Foundation primers are a staple to any routine; they fill in fine lines and blur minor imperfections, provide a smoother surface for applying makeup, and can make a huge difference in your makeups wear time.
Silicones are one of the main ingredients in most primers, and these are what account for such a smooth surface and great finish. Some primers seem to have a lot more silicones than others, and there are a few out there with none. My favorites contain quite a bit, so I try to rotate them, and go without primer a couple days a week, as this helps prevent breakouts.
So, with so many great products on the market, what are the best primers out there? I have literally tried more primers than I can count, and have narrowed it down to five. Does this mean you will like them? Nope. Not at all. Everyone’s skin is different, so it’s a matter of finding out what works best for you. If you are confused or unsure, or just want to try something out, these five are a great place to start!
- Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
- Dior Capture Totale DreamSkin Perfect Skin Creator
- Dermalogica AGE Smart Skin Perfect Primer SPF 30
- Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30
- Benefit The POREfessional
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is number one in my book. Not only does it contain minerals that act as a natural sunscreen (SPF 15), but it seems to have a lot less silicone than the others. Even if it does have just as much, it doesn’t feel like it, because I don’t feel my pores suffocating when I wear it. There is less of an SPF than the Dermalogica, but it does not have the odd smell. It spreads very easily, does not ball up, and does a great job of blurring fine lines and imperfections. The only downside is that it tends to separate a bit in the bottle after a while, but I have been able to shake or stir (maybe I was Bond in a past life…?), and it seems to perform just as well. Another plus is that it’s available in three different sizes. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer retails for $18.00 for 8.95 ml, $52.00 for 30 ml, and $72 for 60 ml.
Dior Capture Totale DreamSkin Perfect Skin Creator is not technically considered a primer by Dior. However, it is included in that category by many retailers because of its astounding performance as such. Dior’s website claims the key ingredient is Longoza, and that this formula will improve the quality and evenness of skin. I have not noticed any improvement in my skin tone, but I don’t use this on a daily basis due to the silicone. Unfortunately, that silicone is a “catch 22” as it is the very ingredient that causes the product to perform so well as a primer. When I use this as a primer, my skin feels and looks absolutely flawless. This would be my #1 primer if not for the silicone or the price. Retail is $115.00 for 1 oz.
Dermalogica AGE Smart Skin Perfect Primer SPF 30 would be #2 if it weren’t for the silicones. The good news is that it has an SPF of 30, and contains anti-aging peptides. When I first started using tretinoin, my skin was behaving in a very annoying manner. Some areas were overly oily, with seemingly larger pores, while other areas were dry and peeling. It was a pain in the butt to use two different kinds of primers, so I asked BJ at the Bossier City (Louisiana) Ulta for a suggestion. She immediately, without hesitation, suggested this. The downsides are the silicones, the price, and for some, the smell. It has a medicinal/herbal scent, but it dissipates quickly. The performance, though, far outweighs the negatives. She was spot on with the recommendation, as it worked for my whole face, both oily and dry areas. My skin looked very smooth and flawless during this transitional period. Also, the SPF 30 is a major win. Dermalogica AGE Smart Skin Perfect Primer SPF 30 retails for $49.00 for a 0.75 oz. tube.
Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30 claims to treat, blur, and protect in one step. When I first got this, I didn’t have high hopes for the blurring claim. However, I find myself reaching for it quite often. I’m not sure about the treating aspects yet, but this silicone formula does a fantastic job of blurring, and the broad spectrum SPF 30 is always a good thing. It is a bit silicone-heavy, and it does tend to ball up when used over some products, particularly oil-based moisturizers. However, the SPF and ability to blur outweigh the negatives. Just FYI- I don’t use this as a sole source of sunblock as I feel it would require far too much product to do an adequate job. I always use a regular sunblock no matter what other SPF products I am going to be wearing. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30 retails for $65.00 for 1 oz.
Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm Primer is a fantastic product. Although I don’t have much need for this anymore, this was once my go-to product; and it will always be a favorite. Prior to using tretinoin, my skin was very oily and I had huge pores in certain areas. While it is silicone-heavy, as long as I didn’t use it daily without taking a break from it, I didn’t break out, even with oily skin. Nor did I have any problems with it balling up, no matter what other products I used. My make-up stayed put longer, and pores were nearly invisible. Touch-ups were a breeze because it can be used over make-up as well as under. I always kept a travel-sized tube with me on the go. The price is also really nice! Benefit POREfessional Pro Balm retails for $31.00 for 0.75 oz.
Have you tried any of these? What do you like or dislike? Do you have a favorite? Scroll down and comment below!