The 30 Best Makeup Primers, According to Our EditorsDecember 06, 2021
We believe that makeup primer is the key to flawless-looking makeup. Not only does it ensure that foundation glides on as smoothly as possible, but it also serves as the glue that locks makeup in place. There certainly are no shortage of options on the market, ranging from matte to glowy finishes at both drugstore and luxe price points, so to take the guesswork out of picking a primer, we’ve compiled a list of the top 30 formulas our editors love, ahead.
YSL Beauty Nu Blotting Lotion
Oily skin types, ditch your blotting papers and make room for this mattifying makeup primer. The gel-like consistency of this lotion dries down on contact with the skin and keeps makeup shine-free for hours.
Valentino Beauty V-Lighter Face Base Primer and Highlighter
If you love a multitasking product as much as we do, trust us when we say this one takes the cake. Dab it on the high points of your face as a highlighter or apply it all over your skin as an illuminating primer — either way, your skin will glisten every time the light touches it.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Lock Makeup Primer
Keep shine at bay all day with this long-lasting mattifying primer that won't clog your pores and lead to breakouts. The white-to-clear priming formula smooths and blurs the look of existing blemishes, too.
NYX Professional Makeup Marshmellow Smoothing Primer
This unique formula has a creamy, whipped texture that dries down to a transparent finish. The marshmallow root extract-infused formula helps smooth and soften skin while hydrating, blurring imperfections and extending makeup wear for up to 16 hours.
Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Glow Face Primer
If you’re team glowy skin, this primer is a must in your makeup routine. It provides eight hours of staying power, plus it contains hyaluronic acid and agave extract to give you an all-day dewy finish.
Lancôme UV Expert AquaGel Defense Primer + Moisturizer
With its barely-there, non-greasy finish, UV Expert is one of our favorite everyday sunscreens. It also happens to double as a makeup primer and lightweight moisturizer. Whether you’re trying to simplify your routine or get out the door faster, this should be your go-to.
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer Oil-Free
This primer is like a magnet for your makeup, gripping any foundation and concealer in place for comfortable, all-day wear.
Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Makeup Primer
We love this unique jelly primer that works to moisturize and tighten skin, practically ensuring that your foundation will go on smoother and last way longer.
NYX Professional Makeup Pore Filler Targeted Stick
Blur away the look of enlarged pores and fine lines with the help of this non-comedogenic primer stick. The lightweight formula dries transparent with a soft focus finish that stays matte all day.
Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer
If you’ve tried the cult classic Luminous Silk foundation, then you know that Giorgio Armani Beauty doesn’t mess around in the glow department. This hydrating primer blurs imperfections and leaves skin looking radiant thanks to its shea butter, rice bran and glycerin-packed formula.
Maybelline New York Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Face Primer
Say hello to the primer you can wear alone on days when your complexion needs shine control, but you don’t feel like wearing foundation. Smooth it onto the skin to instantly blur the look of pores and mattify oil-prone areas like the T-zone.
YSL Beauty Nu Glow in Balm
Filled to the brim with shea butter and glycerin, this moisturizing primer leaves behind skin that subtly glows and is soft to the touch.
NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Cannabis Sativa Seed Primer
Infused with hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil and centella asiatica extract, this primer soothes the skin and gives it a radiant, revitalized glow.
Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Prime Blur + Smooth
Help control oil and minimize the appearance of pores with this formula that doesn’t feel greasy and won’t clog pores.
YSL Beauty Touche Eclat Blur Face Primer
Boost the radiance of your foundation (and the skin underneath it) with this illuminating primer. Enriched with four nourishing oils—corn oil, apricot kernel oil, passiflora oil and rice bran oil—this primer gives the skin a subtle golden shimmer.
NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Color Correcting Primer Green
For a photo-ready finish, look to this color correcting primer. Not only does it neutralize the look of redness, but it creates an even-toned base for makeup.
Dermablend Poresaver Matte Makeup Primer
The ultimate mattifying primer for oily skin, this formula applies as a lightweight gel and dries down to an incredibly smooth, matte finish. Plus, it contains only six ingredients and has been proven to minimize the look of pores without clogging them.
IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer
This two-in-one hydrating primer and anti-aging serum nurtures skin and locks in moisture to prepare it for flawless makeup application. The best part? It diffuses the appearance of pores and doesn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer
If you have oily skin but still want to look dewy, this primer is the pick for you. It’s both luminous and hydrating but doesn’t leave you looking greasy.
Rare Beauty Pore Diffusing Primer
Midday shine is no match for this cushiony gel primer that blurs the look of imperfections. It hides pores and fine lines while extending makeup wear and fending off oil.
Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Icy Sherbet Primer
Lock your makeup look in place and keep it calm with this gel primer that has an instant cooling effect.
One/Size By Patrick Starrr Secure the Blur Makeup Magnet Primer
Even out skin texture, mattify shine and minimize the look of pores all at once with this primer helps to create a smooth, poreless canvas for makeup.
The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer
This primer is almost impossible to get your hands on — and it’s for good reason. It’s a lightweight serum-like primer that increases the spreadability of foundation and concealer and drenches the skin with hydration.
PYT Baby Got Base Face Primer
If lightweight, gel primers are your thing, you’ll love this pick from PYT Beauty. In just a few pumps, the clear serum-like gel covers the entire face and leaves behind a dewy, healthy-looking finish.
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Primer
Unlike any other primer, this lightweight option melts into the skin and provides a burst of hydrating hyaluronic acid before absorbing excess oil with the help of innovative powder technology. The result? Blurred, mattified skin ready for makeup.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer
Take your skin to the next level with this soft-focus primer formula that imparts a gorgeous, radiant finish. The light-diffusing ingredients emit light around the face and reduce the look of wrinkles and imperfections for a lit-from-within glow.
RMS Beauty Re Evolve Radiance Locking Primer
Formulated with tightenyl, vegetable squalane, hyaluronic acid and eggplant fruit extract, this gel-textured primer creates a smooth, radiant canvas for makeup.
Lawless Set the Stage Priming Serum
A three-in-one makeup primer, moisturizer and serum, this pick provides tons of hydration to soothe the skin while ensuring it’s prepped and ready for makeup.
BLK/OPL Invisible Oil Blocking Gel Primer
Kiss an oily T-zone goodbye when you enlist the help of this lightweight primer that neutralizes oil without drying out your skin. Wear it under your favorite foundation or on it’s own — either way, skin will stay mattified.
Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer
The Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer is an absolute must-try for anyone that needs that extra dose of hydration. It’s formulated with hemp-derived cannabis seed extract and blue agave extract to deliver hydration and help makeup go on easier.