Eye Primers and Shadows that Don’t Crease, Fade, or Budge

by Sonja on July 20, 2009

Eye shadow can be challenging. Due to the constant movement of the eyes and oils in the skin, colors tend to crease, settle into fine lines, and fade into oblivion. Sometimes they even slide down the face and give that pretty panda-eye look, as Anne and Nae pointed out last week when they commented on my long-wear eyeliner post. This sort of thing happens year round but it’s so much worse in the summer heat.

Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy problem to fix. A good primer is key in helping the color of any eye shadow stay true and stay put. Another option is to use shadows with long-wear formulas. Long-wear cream shadows are also excellent for creating a soft, smoky line. Here are my favorites that I use all the time.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion

Urban Decay took their best-selling Eye Shadow Primer Potion ($17) and made it even better this year by adding a bit of shimmery champagne color, so Sin gives more bang for the buck by acting as a primer and eye color. I tend to sweep it on all over from lid to brow and then add a bit of liner or powder shadow here and there. It makes a huge difference. If you don’t want any shimmer in your primer, just grab the original Nude.

Urban Decay Cream Shadow
Urban Decay also makes Cream Shadow ($17), which has tons of pigment and a super long-lasting, whipped, gel-based formula that dries down to a weightless layer of beautifully intense color. It’s very easy to blend and never flakes. Use it on top of Primer Potion for even longer wear. If you want seriously vibrant color that lasts, definitely try these. Twelve shades to choose from, including colors with glitter!

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner
Multiple award-winning Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19) works three ways. It provides creamy color as a shadow or liner. It also acts as a primer by making any powder shadow or liner last longer when applied on top of one of these. There are fifteen pretty shades that can be blended together.

shu uemura Cream Eye Shadow
This summer shu uemura introduced Cream Eye Shadows ($30). These feature a waterproof formula that’s silky, creamy, and easy-to-blend with lots of color payoff and buildable coverage. There are nine shades in matte, sheer, and pearly hues.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow
Award-winning Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($22) goes on incredibly smooth. It has a velvety texture that’s very easy to blend. A whopping twenty shades to choose from. Definitely check out Galaxy, which is a silvery gray with a warm shimmer and sparkle.

Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner Duo
And as I mentioned last week, Smashbox has introduced Waterproof Shadow Liner Duos ($25), which work very well as all-over shadow and liner. Each duo includes a lighter and deeper shade in a mirrored compact with air-tight lid. Four duos to choose from.

Pro Tips

Apply eye cream around the eyes but not on the eyelid. That makes the skin oilier so it’s harder for eye makeup to stay in place. Cream shadows work best if you apply them onto clean skin, before powder shadows. For more sheer coverage, apply with your finger. Be sure to keep lids on tight to keep long-wear makeup from drying out.

Next Up

Later this week I’ll be sharing my favorite products for long-lasting lip color, including new long-wear lip glosses from Benefit and Smashbox.

Do Tell

Have you been getting the panda-eye look this summer? Does your eye makeup tend to migrate and fade year round? Do tell.

P.S. Check out our Beauty Resources page for some amazing beauty deals at amazon.com, beauty.com, Sephora, and more.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Leia July 20, 2009 at 2:13 am

I hardly wear eye shadow, but when I do, I have been using Benefti’s F.Y.Eye. So far I like it! It has a great, creamy consistency :)
Leia´s last blog ..Travelling Girl My ComLuv Profile


gilda July 20, 2009 at 2:55 am

i’ve never believed in primers because they never worked for me. until i tried urban decay’s shadow primer.

if you don’t have it, run out and buy it. and buy 10! it’s so good!
gilda´s last blog ..bib(iana) tee in colour-blocked white/grey/black My ComLuv Profile


DWJ July 20, 2009 at 4:18 am

I used to use Urban Decay’s primer but I found that Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance doesn’t leave my lids look white (I’m brown). Both are great but I have to be careful with primers on brown skin because they’re not as invisible as they claim.
DWJ´s last blog ..Friday’s Fabulousness… My ComLuv Profile


Nikki July 20, 2009 at 5:36 am

Hi Sonja, great post. I didn’t know about Shu Uemura’s new cream eyeshadow, will definitely be checking it out. And yes it’s so incredibly humid this summer my eye makeup creases especially easily! ):
Nikki´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile


Gema July 20, 2009 at 9:53 am

You failed to mention Mary Kay Eye Primer which is only $12! I never really used to wear any eye color because it would melt right off, but a primer really helps :)


Sonja July 20, 2009 at 10:40 am

❤ Leia, I’m glad to hear that works well for you. I didn’t have much luck with it when I tried it several years ago.
❤ gilda, I’m right there with ya! Primer Potion really does rock!
❤ DWJ, I hadn’t thought about that. I didn’t even realize the Nude version had any significant color to it. That’s really good to know. Thanks for the tip!
❤ Nikki, thanks! The new shadows are awesome!
❤ Gema, I don’t use anything from Mary Kay. Thanks for letting us know about the primer.


lisa July 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I second the Mary Kay eye primer recommendation-I have a tube and it really does help coloured eyeshadows stay in place!
lisa´s last blog ..Yaletown Summer Shopathon My ComLuv Profile


Sonja July 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm

❤ lisa, very good to know. What a great deal!


lefkothea July 23, 2009 at 11:27 am

for very oily eyelids only the MAC paint pots work for me, i’ve tried 90% of long lasting eye products..PS: i love your blog.


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