Do I really need shadow primer?

Is primer really necessary?
Is primer really necessary?

Applying makeup involves a number of steps, and adding one more to your routine is probably only justified if it nets you a big payoff. Primers are a, well, prime example. They claim to make your makeup look better longer, but do they? Let's take a look at the benefits of eyeshadow primer to see if it's worth the time and expense.

Primer for your eyelids works a little like paint primer. It covers flaws by creating a smooth, even undercoat. It also acts as a moisture barrier to keep oil and perspiration from caking, creasing and cracking eyeshadow during the course of the day. Are your eyelids good candidates for extra protection? Yes.

It may not seem like it, but your eyelids see a lot of action. The average person blinks about 15 times every minute. Eyelids are also situated pretty close to the nose, a spot with a large concentration of oil and sweat producing glands. Perspiration can dull or even change an eyeshadow's coloration depending on factors like diet, emotional state and even the types of medications you may be using. Applying a primer or lid foundation helps stabilize the environment on your eyelids to keep shadow smooth and protected -- sometimes all day.

It also helps eyeshadow appear to float on your eyelids, which can help create a more dynamic and fresh look. Do you have to buy a shadow primer to get these benefits? The answer to that question may be up for debate. Although shadow primer is effective, some beauty professionals believe that products like foundation primer and concealer work almost as well. They may have the advantage of being part of your beauty routine already, so you won't have to buy something new.

Shadow primer does help keep eyeshadow from caking and changing color. It may also help eye makeup look more dramatic and attractive. The effectiveness of any of these products will vary from person to person and even from season to season, so it pays to experiment a little to discover what works best for you. Nothing beats personal experience.

Related Articles


  • Beautylish. "Splurge or Save: Eyeshadow Primer." 4/1/11. (7/11/12).
  • Beyond 40 Beauty. "Eyeshadow primer: need it or not?" 3/31/09. (7/11/12).
  • Covergirl. "No Crease Eyeshadow." (7/11/12).|14000170358
  • Lady and the Blog. "Why You Need Eyeshadow Primer: Trust Me It's A Necessity." 10/19/11. (7/11/12).
  • Makeup and Macaroons. "Do you need an eyeshadow primer? You be the judge." 10/28/11. (7/11/12).
  • Platinum. "What is the best eyeshadow primer? Let's battle!" YouTube. 5/11/11. (7/11/12).
  • The Accidental Beauty. "Eyeshadow Primers vs. Eyeshadow Bases." 10/9/10. (7/11/12).
  • The Boston Globe. "How often and why do people's eyes blink?" 4/14/07. (7/11/12).