Natural Eyeshadow Primer: Our Top 3 Picks + DIY Eye Primer

I’m a little in love with the way my eyes look immediately after I’ve applied a fresh coat of eyeshadow. Be it in smoky, evening hues or for a shimmery, bright summer look – there’s nothing quite like eyeshadow to make me feel dressed up.

The thing is – that same perfect coat of shadow starts looking pretty darn funky gunky in about an hour. The oil gods have been very generous to my eyelids and these tiny expanses of skin produce far more oil than you’d think. Not to mention that most natural, mineral eyeshadows aren’t exactly known for their staying power (they like to congregate near my eye creases or fall off altogether).

So what is an oily-eyelid-ed green beauty junkie to do?

Well, there are a few options. For all the oily lidded beauties out there – here’s a roundup of the best natural eyeshadow primer fixes currently available!

Top 3 Natural Eyeshadow Primers

1. All Natural Face’s Vegan Oily Lid Eyeshadow Primer

natural eyeshadow primer

This is hands down the best value natural, mostly organic eyeshadow primer on the market. But the best part is that it actually works to keep eyeshadow on super oily lids.Their primers are flesh colored, apply beautifully (feels like you have nothing on) and have great staying power so your shadows will stick around. The downside is, though, that this vegan primer does little to actually bring out color.

So if you’re looking for a va-va-voom sort of effect, skip this one. But if you want a natural eyeshadow primer that helps keep the oil under control so your shadows last – this is a good pick. Made with all natural ingredients, vegan, and very very affordable.

Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Candelilia Wax, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Boron Nitride

2. Gabriel Cosmetic’s Natural Eye Primer


It’s gluten-free, cruelty-free, and made with all natural ingredients. Plus, it lasts forever since you really only need the tiniest bit. This is yet another super great natural eye primer for super oily lids.

Like the primer above, this one does a great job keeping oil under control and making your shadow stick around where you want it to (um, so not the creases). But unlike the primer above, Gabriel’s eye primer also does an awesome job bringing out the color of shadows. So yes, if you want your shadows to pop and stay on – this is a good one.

3. Tarte’s Clean Slate 360 Creaseless Eye Primer

natural eyeshadow primer

I honestly love this primer – it lasts forever, doesn’t crease and is non-toxic. The only reason I’m lasting it last is ’cause its ingredients list is not as clean (and it rates a #2 at EWG, if you’re wondering). That being said, it is highly effective and non-toxic, free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan.

Ingredients: Isododecane, Mica, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Cera Alba/Beeswax/ Cire D’abeille, PEG-40 Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Phenoxyethanol, Boron Nitride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Honorable Mentions

  • Jane Iredale’s Lid Primer: Okay, so this one is not for super oily lids. It goes on smoothly but felt oily on my lids. Have since donated it to a less-oily sister and she loves it. Goes on silky smooth for her, lasts forever, and does a great job holding onto powder shadows. These come in 3 colors and they’re neutral but shimmery so pretty even when worn alone, which is a perk, if you’re into the shimmery look and want a natural-looking primer-eyeshadow-in-one.
  • RMS Cream Shadows: These come in a range of colors and are also primer-shadows-in-one. They also do a good job as a base and will hold onto whatever shadow you layer it with. Like the above, these shades are also pretty darn shimmery and ‘moist’- looking so if you’re into that, rejoice! Oh, these are not for super humid weather as they’re quite moisturizing but the good thing is that if and when they start to crease, all you gotta do is gently rub it around with your finger and it spreads out smooth and even again.

Other Natural Eyeshadow Primer Options

1. Go the Foundation and Powder Route

This is obviously not as simple as simply dabbing on a lid primer, but it is effective and it takes ’bout a minute. Plus, both of these are some of the best natural cosmetic picks anyway so you can use ’em for beauty fixes far beyond your eyelids.


The best foundation base that doubles as a lid primers is W3LL People’s Narcissist Stick.

W3LL People’s Narcissist Stick is a fantastic natural foundation (and concealer), it goes on light and it lasts and lasts, and it’s perfect for oily skin (and lids). It’s also got the additional benefit of double-dutying as an under eye concealer. You’ll just need the tiniest bit for your lids.

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Silica, Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succi- nate **, Mica (CI 77019), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil (and) Organic Aloe Barbadenis (Aloe) Extract, Lysine, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Pro- prietary Essential Oil blend, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)*, Roman Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile)** [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499)] *Certified Organic, **Eco-cert

After priming with the Narcissist Stick Foundation and applying your eyeshadow, set everything in place with a very fine later of RMS’s Un-Powder.


This ‘finishing’ powder is optional, but it’s great to keep oil at bay. No matter how much oil your lids ooze, this gets your lids to a perfect smooth-and-silky state and keeps it there. If you have not-so-oily lids or dry lids, it can be drying so it might be best to skip it.

Ingredients: Silica

Sure, neither of the above are technically “eyelid primers” – but both of them do a great job keeping oil at bay and eyeshadow where it should be.

2. Whip Up a DIY All Natural Eye Primer

If you like easy, affordable, and the peace of mind in knowing exactly what’s in it – DIY eye primers might be your best bet.

For stupid simple, natural eye primers, look no further than…

  • Aloe Vera Gel: Lightweight and moisturizing at the same time, aloe vera gel provides a gentle, very subtle sort of ‘sticky’ hydration that keeps your shadows in place. Plus, aloe vera has heaps of skin benefits so you’ll be getting those on top of its use as a primer. If you’re not harvesting the aloe vera yourself, make sure you get a pure aloe vera gel.
  • Milk of Magnesia: MoM is simply magnesium hydroxide suspended in water but you’ll know it best as the stuff that helps soothe stomach and constipation problems. But its uses extend past that – especially for the super oily folk. There are oily skinned beauty junkies the world over using this milky white stuff as a oil-banishing, acne-fighting, super-matte-ifying, and very affordable primer – both on the lids and other oily areas on the face. And it works – the only downside is that our skin’s pH tends toward acidic (optimal pH of human skin is around 5.5) and MoM is highly alkaline. So using it regularly is NOT a good idea since it can change the pH of your skin. Save for super oily emergencies.

Last note: On using glycerine as a DIY eye primer – yes, it does work. Beautiful luster and it brings out the color very nicely. That being said, I don’t recommend it – unless the humidity of the air over 65%, glycerine actually draws out moisture from the lower layers of your skin and hold it on the surface so you’re actually drying your skin from the inside out. Not a good idea – especially for long term use.

Leave a Comment:

lisa says April 5, 2016

The only thing about Tarte is that it does contain a preservative (Phenoxyethanol). IF there is a product that doesn’t need and/or have a preservative, that’s always preferable (to me) than one that does. And it’s unnecessarily expensive. Thanks for reviews!

    Ellis says April 11, 2016

    Hey Lisa, thanks for stopping by 🙂 And yes, Tarte is a bit of a toss-up and totally agree – would always spring for cleaner products over semi-clean ones. It’s just that this primer works ridiculously well. Ah, will just have to continue the search for the perfect eye primer…

Esther says February 7, 2019

I loved Borghese eye shadow base. Discontinued ! It was not greasy or waxy. Had talc and a light color. Is there any product comparable to this!!!!!

Bonnie says February 8, 2019

I like the aloe vera approach, I think I’ll try that. You cant get anymore natural than that!

Ju says June 15, 2019

What do you think about baby powder as eye primer? Are there any concerns with that.

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