How to Apply Eyelid Primer

Two Methods:Choosing a PrimerApplying Primer

There's nothing more frustrating than laboring over your eye makeup in the morning, only to have it fade by lunchtime. What's the point of perfecting your cat eye when it's wiped off or melting down your face by the time you're ready to go out? Luckily, with the super quick, super easy application an eyelid primer, you can rest assured your eye makeup will stay in place all day.

Method 1
Choosing a Primer

  1. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 1
    Choose the right shade of primer. For general, every day use, you want to look for a primer that matches your complexion or is just a tiny bit lighter. This will look the most natural if you forego eyeshadow and just do a liner and it won't alter the shade of your eyeshadow by adding pigmentation.[1]
    • If you're doing a smokey eye or a dark eyeshadow, look for a darker primer to add depth to your look.[2]
    • If you are using multiple colors and really want them to pop, try a white primer.[3]
    • You can skip eyeshadow altogether and choose a primer that has an exciting color already blended into the formula.[4]
    • Consider color correcting primer if you have dark circles or want to brighten your eyes. Primers with a yellow or peach cast will neutralize the purples, browns, and "bruise" shades of under eye circles.[5]
    • A primer with a little bit of green can neutralize pink or reddish skin.[6]
  2. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 2
    Choose the finish of your primer. Matte primers are great for everyday use, because they tend to last longer and give you a more neutral base for your eye makeup. Even if your skin is not oily, eyelids tend to get a little greasy throughout the day, and the matte finish will help absorb the grease and keep your makeup in place.[7]
    • A satin or shimmery finish works when you are wearing no shadow over your primer or plan to use a sparkly eyeshadow. Keep in mind these don't have quite the staying power as a matte primer, and that you shouldn't use a matte eyeshadow over a shimmery primer or it will look off.[8]
    • If you have very dry skin, try a gel-based primer or one that illuminates skin.[9]
    • Matte primers work with both matte and shimmery eyeshadows--they allow you to add all the shine using the makeup, not the primer.[10]
    • Matte primers are especially effective in hot and humid weather, because it will keep the grease and shine under control.[11]
  3. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 3
    Choose the texture of your eye primer. Primers come in gel, cream, liquid, or stick form. The texture of your primer will influence how it feels on your lids and how long it will last. Gel primers usually last the longest and can be worn with all types of eyeshadow. They're great in hot weather and minimizing creasing.[12]
    • Cream primers have a mousse texture and are the easiest to find. They work with most eyeshadows and can feel a little heavier on your lids.
    • Liquid primers are very lightweight, but are prone to showing creases if applied too lightly. Make sure you thoroughly blend liquid primers into the creases of your eyelids when applying.[13]
    • Stick primers can be applied directly to your eyelid, instead of using your finger or a brush. They are very convenient for this reason, however it can be difficult to gauge how much primer you are applying.[14]
  4. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 4
    Make your own primer or use a natural alternative if you run out of your primer. Aloe vera gel or unscented and unflavored Milk of Magnesia can substitute for primer in a pinch. Both will absorb excess oil, and the aloe can actually moisturize your eyelid as well. Just apply a tiny bit with a cotton swab, being careful not to get any in your eyes.[15] Mix the following ingredients to make your own:
    • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored chapstick, softened (run it under water for about 1 minute).
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch.
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid foundation that matches your skin.
    • Combine all the ingredients together in a small container.[16]
    • You can use a tiny bit of highly-refined petroleum jelly if you don't have the chapstick, but it won't have the staying power of the wax in the chapstick.[17]

Method 2
Applying Primer

  1. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 5
    Cleanse your face and apply moisturizer. It is essential to always start with a clean face, removing any oil or dirt that may be on your skin. Moisturizer will keep the makeup from drying out your skin. Wait at least 20 seconds after applying moisturizer, or until your skin feels dry and not dewy.[18] If the moisturizer is still wet it can interfere with the application of your primer.
  2. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 6
    Dab a small amount of primer on the back of your hand--it should only be about the size of a grain of rice. While you want the primer to cover your eyelid completely, too much primer can completely backfire. It can cause your makeup to pill, clump, appear chalky or shiny.[19] Too little, and your eye makeup won't stay.
    • This amount of primer should be enough for both eyes.
    • It's always better to start with less product and build layers if you need to instead of starting with too much and trying to wipe it off. Remember: less is more when it comes to primer.
  3. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 7
    Dip your ring finger or a small brush into the primer and dab it on your eyelid. You want to gently dab, pat, smooth, and blend (but not rub) the primer into your skin.[20] You can start near the inner corner of your eye and spread out and up toward the brow bone and outer corner of your lid, or you can start at the center of your lid and blend outwards and upwards. Whatever works best for you.
    • A (clean) finger is a perfect tool for applying primer, and most of the time it's all you will need. You can easily control how much product you are applying, and the warmth from your fingertips can help you spread the primer.
    • A small makeup brush can really get into the little corners and edges by your tear duct and lash line and usually helps you get an even application.
    • Always be gentle and never pull on the skin around your eye, as this can lead to sagging and wrinkles later in life.
    • Really work the primer into the creases of your eyelid. The primer's job is to fill the fine lines in your skin so that your makeup doesn't settle into the creases.[21]
    • If you are applying makeup to your bottom lid, use a thin brush or your finger to gently dab it along your lower lash line.
  4. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Step 8
    Allow the primer to absorb and dry (about 20 seconds) and then do your eye makeup as normal.[22] Your eyelid should feel like a flat canvass and your shadow should go on smoothly. If it appears cakey or clumpy, you used too much primer and should use a little less next application.[23]
    • Try using the primer on your eyebrows to keep brow powder in place, too.[24]
  5. Image titled Apply Eyelid Primer Final

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Categories: Makeup