5 Incredible Face Primers You Can Always Rely On
Should we believe the hype when it comes to face primers? Or are they just another product cooked up by the beauty industry to get us to part with our cash? Our opinion: Find the best makeup primer for your skin and it will make all the difference. So how do face primers actually work?
Our favourite primers provide a host of skincare benefits and aid a number of complexion problems, but essentially they act as a barrier between your makeup and your skin, creating an even surface for your makeup products to sit on (or, conversely, less even—more on that later) and stay flawless for longer. Many priming products do this by filling fine lines and wrinkles and adding light-reflecting pigments to skin to give the appearance of a smoother complexion and more radiant skin tone. This is often referred to as a “blur” or “photoshopped” finish in the product marketing because they are literally masking imperfections with a fine layer of sheer product.
You can also employ the best face primers to banish shine, so if you suffer from oily skin, it might be worth investing in an oil-control primer. This is often referred to as making your makeup “melt-proof,” and the best makeup primers will keep your foundation fresher for longer, whatever the weather. These mattifying beauty primers contain a fine powder, which helps to keep skin shine-free for longer by absorbing excess oils and providing a slightly textured surface for your foundation to cling to. Certain makeup primers also target enlarged pores or issues such as redness or sallow skin, and even out bumps or blemishes.
Makeup artists use the best face primers when their clients want a makeup look that will last all day, or if they’ll be under the spotlight of a camera. The improved, more flawless complexion makes for a photo-ready finish, while the makeup look will stay put for longer—so finding the best makeup primer for your skin type is a must if you’re planning something important, like your wedding makeup look. And your favourite celebrity red carpet makeup looks? We’d bet our favourite BB cream on the fact that underneath their picture-perfect makeup there’s a layer of primer.
Keep scrolling to find your perfect match in our edit of the best face primers…
Prevage City Smart SPF50 Hydrating Shield (£55)
This brand-new skincare shield–meets-face primer provides your skin with SPF 50 protection, boosts your skin’s moisture levels and delivers a powerful hit of antioxidant ingredient idebenone. We’d recommend this as the primer for you if your main skin concerns are dryness or fine lines and wrinkles.
Benefit the POREfessional (£25)
Our pick for minimising the appearance of enlarged pores and smoothing uneven skin tones, Benefit’s POREfessional is a super-lightweight balm that gives skin a blurred, more even finish. If you like a super-natural makeup look, just apply a layer of this and finish with a dusting of loose mineral powder.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (£26)
An absolute classic, this vitamin A– and E– enriched primer reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and keeps makeup in place for longer. It’s a great choice for combination skin types—oily areas are left mattified, while dull, dry areas are given a radiance boost.
Illamasqua Matte Veil (£32)
Our top pick for oily, shine-prone skin, Illamasqua’s matte veil absorbs excess oil, creating a smooth, matte base for your makeup. It moisturises while it mattifies, so your skin won’t feel dry, just softer. You can also choose a radiance or hydrating skin veil, depending on your skin type.
Opening Image: Ryan Kobane/BFA/REX/Shutterstock