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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Primer for Your Skin

Updated: May 26

Finding the perfect primer for your skin type can be a game-changer in your makeup routine. Primers not only create a smooth canvas for foundation but also tackle various skin concerns to ensure your makeup stays flawless all day. Whether you have normal, oily, or dry skin, this guide is designed to help you choose the right primer to meet your needs.

For Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, you are blessed with balanced moisture levels and minimal skin concerns. However, this doesn't mean you can't benefit from a primer! Here are some options that will enhance your natural beauty:

Illuminating Primers

Benefit: Adds a radiant, dewy glow to your complexion.

Recommended Products: 

  • BECCA First Light Priming Filter: Known for its brightening properties, this primer imparts a healthy, glowing finish.

  • L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Primer: Affordable yet effective, this primer offers a luminous base for your makeup.

Long-lasting Primers

Benefit: Extends the wear of your makeup, ensuring it stays fresh throughout the day.

Recommended Products:

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: A cult favorite that delivers a smooth, long-lasting base.

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Face Primer: Keeps your makeup intact for up to 8 hours.

For Oily Skin

Oily skin often struggles with excess shine and enlarged pores. The right primer can help mattify your skin and keep shine at bay.

Mattifying Primers

Benefit: Controls oil production and keeps your skin matte.

Recommended Products:

  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer: This primer absorbs excess oil and extends the wear of your foundation.

  • Rimmel Stay Matte Primer: A budget-friendly option that provides long-lasting oil control.

Pore-minimizing Primers

Benefit: Reduces the appearance of pores for a smoother complexion.

Recommended Products:

  • Benefit POREfessional Face Primer: Instantly blurs pores and fine lines, offering a flawless finish.

  • Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser: A drugstore favorite that diminishes the look of pores.

For Dry Skin

Dry skin requires extra moisture to prevent flakiness and maintain a smooth texture. Hydrating primers can make a significant difference

Hydrating Primers

Benefit: Provides an extra layer of moisture, keeping your skin hydrated.

Recommended Products:

  • Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer: Infused with moisturizing ingredients, this primer ensures your skin stays hydrated.

  • Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer: Enriched with coconut water, this primer revitalizes and soothes dry skin.

Illuminating Primers

Benefit: Adds a radiant, dewy glow to your complexion, which is often beneficial for dry skin types.

Recommended Products:

  • MAC Strobe Cream: This primer hydrates while imparting a subtle, luminous glow.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow: Offers a radiant finish that enhances the overall look of your makeup.

Color-Correcting Primers

For those dealing with specific skin concerns like redness or sallowness, color-correcting primers can be highly effective.

Green Primers (for Redness)

Benefit: Neutralizes redness for a more even skin tone


Recommended Products:

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Reduce Redness Primer: Targets redness to deliver an even complexion.

  • NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Primer: Affordable and effective for reducing redness.

Benefit: Brightens dull, sallow skin.

Recommended Products:

  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer: Balances and color-corrects sallow undertones.

  • L'Oréal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer: Adds radiance and corrects yellow undertones.


Choosing the right primer is essential for achieving a flawless makeup look that lasts. By understanding your skin type and specific concerns, you can find a primer that will work best for you. Whether you need a mattifying primer to control shine, a hydrating primer to moisturize, or a color-correcting primer to even out your skin tone, there's a perfect match out there for everyone.

Ready to elevate your makeup game? Explore these options and find the ideal primer to make your skin look its absolute best.

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