In My Makeup Kit: The Best Eyeshadow Primer

image of a makeup jar with a brown color in it
"Groundwork" by MAC Cosmetics

If you wear eyeshadow, you MUST wear an eyeshadow primer! Your eye makeup will not last without it. 

What is eyeshadow primer? 

First and foremost, eyeshadow primer, also known as an “eyeshadow base”, seals your makeup from the sweat and oil that is naturally found on your eyelids. In other words, this barrier prevents your makeup from sliding around your lids. It gets warm and sticky up in those folds! Have you ever noticed when you don’t use a primer that you have a line of gunk in the creases of your lids? It looks yucky, right? 

Secondly, an eyeshadow primer provides a perfect canvas for eyeshadow to adhere to! Metaphorically speaking, primer is like gesso on an art canvas. Your eye makeup will apply much more evenly and smoothly with an even canvas.

What is the best eyeshadow primer? 

My “go to” eyeshadow primer is the Paint Pot by Mac Cosmetics under the Pro Longwear line. Everyone who has an interest in makeup should have this product in their arsenal! The primer is packaged in a glass jar and comes in several shades. For lighter-skinned clients, I use an ash brown shade called “Groundwork”. For darker-skinned clients, I prefer the warmer and darker brown shade called “Quite Natural”. Paint Pots can be worn alone or under any eyeshadow color, including light colors. MAC’s Paint Pot has a soft and creamy texture that is easy to spread. Once applied the primer buffs out completely smooth. You can build up the color too! I like to keep the areas from the lash line to the crease opaque and buff the rest of the lid to be more translucent. Even if you have a monolid, this product can be worked up with a smooth gradient. Once the primer dries it lasts all day! Your eyeshadow WILL NOT MOVE. I just love it! 


Jar of makeup in brown color
"Quite Natural" by MAC Cosmetics

How do I use my Paint Pot? 

As a professional makeup artist, I use a spatula to remove the product from the jar. If you are using the jar for personal use, I still suggest using a spatula for hygienic reasons. However, if you are a “get to the point” type person, you can simply put your clean finger into the jar! Another option is to pick up the product with a soft, round, synthetic brush.

You can apply the primer with your fingers or a brush. A finger application will allow you to apply more product in an area. A finger application will also melt the product into your skin easier. A brush application will allow you to slowly sweep the color wherever you need it. You will use up more product if you use a brush, however, you will have more room for error. 

I use “Groundwork” in my NO FRILLS MAKEUP TUTORIAL on YouTube. 


Is it worth the investment? 

A 1,000 times, yes! YES, you will love this eyeshadow primer. It is super versatile and easy to use, even for beginners. The cost is currently $22 and a jar should last the average user about a year’s worth of applications. If I had to be stranded on an island with 5 makeup products, this would be one of them. Seriously, go buy this stuff! 


Links to buy:!/shade/Groundwork

Post by Jennifer Reid

Professional photographer working in Newport, RI.

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