Choosing the Best Drugstore Primer
If you have experienced on a night out with your girlfriends that your foundation has made trails, given you smudgy eyes and a nose that best looks like a court jester, you have clearly made the mistake of not using a primer! No matter how expensive your foundation and the rest of your cosmetics are if you are not applying a primer, it is all pointless.
What Exactly Is a Makeup Primer?
Ask any makeup artist and they will stress the importance of using a primer before applying makeup. If you are new to makeup, don’t fret. Primers fill the fine lines on your face and fend off the oil, turning your face into a beautiful, smooth canvas for your foundation to hold onto it. A primer is a base you apply on your face after you use a moisturizer on it, and before you apply any makeup.A primer is an extra layer between the skin of your face and your makeup. No doubt, you take a lot of time and effort to apply makeup, but before that, using a primer would ensure that it stays that way for a more extended period, making you look perfect for hours. So the primer is essentially covering any fine lines on the face, smoothing the skin and making your skin tone look even.
Is It Really That Important?
A primer is something that bridges your makeup and skincare routine. It is a colorless (but not always) compound that will prolong the period of how long the makeup will stay. It will also prevent your foundation from coming in contact with the sebum (the oily substance on your skin). Foundation tends to oxidize when it comes into contact with sebum and change color, but a primer acts as a barrier.
If you have never used a primer before, you will find that applying it before any makeup routine will really make a difference. This difference is because it has the best of both, from the world of skincare and cosmetics. This versatility is possible because there is a primer for every skin type!
That’s correct; all primers are made different. No matter your skin tone, or what kind of effect you are going for, there is a primer for you. If a shimmery look is what you are trying to achieve, there is a primer for that; if you want an understated yet sophisticated appearance, there is a primer with that perfect matte look.
Some primers will blur imperfections, some are great at minimizing pores (if your skin has big pores), yet others do color correcting. Also, some primers offer skincare benefits such as having anti-acne or anti-aging ingredients, having the ability to moisturize or have sun protection elements.
How Do I Pick up a Primer for Myself?
To achieve flawless skin, you’ll first need to know your skin time to find the right primer for you. If you are not careful with this, your face will look like you are wearing an obvious disguise after application. Always remember that primers that work for your best buddy may not be the best for you, so choose wisely.
Primers for Normal Skin
Normal skin doesn’t get oily during the day, irritated or break out often. Normal skin has medium and small-sized pores. In that case, you merely want a primer that holds the foundation in place for any number of hours and maybe contain SPF (sun protection factor) and nothing more.
Nearly all manufacturers produce primers for this type of skin and may add other properties, such as antioxidants to keep your skin healthy. You might also want to go for a dewy finish (quite popular) or even an illuminating look. Since someone with normal skin wouldn’t have issues such as redness, a normal, pore-blurring primer would suffice (you might even forego the foundation if you have this kind of skin).
Primers for Oily Skin
If your skin is oily, it would mean it has large pores, resulting in a shiny and greasy look as the day progresses. For this type of skin, you need a mattifying primer that also doubles up as a pore minimizer. Ordinarily, silicon-based primers are best for this, if your skin is not allergic to them.
Applying a silicon-based primer will also mattify the effect and provides a barrier between the skin and the foundation to make your makeup last longer. Some of these primers may also have nutrients and anti-acne elements to stop your skin from breaking out.
Primers for Dry Skin
Dry skin is easy to recognize; it hardly ever gets greasy, has small pores, may have dry patches occasionally, and also has a tendency to get irritated quicker than other skin types. For this skin, a primer which does the dual job of reducing the dry, patchy look and moisturizing the skin works the best.
You would also want your skin to look diffused, and not shimmery because those type of primers tends to highlight the dryness of the skin. It is always better to ask for a sample and testing it on a small area of your skin before buying it.
Primers for Sensitive Skin
If your skin is sensitive, you don’t need to worry. A good quality primer (there are dozens to choose from!) won’t “pad” your skin with an extra layer before you apply foundation and makeup, but also won’t cause any irritation. Also, using a green-based primer (to neutralize the redness on your sensitive skin) will reduce the amount of foundation you apply.
You may also opt for a primer that is bursting with natural ingredients (such as green tea extract, allantoin or niacinamide) and does not contain fragrance (as it may irritate your skin more).
Primers for Combination Skin
As complicated as combination skin sounds, it is not. Combination skin means that you have two types of skin: Some areas of your skin are dry, while the others are oily. You would want to use a combination of primers: One that does not mattify your skin too much (for the oily areas), and one that moisturizes your skin (for the dry areas). As a third benefit, your foundation will last longer and smoother.
Alternatively, you can go for a neutral primer that will achieve these results.
Primers for Mature Skin
Primers are an excellent choice for mature skin; they can work wonders and blur wrinkles and the fine lines while making the skin appear evener. A moisturizing, light primer will do the job, and it is even better if it contains sunscreen because it is considered to have anti-aging properties.
Best Drugstore Primers - Comparison Table
Best Drugstore Primers - PROS and CONS
Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer
- Smooths and perfects skin to create a picture-perfect canvas for makeup
- High Definition Filter Technology reflects and diffuses light to create a flawless, airbrushed look
- Lightweight, pink-tinted formula brightens skin and softens the appearance of imperfections
- Oil free, talc free, fragrance free and paraben free
- Works on all skin types to help your makeup stay in place all day long
This lightweight primer by Revlon evens out, softens and smooths your skin tone, as the name suggests, and creates a camera-ready face ready for makeup. Its texture is soft and creamy, making it perfect for blending into any skin type. You can wear it alone, or under a foundation for longer-lasting makeup. It enhances our natural skin texture, making it look smooth and clear.
NYX Studio Perfect Primer
- Silky primer formula creates smooth surface for foundation and ensures longevity of makeup application
- Clear primer covers fine lines and large pores
- Creates a smooth matte finish before any makeup application
NYX Studio is a smooth, silky primer that is absorbed in the skin easily. It promises zero flashbacks in photos, and those are amazing claims for a drugstore primer! It blurs and conceals your imperfections, giving you a super smooth skin feel and perfect makeup all day long (up to 8 hours).
E.L.F Hydrating Face Primer
- A BASE FOR YOUR BEAUTY REGIMEN - Our Hydrating Face Primer transforms your face into a flawless, smooth canvas ideal for long-lasting makeup application. Great for smoothing, illuminating, and minimizing pores prior to cosmetics.
- VITAMIN INFUSED SKIN PRIMER - This formula is infused with grape and Vitamins A, C, and E to help boost your complexion and hydrate your skin for a fresh, dewy look.
- HOW TO USE - Prior to makeup application, apply a small amount of primer to clean skin and blend evenly on your face. Our hydrating primer provides the ideal base for foundation, powder, and concealer.
- PARABEN, SULFATE, & PHTHALATE FREE - This primer is free from Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates. It's gentle enough to use on the most sensitive skin types.
- CRUELTY FREE AND VEGAN - Our primers are PETA certified cruelty free and vegan, so you can feel good about using our products.
This primer by E.L.F is great for smoothing and minimizing pores and ideal for the application of long-lasting makeup. It is infused with vitamins A, C, and E to nourish and hydrate your skin and boost complexion. You will wonder how little foundation you have to use with this product! Overall, this is a great, low-cost drugstore primer that will not break the bank and still get the job done.
Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer Blur + Redness Control
- Blurs skin imperfections and smooths fine lines
- Primes skin for even makeup application without a greasy feel
- Weightless, water-based formula, non-oily
- Apply all over face before foundation or wear alone
With a non-oily formula, this product from Maybelline doesn’t have a silicon finish and has the feel of lotion and smooths fine lines. If you are looking for a product that offers redness control, smoothness and illumination, this one does just the job for you! This primer acts as an excellent base for your makeup, and you can use it on its own as well.
Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass Cosmetics
- Free of oils, fragrances and parabens
- Silky, lightweight texture
- Promotes smooth, easy makeup application
- Protects against UV damage
- Minimizes shine
This primer by Hourglass Cosmetics helps to hide wrinkles and blemishes in a lightweight formula. The product also works hard to minimize pores, and it even has a bonus of SPF 15, so you can wear it without makeup. This primer doesn’t look greasy on the skin and is a great way to create a clean canvas without adding any extra oil to the face.
Choosing a Primer For You
All products listed above were chosen for their popularity, skin types and cost-effectiveness. For a perfect makeup, you can add the best drugstore concealer and the best foundation to your kit too. Remember to remove all impurities from your face before you apply anything on it and you can use just the primer as is, without foundation. The markets are full of mattifying, illuminating, color correcting, hydrating and many other types of primers. Also, bear in mind only need to apply a minimal amount of primer; just using a thumbnail-sized quantity will go a long way.Now that you are a lot better informed on primers visit your nearest store and check out that perfect primer that suits your needs. The products listed here are readily available at your nearest drugstore and are not very expensive. Are there other primers you would recommend? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!