If you have oily eyelids like me, trust me when I tell you that this is the only primer that keeps eyeshadow in place all day

I’ve used it for years and years

close-up of a woman's eye wearing the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in painterly
(Image credit: Future)

I wear eyeshadow almost every day, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that you should never underestimate the power of a good eye primer. The absolute top of my list here has to be the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot.

There are several reasons for this, but first, let me tell you a little bit about my eyelids. A strange sentence, I know, but I promise it’s relevant to this article (and I’m sure plenty of people reading this will have the same specific eyelid-related issues as I do). My eyelids are naturally very oily. Without primer, any eyeshadow I apply will be guaranteed to crease and then eventually disappear. They’re so oily in fact, that even with primer, but no setting powder, the primer itself will disintegrate, and cream eyeshadows? I can forget about them. See, I told you: oily. 

This is where it gets confusing: they’re also quite dry and sensitive - specifically, at the inner corners, which seem to have skipped the oily-eyelid memo. This is down to my reactive sensitive skin. Finally, my eyelids are pretty much covered in small veins and have a natural pink/purple hue, so it sort of looks like I’m wearing a wash of eyeshadow, even when I’m not. 

I searched for years for the perfect eye primer that has the staying power and coverage I require but doesn’t emphasise the occasional dry patch on my eyelids, and I found all that I was looking for in MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot. 

Why do I adore this eye primer so much? I’ll explain…

My review of the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot

I’ve never been the type of person who could slap some concealeronto their eyelids for extra coverage and set it with their eye shadow - it would always crease throughout the day. Similarly, some other primers I’d tried had the longevity and stickiness I required but didn’t cover the small veins and purple/pink tone of my eyelid - as someone who favours warm-toned eyeshadows, my naturally cool-toned eyelids don’t provide the base I crave, so I need some added coverage.

The thing that really sets the Paint Pot apart is its consistency. It’s basically like a super thick and opaque paste, which effortlessly covers the fine veins and pigmentation on my eyelids. While the formula does set pretty quickly, it doesn’t set completely matte, but slightly sticky - this is barely discernible, but offers great grip for any eyeshadows I layer on top. 

The Paint Pots come in a number of different shades - some of which are metallic, making them an eye shadow in their own right. But I’m here to talk about the matte shades, which I believe make the perfect neutral eyeshadow primer and base all in one. The neutral Paint Pots come in a few different colours to suit varying skin tones - I have a light/medium skin tone and find Painterly to be the perfect colour for me.

different stages of valeza wearing the mac pro longwear paint pot on her eyes

Valeza with bare eyelid, wearing the Pro Longwear Paint Pot, and with eyeshadow applied

(Image credit: Future)

Most importantly, this eye primer is extremely long-wearing - seriously, it doesn’t budge. All. Day. I apply a fingertip-sized amount of Painterly to each eyelid, quickly blending it in and immediately setting it with my preferred crease shade (normally a warm-toned bronzer for day-to-day make-up).

At £22, it falls somewhere in the middle of affordable and high-end, I can personally vouch for the quality and longevity. The tiny pot lasts for ages - even though I use it nearly every day - so you’ll definitely get your cost per use. 

valeza holding the mac pro longwear paint pot

(Image credit: Future)

My only gripes? It does dry out eventually, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to the end of a pot without it being too dry to continue using - but seeing as it lasts a long time until it gets to this point, this doesn’t bother me too much. 

Also, the pot packaging is somewhat tricky to get into when you have longer nails, but again, this is definitely a small price to pay for the excellent coverage and long-lasting results it provides. 

In short: I am obsessed with this eye primer, and will continue to use it for as long as it remains in production.

Shop more of MAC's Pro Longwear Paint Pots:

Valeza Bakolli
Junior Shopping Editor

Valeza Bakolli is Marie Claire’s Junior Shopping Editor. She previously worked at BuzzFeed, where she honed her skills in all things shopping - from gift guide curation to being first on the scene to feature the latest fashion and beauty drops. She’s made it her mission to encourage people to shop mindfully and with purpose. That’s why she dedicates hours of her time every day to finding the best products online so you don’t have to - from small and sustainable businesses wherever possible, of course.