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Makeup Tips — How to Pick the Best Foundation Primer for Your…

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Primers come in many different tones, formulas, and finishes, and whilst you can certainly choose a “one-size-fits-all” style approach to your primer, that’s not necessarily best for everyone. There are multiple variations of product which can help to target individual skin types and skin concerns.

Glossier Makeup Skincare Primer, Best Makeup Primers




In short, primers are base products that you apply after you’ve cleansed and moisturized your skin, but before you apply any coverage products like foundation or concealer. Primers are designed to help make your makeup last a lot longer and smooth over the surface of the skin so your makeup applies evenly. 

They’re a great makeup prep product, but they’re not the same as your moisturizer. Some primers are skincare-makeup hybrids which allow you to simply apply it to your skin and get benefits of both. Depending on the primer you use, you may find combining a moisturizer and a primer provide too much “slip” to your skin, causing makeup to slide and apply unevenly. Majority of the time, this can be overcome by simply allowing a full 1-2 minutes for each layer of product to absorb and set before moving on to the next. 


If your only goal and concern is to prolong the wear of your makeup without targeting any concerns such as redness or excess oil, stick with the basics and opt for a regular primer. These primers are not all universal, but their main goal and purpose is to simply keep your makeup looking fresher for longer, no matter your skin type. 

Try: Urban Decay All Nighter Face Primer, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Glossier Makeup Skincare Primer, best Skincare-Makeup Hybrid Primers



Certain brands offer products which provide skin with nutrients, vitamins, and hydration, but combined with ingredients which are also designed to increase the wear time of your makeup. These primers typically are richer in texture than a traditional primer, and they may even be heavier than your regular moisturizer, if you find this too much for your skin, try a serum primer. A serum primer has the consistency of a serum with many of its benefits, but also works to prime your skin for makeup application.

Try: Glossier Priming Moisturizer,

Tula Face Filter Blurring & Moisturizing Prime, e.l.f Hydrating Primer Serum


If you have a drier skin type you may find that makeup has a tendency to appear flaky and cakey on your skin. As foundation and concealer can often grip onto areas of the skin which are flaky, makeup can “cake up” on these areas and look uneven, wrinkly, and blotchy. A hydrating primer can work to smooth over these areas whilst simultaneously hydrating the skin so makeup applies smoothly and has a healthy, hydrated base to apply to. 


Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer 



For those with oily skin, a primer is your best bet for keeping makeup on your skin and preventing it from sliding and slipping all over the place, whilst simultaneously keeping your skin matte. If you’re someone with oily skin opt for a specifically designed mattifying or oil control primer designed to help reduce the appearance of shine and keep your makeup on all day.

Try: Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer, Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier

Primer for large pores, Benefit Porefessional Primer



Large pores can be a burden on makeup, but every persons pore size is different and this can vary based on genetics and skin type. Whilst some brand claim to “shrink” your pores, that’s not really possible. Large pores can cause makeup to look cakey and you may find that foundations and creams “settle” into your pores. Furthermore, if you’ve suffered with bad acne in the past and have been left with “ice pick” acne scars, a velvety, resurfacing primer could be just the trick. 

Try: Benefit Porefessional Primer, Too Faced Primed & Poreless + Advanced Formula Primer


From fine lines, to wrinkles, to acne scarring, skin that has an uneven texture can pose a real struggle for makeup. Certain formulas can settle into fine lines and wrinkles (thus exaggerating them) and foundation can often accentuate uneven and bumpy skin texture. A smoothing, primer designed to blur imperfections will help to smooth the texture of the skin and provide a layer between your skin and. 

Try: Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Blurring Coconut Face Primer


Redness can occur regardless of skin type, so whether you’re dry and flaky, or oily, blotchy, red, and acne-prone, a primer specifically designed to correct redness in the skin can work magic. Many redness reducing primers contain a dose of yellow or green pigments to “correct” the redness in the skin, whilst it may look daunting to apply these bright shades to your skin, they essentially “knock out” the redness meaning you don’t need to add layers and layers of product to cover up redness.  If you have fair skin, try mixing these highly pigmented primers with a standard facial primer or moisturizer before application.  


MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Primer Color Corrector – Redness, Peter Thomas Roth Skin To Die For Redness-Reducing Treatment Primer

Best Primers for Dull Skin



An illuminating primer is a glowy skin must-have. Dewy, illuminating, hydrating, and totally glow-inducing, but they’re often lighter than your typical hydrating primer (which may have illuminating particles also!) If you have dull skin or just love to rock dewy skin look for a a primer that contains light reflecting particles. These small, shimmering particles work to “bounce” light off the skin to give it a more radiant glow , you can also use it atop of makeup as a highlighter, mixed in with foundation to give your foundation a glow (and lighten the coverage) or on its own for an ultra-subtle, natural glow. 


Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer – IlluminatingCharlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer


Freshly tanned skin has a natural radiance about it, but a natural tan isn’t necessarily the safest thing you can do for your skin. If you’re wanting a little bit of shimmer and glow, try a bronzing primer. Use it underneath makeup for shimmer, glow, and a subtle bronze to your skin, wear on its own as a makeshift style tinted moisturizer, or mix a little in with your foundation to darken an existing shade + add a healthy dose of glow. 


Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer (Bronze), Ofra Cosmetics Rays Of Light Bronzing Primer

Shop this post:

Urban Decay All Nighter Face Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer 

Glossier Priming Moisturizer

Tula Face Filter Blurring & Moisturizing Prime

e.l.f Hydrating Primer Serum 

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer – Illuminating

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer

Ofra Cosmetics Rays Of Light Bronzing Primer

Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer (Bronze)

Story by: Evangeline Sarney

Imagery: [Supplied]

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