8 Face Primers That Will Totally Transform Your Skin

Keep your face in place.

By Hannah Zahner
makeup, beauty

Let’s be honest, makeup primers can feel like an extra step, ie a waste of money. But, no matter how great your makeup is, well-prepped skin always wears better. Plus, there are new products now on the market that will totally change your mind about this skincare category. Well that, and the summer humidity that seems hell-bent on making sure your makeup slides off of your face as soon as you step out of my door.

So, what’s so interesting about these face primers? 

Whether they’re packed with SPF, only contain non-toxic ingredients, are laced with anti-aging goodness, or infused with acne-fighting properties, these little wonders do way more than just making sure your makeup stays in place—they actually make your skin look better over time. Read on to find which one is perfect for you – there’s something for everyone!

featured image by thirteen thoughts

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best All Around: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

This all-star is quickly becoming a fave of makeup lovers (it’s been sold out at Sephora the last couple times I’ve tried to buy it). It works well for combination and super sensitive skin types, keeping makeup out of your pores and boasting ingredients that over time will clear blemishes. It truly lasts all day, while leaving skin looking luminous and airbrushed.

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best for Radiance: Becca Backlight Priming Filter

Becca’s Priming Filter is a personal fave. It creates a luminescent “lit from within” look all while softly diffusing imperfections and creating a smooth base for your makeup. An added perk is that it’s equally as beautiful used alone to create an effortless dewy finish for days when you want to go foundation free.

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best for Oily Skin: Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth and Blur Primer

This silicon based cult-favorite goes on velvety smooth and tones down the high shine areas in the perfect way. Oily areas are left mattified while dry and dull areas are given a radiance boost.

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best for Dry or Mature Skin: Hourglass No. 28 Priming Serum

This primer works especially well for dry skin since it works double duty as a primer and serum, due to it’s skin plumping oils. The silky formula plumps up and softens fine lines for a beautiful dewy makeup base. A little goes a long way for this ultra-hydrating primer, so if the full size is out of your budget, you can get by with a travel size for awhile!

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best for Acne Prone Skin: Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment 

If you’re acne-prone, every step of your skin care routine counts—and now, you can put your primer to work by preventing blemishes as well. This mattifying primer is infused with salicylic acid and natural fruit AHAs, which help to gently encourage cell turnover and prevent clogged pores.

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best Clean Beauty Pick: Vapour Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfectector

Boasting a “soft-focus finish,” this non-toxic pick minimizes signs of wrinkles, age spots, or scars with its subtle tint, while moisturizing pumpkin and papaya oils infuse the skin with antioxidants to protect your complexion from environmental damage. 

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best SPF + Primer Combo: Bareminerals Combo Control Milky Face Primer

Many makeup products on the market nowadays have some SPF included, but few boast an SPF as high as 50. Slip this on underneath your foundation to ensure that your makeup looks perfect all day—and your skin stays healthy and sun-damage free!

best primer, beauty, makeup

Best Budget: Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Prime Primer Makeup SPF 30 Blur + Defend

The lowest priced primer on our list, this budget primer certainly pulls it’s weight. It gives the pricier versions a run for their money by keeping skin silky smooth and shine-free all day! And the SPF 30 is an added bonus. This primer disappears instantly and wears perfectly under makeup.