Makeup Oily Skin

The 10 Best Primers for Large Pores (and for your skin type!)

Jump to: Editor’s Choice: The Best Primers for Large Pores

The Best Primer for Large Pores — When people with large pores or acne scars do their makeup, they tend to apply layers of foundation to give the illusion of refined skin. (I know I did!)

Pushing makeup into your pores, however, results in an unnatural texture and can eventually lead to breakouts.

Foundation just simply isn’t built to go deep into the skin.

What you can do instead is use the same techniques that professional makeup artists do to cover large pores–target and correct imperfections using a primer, apply a thin blanket of foundation, and mattify with a mineral powder.

This creates a flawless canvas without having the need to cake on foundation.

Using minimal foundation helps you create a more natural and healthier looking finish.

To help create the effect of refined skin, here are two basic types of primers you can use:

  1. Silicone-based – have a thick consistency that works well smoothen out pores, acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines. Silicone molecules fill out indentations on the skin and prevent makeup from sinking in. This type of primer works well with silicone-based foundations.
  2. Water-based – are more lightweight and generally blends better with liquid, water-based foundations.

Primers are applied after moisturizers and before foundation.

They can be applied with a sponge or brush, but it is best to use your fingers to help meld the product into your skin.

Video: How Does Primer Work – Makeup Hacks

 

Jump to: Editor’s Choice: The Best Primers for Large Pores

It’s one thing to have the perfect primer, but it won’t be as effective if it’s not used properly.

Here are a few tips and tricks for buying and using primers:

  • Clear out any build up of (sometimes invisible) dead skin. This will prevent uneven application and that sketchy-looking surface you get when you apply foundation on dry skin. You can use physical exfoliation during cleansing or chemical exfoliation through AHA toners or AHA serums.
  • Moisturize well beneath your primer and wait for 5 minutes or so to let it absorb fully. If you apply your primer on a skin that has traces of moisturizer, your foundation will break up into patches pretty easily. If you have acne-prone skin, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer underneath. Something with a matte finish like La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer is a great choice for oily skin.
  • It’s very important for people with large pores to always keep the oils at bay because they reflect light and tend to exaggerate the skin’s uneven texture. A face that is mattified, however, can give your skin an airbrushed finish. If you have issues with excessively oily skin, I recommend a highly acclaimed program called The Oily Skin Solution by Patricia Everson. Our skin is very dynamic and the causes for oily skin can be one or ten things at once. This guide can help you get to the root causes of your oily skin and help you get rid of it.
  • If you have oily skin, use the right face wash to avoid early production of sebum.
  • Primers not only makes your skin look smoother, but they also help make your foundation stick to your skin for hours on end. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but you should always try to combine products that have the same base. If you apply a water-based foundation to a silicone primer, the silicone primer will tend to repel the foundation and prevent it from thoroughly blending into your skin. This can cause unevenness and will not make your makeup last as long as it could. You should always try to combine makeup based from the same ingredients–silicone-based primers works best with silicone foundations and water-based primers with water-based foundations.
  • Do not rub your primer. Rubbing will ball up the product instead of setting into your pores. Just press and pat gently with your fingers until you’ve filled all your pores. The heat from your fingers will lead to better application.
  • Try not to over apply your primer. Overdoing it will cause your concealer or foundation to slide sooner than later. Just use a small drop and apply a thin layer on your skin.
  • Remember, not every product will work for every person. You may need to try and observe which combination of products will work best for your skin.
wdt_ID Disclaimer Notice
1
This website is for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Product or service details are collected directly from the manufacturer and other reputable sources during the time of this review. We try to keep on top of new formulations when we can and update our data accordingly.

Recommendations are based on our research, results, a comprehensive analysis of the products' formulation, claims, value for money, and other consumer reviews. We make an effort to be as objective as possible and give advice in good faith; however, our reviews are 100% honest and therefore may still contain conjectures and opinions based on our personal experiences.

It’s important to know that as with any product (especially cosmetics), what may be perfect for you may not be right for the next person. So as much as we want to guarantee that these will be everyone’s next holy grail, results can still be affected by individual factors like your current skin condition, the environment you’re in, use of the product, reaction to your other skincare, and so on. For best results, make sure to choose products that are suited for your skin type and skin issues.

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Editor’s Choice: The Best Primers for Large Pores


These are our choices for the best primers for large pores based on our experience, formulation, claims, value for money, and consumer reviews.

You can click on the plus sign (+) to reveal important product details.

Make sure to choose a product that is best suited for your skin type and skin issues.

wdt_ID Brand / Product Name Formulation Base Key Benefits Best for (Skin Type & Condition) Product Image Jump to Review
1 Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector Water-based primer Mattifies skin. Instantly blurs the look of large pores and help regulate sebum production. Long hours of oil control (Acts like a liquid blotting paper). Cruelty-free. Oily skin with open and large pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin; Combination skin with oily T-zones
3 Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Silicone-based primer Makes foundation repel water & be transfer-resistant, locks makeup in place all day. Conceals redness (even rosacea) to help even out skin tone. Minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, & other imperfections. Broad-spectrum mineral SPF 15 sunscreen. Vegan, Cruelty-free.

Winner: InStyle Best Beauty Buy Award for Best Primer


All skin types especially Sensitive and Acne-prone skin with pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin; Redness / Rosacea; Sun exposure
4 jane iredale Smooth Affair for Oily Skin Facial Primer and Brightener Silicone-based primer Revolutionary PoreAway™ technology to visibly reduce shine. Advanced mineral technology that color-adjusts for an even skin tone. Noticeably reduces the appearance of pores to create a smooth, matte finish. A wide array of anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants. Vegan & Certified cruelty-free. Gluten-free. Paraben-Free.

Winner: ALLURE Best of Beauty Award.
Oily Skin with large pores, Aging skin with fine lines & wrinkles
5 Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer Silicone-based primer
Triple-Blurring Complex – light-diffusing, soft focus effect to instantly perfect skin’s texture & minimize the appearance of pores, wrinkles, & fine lines. Time-Release Skin Balancing Technology – a unique formulation of hyaluronic acid & botanical extracts to hydrate & plump lines, while hollow silica beads help absorb oil throughout the day. Longwear Polymers – emollients to extend the wear of your foundation.

Winner: IMAGE Beauty Awards
All skin types especially Enlarged pores, Fine lines, Aging skin; Issues with skin texture
6 tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer Silicone-based primer Optical matte-blur technology to filter imperfections. Waterproof, mattifying, & texturizing face primer. tarte 12-hour power™. Helps erase pores & resurface uneven skin texture. Nutrient-rich formula infused with botanical extracts that immediately boosts skin before makeup. Vegan-friendly & Certified Cruelty-free. Combination to Oily skin with Large pores, Acne scars, Uneven skin texture, Fine lines, Dry patches
7 Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer – Pore Minimizing Silicone-based primer Reduces the look of pores. Controls oil & mattifies shine. Smoothes and preps skin for foundation. Water-resistant, Oil-free. Vegan & Cruelty-free.

Winner: Allure Best of Beauty Award

Normal to Oily skin with open and large pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin
8 Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer Silicone-based primer Virtually erases pores & imperfections.
Creates a smooth, airbrushed surface for flawless makeup application. Brightens the skin, improves skin texture, & minimizes fine lines over time. Improves makeup wearability. Vegan & Cruelty-free.
Combination skin with large pores and fine lines
9 theBalm TimeBalm Face Primer Silicone-based primer Minimizes the appearance of pores & fine lines. Evens out skin tone & improves texture. Infused with Vitamins A, C & E – helps protect against free radicals. Allantoin & Bioflavonoid – anti-inflammatory to soothe stressed skin. All skin types especially Oily skin with large pores, wrinkles, and fine lines
10 Benefit’s the POREfessional Face Primer Silicone-based primer Minimizes the appearance of pores & fine lines. Creates a smooth canvas & helps makeup stay put throughout the day. Mattifies shine and touches up problem areas. Vitamin E – protects skin from free radicals.

Awards: #1 best-selling Prestige Face Primer in the US
Normal to combination skin with large pores
11 NYX Cosmetics Pore Filler Silicone-based primer Helps minimize the appearance of pores. Preps your complexion for smoother makeup application. Infused with Vitamin E. Oil-free, talc-free. Drugstore dupe of Benefit’s POREfessional. Normal to combination skin with large pores

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Best for: Oily skin with open & large pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, & chin; Combination skin with oily T-zones

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector


Video: Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector by Becca

Though Becca is well-known for their Skin Perfector luminizers, they’re proving to be just as great in controlling shine. Unlike most primers, Becca’s Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is water-based so it is truly lightweight. This should match perfectly with water-based liquid concealers and foundations.

It’s initially pretty thick when squeezed out of its tube, but eventually melts into warm skin and immediately mattifies to a powdery finish.

The novelty of this pore filling primer is it acts like a liquid blotting paper that specifically targets the T-zone and other oil-prone areas. You can use this normally under makeup or retouch any time of the day to sponge up excess oil. The texture is going to be exaggerated under any light so if you have oily skin with large pores or uneven skin, having a matte face is crucial in keeping a flawless canvas.

Claims are for 12-hour oil control, but from experience, it took around 8+ hours for me to need a retouch. Not bad at all, especially with its liquid blotting paper-to-powder finish feature.

The downside is it can flake like crazy on dry skin. It’s super absorbent, oil-sponging power can also be too much for normal skin, so make sure your skin is moisturized and exfoliated well before putting this on. Also, remember to make sure your moisturizer is absorbed thoroughly before patting it (not rubbing!) into your problem areas. The end result can be an impressive matte finish that will last for hours.

Formulation Base: Water-based primer

Color: Light to medium beige, neutral to golden/yellow undertones

Consistency & Finish: Lightweight, Matte-powdery finish

Key Benefits:

  • Mattifies skin with its Botanical Mattifying Complex
  • Instantly blurs the look of pores and help regulate sebum production
  • Long hours of oil control through its Oil-Absorbing Microspheres
  • Protects skin from environmental aggressors with its skin-balancing antioxidants

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Use as an eyeshadow base for oily eyelids
  • Air-dry product before following with makeup
  • For touch-ups, warm a pea-sized amount and apply over target areas to absorb excess oil & instantly mattify skin

Additional Benefits:

  • Goes very well with liquid foundations and concealers as it is one of the few water-based primers
  • Formulated without alcohol (which can disrupt the skin’s natural moisturizing barrier and kick off a bio feedback of your skin producing more oil)
  • Prolongs your wear of foundation
  • Acts like a liquid blotting paper that can be used to retouch any time throughout the day to sponge up excess oil
  • For combination skin, this can be used as a targeted pore-minimizing and oil-control primer for T-zones
  • Silicone-free, Phthalates-free, Alcohol-free, and Fragrance-free
  • BECCA is a cruelty-free company

Cons:

  • Flakes on dry skin. Make sure you’re well-moisturized and exfoliated so it doesn’t cling to any dead skin.
  • From experience, oil-control only lasts 8+ hours, unlike its 12-hour claims. I do have very oily skin though, so it might last for 12 for those with moderately oily skin.
  • Might be too drying for combination skin—you’ll want to use this for targeted areas instead.

Video: TOP 5: PRIMERS – mattifying and pore minimising/blurring primers by KitschSnitch
(Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, Make Up For Ever Mattifying Primer, Benefit Porefessional Primer, Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer, Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer)

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer - Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Best for: All skin types especially Sensitive & Acne-prone skin with enlarged pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, & chin; Redness / Rosacea; Sun exposure


Video: Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass Cosmetics

Did you know?

One Veil Mineral Primer is sold every minute around the world.

The reason it’s one of the world’s top-selling makeup (not just primer!) is that it locks foundation in place by making it water-resistant and non-transferable. This is a unique and crucial quality in keeping a flawless canvass all day. (No one wants a melted face under the afternoon sun!)

The Hourglass Veil also has a unique formulation that conceals redness (even rosacea) on top of minimizing large pores. This makes it one of the go-to primers for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

It also has mineral-derived sunscreens Titanium and Zinc Oxide that delivers broad-spectrum protection without the greasiness or tackiness of traditional sunscreens.

Despite this, it’s still incredibly lightweight and is worn under foundation to improve its longevity. It has a mattifying effect that’s crucial to minimizing pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. The airy, silk-like texture sinks into the skin and doesn’t clog pores, unlike most primers.

All in all, a powerhouse pore primer that’s so well-formulated, it sits on a level very much elevated among its peers.

Winner: InStyle Best Beauty Buy Award for Best Primer

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: White from the pump, blends out invisibly into the skin

Consistency & Finish: Unique airy, silky cloud-like texture; buildable without added weight or greasy feel; Lightweight matte finish

Key Benefits:

  • Repels water and helps foundation be transfer-resistant, perfect for hot and humid days to lock your foundation in place all day
  • Conceals redness (even rosacea) to help even out skin tone
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and other imperfections
  • Creates a smooth, even surface for a flawless canvass
  • Delivers broad-spectrum mineral SPF 15 physical sunscreen that protects against skin-damaging UVA and UVB without irritating your skin (Don’t forget, sun damage is the #1 cause of skin aging)

Additional Benefits:

  • Extends wear of foundation
  • Oil-free formula
  • Free of potentially irritating ingredients: Parabens, Fragrance, Sulfates, Nanoparticles, Oil, Phthalates, Gluten, Synthetic Dyes
  • Vegan-friendly. HOURGLASS is a cruelty-free brand.
  • Winner of the InStyle Best Beauty Buy Award for Best Primer: 2014, 2015 & 2016.

Cons:

  • While it helps to mattify the skin and conceals pores, it doesn’t do much in the way of oil control. If you have excessive sebum production, I’d recommend the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector above instead.
  • It’s not a concrete “matte” but a luminous playdoh-like matte (I know that sounds weird but that’s how it finishes.)

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Apply half a pump of this pore minimizing primer to clean, moisturized skin. Follow with foundation and powder.
  • Works well with cream, liquid, and powder foundations.

Video: The Best Primers For Oily Skin! by Nikkia Joy
(Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Mac Prep + Prime, Dr. Brandt Pores No More, Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, Rimmell Stay Matte, Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer – Pore Minimizing, Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer)

jane iredale Smooth Affair for Oily Skin Facial Primer & Brightener

Best for: Aging skin with fine lines and wrinkles, Oily skin, Large pores


Video: Best Skin Care Make Up | Jane Iredale
(Jane Iredale Absence Oil Control Primer, Smooth Affair Primer & Brightener, Smooth Affair for Oily Skin)

If you struggle with oily skin changing the color of your foundation, dry skin looking worse for wear under foundation, makeup not lasting all day–this primer can be your solution.

This 2-in-1 brightening & pore minimizing primer is specifically formulated for oil control while works to visibly reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines. It preps and smooths the surface so everything is blended with ease. It reduces shine to create a matte, photo finish with its revolutionary PoreAway™ technology. This can be used as a mattifying gel as well over foundation, for easy touch-ups.

This vegan primer also has skin-quenching fruit extracts that provide a wide array of skincare benefits. Green tea and white tea extracts soothe and calm the skin, in addition to providing bacterial protection that fight blemishes. Apple extract works as a skin-smoothing antioxidant that maintains the skin’s elasticity. Grapefruit extract promotes radiance and luminosity. All these and more work in synergy to nourish and brighten your skin while visibly reducing the appearance of pores and wrinkles.

Winner: ALLURE Best of Beauty Award

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: Skin tone, color-adjusts with its advanced mineral technology

Consistency & Finish: Smooth, lightweight, silky, matte finish

Key Benefits:

  • Revolutionary PoreAway™ technology with state-of-the-art mineral science that works to visibly reduce shine
  • Noticeably reduces the appearance of pores to create a smooth, matte finish
  • Employs an advanced mineral technology that color-adjusts for an even skin tone
  • Has a wide array of anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Apply a pea-sized amount at a time, using fingers and blend until fully absorbed (otherwise you’ll run the risk of pilling).

Additional Benefits:

  • Can be used as a mattifying gel over foundation for easy touch-ups
  • Vitamin C –brightens and improves skin tone
  • Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract – an antioxidant that soothes and calms the skin, in addition to providing bacterial protection that fights blemishes
  • Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pectin –works as a smoothing antioxidant that helps maintain the skin’s elasticity
  • Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract –promotes radiance and luminosity
  • Botanical extracts to nourish the skin as it prepares it for makeup –Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract
  • Gluten-free. Paraben-Free.
  • Vegan & Certified cruelty-free by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) and PETA.
  • Winner: ALLURE Best of Beauty Award in 2014

Cons: Has quite a lot of fruit and herbal extracts that may be irritating to those with sensitive skin.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer

Best for: All skin types especially Aging skin, Enlarged pores, Fine lines; Issues with skin texture


Video: Elizabeth Arden’s ‘No Makeup’ Makeup Look | SkinStore

A product that you’ll find in most professional make-up artist’s arsenal–and with very good reason.

This pore-minimizing primer features a triple-blurring complex with light diffusing technology that immediately blurs pores and fine lines to create an immaculate canvas for the rest of your makeup. From experience, this one makes you Insta-ready in a flash.

The formulation also contains longwear polymers which are a balance of emollients to keep your skin moisturized and give you a radiant glow. Its unique time-released skin balancing technology helps control shine while locking in moisture throughout the day.

This primer is silky, lightweight, oil-free and non-comedogenic; all essential in keeping any potential breakouts at bay.

All the above combined can give you an even-toned, retouched appearance in an instant.

Winner: IMAGE Beauty Awards

Formulation Base: Silicon-based primer

Color: Nude

Consistency & Finish: Silky, lightweight, universal-tint primer

Key Benefits:

  • Triple-Blurring Complex – light-diffusing, soft focus ingredients to instantly perfect your skin’s texture and minimize the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines.
  • Time-Release Skin Balancing Technology – a unique formulation of hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts to hydrate and plump lines, while hollow silica beads help absorb oil throughout the day
  • Longwear Polymers – a balance of emollients that adhere to the skin and extend the wear of your foundation

Additional Benefits:

  • Instant retouch look, very useful for those with skin texture issues
  • Winner IMAGE Beauty Awards 2016

Cons: For those with oily skin, you’ll need to blot after around two hours. From experience, it’s not as oil-controlling as the other primers on this list.

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Apply a thin layer throughout your face and under the jaw. The blurring effect should be instantaneous.
  • Allow primer to set for at least 10 seconds before applying your foundation.
  • It’s quite thick before its set, so a little goes a long way

tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer

Best for: Combination to Oily skin with Large pores, Acne scars, Uneven skin texture, Fine lines, Dry patches; looking for dual purpose/extra vitamins in their makeup


Video: New Tarte Poreless Primer | wear test | Taylor Edwards  

One of only two best primer for pores in this list that boasts a waterproof formulation. This, along with tarte’s 12-hour power™, will help make your makeup stay longer amidst the summer heat.

This invisible gel mattifies shine as well as retexturizes skin. This is perfect for acne scars, dry patches, large pores, and fine lines. The end result is an ultra-smooth canvas that stays flawless the whole day.

Although it’s marketed towards oily skin, this also works well for normal to dry skin. It’s infused with an abundance of botanical extracts that moisturizes, protects, and soothes the skin. This gives the skin a fantastic boost before applying any makeup. This is also one of the few primers that address dry patches (instead of making it look worse, as most primers tend to do).Tarte is known for their clean, high-performance formulations free from parabens and synthetic fragrances. The brand is certified cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Consistency & Finish: Silky, invisible gel

Key Benefits:

  • Optical matte-blur technology to filter imperfections
  • Waterproof, mattifying, & texturizing face primer
  • tarte 12-hour power™
  • Helps erase pores & resurfaces uneven skin texture
  • Nutrient-rich formula infused with botanical extracts that immediately boosts skin before makeup

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Prior to makeup, apply a thin layer to hydrated skin, focusing on oily and areas with large pores.
  • Doubles as an undereye primer or over the eyelids for a smoother surface

Additional Benefits:

  • T5 Super Fruit Complex™ – a proprietary blend of the five most active antioxidant-rich superfruits (maracuja, goji, açaí, acerola & pomegranate) to deliver nourishing & replenishing benefits to skin
  • Avocado extract – a natural oil rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E & known for its skin-soothing properties
  • Echinacea root, Hibiscus flower & Rosemary leaf extracts – rich in antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals & improve skin tone & elasticity, while diffusing imperfections
  • Safflower seed – emollient with beneficial fatty acids to help hydrate dry skin
  • Formulated without: parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates, & gluten.
  • Dermatologist-tested.
  • Vegan-friendly & Certified Cruelty-free.

Cons: Botanical extracts may irritate sensitive skin. Make sure to spot check on a small area before using on your whole face.

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer - Pore Minimizing

Best for: Normal to Oily skin with open & large pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin


Video: Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer by Smashbox Cosmetics

Smashbox has an entire line of primers that are cult favorites. This product, in particular, is to target large and open pores so it is silicone-heavy and has a thicker consistency than the rest. It also sets to a powdery finish for a smoother skin texture.

It’s quite impressive when blended with liquid foundations but doesn’t blend as well with cream or powder foundations. It also works best over makeup, which can be a bit tricky! Just make sure to dab the product instead of rubbing it in so it doesn’t wipe off your foundation.

It also claims that the pore reducing effect can last for eight hours but from my experience, it only stayed for a couple of hours with my oily skin. It’s not so bad though, that’s more or less the time it takes for a touch-up, anyway. It should last longer on normal skin especially with its sweat- and humidity-resistant formula.

Winner: Allure Best of Beauty Award

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: Sheer-tinted (the color is barely noticeable once on)

Consistency & Finish: Smooth-glide texture, Silicone-heavy but completely silky, Soft & even powdery finish, Very quick to set

Key Benefits:

  • Reduces the look of pores
  • Controls oil & mattifies shine for up to 8 hours*
  • Smoothes and preps skin for foundation
  • Water-resistant

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Warm with fingers before applying and let it set of 15 seconds.
  • Temporarily blurs out the appearance of pores but is more effective, in my opinion, if you apply it over makeup. This can be a bit tricky because you run the risk of rubbing off your makeup. However, if you gently dab and blend, the results can be great.
  • You’ll need to mix and match foundations with this one. Because of its unique finish, some foundations tend to pill and be a bit streaky.
  • Don’t apply after sunscreen, the pore-filling effect is reduced. (Although sunscreen should be applied after moisturizer and before primer in any case.) You can also opt for a foundation with broad spectrum SPF as well.

Additional Benefits:

  • Oil-free formulation, won’t clog pores or cause breakouts
  • Free from: Parabens & Phthalates
  • Vegan & Cruelty-free.
  • Winner: Allure Best of Beauty Award

Cons: *Claims to have pore-reducing results for up to eight hours—unfortunately, this is not the case for me personally. My oiler areas started to shine after a few hours, which in turn diminished its pore-minimizing effect.

Video: How To Hide Enlarged Pores & Make Your Pores Disappear! By Nikkia Joy
(Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer, NYX Pore Filler Primer, Benefit Porefessional Primer)

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

Best for: Combination skin with large pores & fine lines


Video: Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer | First Impressions

This pore filling primer and can work for both dry and oily zones, so it’s perfect for combination skin. The texture is thick and comes in a neutral shade, which disappears on the skin once applied. It also helps your foundation stay throughout the day as it’s specifically formulated to be worn under makeup.

It also has several vitamins (A & C), mulberry extract, and a dose of retinol. This gradually helps banish pores while leaving the skin firmer, hydrated, and detoxified. Make sure to pair with a good non-comedogenic sunscreen though, as retinol can be photosensitizing.

As mentioned, only apply a thin layer to avoid patchy foundation and make your makeup last throughout the day.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: Light beige, disappears once blended

Consistency & Finish: Silicone-rich, Thick with a dry-finish

Key Benefits:

  • Virtually erases pores and imperfections
  • Creates a smooth, airbrushed surface for flawless makeup application
  • Brightens the skin, improves skin texture, and minimizes fine lines over time
  • Improves makeup wearability

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Apply a nickel-sized amount alone or prior to bronzers, powders, or foundation for an airbrushed finish
  • Careful to overdo the application as it has a tendency to pill.

Additional Benefits:

  • Vitamins A & C, Mulberry extract – brightens the skin and leaves it hydrated, firmer, and detoxified
  • Ivy extract – helps smoothen skin texture with regular use
  • Retinyl Palmitate – helps retain skin elasticity and suppleness
  • Gluten-free, Paraben-free.
  • Vegan & Cruelty-free.

Cons:

  • There’s only one shade (light beige). Whilst it disappears into the skin one blended, it can look ashen on deeper skin tones.
  • It has a small dose of ivy extract, which can be irritating to sensitive skin.
  • Also has a dose of retinol which can be photosensitizing. Make sure to use a good non-comedogenic sunscreen to avoid any redness or sensitivities.
    There’s really no mechanism for oil control, so if that’s something you’re looking for in particular for a primer, some of the earlier ones mentioned might be more suited to your needs.

theBalm TimeBalm Face Primer

Best for: All skin types especially Oily skin with large pores, wrinkles, and fine lines


Video: thebalm’s Time Balm Primer Review! By Ginger Sjolander

This smoothing balm has a milky consistency that’s a bit lighter than the Too Faced primer. (It looks like clear gel in the photo, but that’s only because of the white background. It comes off like a smooth, milky gel when placed against the skin.)

This pore primer is fortified with Vitamins A, C, and E to help repair and even out skin texture and tone. Also blended in are anti-inflammatory ingredients allantoin and bioflavonoid to soothe stressed skin.

It’s quite thin and sinks instantly to minimize pores, wrinkles, and fine lines. We find this works especially well under the eyes to get rid of that cakey line you get with concealers. It’s also great under foundation and solidly keeps your makeup in place throughout the day.

I have oily skin in the summer which turns combination in the winter. (“Curse you, seasons!”, echoes my skin and wallet.) This holds up pretty well except on really dry patches where it can get cakey after a time. You just need to make sure your skin is well exfoliated and hydrated/moisturized prior if you have dry skin and you’re good to go.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: Milky, clear gel

Consistency & Finish: lightweight, silky

Key Benefits:

  • Minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines
  • Evens out skin tone and improves texture
  • Infused with Vitamins A, C & E – helps protect against free radicals
  • Allantoin & Bioflavonoid – anti-inflammatory to soothe stressed skin

Cons: From experience, has a tendency to look cakey if you have dehydrated skin. Make sure your skin is well exfoliated and moisturized prior.

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Instead of a brush, warm the product in your fingers and apply before foundation.
  • Works alone or as a makeup base.

Benefit’s the POREfessional Face Primer

Best for: Normal to combination skin with large pores


Video: QUICK REVIEW: Benefit PORE Professional review by gossmakeupchat

Another popular pore minimizing primer, Benefit’s POREfessional can glide into the skin and melt very quickly. It’s a lightweight balm that can be used over and under makeup. It also has a bonus vitamin E, which is an anti-aging ingredient and helps fight free radicals.

This pore filling primer has a slight tint but should complement all skin tones. The finish also gives a natural matte look and can be used to shrink pores to even out the texture on your face. Some reviews claim it makes their skin look airbrushed!

The only downside is it doesn’t really combat oiliness so if you have oily skin, best to steer clear of this one. This product works best for normal to combination skin.

Awards: #1 best-selling Prestige Face Primer in the US by the U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Department Specialty

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: Translucent, complements all skin tones

Consistency & Finish: Silky, lightweight balm for an airbrushed finish

Key Benefits:

  • Minimizes the appearance of pores & fine lines
  • Creates a smooth canvas & helps makeup stay put throughout the day
  • Mattifies shine and touches up problem areas
  • Cons: From experience, doesn’t combat oily skin and can be greasy after long hours of use. Also pills if you use too much before foundation.

Additional Benefits:

  • Vitamin E – protects skin from free radicals
  • Oil-free.
  • AWARDS: #1 best-selling Prestige Face Primer in the US by the U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Department Specialty

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • To prime, apply a thin layer on moisturized skin from the center of the face. Allow to set for a few seconds before applying makeup.
  • For touch-ups, pat softly on problem areas and blend. A little goes a long way.
  • Apply alone, under, or over foundation.
  • For photo-ready looks, apply before AND after makeup.

NYX Cosmetics Pore Filler

Best for: Normal to combination skin with large pores


Video: NYX Pore Filler Review by Mia Schiro

This pore filling primer is quite similar to the Benefit’s the Porefessional above and L’Oreal’s Magic Base in that it’s mattifying and dries to an almost powdery finish. The consistency is thick (I’d say it’s similar to royal icing) so you can use this to zero-in on your problem areas. After applying a non-comedogenic moisturizer (don’t forget to wait until it’s fully absorbed!) squeeze a pea-sized amount on your fingers and gently pat it in. It’s weightless on the skin and the initial peachy tint fades out so you can wear it underneath your concealer or foundation without it clashing with any shade.

The tube is pretty small but it’s very affordable and you’ll only use it in small amounts so it should last for a long time. Keep away if you have dry skin because it has a tendency to cause makeup to look cakey.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer

Color: Translucent peachy-tint that sheers out when applied

Consistency & Finish: Mattifying, thick & dries to a powdery finish

Key Benefits:

  • Helps minimize the appearance of pores
  • Preps your complexion for smoother makeup application

Cons: For comparison’s sake, this version is a bit tackier than the Porefessional. This can also leave you patchy if you’ve peeling or dry areas.

Additional Benefits:

  • Infused with Vitamin E
  • Oil-free, Talc-free.
  • Drugstore dupe of Benefit’s Porefessional

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Set for a few minutes so it won’t pill. Make sure to exfoliate and moisturize well because it can give you dry patches if you have any peeling or dry spots.

Resources:

Backe, J. (n.d.). Milady Standard Cosmetology (Milady’s Standard Cosmetology).

BECCA Cosmetics. (2018). BECCA Cosmetics | Official Store | Home Page.

Benefitcosmetics.com. (2018). Benefit Cosmetics > Official Site and Online Store | Benefit Cosmetics

Davis, G. and Hall, M. (2008). The Makeup Artist Handbook: Techniques for Film, Television, Photography, and Theatre. Amsterdam: Focal Press/Elsevier.

Faced, T. (2018). Too Faced: Makeup, Cosmetics & Beauty Products Online – Too Faced.

Fields, K., Williams, V. and Rodan, K. (2014). Unblemished: Stop Breakouts! Fight Acne! Transform Your Life! Reclaim Your Self-Esteem with the Proven 3-Step Program Using Over-the-Counter Medications. New York: Atria Books.

Hourglasscosmetics.com. (2018). Hourglass Cosmetics | Luxury Performance Makeup

Loraccosmetics.com. (2018). LORAC® Cosmetics – Official LORAC Site

McDermott, A. and Kennedy, L. (n.d.). About Face — The Smart Woman’s Guide to Beauty: Your Essential Skincare and Make-Up Bible for the Changing face of Beauty.

Minskey, S. (2011). The Ultimate DIY Bridal Beauty Book. [S.l.]: Lulu Com.

Nyxcosmetics.com. (2018). NYX Cosmetics Official Site – Professional Makeup & Beauty Products.

Smashbox. (2018). Smashbox

theBalm. (2018). theBalm Cosmetics

Vallo, Lana. Make-up For Beginners: Learn Doing Make-up Like A Pro.

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The 10 Best Primers for Large Pores (and for your skin type!) Overall rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 0 based on 0 reviews
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