We've Moved! Join Us!

Make Up Basics: Eye Primer and Base

For this next post for the Make Up Basics series, let's dig into eye primers and bases.


Typically, eye primers or eye shadow primers is used to prep the eyelids for eye shadow application.  It helps keep eye products from creasing, adhere and blend better as well as help control oil production on eyelids.  Eye primers also helps to extend the wear of your eye products throughout the day.  Most eye primers are silicone based.

Bases tend to have a tackier texture and are usually in a creamier formula.  Some bases also have colored pigments in them to enhance the corresponding eye shadow colors layered on top of it.  Some eye shadow base are formulated as a primer and base (e.g. MAC Paintpots).


Eye shadow primers can come in several different forms.  The most common is a creamy liquid.  Typical primers dry clear and have little to no pigment to them.  Most formulas help to even out skin tone on the lids while helping control oiliness and enhance eye shadow application.  In the beauty market at the moment, most primers are silicone based.  Fear not though, there are plenty of brands that carry non-silicone based primers for those who prefer the kind.

In terms of packaging, eye shadow primers are available in pump bottles, lip gloss tubes with doe foot applicators, concealer stick forms and squeeze tubes.  You won't need to use a lot of product and more often than not, less is more.  Primers do tend to lose their efficacy when you apply too much.


Eye shadow bases are available in creamy liquid/gel forms or as cream products.  The former usually packaged in squeeze tubes and roller ball tube packages and the latter in glass jars.  While some eye bases have built in eye shadow primers in them, most do not and due to it's creamy nature, I'd recommend applying an eye shadow primer prior to avoid creasing.  A common base used is cream eye shadows.

Since eye shadow bases tend to have colored pigments in them, powder eye shadows applied over top of the bases are more vibrant in color.  It can also be used to add dimension to matte eye shadows by layering a pearl or metallic finish base under the eye shadow.


There are generally 2 methods of applying primers and bases:

  • Clean fingers - With your clean ring finger, spread the product on your lids including the inner conners, brow bone and on your lower lash line if you intend to use any products in that area.  The warmth of from your finger helps creamy products blend better too.
  • Brush - A synthetic fiber brush works well to apply and blend primers and bases.  Natural hair are more porous and tend to soak up products especially those that are liquid and cream based.  A soft dense or short hair fluffy brush are great tools to use.


  • If you don't have a primer, most make up artist use foundation and/or concealer to work as a primer or base for eye shadows.  However, if you have moderate to very oily eyelids, I suggest investing in a good eye primer to avoid any creasing and extend the wear of your eye shadows on you.
  • Eye shadow primers works as a barrier between your skin and your eye make up.  This means that it helps prevent staining and discoloration caused by strong pigments in certain eye make up products and formulations.
  • Skin tone primers/bases are great to use alone to even out skin tone and discoloration on your lids to make eyes looking more fresh and awake.
  • Dab a little bit of eye primer under your eye to help prolong the wear of your under eye concealer and avoid creasing.
  • If you wear glasses, dab a tiny bit of eye shadow primer to the bridge of your nose where your glasses sit so your make up won't slide around when your glasses do.
  • Adding a layer of eye shadow primer underneath concealer in other areas of the face helps keep it in place as long as the formula you choose does not irritate existing blemishes/acne or your skin.
  • Some make up artists use eye shadow primer over top enlarged pores and textured skin to help smooth it out before applying foundation.

What's you're favorite eye shadow primer and/or base?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...