The Easiest Swap For Eyeshadow Primer (& You Most Likely Already Have It)

If you've ever searched for an eyeshadow tutorial on TikTok or YouTube before trying your hand at a more dramatic eye look, you've probably encountered the use of an eyeshadow primer. Since many makeup wearers stick to simple, natural looks for everyday wear, it doesn't seem worth it to run out and purchase yet another makeup product that you'll likely only use on special occasions. When you consider that most eyeshadow primers expire after just six to 12 months, settling for less pigmented, shorter-lasting eyeshadow seems like the more sensible option.


There is good news for the occasionally adventurous eyeshadow experimenter, however. You can actually make your own eyeshadow primer to help your makeup last all day. The best part? You most likely already have the necessary tools right in your makeup bag. Here's everything you need to know about how to prime your lids for bright or dramatic eyeshadow looks without running out to buy a dedicated eyeshadow primer. 

Concealer plus blotting powder

Next time you're trying a makeup look that features heavy eyeshadow, give your favorite cream or liquid concealer a try as a lid primer. A formula that claims to be crease-resistant and transfer-proof is ideal, but any concealer that isn't super wet or oily will work just fine. To use your concealer as an eyeshadow primer, you'll first want to add a thin layer of concealer across the entire area where you plan to apply the shadow. Let the concealer dry for a few moments but do not apply your eyeshadow yet.


The key to giving your concealer the same staying power as an eyeshadow primer is to set it with a blotting or matte setting powder before applying any pigment. This will prevent the oils in the concealer and the natural oils in the skin of the eyelids from causing your eyeshadow to slide around or fade away. Once you've pressed powder over the concealer, you're ready to apply your bold eyeshadow look. 

Other primer alternatives

If you find yourself in a pinch where you don't have access to an eyeshadow primer or a concealer and blotting powder, your trusty magic makeup bag might just have another trick up its sleeve. There are two other makeup products that can help prime your lids when you're looking to make your eyeshadow pop. First up is setting spray. Simply spray an eyeshadow brush or your finger and generously apply the spray directly to your lids. Wait until the liquid has completely dried and apply your shadow for long-lasting results.


When you end up in a situation where eyeshadow primer, concealer, setting powder, and setting spray are all no-goes, there is still one more option to try. Check your eyeshadow palettes for a matte, light, neutral shade. Apply the shadow all over your lid the same way you would a primer, concealer, or setting spray. Then, apply your colored shadow on top and continue on your fabulous way.