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Home>Blog>The Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Primers in 2020

The Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Primers in 2020

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Dec 15, 2020
The Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Primers in 2020

Prep and prime with the best drugstore eyeshadow primers

Any eyeshadow enthusiast knows the struggle - you spend an hour blending, shading, and swirling your favorite shades to perfection, only for it to crease and fade the second you get to the club. Or in the case of 2020, the living room… but the heartbreak is still the same.

When you’ve created a killer smokey eye or cut crease that would make Violet Chachki proud, you need the right tools to ensure that it stays in place all day and night. Which brings us to eyeshadow primers. Just like a primer for your face, this product acts as a base that you apply on your lids and surrounding eye area, locking in your eye makeup and preventing dreaded creasing, smudging, fading and smearing. And not only will your eye makeup stay flawless for up to 8, 16, or 24 hours - depending on the primer, it will also look better than ever.

These eyeshadow primers help reduce oiliness of the lids, and amplify the color to make your masterpieces that much more gorgeous. And you don’t need to spend too much for your most exquisite eye looks, as you can find all the best eyeshadow primers right at the drugstore!

Most are under $10, and deliver the same makeup-locking, eyeshadow-popping power of your favorite luxury makeup products… and your eyeshadow will never be the same after trying the best drugstore eyeshadow primers below.

Eyeshadow Primer by Milani, $7

Eyeshadow Primer by Milani
Source: Milani

“I have some hooded eyelids so the creases are real. With this, my eyeshadow seems brighter and doesn’t crease all day. It’s only $7 and a little lasts forever.” That's right - the best eyeshadow primers don’t just keep your makeup looking fresh all day, but intensify the color. We’re talking about going from simple green lids to the electric neon liner that Hunter Schafer wears on Euphoria, or a purple smokey eye that no amount of hot lights and sweat from the club (post-quarantine, of course) can fade. That’s exactly what you’ll get with the Milani Eyeshadow Primer. While some primers appear pasty white or too noticeable on your lids, this one goes on nude and dries to an invisible finish. It amplifies the color of your favorite shadow without any stickiness, fallout, or creasing - whether you’re going for simple minimal makeup or a dramatic halo eye. And at only $7, every eyeshadow lover needs to stock up on this drugstore eyeshadow primer. No wonder it’s an influencer-approved beauty product!

Glitter Primer by NYX Professional Makeup, $7

Glitter Primer by NYX Professional Makeup
Source: NYX Professional Makeup

Calling all glitter enthusiasts - you know exactly who you are, and you need this drugstore eyeshadow primer by NYX in your collection. You’re probably used to finding glitter in your clothes and on your hair a whole week after rocking your favorite metallic eyeshadow (thanks fallout,) but Glitter Primer will lock in every sparkle for hours of glittery glam. While also amplifying your look for bright, pigmented, and beautiful eye effects. At only $7, this primer keeps your eyes looking luminous while packing on the Chrome Paint Shadow Pot by Tarte in every color, and even works on your face and body too! Get all the Coachella vibes by packing on the Face & Body Glitter from NYX - as Glitter Primer keeps every shimmer particle in place on your cheekbones, nails, eyes, or body. 99% of our MIRA guests agree that this drugstore eyeshadow primer is long lasting, and 94% say it’s hydrating for the skin!

Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer by Covergirl, $8

Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer by Covergirl
Source: Covergirl

Covergirl has been your go-to drugstore makeup brand for years, so you know you can also trust them to keep your affordable eyeshadows looking fresh all day. And it’s not just an expression, as MIRA reviews say that this drugstore eyeshadow primer lasts for 8+ hours. Lid Lock Up is a gel formula that dries extremely quickly, giving you ample time to perfect and prime your eye looks - because nobody has time for creasing. Or fading, as this primer also makes your shadows that much more brilliant. Pair it with your Covergirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Palette - Shimmering Sands to glow wherever you go!

Photoready Eye Primer + Brightener by Revlon, $7

Photoready Eye Primer + Brightener by Revlon
Source: Revlon

The eyes are one of the most expressive features on your face. Sadly, they’re also the one that can make you look instantly aged or tired when not properly cared for. No worries… Revlon is here to help. This drugstore eyeshadow primer is like a magic wand for your face - adding a touch of radiance and staying power wherever you blend it. This lightweight, luminous formula smooths out the lines on your eyelids and produces the most flawless eyeshadow looks, yes… but you can also wear it alone to fake the awake look and add a boost of brightness when you haven’t had your morning coffee yet. You know the inner corner shimmer trick you love so much? Kinda like that. Photoready also contains light diffusers to blur under eye lines and creases around the area - making you look instantly brighter and more youthful. It’s a must-have drugstore eyeshadow primer for all - whether you’re an everyday makeup person or like to glow all out with your eyeshadow.

I Love Color Intensifying Eyeshadow Base by essence, $4

I Love Color Intensifying Eyeshadow Base by essence
Source: Essence

You may know essence for their Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil - arguably one of the best drugstore eyeliner pencils to exist, ever. But the brand also carries the I Love Color Intensifying Eyeshadow Base by essence to ensure that your liner always stays sharp! Plus eyeshadow and glitter, of course. Neon lovers will rejoice with this non-sticky, long lasting primer that works on even the oiliest eyelids, bringing your eyeshadow creations to life with captivating color. Even less pigmented eyeshadows will pop when applied over this drugstore eyeshadow primer, and the $4 price tag makes it ideal for those who use shadow base every single day. Stock up and get ready to sparkle with I Love Color - the new best friend of your favorite neutral eyeshadow palette.

Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer by e.l.f., $3

Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer by e.l.f.
Source: e.l.f.

“If you want a drugstore brand, I’ve been using this one for months and it has held my eye makeup on through sweat.” Sure, e.l.f. stands for eyes, lips, face… but we can’t stop focusing on the “eyes” part with this high-quality, low cost drugstore eyeshadow primer. We all know that it can take sweat and tears to perfect an eyeshadow look, and Shadow Lock is here to guarantee that these very same things don’t ruin them. Available in Sheer and Pearl shades, these drugstore eyeshadow primers blend out effortlessly on your lids. They reduce oil to prevent shadow from fading or sliding off, and add vibrancy to your eyes for your most exquisite, crease-free looks. It’s also ideal for matte makeup enthusiasts, with 100% of MIRA guests saying that Shadow Lock is mattifying and 88% agreeing that it’s very long lasting.

HD Eyeshadow Base by NYX Professional Makeup, $7

HD Eyeshadow Base by NYX Professional Makeup
Source: NYX Professional Makeup

“I've used more expensive ones but this one goes on not too thick, dries quickly and the shadow goes on smoothly and stays on until you wash it off. I would definitely recommend this primer over more pricey ones!” NYX has launched some incredible drugstore eyeshadow palettes - from the shimmery Cosmic Metals to the Ultimate Shadow collection that has something for everybody. Now it’s time to lock each shadow into place with the HD Eyeshadow Base. This drugstore eyeshadow primer smooths out the fragile skin on your eyelids while increasing longevity (96% of our community agrees!) and color payoff - making it perfect for the foil shadows that you’ve always wanted to wear, but could never figure out how to make them stop creasing. The struggle is real. But as always, NYX has your back. And your eyes. Achieve your best eyeshadow looks with this drugstore eyeshadow primer, and all the best NYX eyeshadow palettes that go along with it!

ColorStay Eye Shadow Primer by Revlon, $7

ColorStay Eye Shadow Primer by Revlon
Source: Revlon

Colorstay, all day. This creamy eyeshadow primer feels lightweight and luxurious on your lids - without the greasy feeling left by a lot of bases. From neutral shadows to foil pigment and dreamy neon, your eyeshadow will always be intensified by about a million with this Revlon favorite. At only $7, it’s a great makeup dupe for cult favorite primers, like the Eyeshadow Primer Potion by Urban Decay, and works with all skin tones to bring your most vibrant eyeshadow looks. Your delicate eyelid skin will be smooth and crease-free as you blend this primer out with your finger, and eyeshadows will stay bright and beautiful for up to 24 hours. This drugstore eyeshadow primer is perfect for all day, touch up-free outings post-quarantine!

Magnif'eyes Eyeshadow Primer by Rimmel, $6

Magnif'eyes Eyeshadow Primer by Rimmel
Source: Rimmel

If you’ve tried the Magnif’eyes collection of eyeshadow palettes, you already know they’re incredibly pigmented and long-lasting. But every shadow needs a friend, and the Magnif’eyes primer will help your eyeshadow look bold and vibrant for a full 24 hours. No creasing, smearing, or smudging! The matte finish removes all the oiliness from your lids, helping shadows blend out effortlessly without settling into fine lines. Pair it with your favorite mattes, shimmers, metallics, and more that stay all day and look better than ever before - thanks to this $6 drugstore eyeshadow primer!

Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer by Wet N’ Wild, $6

Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer by Wet N’ Wild
Source: Wet N' Wild

“My eyeshadow literally sticks to my eyelid all day and all night. I went in the shower and had to wash my face twice after the shower to get the eyeshadow off my face. Dries really quickly and it doesn't feel heavy on the lid.” The shower test is real, and the Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer will always pass. The clear finish means that your eyeshadow will always be pretty, never pasty… and the color lasts for hours regardless of whether you’re sitting on the couch or doing a virtual Pilates class. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the way this primer brightens up your eyeshadow for Google Hangout glam. The world of 2020 means lots of Zoom calls, and any shadow enthusiast knows that it’s not always easy to get your favorite colors to show up on camera. Especially neutrals or more muted shades. But Photo Focus intensifies these hues to make them truly stand out during Zoom history class and make the subject more fun… and don’t even get us started on the gorgeous way it looks in your selfies. After you’ve bought 10 of these $6 drugstore eyeshadow primers, collect the Photo Focus concealer, foundation, and powder for real Instagram glam.

Keep eyeshadow locked in and luxurious with the best drugstore eyeshadow primers - all on MIRA BEAUTY.