Doing eye makeup is fun because there aren’t any rules to abide by. If you want something simple or bold, or even crazy when combining unlikely colors, do it with the right tools. It’s no holds barred when it comes to fun eye looks!
But if you have sensitive skin around your eyes (or sensitive eyes in general!), it can be quite difficult to find the right makeup. You have to pick shadows and mascaras your eyes won’t get irritated by.
And the most important thing to note is copping the best eye primer for sensitive eyes to start your look off right with a good, skin-friendly base.
Luckily, though the eye primer market is saturated with so many beauty brands to choose from, there are a few stand-out products for your extra-sensitive eyes. Here are some of my favorites!
Table of Contents
- Best Eye Primer for Sensitive Eyes Reviews
- 1. Physicians Formula Eye Primer Duo
- 2. Elizabeth Mott Eyeshadow Primer
- 3. bareMinerals Eyeshadow Primer
- 4. NYX Eyeshadow Base Primer
- 5. Maybelline New York Master Prime
- 6. Jolie Neutralizing Eye & Lip Primer
- 7. CoverGirl Eyeshadow Primer
- 8. Bellaterra Eye Shadow Primer
- 9. L’Oréal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer
- 10. bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer
- What to Look for When Buying Eye Primers for Sensitive Eyes
Best Eye Primer for Sensitive Eyes Reviews
1. Physicians Formula Eye Primer Duo
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to shopping for eye primers for your sensitive eyes, this pack of two hypoallergenic eyes primers by Physicians Formula is a great basic duo to start with.
In this duo of eye primers, you get a matte primer and a shimmery one for more glittery shadows. That way, you have the appropriate primer to complement what kind of look you’re going for.
For simple, nude looks with a natural glow, you can use the everyday matte primer. For metallic, daring looks, opt for the shimmery one.
The formulas are smudge-resistant and lock in your makeup all day long. You don’t have to worry about your eyeshadows spreading and smudging in the middle of an event or date with either of the primers.
They’re perfect for your sensitive eyes because they don’t contain any irritating ingredients, like oils that can sting the eyes, parabens, and fragrances. The formulas are also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so you don’t have to worry about rashes or acne breakouts.
They’re also clinically approved by dermatologists and ophthalmologists for those who wear contact lenses and are therefore extra careful with their eye makeup.
2. Elizabeth Mott Eyeshadow Primer
Should you want a more classic eyeshadow primer that keeps your lids grease-free all day while holding your shadows’ colors in place, try out this Thank Me Later primer from Elizabeth Mott.
The brand prides itself on coming up with an eyeshadow primer that is animal cruelty-free, so you know you’re making a responsible purchase that’s good for the world. The formula is also paraben-free, so you can rest assured that your sensitive eyes won’t have an adverse reaction to it.
The primer contains pearl powder. This powder brightens the skin tone and helps even out your face’s complexion to make your face makeup look more cohesive and put together.
It helps extend the wear of your eyeshadow so that your look will be more long-lasting. It also enhances the vibrancy of your eyeshadows’ colors, so you don’t end up looking dull even if it’s been hours since the application.
The formula is very lightweight and non-greasy, so it doesn’t feel thick, cakey, or greasy. That makes it the perfect primer for oily eyelids. It even has a quick-drying formula with a matte finish, so you can apply your shadows right away without wasting any time.
3. bareMinerals Eyeshadow Primer
This bareMinerals primer is unique because of the unique ability to double as a standalone eyeshadow. It makes an excellent base before you put on eyeshadows to help your makeup last hours longer during the day. But it can also be worn by itself as a simple, nude eyeshadow for a quick glam-up.
It has a creamy formula that is easy to swipe onto your eyelids and spread to create a smooth base for your cream and powder eyeshadows. It dries down matte, like a powder, which helps make your eyeshadows go on easier and without any creases.
The primer has a subtle shimmer when it dries down. This shimmer isn’t flashy but provides a natural glow that mimics the skin’s luminosity. It’s another factor why it makes a terrific standalone shadow for everyday looks.
It has a beige tint that helps neutralize any noticeable darkness and redness around the eyes. It has fantastic coverage that helps hide any imperfections as well.
I love that this primer isn’t irritating, even on very sensitive eyes. Even if you use it for hours on end every day, you best believe it won’t be harsh on your skin or sting your eyes.
4. NYX Eyeshadow Base Primer
If you’re looking for a primer with adequate coverage and easy application, then you should give this NYX base primer a shot. My favorite one in the line is in the shade Skin Tone.
This primer doesn’t come in a liquid, concealer-like consistency like other primers. It has a creamy and thick consistency, like a mousse. The texture ensures a smoother application on the eyelid.
It primes your eyes properly before you blend in your eye makeup. It makes sure your eyes can hold the pigments well so that your makeup will last for hours. It also intensifies your eyeshadow’s color so that you can look as bold and bright as when you first put your makeup on.
The primer has a bit of a tan shade that mimics the color of skin. It helps the product blend well into the skin and even covers up some imperfections and blemishes.
This is a fantastic eyeshadow primer for sensitive skin because it doesn’t irritate or dry out the skin, which is always a plus if you’re trying to be more skin-friendly with your makeup choices.
I also appreciate that this product is cruelty-free and acknowledged by PETA. NYX never tests on animals, and it’s great advocacy to support.
5. Maybelline New York Master Prime
If you’re looking for the best eye primer for sensitive skin, look no further. Maybelline is the queen of drugstore makeup, and this eye primer doesn’t disappoint.
This primer fills in fine lines and wrinkles to help you get a smoother and even base as you prep your skin for beautiful cream or powder eyeshadows. It helps make your colorful eye-makeup last longer.
The primer enhances the color of your eyeshadow’s pigments, so if you want a vivid color that lasts all day long, this primer is the one for you. You get terrific pay-off even with just one thin layer of this primer, so I love to reserve it for my bolder, more spirited looks.
But it can also be worn alone if you’re not feeling like a bold look. It helps liven up your tired eyes a bit and makes you look more fresh and awake, which’s great for everyday looks at school or work.
The primer is tested and approved by ophthalmologists for safe use even if you have sensitive eyes that tear up quickly with many makeup products. It’s also recommended for those who wear contact lenses.
6. Jolie Neutralizing Eye & Lip Primer
Jolie isn’t as trendy or mainstream as other brands on this list, but if you want a foolproof eye primer for sensitive eyes, you’ll love this.
The first unique thing about this primer is that it’s multi-use. While it’s primarily an eye primer, it can also be used as a lip primer to prep your mouth for lipstick. It helps smooth out the skin by filling in any fine lines and cracks, creating a smooth and seamless canvas for your eye and lip makeup to glide on.
When used as an eyeshadow primer, it locks all the colorful pigments in place. The hold is quite strong and reminds me of glue, so it’s perfect when you have a night-long event and need your eye and lip makeup to stay for a long while without fading.
It’s also a godsend for those with sensitive skin. It’s gentle, hypoallergenic, and doesn’t contain ingredients that can irritate your eyes or make them itch, such as talc and parabens. The formula is vegan too, so it has no gluten.
The primer is also infused with essential vitamins to fortify your sensitive skin and help it become stronger and more resilient.
7. CoverGirl Eyeshadow Primer
This clear eyeshadow primer by CoverGirl may not have the subtle tint other primers do to help cover up imperfections and redness, but it’s amazing at keeping your shadows in place all day.
It secures your eyeshadows on your eyelids for all-day wear, so you never have to worry about your eye makeup slipping and sliding in the middle of an event where you have to look your best.
It also does a great job of intensifying the color of your eyeshadows. While it’s suitable for everyday use, I think it would shine brightly when you use it to prep your eyes for bold and daring nighttime looks, like at costume parties and nights on the town.
The formula is grease-free, so it’s comfortable to use even for those with oily lids. The primer dries quickly, so you don’t have to wait long for it to dry before going in with your eyeshadow.
This primer is gentle on the skin because it doesn’t irritate or cause any inflammation, even with prolonged use.
8. Bellaterra Eye Shadow Primer
Bellaterra might not be a familiar brand name to you, but it’s an awesome brand that promises natural, organic, and non-toxic formulas for its products, like this eyeshadow primer gals with sensitive skin will surely love!
This primer smooths down the skin so that your eyeshadow won’t crease even if you wear your makeup all day long. It fills in fine lines, cracks, and wrinkles that might be on your eyelids so that your makeup goes on without any creases or folds.
This primer is moisturizing because it has nourishing oils in its list of ingredients. However, it never leaves a greasy residue on the skin. In fact, it absorbs excess oil production, so I highly recommend it to those suffering from problematic oily skin.
It has a beige tint that helps conceal imperfections like veins, darkness, and acne scars. Doing so allows the skin to look more even-toned around the face.
I also appreciate how this formula is hypoallergenic and non-toxic, so those with sensitive eyes never have to worry about irritation. It also doesn’t have any alcohol or talc, two ingredients that are known to be irritating.
9. L’Oréal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer
Creasing is already a bad eye makeup issue as it is, but when paired with eye sensitivity, it can be even trickier to find the right primer for you. Luckily, this primer addresses both problems!
This L’Oreal primer’s main specialty is preventing creasing and folding of your eye makeup throughout the day. It’s a fabulous primer to try out if you need help smoothing out those fine lines and wrinkles that are starting to appear as you get older.
It also extends the wear of your eyeshadow for long days. It locks in those pigments to make sure you have vibrant, shimmery eyes for up to eight hours.
The formula is creamy, but it dries matte. It’s perfect for those with oily lids who need help controlling the greasiness.
This primer was tested by ophthalmologists and was approved for safe use by those with sensitive eyes. So you don’t have to worry about this primer stinging your eyes even if you wear it all day long.
It’s also fragrance-free, which means that’s one less potentially irritating ingredient to worry about when you use this primer. It’s also terrific for those who hate overbearing scents in their makeup products.
10. bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer
One of my favorite primers from a popular brand is the fan-favorite Prime Time eye primer by bareMinerals. It’s designed to make your eyeshadows go into overdrive and withstand the test of time so that you can have vivid eyeshadows on your lids all day and all night.
It also eliminates excess oil sitting on your lids. That way, your eye makeup can look matte and neat all day without any slipping and smudging.
The texture of this primer is silky smooth, so it’s easy to spread onto the eyelid. That said, it’s still very lightweight, so it never feels heavy or cakey when applied.
A unique thing about this primer is that you don’t have to wait for your eyelids to dry before putting on makeup. It instantly primes your lids upon application, so you can blend in your eyeshadows right away.
This primer never irritates my sensitive lids, and I’ve never experienced any itching or stinging even after a full day’s wear either. I recommend it to anyone hunting for effective eye primers that won’t be harsh on delicate eyes and skin.
What to Look for When Buying Eye Primers for Sensitive Eyes
Hypoallergenic formula that won’t irritate the eyes
If you’re prone to allergic reactions when you try out makeup products that aren’t designed for sensitive skin, it’s essential to look for “hypoallergenic” on the packaging of your eye primer. That way, you can be sure the product is less likely to have allergens that cause itching and flare-ups.
Tested and approved by dermatologists and ophthalmologists
It’s important to get an expert’s buy-in about the eye primer’s safety you’re looking at purchasing. One way to ensure that the primer is suitable for sensitive eyes is by researching whether or not it’s ophthalmologist-approved.
Ophthalmologists will sometimes flag if a product is safe to use by those with sensitive eyes and even those that use contact lenses daily.
Oil-free formula that won’t be too greasy or sting the eyes
Oil tends to move and slide around your eyelid as the day goes. And when things get bad, it might enter your eyes and cause some stinging, especially when you’ve been hot and sweaty. It’s quite painful and distracting when it happens.
Avoid that by looking for an oil-free eye primer. That way, your primer and eyeshadow won’t be greasy on your lids throughout the day, and thus you’ll have fewer chances of stinging sensations in your eyes.
Will keep your eyeshadows in place all day long
The entire point of using a primer to prep your skin before makeup is to ensure your eyeshadows will stay in place all day long. Locking eyeshadows into place and securing the skin’s hold on them is one way to ensure your bold makeup look will still look clean and snatched hours into the day.
Opt for a primer that claims to lock in and extend the wear of your shadows, especially if you’re going to an important event or date night. You don’t want any smudging by your eyes during the night!
Fills in fine lines and wrinkles so that your eye makeup looks smooth
If you suffer from makeup creasing on your lids in the middle of the day or when you start to get sweaty, make sure you snag a primer with a crease-free formula.
A primer should be able to fill in fine lines and wrinkles so that your eyeshadows won’t have the chance to settle in between those folds and accentuate them. It’s a must, especially for more mature women who are starting to see skin aging signs near their eye area.
If your primer does the job properly, you should have a smooth and even canvas on your eyelids. Your makeup should also look smooth and snatched all night, without forming any visible and distracting lines.
Doesn’t contain harsh or irritating ingredients
Many eye primers will exclude harsh ingredients in their formulas to accommodate those with sensitive eyes and skin.
These ingredients include alcohol (which can be drying) and talc (which can lead to flakiness and irritation). It’s also a good sign if the primer is paraben-free.
Look for a primer with a mild and gentle formulation. Try to avoid any unnecessary ingredients like artificial fragrances and dyes. These don’t affect the effectiveness of the primer and only risk irritation.
From a trustworthy and renowned makeup brand
When you have sensitive and delicate eyes, you can’t just use any random eye primer from a random online shop. You need to make sure the brand you’re buying from is tried and tested.
If you’re on a budget and want to go for popular drugstore brands with a good primer, it would do you well to look for a Maybelline, L’Oreal, NYX, or Physicians Formula primer.
On the other hand, if you have a penchant for expensive beauty products, you can try out a bareMinerals or Urban Decay eye primer, among other options.
Don’t be discouraged if you have sensitive eyes. Just because your eye area is sensitive, it doesn’t mean you have to hold yourself back from creating gorgeous eye looks when you do your makeup. All you need is the best eye primer for sensitive eyes, and you’re set to have fun with all the colors you want.
The important thing to remember is that aside from keeping your eyeshadows in place and eliminating fine lines and wrinkles, your primer must be formulated gently and without harsh chemicals. That way, you keep your delicate eyes and perfect eyeshadow look happy all day long!