Best Makeup Primers: Top 5 Brands Most Recommended By Beauty Experts

The secret to having your foundation last all day long depends on the foundation itself and what you layer underneath it. This is where the best makeup primers come into play. A primer comes as a cream, gel, or liquid designed to help extend the longevity and enhance the pigmentation of whatever you layer on top of it. Primer acts as a smoothing agent, softening any texture on the skin, along with filling fine lines and blurring enlarged pores. Thus, creating an optimal canvas for the rest of your makeup while locking in your products and ensuring your look lasts as long as possible. With all the benefits of using a primer, it is easy to see how it has risen in popularity and become a staple in many makeup bags. 

Before even beginning your makeup routine, it is essential to complete your skincare first. Prepping the skin before makeup application ensures that your products apply evenly and stay in place. Ideally, you would finish your skincare routine with moisturizer, a crucial step before primer. Moisturizer helps lock in the skin’s moisture, keeping the skin hydrated and minimizing dryness. Dry skin is the biggest culprit for a cakey and flaking makeup look. 

Speaking of achieving smooth, glowy skin, it has been found that nearly three in four women agree that their confidence hinges on how their skin looks. Therefore, using a quality makeup primer in conjunction with your foundation will help you achieve the look of flawless, radiant skin

Ready to ensure all of your makeup performs at top quality? That all starts with your base. That’s why StudyFinds turned to experts to find the best makeup primers that will make your glam look perfect. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below!

Makeup products
Makeup products (Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash)

The List: Best Makeup Primers, According to Experts


1. Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer has a gel consistency and applies onto the skin completely invisible. It has a natural finish while being lightweight and hydrating. One key ingredient in this primer is hyaluronic acid, making it ideal for users with dry skin

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer
Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

“While all primers act as a base for makeup, this one bridges the gap between skincare and makeup. Hemp-derived cannabis seed extract and blue agave help condition skin to leave you looking naturally more radiant, and hyaluronic acid help to hydrate without making you look greasy — making it great to wear not only under makeup but also on its own as a moisturizer for your natural skin days,” raves InStyle.

As its name suggests, this primer grips onto anything that you layer on top, whether it’s sunscreen, foundation, or powder. The Cut writes, “This viral primer is known for its firm hold that leaves makeup looking perfect all day long. It has a sticky, siliconelike (though it’s silicone free) texture that achieves that dewy look you might be striving for.” 

Allure also states, “There are days when we would superglue our makeup to our faces if we could, but luckily Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer exists, so we can all save ourselves from creasing and a total skin disaster at the same time.”

2. Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer 

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer is infused with silk extracts and silk powder that helps the skin feel silky smooth, creating the ideal base for any makeup look. “A perfect makeup look calls for a perfectly primed canvas, and Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas Primer delivers just that,” claims Allure. Additionally, this Tatcha primer contains natural ingredients that help strengthen the skin barrier and has anti-inflammatory properties

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer 
Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

This beloved primer is ideal for all skin types and can even be used on the eyes and lips. It is great for covering any imperfections on the skin and fine lines. Cosmopolitan writes, “A great option if you have enlarged pores of areas of textures as The Silk Canvas blurs and leaves behind a soft focus finish. Under foundation, this gives the kind of flawless finish normally reserved for Greek marble statues.” 

Glamour Magazine has rated The Silk Canvas as the best primer for mature skin: “This lightweight, plumping primer is the best one on the market for mature skin, thanks to its amino acid and antioxidant-rich formula. It also contains a blend of fermented mozuku algae, akita rice and uji green tea, which work together to improve water retention and reducing the look of enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles.”

3. Too Faced Hangover Primer

People loves the Too Faced Hangover Primer for dry skin: “On the other hand, many people experience dryness in their skin naturally or during colder times of the year. This requires a different type of primer that will hold makeup in place all day. The Too Faced Hangover Primer is the product you’ll want to reach for if your skin falls in the normal to dry category, as the nourishing formula is pumped with coconut water and probiotics to boost the skin’s hydration and elasticity.” 

Too Faced Hangover Primer
Too Faced Hangover Primer

Similarly, Glamour writes, “Infused with coconut water and other skin-loving ingredients, this nourishing face primer helps create a healthy-looking complexion. Plus, it hydrates, smoothens and brightens your face, making it perfect for wearing on its own or layering underneath your makeup.”   

InStyle has rated the Hangover Primer a score of five out of five for all three categories: application, feel, and look. “Just like a tall glass of water after a long night out, Too Faced Hangover Primer revives your skin, making it feel instantly hydrated. Formulated with coconut water and probiotics, it works to lock in moisture and brighten your skin, helping you look and feel more refreshed.”

4. NYX Professional Makeup Marshmellow Smoothing Primer

For a budget-friendly primer that can still pack a punch, NYX’s Marshmellow Smoothing Primer is a great option. “You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a quality face primer. Case in point: This creamy primer smoothes skin, giving it a soft focus finish for a little over 15 dollars,” writes Byrdie. This primer comes in a pretty pink bottle with a pump and has a whipped consistency, hence the name Marshmellow. The formula contains anti-inflammatory marshmallow root extract that soothes the skin, and completely absorbs into the skin, leaving behind no residue. 

NYX Professional Makeup Marshmellow Smoothing Primer
NYX Professional Makeup Marshmellow Smoothing Primer

InStyle reports, “The unique, fluffy texture reminds us of a marshmallow and helps hydrate the skin, leaving your complexion hydrated and makeup-ready.” This primer is also non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t cause breakouts, making it a great option for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin.  

The skin experts at People were happy with their findings after putting this primer to the test: “Our tester expressed their satisfaction with how nicely the product laid under their foundation, leaving no residue behind and smoothing over uneven skin texture and pores.”

5. The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer

The Ordinary is a great brand for beginners due to its minimal-ingredient formulas and affordable prices. “If you have a long bucket list of skincare wishes, this low-cost product can meet most of your needs. It has a matte finish, but still offers hydration, blurs out imperfections, and makes sure your makeup lasts all day long,” informs Elle

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer
The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer

Glamour loves this primer, writing, “Made using adaptive silicones, this affordable face primer is great at mattifying, hydrating and blurring your skin. This makes it suitable to be used as both an under-makeup product or even as a standalone hydrator.” 

New York Post adds, “This is a no-frills, high-performance makeup primer. We tried it for ourselves and can attest it’s thick enough to blur virtually any imperfection.” 

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.