It's a Crime Not to Prime! My Favorite Makeup Primers

Not using makeup primers is like trying to paint a masterpiece on a wet, dirty canvas. There are amazing benefits to using the right makeup primer, and with so many on the market, I put some top primers to The Beauty Geek test.

Primers are essential for helping your makeup last longer, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying everything by the time afternoon rolls around. By working to control oil and reduce the look of large pores and lines, you’ll end up looking flawless for much longer!

Navigating through the many makeup primers on the market can be a hefty task, but the road to gorgeous-looking skin has to start somewhere! First, it’s important to understand your skin’s unique imperfections. Is your skin sensitive, acne-prone, dry, oily?  Do you have large pores, wrinkles, or blemishes? Understanding your skin will help determine what kind of primer will best suit your needs.

Check out my ultimate makeup primer guide to figure out which product is best for you.


Dry Skin:

If you have dry skin or are looking for an extra radiant glow, you have to try my favorite new primer to hit the market: Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer in Radiance Bronze. It has a tinted, shimmery tan color that provides the perfect canvas for makeup. I swear I have received so many compliments on my makeup since I started using this bronzer! What makes this even better is that it is water-based (not silicone) and enriched with jojoba oil and vitamins A, C, and E for extra moisturizing power. Snag this at Sephora, and use a discount code to lessen the $33 price tag.

Oily Skin:

If you have oily skin and larger pores, I recommend going with a silicone-based primer like Benefit Cosmetic’s The POREfessional from Sephora. This primer is a fan favorite, and is great for filling in pores and providing a smooth surface for your makeup. Benefit Cosmetics often includes this makeup staple in their beauty kits, like the Primping With The Stars one, to help achieve a star-worthy look.

Red or Uneven Skin Tones:

Red or uneven skin tones can benefit from a primer that is color correcting like Smashbox’s Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer. It comes in 2 different colors depending on your needs. Ulta sells this primer, which has great ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and lemongrass (which all work to rejuvenate your skin). You can also use a coupon code at Ulta to save on this product.

Combination Skin:

Gals with combination skin, large pores, or yellowish tones, should try out Clinique’s Superprimer Face Primer - Colour Corrects Sallowness. The purple color helps even out skin tones, while the thick, but lightweight, texture conceals large pores. The texture also helps you feel like the primer is applied evenly. You can find this one at Sephora or major department stores.


If you’re looking for some extra protection or want to make sure you’re fighting the aging process, check out Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20 With Dermaxyl™ Complex. This primer works to make your skin softer while still reducing the appearance of fine lines. Plus, it has SPF 20 to protect your skin from harsh rays.

Stop thinking primers aren’t a necessary step in your beauty regimen. Check out these products for proof that makeup primers are an essential item in your toolkit!

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