The 5 Best Primers

By Andrea Cannon on 1 October 2015 1 comment

Primer may seem like an unnecessary step in your morning routine, but professional makeup artists to the stars agree that it is a crucial step if you want picture perfect makeup every time. Many women even wear primer on days when they don't wear makeup to give their skin that silky smooth feeling and appearance. One primer can be used for the entire face or you can purchase separate primers for the face, eyes, and lips.

What Is Primer?

Makeup primer is meant to be used before you apply your makeup. It is a base for foundation that gives makeup a more seamless appearance and will make it last all day. It can smooth, conceal, and prepare your skin before you apply makeup. It can also blur the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and imperfections, so that you have a smooth, velvety base before you apply your makeup. It also allows your makeup to glide on, so you can apply it perfectly in less time.

Primers are available in cream, gel, liquid, and powder formulas. They can be applied after your serum and moisturizer. Start by just dabbing a small amount on at a time. Some primers (particularly pore erasing primers) specify that you should only apply them to problem areas, rather than on the entire face, so it’s important to read the directions. A small container of primer should last you a long time because a little goes a long way.

Top 5 Primers

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil-Free Foundation Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil-Free Foundation Primer is a cult classic. The silky lightweight formula leaves the skin feeling velvety smooth and instantly minimizes the appearance of pores. The oil-free primer is perfect to apply before your foundation because it stops shine, blurs the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles, and makes makeup last all day. The odor-less, colorless primer is ideal for all skin types, including mature skin. The texture is like a gel, but it dries to a powdery finish, which can help minimize fine lines and allow your makeup to glide on evenly.

The blend of vitamins A and E, grape seed extract, and green tea can protect the skin from free radicals and give it a super smooth surface. It can be worn alone or under makeup. It is a beloved favorite with makeup mavens, beauty editors, and professional makeup artists alike because it will ensure your makeup lasts all day. It was awarded the Best of Sephora Award for Best Primer, one of Marie Claire's "25 Products That Will Change Your Life," and an InStyle Best Beauty Buy. It is also rated one of the top choices by Vogue, Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, and Real Simple. This oil-free primer is so beloved that Smashbox offers a range of alternative versions to best fit your unique skin type, like the Blemish Control primer, which can help fight acne.

Currently $34.61 on Amazon

Too Faced Cosmetics Primed and Poreless

Too Faced Cosmetics Primed and Poreless can virtually erase pores, soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and perfect your complexion with unique ingredients like mulberry extract, arctostaphylos UVA URSI, retinyl palmitate, cyclodextrin with cavamax retinol, camellia oil, and vitamins A and C. It will leave your skin primed, detoxified, protected, and brightened, and can also help restore moisture, elasticity, and suppleness to the skin. It has a number of youth enhancing skin care ingredients, so it is ideal for all skin types, including acne-prone, sensitive, and mature skin. It has a unique texture, so your skin will absorb it instantly, but it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts.

The skin smoothing face primer can be worn alone or under makeup for a flawless appearance. You will notice immediate results, as well as long-term benefits with daily use. The customized formula will leave you with an airbrushed canvas, so your makeup glides on smoothly and evenly. It is also rated one of the best makeup primers by Cosmopolitan and TotalBeauty. Many reviewers agree that this is a miracle product that feels luxurious going on.

Currently $33.09 on Amazon

Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional

Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional is a cult classic. The silky lightweight balm complements all skin tones and is ideal for all skin types, including dry and oily skin. The oil-free formula has a slight nude color, blends in smoothly, instantly absorbs into the skin, and minimizes the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and imperfections. It can be worn under makeup or alone for a smooth, poreless appearance. You can also apply it over makeup on problem areas.

It is best to start with a small dab of this and pat a thin layer into problem areas. Instructions are also included to help you achieve perfect application every time. The long-lasting results make it a Benefit bestseller, ever-growing in popularity since its launch in 2011. It is a beloved favorite with makeup mavens, beauty editors, professional makeup artists, and celebrities like Rihanna. It is also rated one of the top choices by Vogue, Marie Claire, Huffington Post, TotalBeauty, PopSugar, and Glamour Magazine.

Currently $2.00 on Amazon

Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer

Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer is an affordable drugstore favorite that you have to try to believe. This lightweight primer is ideal for all skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone skin. The non-comedogenic, fragrance-free primer instantly erases the appearance of pores and blurs any imperfections, leaving your skin with a silky smooth appearance. The transparent gel formula goes on clear, so it is ideal for all skin tones. With every use, you will immediately notice the skin tightening and smoothing effects.

Start by applying this to areas with visible pores and never apply more than one layer of this primer or it will build up. It can also be used as an eye and all-over face primer. This has outstanding reviews online and is rated one of the best makeup primers by TotalBeauty and Marie Claire. Many reviewers stated that it instantly blurred pores and gave them a Photoshopped appearance, before makeup was even applied.

Currently $3.79 on Amazon

Mary Kay Foundation Primer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Mary Kay Foundation Primer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is a fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, and non-comedogenic primer ideal for all skin types, including sensitive, mature, and acne-prone skin. The lightweight gel glides on and dries to a soft matte finish. It is clear and odorless so it works perfectly on all skin shades and skin tones. It can fill in imperfections and leave your skin prepared for a perfect foundation application.

The oil-free formula is mineral-enriched to diffuse light, absorb oil, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It can be used on the entire face and can even prime the eyes for makeup. It can also help protect your skin from the sun, so you may be able to replace your daily face sunscreen with us as well. Some reviewers found that this primer helped maintain their foundation for more than nine hours. It is also rated one of the best makeup primers by publications like Cosmopolitan.

Currently $13.89 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best primers. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread's Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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The 5 Best Primers

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Guest's picture
lony angel

Thanks for sharing the best and top 5 primers.