A GOOD primer sets the base for your entire face of makeup, smoothing out your complexion and blurring imperfections.
You might be uncertain about which is the best primer for you, but all you need to do is figure out your skin type and we'll do the rest for you.
Primer is applied after your skincare routine and before any other makeup goes on your face.
For real makeup heads, there are even specific eyelid primers available – these help you to experiment with crazy eye looks by creating a stable base.
In general, though, a face primer is all you need for your everyday routine. Popping a layer on before foundation will make all the difference, giving your foundation, concealer and all base makeup a longer lasting look.
Is a primer really necessary?
If you're keen to have perfect day long makeup, then yes.
It will also transform the look and feel of your skin instantly. Those with dry skin will benefit massively from a hydrating primer which changes the texture of their skin and prevents foundation from sticking to dry patches.
Those with oily skin should opt for a mattifying primer, which will stop the foundation from sliding off and minimise the appearance of oil.
Whatever your budget or skin tone and type, there will be a primer that's perfect for you in our list.
1. The Ordinary Silicone Primer
- The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer, £3.90 from Lookfantastic – buy here
For only £3.90 you can grab one of cult skincare brand The Ordinary's primers.
The low price definitely does not reflect the quality of the product – its High-Adherence Silicone Primer is a best-seller around the world.
Not made for one specific skin type, the clear-coloured primer is jelly-like in consistency and works to both hydrate and mattify skin.
Note: it works better when paired with a mattifying foundation as opposed to a light, dewy one.
30ml is a generous amount of product, especially for the price, so you'd be crazy not to pop one of these in with your next Lookfantastic order.
2. Too Faced Face Primer
- Too Faced 'Hangover' Face Primer, £27 from Debenhams – buy here
If your skin is looking dull, tired, or is feeling a little bit dry, Too Faced's Hangover primer will bring it back to life.
At £27 for a 38g bottle it isn't the cheapest, but it is worth every penny. The creamy white formula glides over the skin and transforms even the dryest of complexions into the perfect base before makeup application.
Its key ingredient is coconut water, which not only gives the product a fresh scent but is critical in ensuring ultimate hydration for the skin.
With dozens of five-star reviews, you can be sure you're investing your money into a primer that does exactly what it says on the tin.
3. Benefit POREfessional Primer
- Benefit The POREfessional Primer, £28 from Escentual – buy here
If you have oily skin and want something to keep the shine at bay then look no further. Benefit has a huge range of primers but the original POREfessional is their best-selling for a reason.
What's really telling, is that Benefit has launched a whole POREfessional range off the back of this one product.
The POREfessional primer works to mattify the complexion and eliminate oils in the skin, creating the illusion of smaller pores and keeping your makeup looking shine-free all day.
The silky soft nude balm is lightly tinted, so it can even be worn by itself.
A little goes a long way with this one, but if you're as obsessed as we are stock up with the jumbo size (£46 for 44ml rather than 22ml).
4. Smashbox Foundation Primer
- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, £28 from Boots – buy here
A few years ago, many of us mere mortals had never heard of or used primer, but then came along Smashbox to change the game.
The Photo Finish primer has been a favourite among makeup artists for years and was one of the first primers to gain a cult following.
Since 2010, the clear gel has been saving skin day on day, smoothing out imperfections and providing the perfect base for any foundation to sit on.
TOP TIP: You can even use it in your hair to tame strays.
Can I use moisturiser as primer?
If you want to use moisturisers as primer, we recommend choosing This Works Mask, Moisturiser and Primer in one.
5. This Works Primer
- This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up, £32 from Lookfantastic – buy here
Skincare brand This Works has a number of award-winning products, from the In Transit face wipes which are loved by Holly Willoughby to the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray.
The In Transit primer has been making waves since fashion royalty Victoria Beckham endorsed the product.
A moisturiser, primer and mask all-in-one, the £30 cream contains caffeine for an instant boost to the skin.
It works best with oily skin as it mattifies any dryness perfectly, but can be used with all kinds of skin types.
6. L'Oreal Mattifying Primer
- L'Oreal Paris Infallible Mattifying Primer Base, £8.99 from Boots – buy here
L'Oreal Paris' super-affordable primer is perfect for those who suffer from oily skin as it'll keep your face looking matte all day – especially when paired with the matching foundation of the same name.
The squeezy tube holds a gel primer that has a balmy texture and glides over the face with the tiniest amount of product.
This one was created with the use of foundation in mind, so use it as a base before makeup.
Treat your face to one (or two) of the best face masks of 2019. Go on, you deserve it.
For more incredible beauty product selections, check out our Sun Selects Beauty page.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, head over to our Sun Selects page for more recommendations.
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