The Best Drugstore Eye Primer For Oily Lids – 2018 Reviews & Top Picks

In our commitment to help you support your beauty, we’ve come up with this list of the best drugstore eye primer for oily lids. We’ve carefully tested and selected these products based on their effectiveness in making eye makeup stay in place, and preventing eyeshadow from creasing. We believe these products will help you keep your lids oil free.

Almost everyone who has gone through puberty knows what it’s like to have oily skin.

Unfortunately, for many people, this annoying skin condition may last until their 40’s or 50’s, and women know how much of a pain oily skin can be.

Apart from making one look unkempt and unhealthy, oiliness is the number one enemy of women who wear makeup, as extra facial oil can cause makeup to melt into a greasy mess before the end of the day.

If you have oily skin, it’s extremely likely that your eyelids are similarly oily as well, and your perfectly applied winged eyeliner doesn’t dissolve to a sludgy smear on your face. 

In that case, you’ll need a product to ensure that your eyeshadow stays crease-free.

Here are our top picks for the best drugstore eye primers for oily lids.

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At First Glance: Our Top Picks for The Best Eye Primers for Oily Lids

OUR TOP #1 PICK - Our top pick for the best eye primer for oily lids is Elizabeth Moss Thank Me Later Eyeshadow Primer. This product won our hearts for being paraben- and cruelty-free, and moreover, it keeps eyeshadow looking vibrant while keeping eyelids oil-free.

OUR TOP #2 PICK -  NYX Cosmetics Eye Shadow Base deserves the next place on our product roundup for its ability to bring out the actual pigment of eyeshadow. We also love how a little of this under eye primer goes a long way.

OUR TOP #3 PICK - The third spot on our list of the best primer for oily lids belongs to Too Faced Cosmetics Shadow Insurance. It locks in your eye makeup and can be used with powder or cream eyeshadows.

OUR TOP #4 PICK - SHANY Eye and Lip Primer also wins points for its creamy consistency and versatility. This product does not only ensure that your eyeliner stays in place, it also prevents lipstick from feathering and wearing off easily.

OUR TOP #5 PICK - Last but not the least is e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer in Sheer. This cheap eye primer helps prep eyelids for longer-lasting eyeshadow, and it also keeps eye makeup from creasing.

What Does Eye Primer Do?

An eye makeup primer is specifically formulated to help eyeshadow go on smoothly.

It’s particularly useful for those with wrinkled or crepey eyelids as it makes the area appear smoother before makeup application.

Those with oily lids will also benefit from an eyelid primer, as this may help to keep oil at bay.

Oily lids are the bane of women who love to wear eye makeup, as excess oil can make eyeshadow, liner, and mascara fade, crease, or run—not an attractive look at all (source).

Using a good drugstore eye primer can make eye makeup stay put, and it can even make eyeshadow look as vibrant as it was in the pan or palette.

This means that you won’t have to use as much eye makeup to get the color to show up on your skin.

How To Use Eye Primer Effectively

While beauty bloggers, makeup artists, and celebrities have no qualms forking over the cash to buy heaps of beauty products, others may have doubts about using an eye primer.

For many working women, students, or those who are on a budget, it may not be practical to spend money on an item that can be used on the eye area only.

However, you may be surprised to know that an eye primer can be used in different ways to make your makeup look better than it did before (source).

You can use an eye primer to make your brows look great. If your brow powder or mascara seems to fade midday, simply brush the eye primer over your brows and let it dry before putting on your brow products.

Your eye primer can also prevent your under eye concealer from creasing, caking, or settling into fine lines.

Tap on the primer with your finger, and gently blend using a concealer brush or beauty blender sponge. Allow the eye primer to dry before dabbing on concealer.

Finally, you can also use your eye primer to keep your lipstick and lip liner from feathering or fading.

First, moisturize lips with a swipe of Vaseline or lip balm. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess.

Smooth on the primer and let it dry before applying your lip liner and lipstick. You’ll be surprised at how much staying power your lip products get when you use them with an eye primer.

How To Apply Eye Primer The Right Way To Keep Your Lids Oil Free!

Prepping your eyelids before applying eye makeup will help you maintain your look throughout the day—or night.

This is why many women who work a corporate job opt to use eye primers as it can help them stay polished longer.

Performers and actors also like to use this product as it helps them look their best whether they’re onstage or in front of the cameras.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using an eye primer (source).

  • 1
    Wash your face with a mild cleanser, taking care to cleanse your eyelids gently.
  • 2
    Blot your face dry with a soft towel. Follow with toner and an oil-free moisturizer.
  • 3
    Using a doe-foot applicator, a concealer brush, or your fingers, dot the eye primer onto your lids and blend gently, taking care not to get any of the cream or fluid in your eyes.
  • 4
    Dab some on your eyebrows and under your eyes and blend. Let the eye primer dry.
  • 5
    Next, smooth on your favorite foundation or BB cream. Set with translucent or pressed powder.
  • 6
    Now’s the time to apply your eye makeup and brow products. You’ll notice that you won’t have to use as much eyeshadow as the primer makes colors look more intense on your skin, almost the way it looks like in the pan.

The Best Drugstore Eye Primer For Oily Lids That Works Amazingly Well

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer

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Our Rating


Our number one pick on our list of the best eye primer for oily eyelids goes to this product, which has a lightweight and waterproof formula that locks makeup in place.

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer contains cyclopentasiloxane, which is one of the most common ingredients used in skin care and cosmetics today.

This type of silicon acts as a waterproofing agent, and it also moisturizes the skin.

Talc is another ingredient in this primer, which is mostly found in baby powder and powder cosmetics. It acts as an absorbent as well as an anti-caking agent.

This drugstore eye primer also has isododecane, which prevents the evaporation of water from the skin, and this means that makeup will last longer on the skin.

This is the best eye makeup primer for oily skin that we have used from this roundup as it kept our eyelids oil-free and it prevented our eyeshadow from creasing.

It has a whipped, airy texture, and we also loved that it’s lightweight.

Most of all, it kept our eyeliner from fading. Typically, our liquid liner would fade after about four hours, but this primer kept it from fading or cracking the whole day.

What We Like

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    Lightweight feel
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    Keeps eyelids oil-free for hours

What We Don't Like

  • May dry out skin

NYX Cosmetics HD Eye Shadow Base

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Our Rating


This eye primer deserves one of the top spots on our list of the best eye shadow primer for oily lids as it comes in three variants, so you can choose the right eye primer that suits you best.

Much like our top product, this inexpensive eye primer also contains isododecane, talc, and cyclopentasiloxane, which all help to mattify skin and give it a smooth finish.

It also contains beeswax, which gives this primer a creamy consistency, and dimethicone, which forms a hydrating barrier on the skin.

The NYX Cosmetics HD Eye Shadow Base comes in three kinds—Pearl gives your eye makeup an iridescent effect, while White helps color appear more vivid. Meanwhile, the Skin tone variant helps the color to show up naturally on your skin.

We chose the White variant to see if it would make our purple eyeshadow look more vibrant than it did without primer.

We were surprised at how true and vivid our eyeshadow looked on our lids, and we didn’t even have to use a lot to make the color pop.

However, it didn’t keep our eye makeup from smudging, and our eyelids started to oil up after four hours.

What We Like

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    Makes eye makeup look vivid
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    Comes in three variants

What We Don't Like

  • May not protect makeup from smudging
  • May not keep eyelids completely oil-free

Too Faced Cosmetics Shadow Insurance

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Our Rating


This affordable iconic eye primer is a staple in many beauty bloggers’ makeup kits as it locks down eyeshadow and creates a smooth canvas for seamless makeup application.

It contains the same trifecta of isododecane, talc, and cyclopentasiloxane found in the products mentioned above.​

However, this eye primer is formulated without parabens, so you can feel good about using this as part of your daily makeup routine.

This primer has a very thin consistency that’s similar to liquid foundation, and the fluid has a peachy tone.

It has a somewhat oily feel, and we thought that it might make our eyelids oily after a few minutes. But that wasn’t the case with this primer, as it made our eyelids stay matte for almost six hours.

This eye primer appears to work better with matte eyeshadow than glittery or metallic ones, as our metallic bronze shadow faded after five hours.

However, our matte eyeshadow held up a little longer and lasted more than eight hours.

What We Like

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    Keeps oily lids matte
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    Makes eye makeup colors look vivid

What We Don't Like

  • Has an oily feel
  • May not work well with metallic or glittery eyeshadows

SHANY Eye and Lip Primer

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Our Rating


SHANY Eye and Lip Primer takes the fourth spot on our list of the best eye primer for oily skin for its versatility and its ability to make eye and lip products appear vivid.

Moreover, it helps a lot in preventing eyeshadow from creasing and lipstick from feathering.

As expected, this drugstore eye primer contains isododecane and cyclopentasiloxane, which are mainstays in this sort of product.

Both of these ingredients protect the face from the elements and help makeup to stay in place.

It also has trimethylsiloxysilicate, which is a type of silicon that forms a protective barrier on the skin which slows down moisture loss.

This product claims to be waterproof, so naturally, we had to test it before going for a dip in the pool.

We smoothed on this eye primer before applying a cream eyeshadow and a thin line of liquid liner, then splashed around in the pool to see how it holds up.

Our eyeshadow faded a little, but our liquid liner stayed put. On an ordinary day, the eye primer kept our makeup looking fresh.

Our only issue with this product is that it comes in such a tiny pot. Also, the primer is prone to contamination as you need to use your fingers to scoop it up.

We recommend using a tiny spatula or a cotton bud to pick up the creamy eye primer.

What We Like

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    May keep eye makeup intact even while swimming
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    Keeps eyeshadow looking fresh and vivid

What We Don't Like

  • ​​​​Comes in a small pot
  • May be prone to contamination

e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer in Sheer

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Our Rating


Last on our roundup is e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer in Sheer. This product made the list for its ability to make eye makeup stay in place the whole day, and it kept our eyelids from getting greasy.

Apart from isododecane, this cheap elf eye primer contains quaternium-18 bentonite, which is an organically modified clay compound. It’s commonly used as a suspending and viscosity controlling agent in cosmetics.

This eyelid primer also has hexadecene copolymer, which provides water resistance in skin care products such as sunscreen. It works by forming a film on the skin and leaving a smooth feel.

The Sheer variant has a peachy pink undertone that appeared to make our eyelids lighter in preparation for the eye makeup.

It comes with a doe-foot applicator, and it was a breeze to dot the product on our lids and blend it out.

Though the primer didn’t make our eyeshadow look more vibrant, it did make our eye makeup stay on longer than it normally does.

It also controlled the oil on our lids for a solid six hours.

The only things that we didn’t like about this product is that there’s very little of it in the tube and it has a slightly greasy feel.

What We Like

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    Keeps eyelids oil-free
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    Helps eye makeup to stay on throughout the day

What We Don't Like

  • Very little product in the tube
  • Has a slightly greasy feel

The Bottom Line

For its ability to lock in eye makeup while keeping eyelids oil-free, our top pick for the best eyeshadow primer for oily lids is Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer.

This lightweight formula kept our eyeshadow from creasing, and it even kept our eyeliner from fading.

It also kept our eye makeup from cracking the whole day. Moreover, it gave our eyelids that soft, matte look that stayed for hours.

This eye primer, along with the other products on this roundup, may help make your eye makeup look and perform better while controlling the oil on your lids.

There are many types of primers and there are different ways to use them depending on your skin type and your beauty goals.

If you are looking for the best primers to use, make sure you check out our detailed roundup here.

We've also made a roundup of the best eyelash primers. So if you want to maintain the longevity of your mascara, you can check it out.