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Do you spend close to an hour applying a full face of makeup, only to have it all sweat off of your face not even halfway through your day? Or do you get frustrated with how large your pores look after you apply your foundation?

If you’re having some problems with how your face looks after you apply your makeup, and you aren’t using a primer in your makeup routine, you really should consider switching up how you’re doing your makeup.

Makeup primer is quite literally the glue that sticks your makeup to your face. While you can totally apply your makeup to your face without using primer, there’s a lot of benefits that come with adding a primer into your makeup routine. But, if you’re new to the world of makeup, what exactly is makeup? And can it really make that much of a difference in your beauty routine?

I’m here to break down what makeup primer is, what it can do for your makeup routine, and how to choose the best makeup primer for your skin all in this Makeup Primer Guide. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Makeup Primer?

If you’ve ever wondered about the importance of using makeup primer, you probably aren’t 100% sure what makeup primer is. But, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Makeup primer can be a controversial product, as there are some people who state they can skip out on this step in their makeup routines. Whereas, there are other people who swear by using makeup primer.

Adding makeup primer into your makeup routine will transform your makeup routine. I promise you! Makeup primer is a prep product you put on your skin.

You put makeup primer on your skin before you apply any makeup on your face. Using makeup primer on your face will make your skin the ideal canvas to hold onto any makeup that you apply on top of the primer. Whether that be BB cream, CC cream, concealer, tinted moisturizer, or foundation.

What Does Makeup Primer Do?

Using makeup primer in your makeup routine will help your face to hold onto any makeup you apply to it. There are some makeup primer formulas out there that help to minimize the appearance of your pores, others that help to boost the hydration of your skin, and others that help to blur the imperfections on your face.

Not all makeup primer works to smooth of your skin. Yet, there are some makeup primer formulas out there that help to boost the health of your skin.

You can find makeup primer formulas that fade the appearance of fine lines, brighten your skin, and reduce how much acne you have showing up on your face. There’s literally so much that a makeup primer can do, you just have to find the best one for your skin!

What Are The Different Types of Makeup Primers?

Makeup Primer Guide

Before we dive even further into the world of makeup primers, it’s important for you to know about the different types of makeup primers. That’s right, there’s more than one type of makeup primer. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of makeup primers:

Blurring primer

A blurring primer works to create an airbrushed look out of any (and all) of the flaws on your face. By blurring the imperfections on your face, it makes it a lot easier for any pigmented coverage (foundation, CC cream, etc) to get covered up.

Color correcting primer

A color-correcting primer uses the shade of color that’s opposite on the color wheel to cover up any imperfections on your face. Are you struggling with redness? You’ll use a green color-correcting primer. Using color-correcting primers will help to cover up any complexion problems you’re having with your skin.

Illuminating primer

If you struggle with your skin looking dull and dehydrated, you should look into using an illuminating primer. Even if you don’t want to wear any extra makeup, an illuminating primer can be worn on your bare skin to give a little of life to your complexion.

Pore minimizing primer

Do you have a lot of pores on your face that get highlighted when you apply foundation to your skin? You can use a foundation formula that works to reduce the appearance of pores. A lot of people with oily skin tend to wear pore-reducing primers, as these primers make the appearance of their pores a lot smaller. But, these types of primers also tend to reduce the appearance of oil on their face too.

Hydrating primer

If you struggle with managing dehydrated skin, you should use a hydrating primer. This type of primer will work to reduce the dry and flaky patches on your skin, so your skin looks hydrated and healthy.

Mattifying primer

On the other hand, if you struggle with your skin producing too much oil, you should look into using a mattifying primer. A mattifying primer will help your face makeup to last a lot longer.

Can Makeup Primer Be Used Alone?


You can use makeup primer alone if you’re still wanting to flaunt the appearance of your natural skin, but reduce the appearance of your pores or the redness of your skin. If you aren’t interested in applying makeup on your face, you can totally go ahead and put on a little bit of primer and call in the day.

How Much Makeup Primer Do I Need?

With makeup primer, you don’t have to pile a lot onto your face to see results. Makeup primer is definitely the type of makeup product where a little goes a long way. You should only be using a pea-sized amount of primer on your face every time you go to use some.

When you’re applying the primer to your face, even if you’re using a small amount, it can sometimes feel heavy as you’re applying it. This is definitely true for silicone-based primers. If you’re applying primer to your chest too, be sure to add a little more than a pea-sized amount to your fingertips.

Does Makeup Primer Expire?

Yes, makeup primer can expire! An opened makeup primer will only last around two years. This is the same timeline for blushes and foundations.

How Do You Apply Makeup Primer?

When you’re ready to starting makeup primer in your beauty routine, you need to make sure that you’re applying your makeup primer correctly. The first thing you’re going to want to do is wash your face. It’s always important to wash your face before applying any makeup to your skin.

Then, you’ll want to apply sunscreen to your face. After this, you can begin to apply your primer. Add a pea-sized amount of primer to the back of your face and mix it around on the back of your hand. Doing this will warm up the primer on your skin, making it easier to work with.

After you’re applied it to your face, you can begin to dab the primer around your face. Next, you’ll rub the primer into your face. Once the primer has completely absorbed into your face, you’re ready to apply your CC cream or foundation.

Best Makeup Primers Of All Time

Now that you have a solid understanding of why you should start using makeup primers in your makeup routine, it’s time for us to start talking about the best makeup primers on the market! I chose these makeup primers based on my experience working as a makeup artist and affordability. These primers are tried and true, so you can feel confident that you’re investing in a good product when you purchase them.

Best Makeup Primer For Oily Skin

Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer

Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer is not only a drugstore find, but it’s also the best mattifying primer on the market. If you want your makeup to stay on your face all day long, you should try this primer out.

I personally am always reaching for this primer and the matching foundation when I’m going to be out in the sweltering heat because this primer will make my foundation last throughout anything. Plus, it helps to reduce the appearance of my pores for eight hours.


  • Affordable
  • Keeps skin matte
  • Super lightweight on the skin


  • Isn’t oil-free
  • Pore minimizing affect only lasts around eight hours

Best Makeup Primer For Large Pores

Benefit the POREfessional Pore Minimizing Makeup Mini Primer

The Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer is the best pore filling primero n the market. Not only does this help to reduce the appearance of large pores, but it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on your face. Plus, this isn’t just a great formula for people who have oily skin with large pores.

It’s also a wonderful formula for people who have sensitive skin or for people who have prone to having breakouts. If you’re looking to have a matte finish to your skin that’s smooth and flawless, look into getting this primer.


  • Lightweight
  • Oil-free
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores


  • Pricey
  • Isn’t available at drugstores

Best makeup primer for dry skin

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer

Now, are there any makeup primers out there that show dry skin some love? If you want to look completely glowed-up after you do your makeup, you need to find yourself a great makeup primer for dry skin.

The Too Faced Hangover Primer will seriously turn your skin around. You may even look into the mirror and not recognize your skin after you apply this primer. Due to the hydrating properties of this makeup primer, it’ll bring even the most “hungover” dry skin back to life.


  • Lightweight
  • Smells amazing
  • Super hydrating


  •  Doesn’t reduce the appearance of fine lines or provide any blurring effect
  • Pricey

Best Makeup Primer For All-day Wear: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

tatcha the silk canvas

Do you want to invest in a makeup primer that helps you to get the most bang for your buck out of your makeup products? It’s time for you to invest in the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer. This primer has been around for years and there’s yet to have been another makeup primer to knock this primer out of the winning spot for “best primer for all-day wear.”

Not only does this primer help your makeup to last all day long, but it gives your skin the airbrushed finish that so many of us want.


  •  Cute packaging
  • Truly makes your makeup last all day long
  • Makes your skin look super healthy and glowy


  • Pricey
  • Is only available online and at specialist makeup stores

Best Makeup Primer For Mature skin

Photo Finish Foundation Primer

The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is another super popular primer in the beauty community and for good reason. Not only is it oil-free, but it’s a lightweight primer that’s amazing for mature skin. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about investing in this primer too.

It contains Vitamin E and Vitamin A it, which will help to provide your skin with nourishing ingredients that will help your skin’s health to flourish. This formula will help your makeup stay on longer and will prevent your makeup from settling into your fine lines and wrinkles.


  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Cruelty-free and vegan


  • Pricey
  • It can be challenging to get all of the primers out of the packaging


Question: Is makeup primer waterproof?

Answer: First, you need to understand that there’s a difference between waterproof and smudge-proof. Not all makeup primers are waterproof and not all makeup primers are smudge-proof. You’ll have to invest in a formula that claims to be waterproof (or smudge-proof, if that’s what you’re looking for).

Question: Is makeup primer necessary?

Answer: No, makeup primer isn’t necessary. There literally isn’t anything in makeup that is necessary for you to do or for you to apply, which is what makes makeup so beautiful. If you don’t have any problems with imperfections on your skin and you don’t have any problems with your makeup primer staying on your face all day, you don’t need to worry about adding makeup primer into your makeup routine.

Question: Is makeup primer a moisturizer?

Answer: No, makeup primer isn’t a moisturizer. That doesn’t mean that a makeup primer won’t have moisturizing properties to it, though. Adding moisturizer into your skincare routine will help to prevent dryness and ensure your skin stays hydrated. However, you can add a primer into your makeup routine to help your skin look outstanding, for a longer period of time, despite environmental factors.


If you’ve never used makeup primer in your life before, you should definitely start! There are so many benefits to using makeup primer in your makeup routines. Depending on what type of results you want to achieve with your makeup primer, you have a whole lot of selections to choose from.

I personally would recommend the Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer to anyone who has oily skin, as this primer truly makes my makeup last forever and keeps my skin super matte. I absolutely love this primer! Do you want to learn more about how to apply makeup to your face? Check out the rest of our website to learn more!

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