Buying Guide to Purchasing the Best Primers on the Market


In the world of makeup, primer is often overlooked due to a lack of knowledge on what it is or the assumption that it isn’t a necessary part of doing makeup. In reality, primer is a lot more significant than one would think, especially if looking to make all that gorgeous effort last.

What Is Primer?

Face primer is a type of makeup which goes on as the base layer, the layer underneath all the foundation, eye makeup, and other parts of the final look. Not only is primer essential to keep the makeup on top lasting throughout the day, primer also smooths out wrinkles, conceals large pores, and can even be used as an alternative to foundation.

What Types of Primers Are Out There?

Generally, there are four types of face primer: Tinted, matte, color-correcting, and silicone-free.

Tinted Primer: This kind of primer is for anybody with a smooth face and a winning skin-care routine. It works best on skin with small pores but draws attention to uneven skin – i.e., those with bumps or acne. It can come in types that glow or shimmer when applied.

Mattifying Primer: This kind of primer is lightweight and a good primer for oily skin. It minimizes pores and doesn’t feel so heavy on a person’s face. As the name suggests, the finish is matte, so if looking for something shinier, it wouldn’t be the right type to choose.

Color-Correcting Primer: This type of primer helps with things like dark circles under eyes and red spots, bringing the skin back to a neutral tone and reducing the need for a foundation to cover up those spots instead. The color-correcting type is the best primer for sensitive skin.

Silicone-Free Primer: This form of primer is an excellent type if looking for a flawless skin look that holds makeup in place for extended periods without worry. It works for dry skin but isn’t a good primer for sensitive skin or those prone to acne.

What Are the Best Brands of Primers to Buy?

There are numerous face primers out there, but these are the top brands for anyone looking for good primers that are worth the money and effort.


W7 is an affordable brand with a variety of high-end products that come in creams, gels, powders, and serums. They carry simple products such as basic pore-minimizing primer to priming pens that work specifically for lips and brows.

Their Magic line carries multiple primers: A clear face primer works for normal skin. An anti-dull primer with a purple color brightens and enhances skin. An anti-redness primer primer with a green color combats red spots and evens out skin tone. Finally, an anti-fatigue primer with a peach tint makes skin look healthy, radiant, and fresh.

They carry serums including a regular even-skin primer, a serum specifically for priming lips for gloss and lipstick, and their unique 24K primer, which boasts flecks of real gold and hydrating oil for a glowing finish that you can wear on its own. W7 has the party-animals covered too, with a primer made to shimmer and sparkle underneath festive makeup.


Technic offers a range of inexpensive primers in the forms of creams, sprays, balm, and serum. Most of their creams are vegan-made, and many of their other products are vegetarian, as well. They offer products from simple stick primers to cucumber-scented priming sprays.

Their color-correcting collection includes purple and green colored primers for combating dull skin and red spots, both of which come enriched with vitamin E and aloe vera. Their anti-blemish primer comes with aloe vera as well and works for acne-prone skin. Their Strobe FX collection comes in three tones and works as a highlighter as well as a primer. Finally, they offer two hydrating serums, including a simple light-weight finishing serum and a rose primer with several oils, including vitamin E, rosehip oil, argan oil, and jojoba seed oil. Technic may be one of the best primer brands out there if looking for options that promote healthy skin.

Absolute New York

While Absolute doesn’t offer a super wide range of primers, they cover the essentials and provide top quality.

Their 3-in-1 collection comes in several colors, including green for anti-redness, pink for rosiness, yellow to combat dark spots, blue for bright complexion, and caramel for warm tones. They offer basic primers in clear, green, and lavender as well, with the same benefits at but at a lower price. They have a couple of sprays on the market, a standard priming spray, and a rose spray packed with additions like lavender fragrance, antioxidants, deep-sea water, and collagen for a highly nourishing experience. They also have a face mask that nourishes just like any other face mask would but with the addition of prepping the skin for makeup application. Absolute New York is a good primer brand to go with if you’re just trying to stick to the basics.


This brand is one of the more expensive on this list, and also provides more of a plain variety when it comes to face primers. What they offer is well-made, though, and many of their products are vegan and cruelty-free. Their primers come in mists, creams, powders, and gel. They offer a variety of colors, offer both matte and shinier primers, and have a couple of 2-in-1 products. OFRA is a good option to go with if looking for more than just one basic tone.


Maybelline has a minimal collection in terms of primers, but they get the job done. They offer standard priming powder, cream, spray, and a small pore eraser primer that’s a good primer for sensitive skin. They also have a small master prime collection that offers blue, pink, and green primers for blurring and brightening skin, adding a healthy glow, and fighting redness, respectively. Even though the range isn’t wide on their face priming products, they’re a brand with a reputation, so their products deliver.

How to Choose the Best Primer for You

Typically, the best way to choose a primer is to by your skin type. For normal skin types (those not oily or dry), shiny primers work very well. For oily skin types, mattifying primers, pore-minimizing primers, and acne-fighting primers are good primers to go with. For dry skin types, the best primers are hydrating and lightweight without too much of that dewy effect. Mature skin types should look for lightweight, moisturizing primers with antioxidants. For sensitive skin types, the best primers are those without fragrance, aren’t too heavy, and green-based if that sensitivity causes redness. Combination skin types (which may be two or more of any of these types) might have to use different primers for different areas of the face, but makeup experts can often provide guidance.

In summary, primers are not only an essential base for makeup, but they’re a healthy part of skincare and can often provide the skin with the nourishment and care that it needs. Consider buying a good primer as an addition to any makeup bag, if it isn’t already.


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