12 Best Trending Face Primers and What Does It Do

2019 best face primers which sell like hotcakes off the shelves

By Lisa Lee
12 Best Trending Face Primers and What Does It Do

Best Face Primers

Face it (pun intended). It's getting seriously difficult to keep up with makeup trends and products these days. Whether you're 25 or 45, you're probably noticing your make up bag becoming more and more stuffed with all sorts of products; a lot of them haven't even been used. We know we're supposed to have them, and thanks to our favorite social media sites, that a simple face of foundation, eyeliner, lipstick and, if you're really fancy, an expensive eyebrow pen, will just no longer do.

We see pictures of regular, fresh-faced 18-year-olds transform themselves into gorgeous 25-year-old bombshells, armed with an arsenal of bronzers, highlighters, primers, weird-looking blending tools, pallets of eyeshadows in 50 different shades, and a collection of makeup brushes that all have a different use.  We check out Youtube make up tutorials, where above girls try to show us mere mortals how to transform into goddesses effortlessly. We lose track within a minute or two.

How do they do it? Maybe the "older" generation missed the bus. Because the sheer amount of makeup must-haves today is incredibly overwhelming. Don't panic though! We're going to give you a slow introduction into one of the new age makeup must-haves. The mystical primer. Here are our top 12 picks for all skin types.

For Dry Skin

There are loads of primers on the market, but there is no real "one size fits all", which is why you need to find the best primer for your particular skin type. Most of us suffer from dry skin at some point-especially during the cold winter months. Getting a smooth foundation finish can be close to impossible when your skin is dry and flaky. These primers are great if you want to wave goodbye to your make up woes thanks to dry skin,

1. Make-up Forever HD-Micro Perfecting Primer

Microperfecting Primer To Go

This oil-free primer is perfect for dry skin, with a moisturizing texture that mattifies the skin and keeps the skin naturally soft and smooth, without drying it out. It comes in different shades to match your skin tone-almost like a tinted moisturizer. It also reduces the appearance of large pores, and dries quickly, so that you can get your foundation on afterward nice and fast. Best of all? A little goes a long way and it keeps your make up looking fresh for hours!

2. Mary Kay Foundation Primer

Mary Kay Foundation Primer

This primer is perfect for keeping skin hydrated under your foundation, and glides on smoothly and evenly, leaving you with a velvety smooth, mattefied look. It minimizes pores without clogging them, is fragrance free which helps wthose with sensitive skin and comes with an SPF 15 to protect you from the those harmful UV rays.

3. The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

This primer comes with rave reviews thanks to it's light, serum-like texture which leaves your skin looking naturally youthful and radiant. It eliminates dry patches and is not only the perfect primer for foundation, but it can also be used alone thanks to it's hydrating and dew-like effect.

For Combination Skin

Combination skin can be both tricky and frustrating to deal with when it comes to makeup application. You'll need a primer that, just like your foundation, deals with your oily t-zone while combating and hydrating drier areas of the face. Here are our top 3 picks for primers which are ideal for combination skin.

4. Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer

Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Face Primer

This water-based primer is perfect for combination skin, providing a beautiful matte finish, leaving your skin fresh and glowing but not oily. It minimizes pores and corrects skin tone and is super easy to apply, gliding on smoothly and evenly and creating a seamless base for your foundation. 

5. Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner

Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner Moisturising

This primer-ideal for combination skin-mattifies and smooths the skin and minimizes the appearance of pores. In fact, this primer doesn't just make pores appear smaller, it actually decreases extra sebum on the face, tightening the pores and providing an overall improvement in your skin. This awesome primer doesn't just hide problem skin-it helps to fix it as well!

6. Sunday Riley's Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer-Medium

Makeup artists and regular women alike have praised this product for its various benefits and amazing finish. It's great for combination skin because it leaves dry areas looking dewy and fresh while balancing out the more oily areas. It provides beautiful coverage while still allowing the skin to breather, nourishes and moisturizes the skin and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. To top off this amazing product, it comes in a range of shades so you can find the perfect shade for your skin tone.

For Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, you know just how annoying and frustrating it is to keep your makeup from smudging and having to be touched up throughout the day. On top of that, you have to deal with a shiny complexion and large pores. With the correct primer, however, you can say goodbye to blotting papers and numerous trips to the bathroom to fix smudges. We've come up with three of the best primers for oily skin.

7. bareMinerals PrimeTime Oil Control Foundation Primer

BareMinerals Prime Time Oil Control Face Primer

This water-based, oil-free primer is designed especially for oily skin. It absorbs excess sebum while minimizing the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines. It leaves the skin silky smooth, eliminating pesky shine, creating a perfectly matte base for your make up. This means it keeps make up in place all day (or night), and as an added bonus, it comes with an SPF of 15.

8. Smashbox Photo Finish Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Pore Minimizing

Smashbox is a much-loved brand, and for good reason. Along with their other products, this primer is ideal when it comes to mattifying the skin by minimizing pores and fine lines while absorbing excess oil for up to 8 hours. That's an entire workday worth of long-lasting makeup and reduced shine. It leaves the skin looking so good, in fact, that it can be worn on its own, without foundation for oil and shine-free natural look.

9. The Porefessional Mini Primer

Benefit the POREfessional Pore pearl Primer Mini

This affordable yet highly recommended primer does all the things you want a primer to do if you struggle with oily skin. It minimizes pores, mattifies the skin, leaving it looking silky smooth and keeps your make up put for hours. On top of these benefits, it contains ingredients to nourish and improve your skin, such as vitamin E-the holy grail of skincare! 

For Acne Prone Skin

For most skin types, primers are a lifesaver and work miracles in keeping your makeup in place, leaving your skin looking smooth and mattified and creating an overall silky smooth finish. However, if you suffer from acne-prone skin, finding a primer that won't clog your pores or cause irritation is vital. Water-based primers containing glycerin and hyaluronic acid or any AHAs are optimal, actually helping to fight acne, unclog pores and hydrate skin.

10. Smashbox Photo Finish Super Light Primer

Finish Foundation Primer Light

 This super lightweight gel primer is transparent and glides smoothly onto the skin, leaving a silky soft and smooth finish. It's perfect for a flawless makeup finish and has multiple plusses, including Vitamin C and peptide blends which protect your sensitive skin from damage caused by pollution and stress. It also has an added bonus of being cruelty-free; a primer that will leave you feeling guilt-free.

11. TriDerma Pore Reducing Primer

TriDerma Pore Reducing Primer

This wonder primer is perfect for minimizing the appearance of large pores and helps to control excess oil and shine. It's key ingredient, AP4 Aloe Vera complex contains over 200 properties that promote healing, reduce swelling and pain and fight bacteria. It isn't just a primer-it's a beauty product too!

12. Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer

Urban Decay Ud Optical Illusion Complexion Premier

Who needs Photoshop when this lightweight, skin-perfecting primer lives up to its name: "Optical Illusion". This primer almost seems to instantly cause fine lines and visible pores disappear. It has a slight pink tone to it when applied before makeup, illuminating the skin, and becomes translucent and matte once your foundation has been applied. Your make up will last longer, your skin will almost look airbrushed, and its moisturising properties mean no flaking or dry spots. It also contains natural, skin-enhancing ingredients, including rosehip, argan and meadowfoam.

How to apply a primer

Applying primer is really quite simple, and if applied correctly you'll see exactly why it has become a must-have in every makeup bag. 


  •  Before application.
If you want to get the best results out of your primer, it is so important to prep your skin first. Cleanse your face, exfoliate and apply a moisturizer, giving it some time to be absorbed into the skin.

  • Applying Primer
Once your skin is clean and prepped, use a small amount of primer and apply it to the back of your hand. Ensure your hands are clean as it is best to apply primer with your fingers. Blend from the nose, and move outwards so that your face is fully covered. Once it's been blended in and absorbed, you'll already notice a difference. Pores will be less visible and skin will be smooth and matte-meaning that if you want to, you can use your primer alone or with a foundation.

  • Make sure your foundation and primer are compatible.
If you use a silicone-based foundation, make sure you use a silicone-based primer as well. The same goes for water-based foundations. 

Related Article: 10 Makeup Tips From The Pros In Fashion Beauty Industry
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If, after reading this, you still don't feel that a primer will make a huge difference to your makeup regime, we suggest you take a trip to your local cosmetic store and trying out a sample primer for yourself. Better yet, ask for a free makeover at a makeup counter and ask questions about the importance of a great primer that will suit your skin type. This way you get to see the magic at work first without committing to a potentially pricey (but worth it) purchase while having the added benefit of a makeup professional's guide as to what primer will work best for you.