Best Primers

Primer always feels like something of an optional step in the beauty world. It’s something you do if you really, really care about how you look. Especially when some primers are going for over $30. But the benefits of primer can seem endless: it helps get rid of shine, creates a smoother base for foundation to glide over, helps makeup last longer and creates an overall smoother skin appearance. So below are some of the best primers on the market, both higher-end products and drugstore brands.

Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer: If you’re looking to hide large pores, you’ll want to give this product a try because it is one of the best primers. It also hides other imperfections and signs of aging. It nourishes the skin with ingredients like vitamin E and avocado extract.

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer: This product is one of the best primers if evening your skin tone is a main concern. It plumps and smoothens the skin. It also has anti-aging ingredients like vitamins A, C and E.

E.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer: This is one of the best primers if your face could use the moisture. As such, it helps even out fine lines. It’s also full of vitamins A, C and E.

Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer: If you’re looking for something more in the drugstore budget range, this product has you covered. It’s also a great product for minimizing pores, as the name suggests. Reviewers state it makes their face so smooth it looks photoshopped.

Emori Photo Finish Face Primer: This transparent primer helps your makeup stay longer and intensifies the look of the makeup you put on over it. It comes in a press tube, so it’s easy to apply. It also has vitamin E in it.

La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer Smoothing Effect: If you have concerns about oiliness, this product is advertised as oil-free. It’s great as a base for foundation, as it creates a smoother surface.

Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Foundation Primer: One of the reviewers of this product states that only a small amount of the product is needed for each application, and it makes a wonderfully smooth base for foundation. Foundation is less likely to cake and crease with this primer.

NYX Cosmetics Makeup Setting Spray: If you want a layer that’s going to feel lighter, try this setting spray. It helps control shine and keeps makeup put longer, like a more traditional primer.

REVLON Photoready Perfecting Primer: The main feature of this product is its photo chromatic pigments that are advertised to bend and reflect light to create a more even appearance. It’s a lightweight gel that helps minimize pores and fine lines.