Best Primers

Our top choices for the best primers include products that are well known not only for the longevity they offer, but their benefits to the skin, too. With such a wide range of choices, we decided to cut the research process for you by rounding up the top performing primers today and reviewing them based on criteria we feel would fit your skin concerns the best. The results of our intense research and reviewing process are listed below.

Which is the best primer for your skin?

Primers are not created equal. For your skin type and skin concern, you have to be more thorough in your search and select based on ingredients and formulation. The following list contains the best primers you can find in the market today along with the categories that can address your specific skin concerns.

Primers - Top 4 Favorites

Sensitive skin doesn’t mean that you have to skip using makeup products. This list of the best primers for sensitive skin can show you exactly why. Our experts have gone through the hard work of doing the research for you so you can experience having flawless skin and longer lasting makeup without having to worry about getting irritated skin.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener


Jane Iredale

Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

Laura Geller

Using a primer is one of the best ways to keep your makeup last longer on your skin. However, having combination skin can make things a little more complicated. With areas that are drier, while some are oilier, you may need to find a product that contains all the right ingredients and formulated especially for your unique skin type. In this category, we’ve enlisted the best primers for combination skin for you to find out why they are considered as crowd favorites.

Maybelline’s Face Studio Master Prime, Blur + Smooth


Honey Dew Me Up Primer by NYX


Skinperfect Primer SPF 30 by Dermalogica



If you have oily skin, you’d know how difficult it is to keep your makeup last long on your skin. Within just a few hours, there’ll be smudging and fading. The products we have chosen for this category feature great oil control, ability to blur out large pores and amazing staying power to help end these concerns. They were specifically and especially picked to help you deal with oily skin.

e.l.f.’s Mineral Infused Face Primer


Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York

Maybelline New York

Shine Killer by NYX



Primers are excellent for makeup longevity but not all primers can perform well on acne prone skin. With your skin type, you may need to do more work just to get the right product. To help make your search shorter, we’ve come up with this list of the best primers for acne prone skin. The products in this category feature good mattifying power, ease of application and acne fighting ingredients.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

Cover FX

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector



Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer


Laura Geller

On Choosing And Applying The Right Type Of Primer

Much like other makeup products, primers are formulated differently. They have several types, shades and functions.

Most of the time, you can see primers labeled based on what they’re intended to do and who they are for.

Basically, in choosing the right primer, you need to answer those two questions.

Start off by knowing why do you need them for. If you have oily skin, choose a primer that has great oil control properties.

In case you have dry skin, go with something hydrating.

If you’ll be wearing a full face makeup, choose a primer that’s translucent so that it won’t affect the color or shade of your base. If you are looking for extra coverage or you want to neutralize discolorations, you can go with a tinted primer.

Primers can also be categorized based on their formula. Here’s a quick breakdown.

Silicone-based primers

Silicone-based primers have mattifying and smoothing effects. They have a slippery texture that creates a velvety finish.

They are great for oily and acne-prone skin since they can reduce excess oil and shine. They can also extend the wearing time of makeup products.

Be careful in using silicone-based products, particularly if you have really sensitive skin. Make sure to test the products first before applying them fully on your face.

Cream-based primers

Cream-based primers have a thicker consistency. They are typically formulated with moisturizing ingredients, making them a perfect fit for those who have dry skin.

If you decide to go with this type of primer, make sure not to overdo it. Since they are moisturizing, applying too much of these primers can make you end up looking greasy.

Lotion-based primers

If you want something light, go with lotion primers. They are formulated with moisturizing ingredients which get easily absorbed by the skin.

This property makes them less likely to feel and look greasy on the skin.

As for application, start by prepping your base first. A good base ensures a more even makeup application.

Cleanse your face as usual, tone and moisturize. Wait for a few minutes to allow the moisturizer to fully sink into your skin.

After that, put a small amount of the product on the back of your hand or directly on your makeup sponge. Use a sweeping motion to apply the product.

You can also choose to use your fingers but just make sure you’ve washed your hands first. With the tons of things your hands get in contact with, the last thing you want to happen is to transfer bacteria into your face.

Use your ring and middle fingers during application and be sure to use a light hand. Avoid the eye area and pay more attention to the areas of your face that oil up more.

Before applying the rest of your makeup, wait for the primer to fully sink in.