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Best eye primer 2023: Ensure your eyeshadow stays crease-free all day long

Prevent smudging and creasing and keep eyeshadow in place with the best eye primer

Eye primer has a great way of preventing smudging, creasing and pigment dropping when used with eyeshadow. Often an overlooked product in the makeup bag, the best eye primer might not seem essential, especially if you already use a face primer, but you’d be surprised at the difference it makes. An eyeshadow primer is specifically formulated to help extend the life of your makeup, but will also help it go on smoother and, in some cases, brighter. Long gone are the days where your concealer acted as an acceptable eyeshadow base. With so many great primers on the market, you’ll no longer have to spend ages creating perfectly blended eye makeup, only for it to smudge into one big blur after just an hour.

If you’re wondering which eye primers are the best of the best, you’re in luck. We’ve tested several to discover the ones that are guaranteed to help your eye makeup go on smoother and last longer. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option, one that’s best for eyes that typically crease or fancy treating yourself to something with more of a luxury feel, we’ve got you covered.

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This Urban Decay primer is a Prime Day BARGAIN

Don’t miss out on the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, now only £11.25 for Amazon Prime Day. This makeup essential ensures your eyeshadow stays flawless all day. But you’ll need to act fast to get the savings – the deal expires on Wednesday, 11 October.

Amazon Was £15 Now £11.25 View deal

Best eye primers: At a glance

How to choose the best eye primer for you

What does eye primer do?

Eye primer usually comes in a liquid, cream-based or putty formula. It’s applied to the eyelids before other makeup to help eyeshadow, eyeliner, pigments and glitter go on with ease and look smoother. A good eye primer will also ensure your eyeshadow stays crease-free and doesn’t transfer.

Can I use face primer on my eyes?

Nothing is stopping you from using a face primer on your eyes, especially if you apply it all over your face. However, an eyeshadow primer tends to be a little more heavy-duty when it comes to helping product “stick”, as eyelids have to carry a lot of additional product and pigment. Using a face primer will certainly be better than no primer at all, but for the best results, a dedicated eye primer is a must.

The best eye primers to buy in 2023

1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: The best eye primer for oily lids

Price when reviewed: £14 | Check price at LookFantastic

Perhaps one of the best-known eye primers on the beauty scene, this creamy formula will help to keep your eyeshadow crease-free and truly ensures that colour won’t budge all day. While this primer is long-lasting, you’ll need to make sure you apply your shadow relatively quickly after applying it, because it dries fast, making some powder tricky to apply.

If you find you have oily lids, you’ll be pleased to know that this primer is also super mattifying and stays that way all day.

Check price at LookFantastic

2. NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base: The best luxury eye primer

Price when reviewed: £23 | Check price at LookFantastic

If you want to create a seamless base for your eye makeup, this Nars eye primer can help with securing pigment to your lids without being drying and uncomfortable. The lightweight formula helps to ensure smudge-proof wear and, while it’s a little pricey, it works.

We like that this primer isn’t super sticky on the lid, which is common with makeup products that act as an adhesive. It has a really luxurious silky feel and lasts all day.

Check price at NARS Cosmetics

3. Rare Beauty Always An Optimist Weightless Eye Primer: The best quick-drying eye primer

Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price at Sephora

This is a popular choice from Rare Beauty. If you tend to wear bright colours and heavy pigment, you’ll enjoy using this primer that prevents fading. The tinted peach shade helps colours to stand out on the eyelid, making it perfect for dramatic looks.

You won’t have to wait around for the primer to get tacky either, as this product dries very quickly. It also melts beautifully into the lid, so you can apply your makeup straight away and is gentle on the skin too – perfect for those with any sensitivity.

Check price at Space NK

4. KVD Beauty Shake Primer High-Impact Invisible Eyeshadow Primer: The best eye primer to retain pigment

Price when reviewed: £18 | Check price at Boots

Not everybody wants an eye primer with a tinted colour; some prefer an invisible backdrop on the eyelid. This vegan liquid primer helps bring out the strong tones of pigment in every shadow, so you can get the effect of wet-brush application without having to dampen your palette. Sometimes, creamy eye primers can mix with your eyeshadow and muddy the colour of the pigment, but this acts as a clear adhesive, so you’re free to go wild with colour.

Check price at Boots

5. Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Eye Primer: The best no-crease eye primer

Price when reviewed: £23 | Check price at Sephora

If you’re used to your eyeshadow creasing as soon as you’ve applied it, this eye primer from Milk Makeup is one to consider. It can hold colour for up to eight hours with no creasing or smudging. You only need a small amount and once it’s dry, it acts as a super strong base. Truly a gripping eye primer, this bottle does what exactly what it promises. You won’t have to worry about smudging, or the creases in your eyes becoming colourless after a few hours, this promises a hydrating, crease-free experience.

Check price at Cult Beauty

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