Alternatives to Eye Primer

Eye shadow primer is a product applied to the eyelid that fills in creases and wrinkles and makes it easier to apply eye shadow. The eye shadow stays in place for hours and will not melt off or recede to the creases of the eye. You can achieve similar results with other, less expensive products as well.


One of the best ways to keep eye shadow in place is to clean the lid and free it of oil and dirt. One of the main reasons that eye shadow does not stay in place is due to the presence of oil on the lid. You can use a face cleaner designed for use around eyes or sensitive skin to clean the eye and free it of oil. Do not use any harsh chemicals, or you can cause your eyelids to dry excessively, which can cause redness, irritation or peeling. Make-up remover can also remove oil from the lids. This method is not quite as effective as regular eye primer, but it will help keep eye shadow in place until the oil builds up again, which will provide several hours of crease-free shadow.

Lip Balm and Petroleum Jelly

Keep eye shadow in place by adding another substance to the lid that the shadow can grab onto. Lip balm and petroleum jelly add another layer over the lid that can help the eye shadow stick to the surface of the eye. Use a small coating of the substance after cleaning the eye, so that it does not stick in the crease of the eye. The oil in the jelly or lip balm will fill in the creases around the eye, helping shadow to stay in place longer. Go lighter with the shadow than normal, since the presence of jelly or lip balm will make the colours darker and richer than normal. Counteract the layer of oil from the jelly or lip balm by setting the shadow with a translucent powder.

Foundation and Concealer

Foundation and eye concealer can also help keep eye shadow in place. Apply a small dab of the foundation or eye concealer to the centre of the eye and blend into place with your ring finger. The concealer and foundation will remove excess oil from the eye lid and fill in any small cracks, making it easier to achieve a smooth finish with eye shadow that does not melt off or get into the crease after several hours of wear.


Thickening the eye shadow can also help keep it in place. Clean the eye thoroughly to remove any dirt or oil. Dip the brush you want to apply the shadow with into water and blot away any excess water. Draw the wet brush across the surface of the eye shadow and apply it to the eye while still wet. This will help the eye shadow stay in place better and will also make the eye shadow colours appear darker and richer. Dust the eye shadow with translucent powder after application to set the look.

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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.