10 Best Makeup Primers of 2024, for Every Skin Type

Prime time for flawless beauty – discover this year’s ultimate lineup for your precious skin!
Last Updated
:
March 21, 2024
by
Editorial Staff
An array of the best face primers for makeup application on a dark chocolate and orange vertical striped background
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Ladies and gentlemen, gather ’round, for we have a tale to tell—a tale of a beauty product so powerful, it can transform your makeup game from “meh” to “magnificent” in just a few simple swipes. We’re talking about face primers, the often overlooked but oh-so-essential step in any makeup routine. Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Another beauty product to add to my already overflowing vanity? No, thank you!” But trust us, once you experience the magic of a good face primer, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Picture this: You’ve spent hours perfecting your makeup look, blending your foundation like a pro, and contouring your cheekbones to rival those of a Hollywood starlet. But then, disaster strikes. Your foundation starts to settle into fine lines, your T-zone begins to shine like a beacon, and your carefully applied makeup starts to disappear faster than your paycheck on payday. Sound familiar? Well, fear not, our beauty-loving friends, because face primers are here to save the day (and your makeup)!

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Our Top Picks:

Continue reading after our picks to see how we review these products as the best makeup primers and what you should look for when shopping for them.

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The 10 Best Face Primers for Every Skin Type

Ready to unlock the secrets to a flawless complexion that’ll make your friends green with envy? Well, buckle up, because we’re about to show you the best of the best of face primers! Once you discover the magic of these little tubes of goodness, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!

We’ll be your trusty guides, leading you through the primer jungle and helping you find the perfect match for your unique skin type. If you’re battling oily skin, fighting off dryness, or just looking to add a little extra oomph to your makeup game, don’t worry, ’cause we gotchu!

Pros
  • Provides a sticky base for the foundation
  • Better longevity
  • Immensely lightweight and hydrating
Cons
  • Higher price point compared to other primers
  • Didn’t fill in pores
  • Can be too hydrating for those who want a matte finish

Infused with star ingredients like hyaluronic acid, hemp seed extract, niacinamide, and aloe water, the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer promises up to 12 hours of makeup grip while delivering a fresh, dewy glow. Its silicone-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free formula makes it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive ones.

Upon application, it has a slightly sticky texture that transforms into a smooth, hydrating base, allowing makeup to apply seamlessly and stay put throughout the day. Despite its higher price point, its effectiveness in enhancing makeup longevity and improving skin texture justifies the investment. However, it’s important to follow the recommended application method—applying a thin layer and allowing it to set for a minute—to avoid any pilling issues.

CoverageFull
Item FormGel
Skin TypeAll, Dry Skin, Sensitive
Pros
  • Smooth and lightweight formula
  • Hydrating
  • Long-lasting
  • Skin-perfecting, minimizes pores
  • Flawless finish
  • Can be applied all over or just in specific areas
  • Ideal for all skin types
Cons
  • Some users may find it to be a bit greasy
  • May not be suitable for dry patches of skin

At an accessible price point of $10, e.l.f. Poreless Putty Face Primer offers exceptional value, especially considering its performance rivals that of high-end brands. Its velvety texture effortlessly glides over the skin, creating a smooth canvas that not only minimizes the appearance of pores but also enhances the longevity of makeup.

Infused with squalane, it provides a slight boost of hydration, making it suitable for a range of skin types, from oily to dry and combination. The primer’s ability to grip makeup ensures long-lasting wear, keeping your foundation looking fresh throughout the day. While it’s primarily water-based, offering a lightweight feel, it does contain silicones, which contribute to its pore-blurring effect.

Item FormCream
ColorPoreless Putty Primer
CoverageFull
Skin TypeNormal
Pros
  • Multi-purpose moisturizer
  • Suitable for daily skin care and use under makeup
  • Thicker consistency
  • Absorbs quickly and leaves no sticky residue
  • Hydrating properties
  • Creates a smooth and even base for the foundation
  • Lightweight
  • Fresh-scented
Cons
  • May not be moisturizing enough for all skin types
  • May be too rich for oily skin types

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is the best multipurpose primer that not only serves as an excellent moisturizer but also doubles as an effective makeup primer. Its rich yet non-greasy formula is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving it smooth, plump, and perfectly prepped for makeup application. When we tried it, we noticed a significant improvement in the longevity of our makeup, with a flawless finish that lasts throughout the day.

The cream’s gentle formulation, enriched with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and soy proteins, makes it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It hydrates and revitalizes tired, dehydrated skin without causing any irritation or breakouts. The subtle, sweet floral scent is an added bonus, making the application process a pleasant experience.

Although the price point is on the higher side, the versatility and effectiveness of this product justify the investment. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré has truly lived up to its reputation as the best multifunctional primer and a cult favorite among makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts alike.

Item FormCream
ScentAloe Vera
CoverageEven and long-lasting
Finish TypeSatin
Skin TypeAll
Pros
  • Affordable alternative to higher-end protective primers
  • Can be used as a nighttime skincare step without causing breakouts
  • Gives a dewy glow before bedtime and makes makeup colors pop
Cons
  • Does not contain SPF
  • Some customers find the initial scent unpleasant
  • May not be effective in reducing redness for all individuals

Youthforia Pregame Primer is a versatile and nourishing daily primer that enhances makeup application and skin health. Its emollient formula, rich in plant-based ingredients like aloe and olive leaf extracts, locks in moisture and creates a soft, radiant finish for various skin types, including sensitive and mature skin. Users appreciate its ability to create an even canvas for makeup, and some even use it as a highlighter or mix it with their skin tint for added radiance.

Although pricier, its skin-friendly formulation and overnight safety, as tested by the brand’s founder, make it a worthwhile investment for many. However, a few users have noted a strong scent and occasional incidents of the product arriving expired when ordered online. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Youthforia Pregame Primer is highly regarded for its ability to improve makeup routines while prioritizing skin health.

Item FormCream
ColorNude
Finish TypeSatin
Skin TypeAll
Pros
  • Keeps makeup in place
  • Good for people with oily skin
  • Feels light and sheer
Cons
  • The primer can flake and peel off after a few minutes of application for some users

The lightweight, oil-free formula of Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer flows on effortlessly, instantly filling in fine lines and pores for a smooth, even complexion. The primer’s clear gel texture is suitable for all skin tones and types, and it’s infused with vitamins A and E to nourish the skin while protecting it from environmental pollutants and stress.

After using this primer, our makeup not only looked better but also lasted significantly longer throughout the day. The product’s ability to blur imperfections and create a semi-matte finish is impressive, as noted in a consumer study where 93% of participants saw blurred imperfections and smoother skin. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, which adds to its appeal. While the primer is on the pricier side, a little goes a long way, making the investment worthwhile for the exceptional performance it delivers.

Item FormGel
Skin TypeAll
Pros
  • Minimizes pores and removes shine
  • Can be used without foundation
  • Offers SPF protection
  • Smooths imperfections
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Some customers have experienced flakiness when combined with oil-free makeup

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer has a unique, silky texture creating a smooth canvas, effectively concealing redness, minimizing pores, and softening fine lines without feeling heavy or greasy. What sets it apart is its broad-spectrum SPF 15 protection, using mineral-derived sunscreens, making it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and blemish-prone skin.

The primer’s ability to repel water ensures makeup stays fresh all day, a claim that holds up even in humid conditions. While the price point is on the higher side, the product’s performance justifies the investment, especially considering its vegan and cruelty-free formulation. The only downside is its compatibility with foundation bases; it works best with water-based foundations to prevent pilling.

Item FormCream
CoverageLight
Skin TypeAll
Pros
  • Blurs and softens the face
  • Creates a natural, soft-focus effect
  • Moisturizing and lightweight
  • Can be worn alone or under makeup
Cons
  • May not offer the same level of coverage as other primers
  • Universal rosy formula may not be suitable for all skin types

L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Blurring Face Primer is made for mature skin, offering an instant transformation with its unique formula. Infused with a caring serum and boasting a universal rosy hue, this primer not only smooths out lines and pores for a soft-focus effect but also enhances the skin’s natural radiance.

Its weightless and velvety finish ensures comfort throughout the day, making it feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. The inclusion of ingredients like dimethicone and glycerin provides a silky texture, while the caring serum works over time to improve the skin’s appearance, making it more radiant, smoother, and softer. At $11, it’s a steal for the quality and benefits it offers.

Item FormCream
CoverageVery Light
Finish TypeSoft
Skin TypeAll
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Moisturizing
  • Can be used with other products
  • Offers extra hydration for dry and mature skin
Cons
  • Didn’t work well with certain makeup
  • Small and not spreadable evenly
  • Doesn’t offer any breakout prevention

Mixed with a potent blend of Tea Tree Oil, Salicylic Acid, and Vitamin E, the e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer not only prepares your skin for a flawless makeup application but also works tirelessly to combat breakouts and clarify the skin. Its silky cream formula delivers sheer coverage with a natural matte finish, ensuring your makeup stays put without exacerbating oiliness.

What sets this primer apart is its dual-action approach; it doesn’t just mask imperfections but actively fights blemishes, thanks to the acne-fighting properties of Salicylic Acid. Additionally, the inclusion of Vitamin E nourishes and softens the skin, making it a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Vegan and cruelty-free, this primer is a conscientious choice for beauty enthusiasts. However, it’s important to apply it over a good moisturizer to avoid any cakey or chunky foundation issues.

Item FormCream
ColorPastel Mint Green
CoverageFull
Finish TypeMatte
Skin TypeNormal
Pros
  • Creates a smooth and flawless base for makeup application
  • Evens out skin and minimizes pores
  • Packaging is boxed and sealed, so it is not tampered or expired
  • Lightweight and feather-smooth
Cons
  • It may not hold makeup well or prevent creasing
  • It might not work well with oily skin or aging skin
  • The product is silicone-based, so it might not be suitable for everyone

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Face Primer is a luxurious primer that not only creates a flawless canvas for makeup application but also offers skin-protecting benefits. Its unique balm-like texture, blended with silk extracts, effortlessly blurs pores, fine lines, and imperfections, leaving your skin feeling incredibly smooth and looking visibly perfected.

What sets this primer apart is its ability to not just prime but also protect the skin from environmental stressors, thanks to its anti-pollution natural active ingredients. You’ll notice that your makeup applies more evenly and lasts significantly longer without creasing or fading throughout the day. Additionally, the inclusion of Hadasei-3, a trinity of Japanese superfoods, provides anti-aging benefits, making your skin appear more youthful and radiant.

Item FormPowder
CoverageSheer, Light
Skin TypeAll
Pros
  • Blurs pores for smoother-looking skin
  • Long-lasting, making makeup look natural
  • Silky texture that helps makeup go on smoother
  • Clear and not sticky
Cons
  • May make oily skin feel more greasy
  • Not suitable for those with oily or acne-prone skin
  • Has a distinctively unpleasant smell for some users
  • The texture may feel too thick for some customers

Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer boasts a lightweight and breathable formula that not only minimizes the appearance of pores but also provides a moisturizing effect, leaving the skin with a soft matte finish. Its main ingredient, Dimethicone, is known for its smoothing properties, and the primer’s texture is thick yet spreadable, ensuring a little goes a long way.

While it does have a slightly greasy feel upon application, it sets to a velvety matte that extends the wear of the foundation and prevents makeup transfer. At a price point of around $7, it’s an affordable option compared to high-end brands, and with 0.67 fluid ounces of product, it promises lasting use. However, those with very oily skin may find it a bit too slick, and it may not suit everyone’s preference for a primer feel.

Item FormCream
CoverageLight
Finish TypeMatte
Skin TypeAll

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