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4 handy tips to choose the best primer for your skin

When you want to look flawless, there’s a step you cannot skip in your makeup regime. You might think applying a moisturizer is all you need before you put on that foundation. Well – think again. If if you want your makeup to last longer, look more even and blend better, and if you want to smooth out those wrinkles, then a face primer needs to be a part of your makeup routine.

Just like foundation and concealer, not all primer is the same. Let’s dig into why you need the best primer for your skin.

A hand holding a bottle of primer.

Know what it is

Primer is simply a liquid, cream, or gel that you put on your face after your moisturizer and before you apply your makeup. It smooths out your skin so makeup goes on flawlessly. It gives you a fresh, clean, clear surface for you to work with.

It fills in all of those little nooks and crannies so they don’t stand out or get caked up by your makeup. When you prepare to paint a room, you fill in those nail holes first, to make it easier to paint and to get a better result. Primer does the same for your skin.

Know the benefits

While you don’t need to wear a primer, it provides your skin with lots of perks.

  • Evens out bumps
  • Calms down pores
  • Fills in those lines, wrinkles, and creases
  • Adds an extra layer of moisturizer
  • Brightens your skin
  • Helps hide acne

Even if you don’t want to wear makeup that day, using a primer after your moisturizer is a great way to give your skin a more even glow.

A woman putting on primer before adding her makeup.

Makeup primer finishes

Let’s talk about the different types of makeup primers. As with being able to get a foundation or concealer in a matte or glossy finish, you can pick which kind of primer finish you want based on your skin’s needs.


If you tend to have dry skin, look for a moisturizing primer. You want to check to see if it has hyaluronic acid, as that will help more.


If you have uneven skin tone, you want to go color-correcting. Those dark circles and red patches can be evened out with this kind of primer.


This is our favorite. This is best for those with oily skin. Wearing makeup all day can make you shiny after a bit. A matte primer can give your skin a little barrier to keep the shine and oil down.


If all you want is to see smoother skin with fewer wrinkles and lines, then get a blurring primer. This type will conceal those nooks better than the others.

A woman adding makeup to her face.

Find the best product for your specific concern

If you want blurring/more even texture

Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Primer is our pick if you want to take care of those lines. It will perk up your dull skin as well. Vegan, oil-free, and a clean beauty product, you can also feel great about wearing it. It also has vitamins E and A to keep your skin moisturized.

For redness and acne

e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer is great for helping calm down the redness. The matte finish will smooth out uneven skin and blotchiness. It works for any skin type but is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

For extra hydration

KVD Lock-It Hydrating Primer is a must-have if you struggle with dry skin. It’s packed with jojoba, shea butter, and aloe vera to really give your skin the moisturize it craves. With no harsh chemicals, fragrances, or dyes, it’s also great if you have sensitive skin as well.

When looking for a primer the most important thing to remember is that you need to know your skin. Know what problem area or results you want from a primer. So check out your face, see what concerns you want to take care of, and grab yourself a primer to help your skin look more flawless than ever, with or without makeup.

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