For mattifying, blurring, locking down make-up and more

Want your make-up efforts to last all day? The best primer is a must for your beauty kit

When you’ve spent time getting your make-up exactly right, wouldn’t you quite like it if it stuck around all day or night? That’s virtually impossible without using the best primer.

This often overlooked step does more than just keep your make-up in place, though. As well as locking down make-up, primers can tackle all manner of skin concerns, from boosting radiance to moisturising and even filling in pores and fine lines.

Why is the best primer such an essential step?

‘Primers are an essential part of my personal make-up routine and a must have in my make-up kit, as they are the first step to a flawless base!’ says professional make-up artist Cher Webb. ‘They are a game-changing product, working in harmony with your skin and foundation, merging and blending for a seamless complexion.’

If your only experience of primers are those heavy silicone-based formulas that can cause irritating pilling, then it’s time to become reacquainted. These days many primers come with skincare benefits that help to look after your complexion, while simultaneously helping your best foundation stay in place for longer. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3 (often in the form of niacinamide) and witch hazel extract are now common in modern day primers. Thankfully, you can now forget that feeling of a thick layer of something on top of your skin.

‘Primers are designed to adhere to your foundation and can provide amazing results when using the appropriate primer for your skin type,’ Cher adds. ‘They act as an instant filter by reducing the appearance of redness, and adding instant radiance and glow while blurring imperfections.’

With that in mind, we’ve done our research and have tried and tested as many of the best primers on the market. Below you’ll find Marie Claire’s handpicked edit of the very best formulas to shop now – and we think you’re guaranteed to find a new make-up bag staple. Happy priming!

Types of makeup primers

Nowadays the best primers can even soak up excess oil and blur imperfections. They’re able to camouflage the appearance of large pores and smooth out bumpy skin to help your make-up apply more evenly. If you struggle with concealing redness or rosacea, there are colour-correcting primers that will neutralise it. There are now some formulations that even protect your skin from the sun’s rays, with the addition of a high SPF.

Basically there’s a primer for every skin type and concern. To help you on your way to find thing the best primer, here are all of the different types:

Blurring primer: ‘If you want to minimise pores apply a primer which is designed to blur them,’ starts Naoko Sinctu who has dolled up the likes of Jodie Comer, Karlie Kloss and Florence Pugh. They continue: ‘Apply the product to the centre of the face or where you naturally produce more oil.’ The best blurring primers contain lots of emollient to leave your skin smooth pore-free.

Mattifying primer: Oily girls, this one is for you. Not only will a mattifying primer reduce the appearance of pores, it will also control oil production throughout the day. Silicone is the ingredient you need to look out for if you’re investing however, our tip is to go light with the primer to stop your makeup from pilling.

Hydrating primer: Want to look like you’ve slugged but don’t fancy using copious amounts of your best moisturiser? Say hello to a hydrating primer. Naoko’s favourite primer in her kit, she says: ‘A primer that adds as much hydration as possible instantly improves the look and feel of the skin and is a perfect base for makeup.’ Search for something with hyaluronic acid in it if you’re on the hunt for hydration.

Colour-correcting primer: Championed by makeup artists Rose Gallagher, who uses a green primer in her makeup for rosacea routine, colour correcting primers even skin tone ready for foundation. Redness isn’t the only colour they counteract, you can get blue primers to even yellow tones and pink ones to even blue ones.

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