Eye shadow primers can help your shadow last throughout the day without creasing or smudging, but many of us can’t afford this makeup extra. Fortunately, there are many other tips and tricks to make your eye shadow last longer without spending a penny. Try these alternatives to eye shadow primer to save money while looking your best.

Start with a Clean Slate

Wash your face with an oil-free cleanser. If you have oily skin, it can cause the eye shadow to practically melt off of your face. Gently wash around your eye area and use eye makeup remover if you have any lingering mascara or shadow from the previous day. Ideally, though, you should always wash your face and remove all of your eye makeup before going to sleep.

Create a Base

Apply concealer or liquid foundation to your eyelids. You may have thought concealer was just for under your eyes, but try applying it on your lids as well to form a base for your eye shadow. It will also brighten up your entire eye area while helping the shadow to stick.

Next, dust your lids with translucent loose powder. If you apply powder to your face, you probably skip your eye area. However, in the same way that powder makes your face matte and controls oil throughout the day, it can form an ideal base upon which your eye shadow can adhere and help to keep it from creasing later in the day.

Apply Eye Shadow to Last

Use designated makeup brushes to apply your eye shadow. These smaller brushes come in several sizes and shapes, and it’s a good idea to purchase a variety of them. High-quality brushes can be pricey, but they are worth the investment. Wash them often with soapy water and allow them to thoroughly dry before using them again to prevent the buildup of bacteria.

Eye shadow brushes allow you to apply the shadow in thin layers, slowly building up to the tone that you prefer. Your shadow will last much longer than if you use the sponge applicators that often come with shadows; they apply the product with too much thickness and allow you less control. While your fingers might be a good blending tool, you risk adding extra oil and breaking down the pigment of the shadow.