Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Primers for 2020, According To Moms – Scary Mommy

15 Drugstore Eyeshadow Primers That Slay ALL Day

December 4, 2019 Updated November 25, 2020

Drugstore Eyeshadow Primer

If getting ready in the morning often feels like a relay, then you’re not alone. #TiredMomsClub, anyone?

Rather than load you down with heaps of makeup products that you’ll never use, we have just ONE all-encompassing product in mind. Today, we’re chatting drugstore eyeshadow primers that leave you looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed… even when you’re going on a mere three hours of sleep. Womp, womp. 

What is Eye Primer?

First things first, what is it? Eyeshadow primer (usually, of a gel-like consistency) will ensure that your eyeliner/shadow stays in place. Think: long-lasting wear, no creases, and no fading. You may have tried use an eyeshadow base, on the other hand, which is typically thicker in consistency (similar to a concealer) and takes longer to dry. While a base formula gives you a nice sticky canvas to work with, it won’t combat oils the way the primer will.

Whether you deal with oily hooded lids or need a product that lasts from a.m. to p.m. (no touch-ups required), we’ve got you covered with 15 eyeshadow primers that you can score on a drugstore budget. 

Best for Oily Skin

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Base

You can thank us later: This non-greasy, fast-drying shadow base from Elizabeth Mott is a match for oily hooded lids. Why is that? Pearl powder (ze secret ingredient) works to even and brighten your skin for a truly matte finish that lasts all dayyyyy.


NYX Professional Makeup Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

Whether you’re prone to watery eyes (damn the cold) or just prefer the convenience of a waterproof primer (no mid-day touch-ups here), NYX has you covered. Use the wand to “prime” your lids for a smudge-free base coat that doesn’t budge. Reviewers 10/10 recommend this product for oily skin!


Best for Long-Lasting Coverage

Urban Decay Cosmetics Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Ready for some Houdini-level magic? Apply a dab of this Urban Decay eyeshadow primer to your lids for 24/7 wear. The creamy formula dries invisibly, making it easy-peasy to breeze through your morning beauty routine. Bonus: The travel size will come in handy when you’re in a pickle.


bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer

If you’re a working mom (or HBIC), then you *don’t* have 20 minutes to spare. Period. Enter the holy grail beauty item that we’d repurchase in a heartbeat. This bareMinerals primer is prepared to go the distance. Long-lasting wear? Check. Combats excess oil? Check. Around-the-clock coverage? You betcha.


Sigma Beauty Eyeshadow Base Primers

Behold, a well-calculated beauty splurge that will save you time and sanity. Beyond keeping eyeshadow in place for 8+ hours (bye-bye surface oil), this highly blendable twist-up primer crayon from Sigma Beauty can be used to color-correct your lids.


Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer

If creases are your #1 enemy, then you’ve come to the right place. This best-selling eyeshadow primer works to prep your lids for a flawless canvas. Keep your makeup intact—no creases or smudging (even in humidity) for up to 24 hours.


Morphe Eyelid Primer

Twelve hours of continuous coverage? No problem. Dial up the drama like “whoa” with Morphe’s color-enhancing primer. The waterproof formula goes on smoothly and dries sheer, eliminating the need for messy concealers and setting powders. Pro tip: Once applied to your lids, be sure to wait 60 seconds before applying eyeshadow.


Ulta Matte Eye Primer

Just wait until you see this long-wearing matte primer by Ulta in action, ladies. Three words: No more creases. The nude shade goes on translucent so you’ll never have to worry about it interfering with the intensity of your eyeshadow. If anything, it’ll amplify your eyes.


Best Bang for Your Buck

Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base

Get ready to take center stage with this wallet-friendly eyelid base from Essence. Pair it with your favorite shimmery eyeshadow or wear it on its own for a no-makeup makeup look. The creamy texture doesn’t crease (pinky swear) even after hours of wear.


Milani Eyeshadow Primer

The devil is working hard, but this Milani eyeshadow primer is working harder. Take your beauty routine from zero to 100 with Milani’s cruelty-free primer. It’s lightweight, invisible, and all that jazz—but wait, there’s more. It’s also formulated to make highly pigmented eyeshadow (purple lids, don’t care) last longer.


e.l.f. Essential Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer

We don’t typically like to play favorites, but when we find an inexpensive primer that gets the job done (and then some), how could we not? Lock eyeshadow into place with this quick-absorbing, sheer eyelid primer from e.l.f. that preps lids for the long haul.


Covergirl Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer

Covergirl’s lid lock up eyeshadow primer remains a cult favorite among working/multi-tasking mommas, and for good reason. Not only does this clear formula glide on smoothly, but it dries super fast. Whether you’re into shimmery eyeshadows or tend to play it safe, trust us, this bad boy is worth every penny.


Best for Bold Makeup Looks

DE'LANCI Makeup Glitter Primer Eyeshadow

Give your lids the special red carpet treatment with a tube of DE’LANCI’s priming potion. Coupled with a glitter shadow, it’ll retain vibrancy and pigment even after a hot date night with the hubs. Smooth application (no caking or creasing) and stay-all-day power make it worth the hype.


Clinique Touch Base For Eyes

Touch ‘n’ go with this creamy base from Clinique that’s formulated to be worn alone or blended with eyeshadow for double the intensity. We love that it’s available in three shades: canvas light (a light nude), canvas (a bronze hue with a hint of shimmer), and nude rose (the perfect blush tone).


theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer

Use just a drop of this shadow-enhancing primer from theBalm to elevate your overall makeup look. Sneak this multi-tasker into your five-minute beauty routine for a wow-worthy finish. The skin-smoothing formula is chock-full of light-reflective properties that will make you look (and feel) your best. 


For your next drugstore beauty haul, be sure to check out these mommy-approved beauty must-haves.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
stroke red
Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow...
NYX Professional Makeup Proof It! Waterp...
Urban Decay Cosmetics Eyeshadow Primer P...
bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer
Sigma Beauty Eyeshadow Base Primers
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease E...
Morphe Eyelid Primer
Ulta Matte Eye Primer
Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base
Milani Eyeshadow Primer
e.l.f. Essential Shadow Lock Eyelid Prim...
Covergirl Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer
DE'LANCI Makeup Glitter Primer Eyeshadow
Clinique Touch Base For Eyes
theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer