Best Makeup Primers
The perfect look begins with great skin. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed in this department. You can blame your genetics, your hectic lifestyle, or the weather, but with the proper skincare routine, it’s possible to improve your skin’s condition. Or, at the very least, you can fake it with cosmetics. Sometimes, though, no matter how many makeup products you pile on, you’re still unsatisfied with the results. That missing link you didn’t think of but is absolutely essential to look your best? It’s a primer.
A makeup primer works by creating an immaculate canvas for your makeup. Think of it as a spackling compound that patches skin imperfections like fines lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, and discolorations. Not only that, but it also extends the wear of your cosmetic products. Colors are more vibrant and stay in place longer. In addition, depending on its formula, it can correct deeper concerns associated with your skin type, such as oiliness, sensitivity, acne, or dryness.
The 11 Best Makeup Primers for Any Skin Type
You might think that a primer is just another makeup product to hide your flaws, but many of them incorporate potent skin-loving ingredients that will actually enhance your skin with every use. These 11 primers are all multitaskers that have garnered rave reviews from thousands of women with different skin issues. Read on to find the best one to suit your needs.
|Product||Best on||Size||Finish||Key Ingredient||Price|
|Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser||Best Primer for Large Pores||20 mL (0.67 fl oz) tube||Matte||Bitter Cherry Extract||$6.00||Buy On Amazon|
|Nyx Professional Makeup Hydra Touch Oil Primer||Best Primer for Dry Skin||20 mL (0.67 fl oz) bottle with dropper||Dewy||Sweet Almond, Safflower Seed, and Jojoba Oil||$9.54||Buy On Amazon|
|e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer||Best Primer for Oily Skin||21 g (0.74) oz tub||Matte||Kaolin and White Charcoal||$8.00||Buy On Amazon|
|Bodyography Foundation Primer||Best Primer for Mature Skin||Standard 30 g (1 oz) and Travel 15 g (0.53 oz) pump bottle||Dewy||Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Jojoba, and Grape Seed Oil||$28.00 for 30 g||Buy On Amazon|
|Rimmel Stay Matte Primer||Best Cheap Primer||30 g (1 oz) tube||Matte||Talc, Dimethicone, Silica, Glycerin, and Vitamin E||$5.84||Buy On Amazon|
|Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control Moisturizer||Best Primer for Acne-prone Skin||60 mL (2 fl oz) pump bottle||Matte||Witch Hazel, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Tea Tree Oil||$16.95||Buy On Amazon|
|Neutrogena Prep + Correct Redness Correcting Primer||Best Primer forSensitive Skin||30 g (1 oz) tube||Matte||Seaweed extract||$12.99||Buy On Amazon|
|Physicians Formula Eye Primer Duo||Best Eyeshadow Primer||2 tubes x 9 g (0.31 oz)||Matte, and shimmer||Talc, Silicones, and Sunflower Oil||$9.28||Buy On Amazon|
|Tatcha The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer||Best Luxury Brand Primer||Full size 20 g (0.7 oz), and travel size 7 g (0.24 oz) balm||Sheer||Hadasei-3, Squalane, and Silk||$52.00 for 20 g||Buy On Amazon|
|Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++||Best Primer with Sunscreen||30 ml (1 fl oz) pump bottle||Neutral||Mushroom Peptides, and Barley, Sunflower and Cucumber Extracts||$65.00||Buy On Amazon|
|Touch in Sol No PoreBlem Primer||Best Overall Primer||30 mL (1.01 oz) pump bottle||Glass skin||Green Tea Extract, and Soluble Collagen||$14.19||Buy On Amazon|
1. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
- Best Primer for Large Pores
- Retail Price: $6.00 (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Size: 20 mL (0.67 fl oz) tube
- Finish: Matte
- Key Ingredient: Bitter Cherry Extract
Large pores can make your skin look rough and dull. If your regular foundation isn’t enough to blur them away, you need Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. Formulated for all skin types, just a thin layer will make your skin as smooth as a baby’s. This translucent gel goes on like a moisturizer but leaves your skin with a soft matte finish. It contains silica to reflect light and diminish the appearance of pores, as well as vitamin C-rich bitter cherry extract to brighten dark spots.
2. Nyx Professional Makeup Hydra Touch Oil Primer
- Best Primer for Dry Skin
- Retail Price: $9.54 (Click here to save up to 32%)
- Size: 20 mL (0.67 fl oz) bottle with dropper
- Finish: Dewy
- Key Ingredients: Sweet Almond, Safflower Seed, and Jojoba Oil
Whether your skin type is naturally dry or it’s the winter weather that’s wreaking havoc on your face, Nyx Hydra Touch Oil Primer will take care of you. This serum-like primer is made from sweet almond, safflower, and jojoba—the best skin-moisturizing oils that won’t clog your pores. Massage this on your face and let it sink in for a few minutes as your skin breathes a sigh of relief. You’ll get all-day hydration that won’t let your makeup flake off.
3. e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer
- Best Primer for Oily Skin
- Retail Price: $8.00 (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Size: 21 g (0.74) oz tub
- Finish: Matte
- Key Ingredients: Kaolin and White Charcoal
If you have an oily complexion, using a primer helps to keep your makeup in place. The velvety-soft e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer manages shine while smoothing over minor imperfections and enlarged pores. It contains white charcoal to draw out excess sebum and impurities, followed up with kaolin clay to remove dead skin cells and reveal a fresh new surface that’s easier for makeup to adhere to.
4. Bodyography Foundation Primer
- Best Primer for Mature Skin
- Retail Price: $28.00 for 30 g (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Sizes: Standard 30 g (1 oz) and Travel 15 g (0.53 oz) pump bottle
- Finish: Dewy
- Key Ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Jojoba, and Grape Seed Oil
Bodyography Foundation has anti-aging benefits and prevents collagen breakdown to give your skin its elasticity back. It’s formulated with retinol, a form of vitamin A that’s proven to erase fine lines and wrinkles, and tocopherol (vitamin E) to reduce the damage from sun exposure. Jojoba oil and grape seed oil are added to encourage new skin cell activity, resulting in a thicker and plumper dermis. Regular use of this primer will improve the look of your makeup, as well as restore your skin’s youth.
5. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
- Best Cheap Primer
- Retail Price: $5.84 (Click here to save up to 16%)
- Size: 30 g (1 oz) tube
- Finish: Matte
- Key Ingredients: Talc, Dimethicone, Silica, Glycerin, and Vitamin E
With thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, Rimmel Stay Matte Primer is the top-selling makeup base that won’t put a dent on your wallet. It’s a simple product that only contains mattifying agents and moisturizing compounds—that’s it. This ultra-light gel will lock in your foundation for at least eight hours so that you can look your best the whole day. Furthermore, it will control shine and minimize flaws like fine lines and enlarged pores. Great for all skin types, it doesn’t have any irritating fragrance or comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients.
6. Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control Moisturizer
- Best Primer for Acne-prone Skin
- Retail Price: $16.95 (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Size: 60 mL (2 fl oz) pump bottle
- Finish: Matte
- Key Ingredients: Witch Hazel, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Tea Tree Oil
To control acne breakouts, you need a product that contains the world’s number one anti-acne ingredient—salicylic acid. Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control Moisturizer has it, and more. This all-natural primer employs an abundance of pimple-fighting ingredients. Witch hazel tightens pores and calms inflammation, while tea tree oil kills bacteria. What’s more, it has lactic acid to decongest clogged pores that are the root of blackheads and whiteheads. Stop blemishes in their tracks, and give your skin a flawless matte glow.
7. Neutrogena Prep + Correct Redness Correcting Primer
- Best Primer forSensitive Skin
- Retail Price: $12.99 (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Size: 30 g (1 oz) tube
- Finish: Matte
- Key Ingredient: Seaweed extract
Not only is sensitive skin easily agitated by a whole slew of potential irritants, but it also gets annoyingly red and flaky. If you want a color neutralizing primer that doesn’t contain perfumes or essential oils, then Neutrogena Prep + Correct Redness Correcting Primer is your new bestie. This soft gel cancels out red skin tones by using green pigments to create an even canvas for your makeup. To soothe dryness and itching caused by sensitivity, it’s infused with seaweed extract. A 2019 study suggests that seaweed can also be effective against hyperpigmentation, premature skin aging, and acne.
8. Physicians Formula Eye Primer Duo
- Best Eyeshadow Primer
- Retail Price: $9.28 (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Size: 2 tubes x 9 g (0.31 oz)
- Finish: Matte, and shimmer
- Key Ingredients: Talc, Silicones, and Sunflower Oil
It’s a cruel fact of life that eyeshadow has a tendency to smudge. All the time and effort you spent perfecting your look can go to waste in just a few hours. To ensure that eyeshadow colors stay sealed on your lids, use Physicians Formula Eye Primer Duo. It comes in a handy two-for-one pack that works for both matte eyeshadow for day, and shimmery for night. They’re designed with the brand’s exclusive LockedIn Technology for long-lasting, crease-proof wear. Plus, they’re safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
9. Tatcha The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer
- Best Luxury Brand Primer
- Retail Price: $52.00 for 20 g (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Sizes: Full size 20 g (0.7 oz), and travel size 7 g (0.24 oz) balm
- Finish: Sheer
- Key Ingredients: Hadasei-3, Squalane, and Silk
The Silk Canvas Protective Primer by J-beauty brand Tatcha forms a near-invisible barrier between your makeup and your skin, blocking out pollution and impurities. It contains hydrolyzed silk and silk powder to diminish the look of pores and fine lines, and ensure that your makeup glides on like a dream. Indulgent pink and gold pearls disguise discolorations by evening out your skin tone. And like all Tatcha products, it feeds your skin with their exclusive Hadasei-3 superfoods blend to keep you looking young and feeling healthy.
10. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++
- Best Primer with Sunscreen
- Retail Price: $65.00 (Click here to check the latest promotion)
- Sizes: 30 ml (1 fl oz) pump bottle
- Finish: Neutral
- Key Ingredients: Mushroom Peptides, and Barley, Sunflower and Cucumber Extracts
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen significantly reduces skin cancer risk and premature skin aging. It’s the single most important part of your skincare routine. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield is a convenient product that does double duty as a sun protector and a makeup primer. Its satiny formula corrects uneven texture and helps your makeup go on faster and wear longer. At the same time, it contains a high dose of UVA and UVB absorbers to prevent fine lines and age spots. As a bonus, peptides and plant extracts are included to boost collagen production— resulting in supple, wrinkle-resistant skin.
11. Touch in Sol No PoreBlem Primer
- Best Overall Primer
- Retail Price: $14.19 (Click here to save up to 8%)
- Size: 30 mL (1.01 oz) pump bottle
- Finish: Glass skin
- Key Ingredients: Green Tea Extract, and Soluble Collagen
Control oiliness, hydrate dry skin, diminish the appearance of pores and fines lines—name it, and Touch in Sol No PoreBlem Primer does it. Inspired by the K-beauty “glass skin” trend, this soft pink primer fills in imperfections with soluble collagen. This moisturizing yet non-greasy ingredient leaves a super smooth luminous film on your skin that’s somewhere in between matte and dewy. On top of that, it contains green tea extract that has loads of anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Makeup Primer: The Extra Step You Shouldn’t Skip
Now that you’re aware of the potential benefits of primers, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t use one. Take the extra minute and be rewarded with flawless skin and long-lasting makeup. And with all the different formulas out there, there’s sure to be the best one for you.