Under eye primers are the best, and I’m here to tell you why.
Maybe you’ve just gone through a breakup and your eyes are irritated and red from continuously wiping tears away (lol, same, and let’s not talk about all that black mascara pooling in the creases).
Or perhaps it’s allergy season, and your eyes are itchy, and suddenly your under eye skin is sensitive to the touch and looking puffy af.
Or maybe you didn’t sleep (lol, also me) and those dark circles are a little unsightly (sorry)… and you have a huge presentation in a few hours that requires you to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Whatever the case may be, you need under eye primers to help soothe, de-puff, and maybe cover the skin that is rarely taken care of (unless you have a dedicated eye cream in your skincare routine).
New to this game? Don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of the 10 best under eye primers that will best prep you for the days ahead – breakups, allergies, and all-nighters be damned.
Milk Makeup is one of my fav brands, and their eye primer doesn’t just help with eyeshadow – it also helps battle under eye problems, like concealer that keeps migrating down your face. In fact, 94% said it helped concealer grip beneath the eyes. A huge shout out to the aloe water and niacinamide for the soothing hydration, blue agave extract for helping to lock in makeup, hyaluronic acid to keep moisture in, and hemp-derived cannabis seed extract for keeping the under eye area happy. We truly couldn’t look like this without you.
Bobbi Brown is always worth buying. The formula includes hyaluronic acid and shea butter to moisturize, vitamins B3 and C to brighten dark circles immediately and over time, vitamin A to smooth, and caffeine to tame puffiness. Yeah, it’s one of the pricier options, but there’s a reason everyone and their mother owns products by Bobbi Brown: you’ll never regret the luxury of them.
Rihanna extends her foundation range into her under eye range, offering 16 different shades for any under eyes that need a lil help. It’s crease-, humidity-, and sweat-resistant, so no matter what you do, your under eyes will grasp onto any makeup you’ve applied beneath your lash line. Thank jojoba oil and sodium hyaluronate for giving you that moisture and conditioning your sensitive skin desperately needs.
It’s not 16, but nine shades for an under eye primer is still pretty damn nice – and more than most offer. Olive-derived squalane and plant-derived glycerin work together to give you the hydration component, soothing that puffiness and delicate skin. Next, cucumber extract’s AHAs are gentle enough to provide light exfoliation and antioxidants. And finally, tomato extract gives that extra oomph by plumping and brightening, so you look wide awake on no sleep.
Do you ever see Ariana Grande looking tired? I thought not – she always has that doe-eyed, I-got-12-hours-of-sleep look instead. Bless her heart, she took that magic and put it in a balm, so you, too, can look revitalized after morning application. Just drench those under eyes in this formula, which consists of plumping mushrooms, hydrating glycerin, and de-puffing caffeine.
We love Smashbox at QUILL (did you read Marissa’s review of their Always On liquid lipstick? She smashed it), and people love the BECCA under eye brightening corrector. Rather than just cover them, the apricot and peach tints neutralize the blue in dark circles, while backlight technology (which includes light-reflecting illuminators) brings attention away from the darkness. Add in vitamin E to protect, and your dark circles are gone without pounds of concealer.
It’s not exactly shocking that Milk’s Sunshine ALSO made this list, what with its 4.4-star average rating and delightful ingredients, giving you coverage without caking. It does this with vitamin C, to help brighten; plant-derived squalane and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, then lock in moisture; and light-reflecting brightening powders (aka magic) that illuminate the under eyes, so those dark circles go into hiding.
Concealers should never be obvious – they’re supposed to conceal, right? Yet, somehow, so many concealers are… obvious. Not the case with Winky Lux, which offers full-coverage while blending in seamlessly with nine shade options. Ingredients include the elasticity-encouraging collagen, moisture-maintaining hyaluronic acid, and protective vitamin E – giving that sensitive skin a base it can enjoy.
Pixi’s primer relies on vitamin C to brighten those under eyes – and it works, so we’re not about to complain. This formula contains brightening licorice extract and plenty of extra citric acids, giving you bright eyes that CAN be bought. But don’t worry about dryness – hydrating glycerin and sea buckthorn oil totally nourish the under eye, so you won’t be scratching and rubbing your eyes from discomfort.
Like Bobbi’s, this under eye primer is a bit of a splurge – but it’s well worth it. On top of being a primer, this under eye product also acts as a serum, providing 3-in-1 properties. Not only does this de-puff; it also smooths over lines and brightens any darkness hanging around. Plant-powered retinol prides vitamin A and exfoliation without irritation, with an assist from the ultra hydrating hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C helps brighten and firm as well, so you’re protected on all fronts after a night of tossing and turning.
What under eye primers work best for you? Share with us below!