday coverage with an emphasis on gifting guides as well as Power Pick, our monthly column on the items that power the lives of MC’s editors. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.