Best Face Primer

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Face primer is a product that can help your skin look not only flawless, but polished and professional. In effect, it creates a canvas on your skin where you can apply your favorite cosmetics such as foundation and blush. Face primer also helps minimize pores and fine lines and some have specialty uses such as correcting color, reducing oil or dryness and being specifically made for problem skin or acne. No matter what kind of face primer you choose, keep in mind that it is an important part of your makeup; just as much as your foundation and moisturizer.

Best Face Primer for Normal Skin:

When you have normal skin, you have no excuse for not using a face primer unless you want your makeup to melt away in mere hours. Face primer is essential for flawless looking makeup that lasts all day, and it can do a lot more. From controlling shine (it happens to the best of us) to boosting radiance when skin is feeling sluggish and even providing sun protection, these primers are our picks because they do what theyre supposed to and then some.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Make Up

A perennial favorite of makeup artists, this primer leaves skin soft, smooth and ready for foundation. It helps makeup stay put and keeps color true all day. Read Full Review

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    Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Make Up

    Dior Skinflash Primer Radiance Boosting Makeup Primer

    One universal shade gives all skin tones a lit-from-within glow and the built-in brush makes application easy. The light diffusing pigments also minimize fine lines and other imperfections. Read Full Review

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      Dior Skinflash Primer Radiance Boosting Makeup Primer

      Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer

      This primer offers long-lasting makeup wear plus SPF 30 protection. It also contains hydrating and soothing ingredients to keep skin comfortable and balanced. Read Full Review

      Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer

      Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional

      This lightweight balm smoothes the skin instantly, and minimizes large pores and fine lines while it's at it. This primer can also be used on top of makeup to stop mid-day shine if necessary. Read Full Review

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        Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional

        Benefit Cosmetics Dr. Feelgood Foundation

        This unique primer formulation is best applied with a sponge and leaves a perfectly smooth surface for foundation that follows. We like that it has anti-aging antioxidants for defense against lines and wrinkles as you wear it. Read Full Review

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          Benefit Cosmetics Dr. Feelgood Foundation

          Best Face Primer For Acne Prone Skin:

          When youre prone to breakouts, just about any new product can send your skin into a tailspin. But that doesnt mean you cant reap the skin-perfecting and makeup-extending benefits of face primer. Free of pore-clogging oils and packed with blemish-fighting ingredients that work all day, here are the top primers formulated with acne in mind. Theyre our picks because they keep breakouts at bay while giving your makeup some major staying power.

          Murad Skin Perfecting Primer Acne and Shine Control Makeup

          This multitasking primer fights acne, absorbs excess oil, neutralizes redness and of course gives your makeup major staying power. It also comes in a universal shade that matches a wide range of skin tones. Read Full Review

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            Murad Skin Perfecting Primer Acne and Shine Control Makeup

            Colorescience Skin Mattifying Face Primer

            This primer works to hide breakouts and redness before you even apply foundation and then it helps makeup last and last. It leaves a matte finish and it contains exfoliating salicylic acid to keep pores clear. Read Full Review

            Colorescience Skin Mattifying Face Primer

            Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

            This primer contains twice the acne-fighting salicylic acid than most blemish fighting products, and it's water-resistant for makeup that stays put even in hot, humid weather. It's also fantastic at mattifying shine and minimizing pores and fine lines, too. Read Full Review

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              Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

              Dr. Brandt Pores No More

              The go-to primer for enlarged pores and excess shine, this product also contains light-diffusing pigments to minimize other imperfections and antiseptic tea tree to help fight blemishes. We also like the tinted version for days we don't want to wear makeup. Read Full Review

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                Dr. Brandt Pores No More

                Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Face Primer

                Featuring naturally derived ingredients that exfoliate skin to keep pores clear and help rejuvenate skin, this primer helps makeup last and keeps skin shine-free. This formula is especially good for acne-prone skin because it's water-based and allows the skin to breathe. Read Full Review

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                  Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Face Primer

                  Best Face Primer for Oily Skin:

                  The biggest challenge for those with oily skin is keeping shine at bay and the extra oil wreaks havoc on makeup (and its staying power) too. Primers for oily skin are designed to absorb excess oil throughout the day so makeup stays put and theres no extra shine to contend with. We choose these oily skin primers as our top picks because they span the price spectrum and deliver the perfect canvas for foundation, long-lasting shine control and makeup staying power that oily-skinned gals want.

                  Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

                  In addition to prepping skin for makeup and controlling shine all day, this primer also contains ingredients to calm and soothe the skin. Even more, it has optical pigments that improve the appearance of enlarged pores and fine lines. Read Full Review

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                    Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

                    Benefit Cosmetics Dr. Feelgood Foundation

                    This unique balm leaves skin velvety smooth and shine-free from sun-up to sundown. It can also be used over makeup for touch-ups if necessary. It makes pores nearly invisible and it has a fresh scent. Read Full Review

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                      Benefit Cosmetics Dr. Feelgood Foundation

                      Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Primer

                      This primer is excellent at keeping makeup looking fresh and keeping skin shine-free, and it also doubles as an anti-aging treatment thanks to line-fighting ingredients. Just remember, a dime-size amount is all you need. Read Full Review

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                        Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Primer

                        Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

                        With this primer you get long-lasting makeup, skin-soothing ingredients and powerful shine control. It also works to fight fine lines and future discoloration while you wear it. Read Full Review

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                          Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

                          Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

                          We like this primer because it preps the skin for makeup and leaves a long-lasting matte finish. It also minimizes pores on contact and the price can't be beat. Read Full Review

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                            Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

                            Best Face Primer for Sensitive Skin:

                            Anyone with sensitive skin knows that a new product or even the slightest change in a skincare routine can lead to redness, burning and other skin reactions. Because of this, face primer may be at the bottom of the list to maintain the skins comfort, but there are a variety of face primers that wont irritate sensitive skin and can even help improve visible redness and uncomfortable burning. These primers are perfect for sensitive skin because they are formulated without ingredients that can cause skin reactions, and they offer all the skin-perfecting benefits at prices that fit every budget.

                            Lorac Cosmetics I'm So Sensitive Soothing Face Primer

                            Offering oil-free hydration and ingredients that soothe sensitive skin, this primer also adds hours to your makeup's wear. It's also free of silicone, fragrance and parabens, which are common triggers for sensitive skin flare-ups. Read Full Review

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                              Lorac Cosmetics I'm So Sensitive Soothing Face Primer

                              Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15

                              This primer is tinted to camouflage redness, and it provides chemical-free SPF 15. The cream leaves skin feeling smooth and soft, and it dries to a natural finish that isn't super-matte. Read Full Review

                              Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15

                              Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

                              Beyond helping makeup last, this primer offers SPF 30, anti-aging ingredients and buildable coverage. It also comes in four shades as an added bonus. Read Full Review

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                                Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

                                Sephora Collection Silicone Free Foundation Primer

                                It's hard to find a better primer for the price, especially if you have sensitive skin. It's also oil-free to keep blemishes at bay and it does a great job at absorbing excess oil for hours. Read Full Review

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                                  Sephora Collection Silicone Free Foundation Primer

                                  Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

                                  This primer goes a step further than just helping makeup last longer. It's free of potentially irritating ingredients and it contains ingredients that work to soothe sensitive skin. It also minimizes shine, pores and fine lines too. Read Full Review

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                                    Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

                                    Best Oil-Free Face Primer:

                                    Everyone needs primer to help makeup go the extra mile, but not everyone wants a primer with oil especially those who are prone to shine or breakouts. Oil-free formulas work just as well as their oil-laden counterparts, with none of the chance of clogging pores or making shine worse. These oil-free options are our picks because theyre perennial beauty editors favorites that have withstood the test of time, and theyve been deemed the best ways to help makeup stay put by real women like you.

                                    Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free

                                    This oil-free face primer extends the life of your makeup and absorbs excess oil as its high water content hydrates dry spots. Keep it in the refrigerator for an invigorating treat. Read Full Review

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                                      Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free

                                      Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional

                                      This versatile, oil-free primer improves the appearance of pores and fine lines as it keeps makeup in place. It absorbs oil for hours to keep skin shine-free, and it works equally as well for dry skin when applied after moisturizer. Read Full Review

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                                        Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional

                                        Lorac aquaPRIME Oil Free Makeup Primer

                                        This primer is free of oil, silicone, parabens and fragrance, making it ideal for sensitive skin. Users consistently say it keeps makeup looking freshly applied for 12 hours or more. Read Full Review

                                        Lorac aquaPRIME Oil Free Makeup Primer

                                        Stila Hydrating Primer Oil-Free SPF 30

                                        This product is a favorite because it acts as moisturizer, sunscreen and primer in one tube. It also contains skincare ingredients that work to improve the appearance of your skin over the long run. Read Full Review

                                        Stila Hydrating Primer Oil-Free SPF 30

                                        Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

                                        You can't beat the price of this primer, and it works as well as its more expensive counterparts when it comes to controlling shine and increasing your makeup's staying power. As an added plus, it minimizes pores on contact. Read Full Review

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                                          Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

                                          Best Drugstore Face Primer:

                                          You don't have to spend a bundle on makeup primer, and no one should start applying makeup without it. From minimizing imperfections to giving your makeup extra staying power, this must-have product has a myriad benefits. Primers range from those with oil control to specialized primers that offer color correction. These wallet-friendly "bases" create the perfect canvas for the makeup that follows. These picks were chosen because of their quality, price, widespread availability and the opinion of real women like you.

                                          L'Oreal Studio Secrets Secret No.1 Magic Perfecting Base

                                          Your skin will feel so smooth and flawless with this face primer. It's affordable and feels great on the skin with its unique velvety texture. Read Full Review

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                                            L'Oreal Studio Secrets Secret No.1 Magic Perfecting Base

                                            Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

                                            This primer does a great job of controlling oil and helping makeup last. It leaves skin with a long-lasting matte finish and it also hydrates skin without clogging pores. Read Full Review

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                                              Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

                                              Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

                                              This lightweight primer instantly smoothes the skin and minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines. It leaves a matte finish, and although Revlon says you can use it without foundation, you may find it appears chalky without makeup. Read Full Review

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                                                Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

                                                L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Anti-Dull Skin Primer

                                                These primers are made with color-correcting hues to help mask skin redness and dullness. This primer has a thin texture, so don't expect a lot of coverage. Read Full Review

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                                                  L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Anti-Dull Skin Primer

                                                  CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Serum Primer

                                                  This lotion offers the benefits of anti-aging moisturizer and primer in one bottle. It instantly smoothes the skin's texture and since free of fragrance and pore-clogging ingredients, it's a great option for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Read Full Review

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                                                    CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Serum Primer

                                                    Best Face Primer with SPF:

                                                    Primer is the number-one way to help your makeup last from sun-up til sundown, but during daylight hours, sun protection is essential. Rather than loading up on the moisturizer, sunscreen and primer before tackling your makeup, these primers with SPF just might help you get all these tasks done with one tube, so you can save time and sit pretty all day. These offerings are considered the best because they effectively shield skin from damage while adding hours to your makeups staying power.

                                                    NARS Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 PA+++

                                                    With this lightweight primer, you get a high level of sun and antioxidant protection and maximum makeup staying power. It's also safe for all skin types and it hydrates or absorbs oil as needed while minimizing imperfections before you even put on makeup. Read Full Review

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                                                      NARS Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 PA+++

                                                      Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer

                                                      Not only does this primer help makeup stay in place, it makes application easier as well. It also neutralizes redness and dryness on contact, while improving the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores. Read Full Review

                                                      Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer

                                                      Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

                                                      This tinted primer goes well beyond helping makeup last longer by providing SPF 30 and skincare benefits as well. The coverage is buildable, so you can even use it on its own if desired. The sunscreen ingredients are chemical-free, making it a great option for sensitive skin. Read Full Review

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                                                        Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

                                                        Stila Hydrating Primer Oil-Free SPF 30

                                                        This primer is oil-free so it won't clog pores, but it hydrates the skin to prevent dryness. It contains good-for-your skin vitamins and antioxidants, and it leaves a dewy (not matte) finish that many women are looking for. Read Full Review

                                                        Stila Hydrating Primer Oil-Free SPF 30

                                                        Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer SPF 21 1.1 oz

                                                        This primer works wonders for helping makeup stay put, and leaves a natural finish behind. The SPF may not be high enough for everyone, but its saving grace is its power to fill fine lines and neutralize redness and uneven skin tone. Read Full Review

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                                                          Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer SPF 21 1.1 oz
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