Eye Primers for Oily Lids


I, like many others, have the unfortunate issue of possessing oily skin, even in the eye area. I, like many others, can barely wear eyeshadows without them melting off within the hour. I, like many others, have tried so many different types of eyeshadow primers in my quest for one product that works wonders.

So far I have tried FIVE primers, and so far, most of them have not met my expectations. I am going to go through them in the order of the cheapest to the most expensive. They are all cruelty-free, and, in some cases, vegan.

First up is essence Cosmetics' I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base for $2. I picked this up on a whim during a cosmetics warehouse sale. This thing barely budges from the skin when swatched, and on pale people, this appears quite orange and resembles fake tan. It lasted slightly longer than the e.l.f. one I mentioned below, and the eyeshadows showed up better, but it felt a bit heavy on the lids. It was hard to blend it out, and using a bit of powder helped minimise the creasing until the third or fourth hour.

Secondly, it is the e.l.f Cosmetics Mineral Eyeshadow Primer. This was once found on iHerb for $3.75, though it is now discontinued and no longer available on the e.l.f websites, both Australian and American. And good riddance, I say. This primer only lasts a couple of hours, if not less, and ends up in the crease really quickly and embarrassingly. It applies as an opaque skin tone, which blends out easily, and doesn't show up much on the skin. It does not take on pigment very well, though, nor did it do a very good job in blending eyeshadows for a flawless look.

Thirdly, it is the Wet n Wild Fergie Take On The Day Eyeshadow Primer for $17.49 on Amazon. The price is a bit high because it's now discontinued and it will become harder to obtain. My friend, Cat Miranda, included this in her first care package to me, because I had heard good things about it. It has a tendency to separate in the tube, but after mixing it back together on the back of the hand, it does a really good job of making my eyeshadows last at least 10 hours, especially when I use some powder before applying eyeshadows. So far, this primer has exceeded my expectations, and one day I'll do a proper review on this primer when I've got some eye swatches done and dusted.

The fourth eye primer in this list is Too Faced's Original Shadow Insurance for $33. I initially tried their Champagne Shadow Insurance which I seriously liked for the subtle colour and application, and then sampled the Original one. I bought the original one because it lets me use it for both matte and shimmery eye looks. However, I've since returned it, as it did not keep to its claim of providing 24hr anti-crease protection. At best, I was lucky to get 6 hours of no creasing, but it was not what I wanted or needed, and $33 was far too expensive for something that did not work for me.

Lastly, I grabbed a sample of Cover FX Anti-Age Smoothing Eye Primer from Sephora, though a tube of this is priced at an exorbitant $53.00. Cat Miranda recommended this one to me after I complained about my oily eyelids. This surpasses even the Too Faced Shadow Insurance in that it applies and blends nicely, takes on pigmentation beautifully, and lasts about 7 hours, eight if I apply powder to my lids before the eyeshadow.

It's easy to see which eyeshadow primer worked best for me, and I think I shall have to stock up on the Wet n Wild one as soon as I can, considering how it's now discontinued. Seeing as this one, out of all the rest have worked for me, it's obvious that until I find a more easily accessible primer, I need to stick with this little gem.

I am always open to suggestions though, so if you know of any that can surpass the Wet n Wild one, I am all ears!


  1. The wet and wild one sounds amazing! Apparently their setting sprays are really good as well :) It's too bad the other ones didn't work out - even the hella expensive ones! like what the heck!?

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

    1. Exactly! It's like, 'dude, step up your game!'. I really need to get a setting spray, because I don't even own one! I don't understand why they've discontinued the primer, considering how it actually works!

  2. i definitely struggle with oily lids as well, right now i'm using benefit's stay don't stray which is pretty good. i have one of the gold shadow insurance ones and i feel like it's way too over the top with shimmer!

    danielle | avec danielle

    1. Really? I found the shimmer to be quite subtle, and could be worn on its own, though that's just my opinion. I wish Benefit was cruelty-free, because I'd love to try some of their stuff!

  3. I have quite oily skin too and have been looking for ways to make eye shadow last longer. Have you tried to Urban Decay eye shadow primer? If not - it's one of the best I've ever used and might be worth you having a look at. It keeps my eye shadow on all day (and all night if I don't take it off!)

    Katie. xx La Coco Noire

    1. I am considering it, but as Urban Decay is owned by a company that tests on animals, it's a hard choice. So far I'm really happy with the Wet n Wild one, but I might try and get a sample of the UD one from Mecca to see if it's worth it.