Primers are a bit of an underrated beauty product, I think, they’re so useful and can be used to achieve so many different things but you never hear quite as much about them. Nevertheless, my collection continues to grow with all types sitting in my drawers – hydrating, illuminating, smoothing and correcting. I thought it was worth rounding them all up into one post to let you know which ones are my most used and most loved.
I’ll preface this post by saying that I’m not normally a huge fan of silicone-feeling primers, for me they often feel too heavy and constricting on the skin but every once in a while even I can get on board. I normally reach for more of a hydrating, slightly illuminating primer – one that feels more like a moisturiser. Whatever the type, I’ve got one hidden away in my collection.
One of my tried and true favourites and the only primer I’ve ever actually repurchased. It’s a simple, hydrating and lightweight formula that nourishes the skin and also slightly corrects redness. It’s probably not one if you’re dealing with serious redness but if you want something subtle this is your guy.
A more intense, silicone-based green primer and one that I normally focus in the t-zone when I do reach for it. It does a great job of smoothing the skin while also correcting any redness. I’ll admit I don’t reach for this one a lot due to the silicone feel but sometimes it’s exactly what I need.
When my skin is feeling really unhappy I always start my routine with this one. Ideal for winter especially, this coconut-scented primer that feels more like a moisturiser to me, works wonders to leave my complexion looking a little healthier and dewier.
Nude by Nature Undercover Airbrush Mineral Primer* –
One of my latest additions – a little hydrating, a little smoothing (but without feeling heavy on the skin) and a little bit luminous. It wears really well under makeup, feeling comfortable all day long. It hasn’t blown me away but it’s a solid drugstore option for those with dry skin.
Napoleon Perdis is always talking about the importance of a primer so I was grateful for the opportunity to try out his original favourite. It’s super nourishing and leaves skin with a bit of a healthy looking glow, so unsurprisingly, it’s quickly become a favourite for when my skin needs the hydration.
Sure, it’s a little gimmicky but I can’t deny my love for this easy spray and go primer. If I need something super quick or easy a few spritzes of this can go a long way to prolong the wear of my makeup throughout the day while also making my skin look and feel a little more refreshed.
Innoxa Makeup Primer Spray –
A similar concept to the Smashbox offering, but from the drugstore. I’ve compared the two in a previous post but in summary, this one just feels a little more present on the skin – a little tighter and not as hydrating. If you’re interested in the concept of a spray primer, I’d recommend spending the extra money on the Smashbox one.
The ultimate glow-giving primer – a pump or two of this leaves my skin looking positively radiant and sometimes that’s exactly what I’m after. The finish it provides isn’t glittery in the slightest, it’s more of a pearlescent finish that I find looks like your skin, but better. It leaves my skin feeling smoother and can really make the difference on days when my complexion is looking a little lack lustre.
A drugstore alternative in the illuminating department comes from L’Oreal. Again, I’ve compared the two before, and although the end result is very similar, the L’Oreal doesn’t do much to improve the skin’s texture and, because it’s a little more white-based, looks a little more stark on the skin. This is another time when I’d be saving up and opting for the high-end option.
One of the more hyped up primers available on the market and even I can’t deny the gorgeous finish it leaves behind on the skin. As far as silicone-feeling primers go, this one feels quite lightweight and comfortable on the skin while still minimising the appearance of pores and providing a beautiful satin finish. I find myself actually reaching for it quite a bit.
A little goes a long way with this one to provide a seriously smooth complexion. It really does provide a flawless base for foundation so I sometimes reach for it when I know I have a long day ahead of me but for me, I find it a little too heavy on the skin to be in regular rotation.
The smoothing primer that taught me how to love smoothing primers. It remains to be one of my favourites, in fact it even came to the U.S. with me. It smoothes the skin and leaves my skin feeling beautifully soft without feeling noticeable on the skin at all. My introduction to the Mecca cosmetics line has been very impressive.
To accompany the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte foundation (one of my favourite matte foundations), they also released a silicone-based primer. This drugstore option is just as good as the higher end options I’ve tried, smoothing the skin and filling in fine lines and large pores.
I was super intrigued by this when it was first released and although it feels very strange to be applying a straight up oil to the face before going into makeup I find that it sinks in quickly and comfortably, providing hydration and a bit of smoothing. I don’t reach for it a lot but those with dry skin could actually really enjoy this, I think. I’d recommend grabbing a sample and trying this one before buying.
My most used would have to be the Stila One Step Correct, Too Faced Hangover Primer, Smashbox Primer Water, Becca Backlight Priming Filter and Mecca Cosmetica Soft Focus Smoothing Primer. Realistically, amongst that group you have a pretty great little do-it-all capsule collection. Somehow I don’t think that’ll stop me from buying more though…
What are your favourite face primers?
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*some products in this post have been provided for editorial consideration, honesty as always!
*this post contains affiliate links