Flawless skin is the key to immaculate makeup. Let’s be honest, no one – not even the celebs, nor the influencers – have flawless skin. It is all ‘beauty cam’ – but sometimes, it can also be a good primer.

What is a Skin Primer?

Our skin is not like a plain canvas ready for a masterpiece. It has a natural texture and it is prone to visible problems such as pigmentation, acne, and blemishes. Enlarged pores, bumps, and acne scars further aggravate the texture. When you apply makeup directly over textured skin, the flaws become more noticeable.

That is where primer comes in. Primer helps you save your face. It literally does!

How Does a Primer Work?

Primer works as a barrier between your skin and makeup. It forms a thin, smooth layer to give you that faux flawless skin.

A primer has four main benefits:

  • Blurs lines and wrinkles
  • Fills in scars
  • Shrinks enlarged pores
  • Controls sebum

Results are temporary but immediate. Your skin instantly appears smoother, younger, and healthier with no visible scars or open pores. Your make up sets better and stays longer. More importantly, a primer protects your skin from direct exposure to chemicals found in cosmetics.

However, the product isn’t magic in itself. The way you use it matters a lot. If you want a primer to do its job right, you need to understand the critical dos and don’ts.

Let’s start with the Dos

  1. Prep before prime. Make sure your skin is properly cleaned and moisturized before you apply your primer. Keep in mind that your moisturizer goes under the primer as does anything else that needs to be absorbed by the skin.
  2. Find the right primer for your skin. Most primers are silicon-based as it is one of the most amazing smoothening ingredients. It doesn’t get absorbed in the skin, neither is it broken down by sebum. However, you can choose a water-based primer as well.
  3. Take a small amount and blend it all over the face. Dime-to-nickel-size amount is perfect for most people. People with dry skin should apply more on areas prone to creasing. People with oily skin should use a smaller amount.
  4. Use fingers and light tapping motion to blend it in. Fingers are the best application tool as the warmth of your skin can make makeup blend easily and set to a flawless finish. You can also use a foundation brush to fill in deeper set lines.
  5. Give your primer a few good minutes to set in before you start with the foundation or other cosmetic products.

Moving on to the Don’ts

  1. Do not mix formulas. Different brands use different ingredients, and some do not gel well with others. If you are mixing two primers, the chances are they will break each other out. Similarly, you cannot mix different formulas of primers and foundation. If you have a water-based foundation, you will need a water-based primer to get the best results.
  2. Don’t go for a generic product when you have a specific skin issue. There are all kinds of primers targeting all kind of skin issues – illuminating ones for dull skin, pore minimizing ones for open pores, color correcting primers, oil control primers as well as mattifying ones.
  3. Don’t apply too much primer. Since most primers are silicon-based, you can experience piling. Also, too much primer is counterproductive as it can make your makeup slip off your face.
  4. Do not apply on unclean skin. A primer can trap the dirt inside along with sebum, resulting in breakouts and other skin issues.

Our Top Five Primer Picks

Now you know that there are around just as many types of primers as there are skin concerns. And for every category, you will find around a dozen of products. The hunt can be tricky. So, here we are with our five tried and tested skin primers for different skin types and concerns.

Gorgeous Cosmetics First Base Prime

If you are new to primer and aren’t sure which one you should go for, First Base Prime is your best bet. This is an excellent example of how simple is often effective as well.

It is a silicon-based primer that contains Aloe Vera, antioxidants & hydrating emollients, The primer can also double as your moisturizer but if you have severely dry skin, it is best to use a light moisturizer under it. It will take care of all your textural irregularities.

Hikari Primer Forgiven

Hikari Primer Forgiven is more like a soothing balm with instant skin smoothening and lifting properties. It has anti-aging properties as it contains ingredients that support collagen production.

It is a silicon-based primer as well. We love this product for its sheer simplicity and the ability to double as a skincare product. From pores to fine lines and from oil production to scars, Forgiven will take care of everything.

Aneley Cosmetics Flawless Primer

We love this hydrating yet non-sticky water-based formula that feels super light and silky smooth on the skin. It is our top recommendation for people with dry and dehydrated skin. If your skin concerns include dry patches and fine lines, you should absolutely give Aneley Cosmetics Flawless Primer a chance.

More importantly, it is a natural, gluten free, cruelty-free, and vegan formula. Ingredient lists include aloe vera, squalene, vitamin E, and a number of essential oils such as jojoba and rosehip oil.

Bien Vita Multi UV Primer Plus

Bien Vita has created this holy grail beauty product called the UV Primer Plus, for ladies who have to step out in the sun while wearing makeup. This primer is infused with a higher performance sunscreen of SPF 40. This means it will keep your skin safe from the harsh UV rays while keeping your make up from melting away in the heat.

It is a serum based foundation primer that is water and sweat proof. If you like to stay out in the sun, you won’t find a more heavy-duty primer that will let you enjoy the fun.

Mirenesse Cosmetics Tone Correcting Primer 10 Collagen Cushion Compact

There are a number of reasons, this one is our bestselling primer and the winner of Byrdie’s Best Primer Award. The Mirenesse Cosmetic Tone Correcting Primer works as a primer as well as a corrector.

This means you can skip one step, one entire layer, from your routine. For natural, light coverage, you can skip the foundation as well. Since it comes in a cushion form, it is super easy to apply. It contains peptides, hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients that add to its age-defying properties.