12 Best Makeup Primers

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12 Best Makeup Primers

NO. 12: SALLY HANSEN NATURAL BEAUTY INSPIRED BY CARMINDY LUMINIZING FACE PRIMER, $19.99

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 7.8*

Why: "I tried this product recently and it just made my skin feel so soft and smooth! I love that post-gym workout glow and I can achieve that (minus the workout on those lazy days!) with Carmindy's Luminizing Primer," says one reader. Another agrees saying, "its luminous quality makes your skin really glow -- even under foundation."" Readers say this product takes "primer to a new level" as it works as a triple threat: "It works wonderfully as a foundation primer, alone for casual weekends, and triples as a body shimmer. I used it over the summer and it reduced shine, gave me a luminous summer glow, and kept my makeup lasting."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

NO. 11: SMASHBOX PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER SPF 15 WITH DERMAXYL COMPLEX, $42

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 7.9*

Why: Readers call it the "best primer on the market," because it "makes my skin feel so soft. My foundation went on very smoothly, evenly, and lasted much longer than it does alone."" Another says, "I've used this primer for over a year now … and can't live without it. My makeup stays on all day and night. And, it also minimizes my pores, which is a plus." One woman says, "It keeps your face in place. I got this for my wedding, and tested it by running errands on a 90+ degree day when I knew I'd be sweaty -- normally prime conditions for a makeup meltdown. But it lasted all day and didn't get greasy!"

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

NO. 10: BARE ESCENTUALS PRIME TIME BRIGHTENING FOUNDATION PRIMER, $21

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8*

Why: One reviewer says, "This product is fabulous at evening out my skin and creating a flawless palette for [my] foundation and colors. It's smooth, quick-drying and most importantly, non-irritating." Others say, "I have tried many primers and this one actually does what it says! I am a Mineral Makeup girl, and this definitely sets it for the day." And another woman says, "before I began wearing Prime Time it was impossible to keep my mineral makeup on all day long." And one reader simply says, "It's heavenly."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

NO. 9: NAPOLEON PERDIS AUTO PILOT PRE-FOUNDATION PRIMER, $39

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8*

Why: "People kept complimenting my 'dewy complexion.' I definitely credit this primer. It's a slam-dunk for dry skin, offering hydration and a smooth surface to apply foundation resulting in a more natural look," says one reader. Another says, "This primer is so unique and it totally delivers. I love the fact that it's gel-based and has vitamins and herbal extracts." And one reader says it's all she needs: "Auto Pilot is by far my favorite primer on the market. When I travel, I even use it in place of moisturizer. It sets my makeup so beautifully and it gives my skin the smooth texture it really needs."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

NO. 8: TARTE CLEAN SLATE PRIMER, $27

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.1*

Why: Readers like how "it truly does exactly what the name says: Gives your skin a 'Clean Slate.' I don't find it to be oily or greasy in any way, it's just a great product that glides over my skin." One woman likes how "it works well under every type of foundation I've tried it with: mineral powder, liquid, pressed, and cream. My skin doesn't get irritated by it, it doesn't clog my pores, and it leaves such a nice finish on my face." One reader says, "I love, love this primer. I like how it absorbs right away into my skin. It feels so soft, like silk, and my skin has a nice matte look to it after applying it, which I also love! The price isn't too bad either and it keeps my mineral makeup on all day."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

NO. 7: LAURA MERCIER FOUNDATION PRIMER OIL-FREE, $30

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.1*

Why: Readers say the product "goes on light and absorbs in seconds and keeps makeup in place for hours. No more makeup sliding off your face in the humid summer weather. And, it also helps foundation glide over lines, rather than settling in them and making them more noticeable." Sounds like a huge plus to us. Another agrees saying, "My skin looks absolutely beautiful when made up with these products. I have mature skin and the primer smoothes pores and even light wrinkles to let the foundation do its magic."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

NO. 6: CLARINS INSTANT SMOOTH PERFECTING TOUCH, $27.50

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.2*

Why: Readers call this a "must have"" and the "holy grail of primers," because it makes skin "smooth as a baby's bottom!" People love that "it fills in lines and pores and allows foundation to be applied more smoothly."And one says, "Some primers are too slimy, some primers are too gunky, this one is just right! The consistency is thick enough to work with but it melts right onto you face erasing the appearance of pores and wrinkles -- and on top of that it FEELS great!" And as a bonus, many were "shocked that the price was so reasonable, being a Clarins product."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

NO. 5: MAC PREP + PRIME FACE PROTECT SPF 50, $26.50

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.4*

Why: The high SPF is a huge bonus for readers: ""I have melanoma and have to be very careful about sun exposure. This product is absolutely wonderful, and I only wish more products went this high on their SPF. [It] is an absolute everyday staple for me."Another says, "I went to Disney World last August and wore this in lieu of a traditional sunscreen on my face and didn't get sunburned all week long. That's quite a feat considering I was sweating profusely and that I'm fairly pale and prone to burning." And one more says, "I have super oily skin and this is the only sunscreen I've tried that doesn't feel greasy. I love that it's two products in one."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

NO. 4: DHC VELVET SKIN COAT, $21

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.4*

Why:

NO. 3: SMASHBOX PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER, $36

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.5*

Why: "This product is amazing. It goes on silky and so does your makeup after this base product. No shine and a healthy glow. Smashbox is really onto something with this primer!" says one reader while another calls it "complexion perfection." I absolutely adore this product. It makes my skin smooth and evens out splotches and any flakes I may have so I look FLAWLESS." And one woman says, "If I were stranded on a desert island … well, I'd hope I had some water, and a multi-tool, and maybe my husband, but if I got to bring one thing from my daily makeup bag, it would be Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer."

By: Total Beauty

 

 

 

 

NO. 2: MAKE UP FOREVER HD MICROPERFECTING PRIMER, $32

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.8*

Why: Those that deal with uneven red splotches say the green primer is the best: "I never really enjoyed using primers because I always felt that they were too heavy and that my skin couldn't breathe. That has all changed since I discovered Make Up For Ever's Primer. It is light, non-greasy and really helps tone my skin. My makeup has never looked better," says one reader, and another calls it "a life saver!" My cheeks tend to be red ALL the time so when I bought this I was soo excited! It works really well."

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

NO. 1: ARBONNE COSMETICS MAKEUP PRIMER, $36

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 9.9*

Why: A reader confides, "I am 55-years-old and have been wearing makeup since my early teens and [this] primer is hands down the best I have ever found! Believe me I have tried almost all of them." Another says, "Not sure how I ever lived without this in my makeup bag. My foundation goes on smoother, I wear less, and it looks better. It's candy for your face." And another says, "This product really does fill in those nooks and crannies on the face even with lots of freckles and sun damage," and one devoted consumer says, "I've been using Arbonne for over two years now and have yet to find a better makeup primer. Its silky texture makes putting on my makeup a joy. LOVE IT." 

*At time of publication

By: Total Beauty

 

 

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Obvious foundation streaks, noticeable pores, redness around the nose -- these are all makeup blunders on par with a glaringly large flake of black pepper stuck between your teeth. Celebrity makeup artist and beauty brand founder, Napoleon Perdis, says these makeup faux pas can be avoided by adding one simple step to your morning routine: applying primer (you're on your own with the pepper though).

"Not to prime is a crime! It's been my career-long mantra as it helps finesse your foundation, helping your skin to stay flawless for longer," says Perdis. See what readers think are the 12 best makeup primers now.

And it's not just Perdis, celebrity makeup artists everywhere stress the importance of priming. Makeup primers are crucial at keeping oil at bay while filling in fine lines and providing a smooth canvas for your foundation to stick to, says celebrity makeup artist Charlie Green. Now that we've converted you into a primer believer, here are tips to help you choose the best one for you:

1) Skin tone: Primers come in different hues to address specific skin concerns. Green-colored primers will combat redness from rosacea or acne. Mauve/light purple counteracts sallow undertones while pink helps brighten complexions.

2) Skin type: First, figure out whether your skin type is oily, dry or combination. Then choose a primer that is suited for those needs.

Once you've got the right formula, apply the primer after all your moisturizing. "It's like waterproofing your skin," says Jim Hammer, a cosmetics chemist at Pharmasol Labs in Easton, Mass. If you apply it before your day cream or sunscreen, those water-based products can't penetrate through to reach your skin. "If you smooth [the primer] on after, your skin can absorb your moisturizer before the primer forms a slick film on top of it," says Hammer.

Photo: Total Beauty

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