February 11, 2014

Some of the Best Facial Primers I’ve Tried

Best Facial Primers

What is it Napoleon Perdis says? It’s a crime not to prime! True story…if you want the most flawless complexion you best be prepping yourself well prior to ANY makeup application.

Primers not only help to create a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which by the very way means a longer wear for your foundation, but also they act to blur the appearance of minor imperfections perhaps pores or fine lines or uneven skin texture and even in some cases hydrate skin so that your makeup with ease on down the road more easily during application.

Needless to say primer is something everyone should indulge in. Choosing the best facial primer for your skin type is the first step in creating a lasting relationship with a good facial primer but I’m sure you’ll run into more than one to love.

These are Some of the Best Facial Primers I love and use daily.

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
What’s great about? Well, the fact that it creates a perfectly lightweight semi-matte finish on my skin and helps to keep shine at bay during the warmer weather while creating a barrier between your skin and your makeup which results in extra long wear for your BB Cream and foundation!

MAC Adjust Prep + Prime CC Colour Correcting SPF 30

This one is new to the ballgame but a really fast favorite for me. What’s so fab about it? It’s a hydrating formula which means it adds some much needed extra moisture to my skin so my foundation or bb cream applies easily. This moisture also means that my foundation looks fresh and flawless without being cakey, flaky, or dry due to my drier skin. It also has a sheer tint which evens out my skin tone and brightens and heck, if I’m feeling frisky it’ll double up as lightweight coverage so not only does it correct and prime but also acts as a tinted moisturizer of sorts without the need to follow up with foundation or BB Cream! Plus hey, how about that SPF 30?

Revlon Photoready Perfect Primer
The best of the best in the facial primer drugstore world. This hybrid formula feels slightly silicone-y but also has a bit of a creamy moisture to it so it eases on, never pills, blurs the appearance of pores and minor imperfections, and creates a super soft finish for foundation to adhere to. This is the one to pick up if you have smaller less visible pores and want something to perfect your entire complexion prior to applying your base products!

Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer
A primer with lightweight coverage? Tarte has an app for that! This color correcting tinted primer can ease the appearance of redness, even out skin tone, brighten, and even act as lightweight foundation should you want or just to prep for your favorite CC Cream or BB Cream. The brightening effect gives skin a beautiful finish especially if your skin is duller or tired looking! Plus hey the packaging makes it easy to swipe it on, blend it out, and go to town.

Skin Food Omija Whitening Complexion Cream
Hydrating, brightening, and even treats skin during the wear? That’d be the very awesome Omija Whitening Complexion Cream from Skin Food. This super rich and creamy textured primer acts to ease dullness, visibly brighten skin, and set the way for your BB Cream or foundation products while keeping them wearing fresh all day.

Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer
Primer in a stick? Yup! This easy to apply primer doesn’t exactly give you 15 hours of foundation wear but it does create a rather excellent barrier for your base to stick too! That means longer, stronger wear. The formula is easy to apply, easy to blend, and works great for spot treatment too…like around my nose where I have smaller visible pores! Yak! The innovative packaging means you can easily travel with it as well for touch ups.

What are some of the facial primers you currently have in rotation?

Do you use any of these?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Sara

    I’ve been using the Avon MagiX blurring cream or whatever exactly it is. It has a super silky texture and it makes my skin feel really smooth. It also helps blur out the unevenness in my skin from acne marks and then I put my foundation over it. It blends really well. I picked it up for $8, great deal!

  • Jess

    I don’t really use primer that often (mostly because it’s hard to make it sit well under my current acne medication so i have to keep any face makeup super light), but when I do use them I like it to be brightening/radiant. Right now I’m using the Almay CC primer and I really like it, but it does have this slight metallic scent that doesn’t fade, so I hate that. But otherwise it’s really nice. I also use the the loreal Magic Lumi primer over my bb cream as a highlighter (and sometimes i mix it into my moisturizer or bb cream). That one is a hg product for me.

    I’m really interested in trying the Mac and Tarte primers now! they seem like they would suit my needs well.

  • Deb

    Great post, Muse. I can’t even think about any kind of makeup without primer and I always want to try every single new one that comes out. But there are so many now it’s starting to get overwhelming just trying to pick a couple and stick with them. I do have a question about the Tarte: how does it work on filling and/or blurring pores? I have large pores so that’s the first thing I look for in a primer and then work my way down my list of requirements from there. Like you, I’ve got the dry skin woes, so that combined with large pores can pose quite a challenge. I know you only have smaller pores on and around your nose but thought you may have noticed how the Tarte handles those. And while we’re at it, have you ever considered doing a post on the order of how you apply your products? Would you consider it? You use a lot of skin care and primers and so forth and since you’re always trying to find that magic product that will help with dull skin, I was hoping you may have hit upon a routine of product application that covers all of the bases. Moisturizer, serum, sunscreen, primer, etc. I would love to hear what works for you because I haven’t found the perfect routine and I’m willing to bet you’ve tried pretty much every combo one could think of. If you could ever find the time, I will be willing to bet that your readers would love such a post. Pretty please with icing and a cherry on top? 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      Hey Deb agreed! I remember when there was like two primer options on the market haha…I don’t have larger visible pores but the ones around my nose that are visible were blurred quite nicely when I used the Tarte plus it eases dullness and brightens two reasons I love it! Although it is a bit drier with a semi-matte finish! But it didn’t, thankfully, bother my drier skin! Perhaps one day, sometimes I get so busy with everything else that I don’t always venture outside of newly released beauty and reviews 🙂 with my full time job as well sometimes I get too busy to keep up! I’ll def consider it for a future post! 😀 lol…yeah sometimes it feels like I’ve tried it all haha! I’ll do my best to get a post up for you!

  • Lauren

    My skin is really sensitive and I’ve found 2 that (a) work and (b) don’t break me out. I also have oily skin. My favorite is the $$$ Hourglass Immaculate Mineral Veil Primer. I also like the Estee Lauder Matte primer, although it doesn’t keep me particularly matte. I’ve tried Smashbox Photo Finish (breaks me out), Smashbox Photo Finish Light (breaks me out), Smashbox Illuminating Primer (breaks me out) and the Bare Minerals Prime Time (breaks me out)

  • Lipsticks & Porcelain

    I recommend a wonderful drugstore find, ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer. It is only $6 and seriously incredible! I also recently purchased Maybelline Baby Skin and so far I am pleased with it.

  • Amy Amethyst

    I’ve been using Reviva Labs primer for a while now. I really like it. It’s silky but doesn’t make my feel oily.

  • Laura H.

    I do love me a good primer ! Are you no longer using the hourglass no.28 primer?

  • Sarah

    This is oh, so, helpful!! I’d love to se more “best of” lists like these if you ever get a chance. I’m still searching for a favorite primer but currently using and liking the ubiquitous Smashbox photo finish. Have you tried it? What did you think? Thanks for this great post.

    • Isabella Muse

      my pleasure sarah! unfortunately smashbox photo finish is my least fav, it makes me very very itchy 🙁

  • Ashley

    I’ve heard from Allure that the Revlon one is worth it. But then I read reviews on Ulta that said it did nothing. I like Estee Lauder Illuminating Primer myself. Everything Estee is good in my opinion. Its the one brand that never lets me down.

  • Maggie

    I have the Revlon Photoready–it feels so close to the Hourglass one in texture. I’ll have to try the Becca one at some point–that one is silicone free I believe…

  • Fuu

    I am currently using the Shiseido Perfect Refining Primer currently. It is ok. Not my favorite. I will most likely get the that new Benefit Big Easy Perfector primer-thingy.

  • kellly

    No, I don’t own any of these — yet! I’m going to give the Revlon one a try. It’s the easiest on my budget right now! Thanks for this review. I get lots of ideas for stuff to try from you!

  • Kimmwc03

    I really like Benefit’s Porefessional and Too Faced’s Primed and Poreless. I’m still testing the Tarte CC Primer. Benefit’s Stay Flawless is next on my list to try. The Becca one sounds good too; I’ll have to try that the next time I’m in Sephora inside JCPenney.

  • Telma

    I find the Revlon primer very difficult to work with! It acts like a glue and it makes it so hard to spread foundation, and I also feel it alters its finish. Is it just me?

  • Patsy

    I’m a little embarassed to tell you that I have been using the Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder mixed with my foundation. I can’t say there’s any difference from this and Photoready or Smashbox Photo Finish. They all have that siliconey texture that really blurs and leaves a powder finish. And for under $6, I might be hooked on the Chafing Relief, lol!!!

  • Becca


    First of all- I amm a new blog reader and love your reviews…what a wealth of great information!

    I am just going to second that I adore Benefit’s Stay Flawless, it really is a makeup magnet. It does makeup a little more difficult to spread but I feel like my makeup is glued on, and I don’t get that icky oily makeup face feeling at the end of the day. I also don’t have to use as much foundation so that’s nice. It is slightly heavy though, If I knew of a lotiony primer that behaved the same way I’d def. be interested!


    • Isabella Muse

      hi becca thanks so much 🙂 glad you enjoy Musings! I’m hapy to hear you like Stay Flawless too!!!!!!! 😀

  • William

    hey, what’s the difference between the MAC Prep + Prime CC Colour Correcting to the MAC Prep + Prime Fortified Skin (old formula)? they are the same? tis 😉

  • Melissa

    I have VERY large pores, and have to blot oil within an hour of washing my face 🙁 Of all the primers I’ve tried, expensive and drugstore, the one at the top of my list right now is the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer. This stuff is great. It doesn’t keep me shine-free for 8 hrs like it claims, but does a great job of making my pores look smaller, and giving me a soft-velvety finish for longer than any other primer I’ve tried. For reference I’ve tried Smashbox, Becca Ever-Matte, Pixi, and a few others. Highly recommend this too, because of the price!

  • Katie

    I’ve tried several, but currently having great luck with Palladio mineral primer. And I recently discovered Merle Norman ‘ s long lasting foundation, which I LOVE. Really staying on on our 100 degree weather !