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Found: An Eyeshadow Primer That Will Keep All of Your Holiday Looks in Place

Woman applying eye makeup after using the best eyeshadow primer

Photo: Getty Images/ Dougal Waters

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Back in my college days, I thought smudgy raccoon eyes were a good look as long as there was some glitter involved. I cringe now thinking about how I used to apply eyeshadow without any brushes or primer, a base applied to the eyelids before eyeshadow to enhance color vibrancy, increase longevity, and prevent creasing. But over the years, I’ve stepped up my eye-makeup game and learned how to apply eyeshadow like an actual adult. Having the right tools and the best eyeshadow primer makes all the difference. My latest obsession is the Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas Primer ($51) which gives me a smooth, hydrated base for eye looks and helps the pigments really pop. No more patchy, fading eyeshadow for this girl.

I put that primer to good use this Diwali—a Hindu festival known as the Festival of Lights, celebrated with the lighting of lamps, fireworks, and the exchange of sweets, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness and good over evil—when I was getting dolled up for all the festivities. Despite hours of dancing and mingling with friends and family, my eye makeup stayed vibrant and crease-free the whole night.



Tatcha, The Liquid Silk Canvas Primer — $51.00

What makes this the best eyeshadow primer

Tatcha’s skin-care formulas are rooted in centuries of Japanese beauty rituals and ingredients. The brand was born out of founder Victoria Tsai’s appreciation for geisha skin care while studying in Japan.

In this primer, two ingredients stand out:

  • Hadasei-3: a proprietary complex of twice-fermented rice, Uji green tea, and algae inspired by the nutrient-rich Japanese diet. The Uji green tea helps detoxify and reduce signs of aging, and the algae contains essentials for water retention and renewal.
  • Silk extract: the two proteins that comprise silk, sericin and fibroin, provide a protective veil of hydration without weighing the skin down and are key ingredients in many Tatcha products for their ability to provide silky, lustrous skin.

Though I didn’t know much about the ingredients at first, I was drawn to the featherlight, fragrance-free liquid texture of Tatcha’s Liquid Silk Canvas. After researching the origins of the product, I learned that Geishas would press a thin layer of melted Japanese wax called bintsuke onto their skin to create a smooth, flawless canvas for their makeup and to protect their skin, and that’s what inspired this product. Tatcha reinvented this practice with a modern primer that provides similar benefits. Now all that was left was to actually test it.

What the Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas Primer feels like when applied

The first thing I noticed was the chic packaging. I am a sucker for aesthetics when it comes to items in my beauty arsenal. I started my Diwali makeup by applying a few drops of the primer to my cheeks, eyelids, and under eyes. I simply used my fingers to dab it into my skin and waited a few seconds for it to absorb; I immediately noticed how the featherlight serum glided onto my skin, leaving a smooth, poreless finish.

For a radiant daytime look with family, I used the nude and champagne shimmers in my Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadow palette, swept across my lids and inner corners. The rich pigments melted into my primed lids, leaving a soft glowy sheen that lasted all day without creasing.

Since I was also attending a Diwali gala where I had to dress to impress, I went bold with the deeper blacks and glitter in the palette. Using the primer ensured the rich hues stayed put, allowing me to achieve a dramatic smokey eye that still looked flawless hours into the festivities. The Liquid Silk Canvas made my eyeshadow look vibrant, and after only a few uses, my skin looked smoother, had an instant glow, and stayed moisturized all day.

Though Diwali was Nov. 12, I’ve started to implement Liquid Silk Canvas into my everyday look regardless of whether I’m wearing more makeup. College me would be surprised at how much I’ve evolved!

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