We’re all for less-is-more beauty around here at Brit + Co — that’s why our entire beauty DIY section of the website is dedicated to hacks, tips and tricks to help you streamline your beauty routines. So when we read that adding a step to your morning makeup ritual could potentially help it look better and last longer, we had to see if it was actually worth the trouble. Today, in our latest installment of Beauty Mythbusters, the claim is that using white eyeliner as a base or primer for your eyeshadow will make the color POP and the product stay put.


Confession: as a makeup artist, *I* know the answer to this question, but rather than just blurt it out, it’s much more fun to show you. So while I keep my mouth shut ;) first, we’ll show you what eyeshadow looks like on Ashley without using white eyeliner as a primer base, then we’ll show you the same look with white eyeliner as a primer base and, of course, show you the difference below. Scroll on to see if this +1 is a must-do.

Eyeshadow Without Primer


We put a bold, mossy green eyeshadow on Ashley — Freak from Urban Decay’s Cosmetics Electric Pressed Pigment Palette ($49) — and remember, this application is primer-free.


This eyeliner has a pretty rich pigment on its own anyway, which not only makes it easy to see for you guys, but also a great, unexpected choice to wear in place of your brown or neutral eyeshadow + with a pink lip for work. Let’s see if it has any more allure with the primer on first.

Eyeliner With Primer

Step 1: Apply White Liner Primer


Use any white pencil eyeliner to color your entire eyelid, stopping at the crease — we were really budget-conscious with this Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Liner Brow & Eye Pencil in White ($2) from our local drugstore. Use your finger to press the product into your eyelid to make sure it’s all blended, smooth and even.

Step 2: Apply Eyeshadow


Now apply your pop of color over the white liner primer using a flat brush to gently tap and run the product over the liner. Don’t use too much pressure though. If you press too hard, you’ll end up smudging the liner. Again, we used Freak from Urban Decay’s Cosmetics Electric Pressed Pigment Palette ($49) for color.


Ohh… looks a lot mintier to us! Let’s take a closer look below.



While the image on the left has a dreamy enough finish, that shadow — the one applied directly to Ashley’s eyelids (without the liner primer) — has a slightly deeper undertone to match her skin’s olive undertone, and that hue will deepen or mute depending on your undertone. You can see that the shadow on the right — the one with the liner primer — is actually more true to the pigment color in the palette.

Myth Or Miracle Worker?!


Debatable! The highly pigmented shadow is gorgeous on its own, but the primed eye does actually show up exactly the same color as the pigment in the palette. So color-wise, it’s really up to the wearer. In terms of it making the shadow last longer, it does without a doubt! Anytime you use a primer, a hacked version or otherwise, you are going to get more longevity, a more even application and a better deposit of pigment. Why? Because a primer acts like a foundation to provide a barrier between your skin and your shadow that helps protect the makeup from being absorbed by the natural oils in your skin.

Would Ashley Do It Again?


As a matter of fact, she did! During another application that she handled start to finish without myself involved, she said that she was not super bothered by the added step of priming her eyes with the eyeliner and that she felt like her shadow looked more flawless and prominent than normal. She said she would definitely do this for special events but at the moment, would not be willing to adapt this new step into her daily regimen because she still likes the way her makeup looks without the primer. In this case, it can pretty much be confirmed that this little hack is genius and can totally help you get more out of your basic makeup palette, but is not necessarily something you need to be doing all the time. Keep this one in the vault though, for those special moments you feel like going a little more bold, or if you want to get more out of a washed-out palette that needs a kick in the pants — this is a fabulous hack to make them look better, so no need to throw them out!

What other hacks or tricks would you like us to put to the test for you? Share in the comments below.