Prep is essential before the big game, before the important test, and before putting on makeup. If your visage appears more oil-slicked than flawless at the end of the day, you might want to consider adding a foundation primer to your routine. (And if you want to really make your makeup stay put, we recommend finishing your look with a setting spray.)
Primers create a barrier between the skin and your foundation, allowing your base to stay fresh and flawless. This oft-forgotten essential can correct discoloration, blur pores, smooth fine lines, and magically set your makeup for hours. Similar to foundation itself, you can apply primer with your fingertips, a sponge, or a brush. Be sure to do so after finishing your morning skincare routine, allowing ample time for all of your serums and creams to absorb before applying.
Think the extra step is too time-consuming? Consider all the time you’ll save in touch-ups throughout the day! Browse through our collection of the industry’s best face primers that prep, protect, and nourish skin.
1. Stila One Step Correct
This editor-tested wonder primer is one of our favorite products of all time. The innovative product color-corrects, brightens, and smooths the skin, leaving it perfectly prepped for makeup application. It works to reduce redness in those who are naturally rosy-toned, although it’s not exclusively reserved for those who have discoloration issues.
Its pigments work to brighten all skin tones, creating a radiant light and diffusing any imperfections. With this one, you might not even want to layer makeup on top.
2. Cover FX Anti-Aging Primer
Another multitasker we adore, Cover FX’s Anti-Aging Primer doubles as a supercharged skincare serum. It’s formulated with Coenzyme Q10 to improve clarity while reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also contains a MultiPeptide Complex that supports skin repair and collagen synthesis.
Vitamin F esters, squalane, and hyaluronic acid are also included to nourish and moisturize the skin. All of that, and it primes your face for foundation. What’s not to love?
3. DHC Velvet Skin Coat
Want that silky-smooth feeling on your skin? We live for DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat, which adds a powdery-smooth finish to the skin, removing all oil and prepping perfectly for makeup application. You can also use it on hands to blur imperfections!
4. NYX Studio Perfect Primer
Mattify your face as your first makeup step to achieve a shine-free look. NYX’s Studio Perfect Primer minimizes pores and fine lines, and it allows makeup to stick. The affordable price point doesn’t hurt, either.
5. Guerlain L’Or Radiance Primer
What better way to prime your face than with tiny flecks of pure gold? This Guerlain primer is the pinnacle of luxurious makeup, thanks to its infusion with 24-karat gold. Its results are appealing to any makeup lover: The gold components within create a smooth and refreshed facial surface, ready for a layer of makeup.