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All You Need To Know About Primers

March 21, 2023

All You Need To Know About Primers

Primers — you either skip them or you’re a fully-fledged addict, and believe us when we tell you that you need to be the latter. More than just a makeup product, makeup primers are the difference between a good makeup look and the best makeup look.


If you’re not already familiar with primers and find yourself asking ‘what does a primer do?’ and ‘how do you use primer?’, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for our all-questions-asked 


Makeup primer preps the skin to prevent your makeup from fading, creasing, or turning patchy so it lasts from morning to night.

Primer is essentially the prep work for creating the perfect makeup look. It infuses the skin with smoothing, softening, or mattifying ingredients, helping your skin to look better and your makeup to last longer.


If you’re new to primers, then you might be wondering how to apply them. Don’t be daunted — just think of a primer as the last step in your skincare routine or the first in your makeup line-up.

So, how do you use primer? After applying your serums and moisturisers, smooth an even layer over the skin, concentrating on any oily or dry areas, depending on your skin type. Whether you apply your primer using your fingers, a brush, or sponge is totally up to you, just make sure to really work it into your skin for the smoothest finish.


Now that you’re getting familiar with primers and itching to add a new product to your haul, the first step is to identify the primers that are right for you.

Similar to moisturisers and foundations, there’s a primer for every skin type and concern. It’s worth noting that it’s best to choose a primer that complements your foundation to avoid any makeup separation or pilling — the opposite of what you want your primer to do. For example, if you have dewy foundation, choose a glowy primer or if you have a matte foundation, choose a mattifying primer.

Then there are the ingredients to consider. Think of primers as a skincare-makeup hybrid. Primers are often infused with ingredients similar to skincare, including hyaluronic acid for dry skin, niacinamide for acne-prone skin, mattifying ingredients for oily skin, soothing extracts for combination skin, or vitamin C for glowy skin.


Now for the different types of primer

Here’s the lowdown:

  • Hydrating primers: Infuse the skin with moisture, ensuring your foundation doesn’t cake, cling to dry patches, or flake.
  • Mattifying primers: Ideal for oily skin, keeping shine at bay, and preventing foundation from slipping, fading, or creasing.
  • ‘Grippy’ primers: Create a sticky or tacky base for your foundation to adhere to, making sure it locks into place for a long-lasting finish.
  • Dewy primers: For a glowy base, these are the option. Usually infused with shimmering particles or glow-boosting ingredients to give a radiant finish.
  • Blurring primers: Often silicone-based, creating an airbrushed, flawless canvas for makeup application.
  • Colour-correcting primers: Use colours to ‘correct’ skin concerns. Green neutralises redness, yellow conceals purple tones, blue covers hyperpigmentation, and pink brightens the skin.
  • Eye primers: Make eyeshadow creasing a fading a thing of the past by prepping the perfect base.


And now, onto our favourites. Here are some of our favourite makeup primers and why. 

Perfect for: Blurring pores and fine lines

Want to wave bye-bye to your pores? Then this is the primer for you. The Revolution Gym Oil Blurring Primer Stick uses bamboo stem powder and light diffusing microspheres to hide pores and fine lines while keeping your skin oil and shine-free all day. The best thing about it? It can be used over makeup for touch-ups on the go, making it the perfect multi-tasking hero for your makeup bag.


Perfect for: Keeping oily skin matte

Does the dreaded midday shine stare back at you from the mirror at your lunch break makeup check? Then the Relove Pore Vanish Prime Mist is the primer you need in your makeup bag. Enriched with vitamin B6, this mist preps and primes your skin for a smooth, oil-free finish that lasts for hours.


Perfect for a glowy finish

Even, flawless skin tone is the sign of youthful healthy skin. Sometimes we need a little help with the glow from within, and this primer is the perfect solution; the formula is loaded with great skincare ingredients: the formula contains powerful anti-aging and skin fortifying benefits.


Perfect for: A primer that doubles up as skincare

If you’re looking for a glowy, plump, dewy base, the Payot Super Glow Serum is the answer. Infused with skin-loving ingredients to hydrate and add glow, this primer leaves your skin looking healthy and fresh. A fresh and fluid orange gel, with high absorption features which melts into the skin immediately without any sticky finish to easily apply the daily cream after


Perfect for: A seamless and smooth base

It went viral for a reason, so don’t miss out on the NYX Professional Makeup The Marshmallow Soothing Primer. If it makes our skin as soft and plump as marshmallows, then we’re sold. Boasting an impressive 10-in-1 formula, this primer has a whipped texture that melts instantly into the skin to soften, smooth, hydrate, even skin tone, minimise texture, blur lines, and add a soft-focus finish. 


Perfect for: A grippy base that locks foundation in place

If, like us, you spend hours scrolling through TikTok to discover all the latest beauty finds, techniques, and tips, then you’re bound to have come across the Hello Sunday All Primer. Prep and protect in one, thanks to this invisible featherlight primer. A makeup bag essential, designed for everyday life. Not only does this hold your makeup in place but provides broad spectrum SPF50 protection against UVA/UVB rays to prevent sun damage and ageing.

This sun primer really does have it all, defending your skin from blue light, known to cause hyperpigmentation, as well as protecting against external aggressors such as pollution and infrared sun rays.


Missed out your favourite primer? Found a new favourite you want to share with us? Drop us a comment below and tell us all about it! 

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