Top 13 Best Silicone-Based Primers for a Flawless Complexion

Say goodbye to acne scars, wrinkles, & pores with these high-performing silicone primers that blur, smoothen, & protect your skin.

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Ask the Expert: What are the benefits of silicone primers?

BY SAMANTHA WELCH, ESTHETICIAN


Acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, and large pores are essentially permanent indentations in the skin.

They often occur in areas where the skin is stretched or compressed.

Deep wrinkles and fine lines are creases that form over time. Acne scars result from skin trauma, while large pores can either be genetic or due to oily skin, sun damage, and aging.

These textural issues can be a nightmare when applying makeup without the right products and techniques.

Foundation can accumulate in our laugh lines and pores, while oily skin melts the rest of it away by midday.

The cosmetics industry has struggled for years to find ingredients that make foundation smoother, cleaner, and longer lasting.

Consumers and professionals usually choose between long-lasting coverage and a smooth, natural-looking base.

  • When a foundation smoothes or hydrates the skin, it tends to slide off more quickly.
  • On the other hand, longer-lasting foundations may stay on all day but may leave the skin looking dry or textural.
  • And despite their ability to control shine, oil-control foundations often look cakey or heavy.

It was difficult to address issues like texture, oil control, and longevity using only foundation. No amount of paint can conceal a wrinkle or keep persistent shine away for long.

The solution came just this decade as a brand-new revolutionary product: makeup primers.

Primers have quickly become a critical step in the makeup application process because they simultaneously address several of these issues.

Silica, dimethicone, and other polymers are used in silicon-based primers to correct the skin's surface and texture.

Silicone is vegan-friendly, hypoallergenic, breathable, and non-comedogenic: meaning it does not clog pores.

It is environmentally degradable and hostile to microbial growth.

There is a myth that it bioaccumulates or builds up, but silicones have large molecules that do not penetrate skin cell membranes.

In the medical field, silicones are in contact lenses, implants, and bandages. Due to their extremely low allergic reaction rate, silicone-based medical adhesives are primarily used in hospitals.

Silicone fluids can reduce irritancy and enhance ingredient deposition on the skin, preventing the accumulation of potent ingredients in one spot. Estheticians sometimes refer to this phenomenon as “hot spots.”

And, as the luxury skincare industry grows, silicones are becoming a highly valued ingredient category.

They contribute to a silky, comfortable feeling on the skin without leaving any residue, which is critical for many high-end, high-performance skin care formulations.

For Deep Wrinkles, Acne Scars, Large Pores, & Textured Skin:

Silicone-based primers give the appearance of smaller pores and fewer lines.

  1. It blurs or has a “soft-focus” effect to smoothen skin texture – using products with elastomer silicone to reflect and scatter light, similar to photos with an out-of-focus camera.
  2. It fills out pores for an even texture – by gently patting the primer in a rolling motion to seal pores, a technique used by makeup artists

RELATED: The Best Primers for Large Pores: Makeup Artist’s Choice

For Oily Skin:

  • Oil Control – oil-control primers have certain silicones that absorb excess sebum
  • Matte finish – Extra shine exaggerates surface texture even more, so you want a dry, smooth, silky, and powdery matte finish.
  • Makeup-Gripping – oily skin also tends to dislodge your foundation and ruin your makeup. Silicones add an auxiliary layer that adheres to skin and makeup, helping you look fresher, longer.

RELATED: The Best Non-Comedogenic Matte Primers for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

For Dry Skin:

  • It acts as an occlusive  – to improve moisturization and prevent water loss
  • Some formulas are hydrating enough to double as a moisturizer

RELATED: The Best Non-Comedogenic Hydrating Primers for Dry & Acne-Prone Skin

For All Skin Types:

  • Skin Protection – acts as a barrier that protects the skin from chemical exposure and other environmental pollutants

Overall, silicone-based primers are great on paper, but not all products are created equal.

Formulation, quality of raw ingredients, and skin compatibility are still key when choosing for yourself.

Below are the best silicone-based primers chosen by our estheticians for different skin types and conditions.

Buying Cheat Sheet: 
Our Makeup-Artist's Top Picks

A quick round-up by Michelle Evans, our resident makeup artist.

The Best Silicone Primers for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin

BEST SILICONE PRIMERS FOR OILY SKIN
BEST SILICONE PRIMERS FOR ACNE

RELATED: The Best Non-Comedogenic Primers for Acne-Prone Skin

BEST SILICONE PRIMERS FOR ROSACEA
BEST NON-COMEDOGENIC SILICONE PRIMERS
BEST MATTE SILICONE PRIMERS

RELATED: The Best Non-Comedogenic Matte Primers for Oily Skin

BEST SILICONE PRIMERS FOR LARGE PORES

RELATED: The Best Primers for Large Pores: Makeup Artist’s Choice

Misc. Selection


Esthetician's Choice:
The Best Silicone-Based Primers

We've curated the best silicone-based primers based on our experience, formulation, claims, value for money, and consumer reviews.

Make sure to choose the primer that’s best suited for your skin type and skin issues.

Colorescience – Mattifying Face Primer SPF 20

BEST FOR: Oily, Sensitive, & Acne-Prone Skin

Our Review

This new and improved formula from Colorscience jumps to the top of our best-of list as they deliver an extraordinary silicone primer that goes above and beyond for oily, blemish-prone skin.

It is skin-perfecting upon application, instantly reducing the appearance of large pores, blemishes, and other imperfections.

It glides on like a dream with its whipped texture in a universal nude shade that melts into your skin for a smoother finish.

It controls shine with its mattifying base and works gently to correct blemishes as plant extracts provide antioxidants to soothe and calm your skin.

This silicone primer also has a laundry list of skincare benefits that improve your skin the longer you use it:

  • (New!) Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 — helps improve texture and skin firmness[6]
  • (New!) Hydrolized Rice Protein — improves moisture and smooths skin
  • Salicyclic Acid — helps remove excess oil
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extractcalms your skin and protects it against harmful pollutants
  • Jojoba Seed Oil & Estersconditions and hydrates the skin, locks in moisture
  • Oat Kernel Protein — smoothens and softens your skin’s texture
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract — is an antioxidant that soothes the skin and protects it from environmental aggressors

It also protects your skin from the harmful, photoaging rays of the sun.

The new formula ups its Non-nano Titanium Dioxide from 2.8% to 5% and adjust its white-casting Non-nano Zinc Oxide from 5.3% to 4.5%.

Its improved UVA/UVB defense rating of PA+++ broad-spectrum 20 SPF has made it a sunscreen recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Lastly, this primer is exceptional because it is water-resistant and sweat-resistant for 40 minutes.

You can stay out without worrying about your oil, pores, sun damaging your skin, and sweat aggravating your blemishes as you go about your day.

This silicone primer is corrective, perfecting, and protective all in one.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Dermatologist-tested hypoallergenic. Non-comedogenic. Fragrance-free.

Clean Beauty: All-mineral (free of chemical-active ingredients). Talc-free (unlike other mattifying primers). Paraben-free.

Green & Cruelty-free: Vegan. Cruelty-free. Reef-safe.

Formulation Base:  Silicone-based
Color: 
Universal nude shade to even out skin tone
Consistency & Finish: 
Lightweight, whipped texture that melts and leaves the skin with a smooth and even finish

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • Reduces the appearance of large pores, minimizes blemishes, improves skin texture
  • Controls oil, corrects blemishes, soothes skin with antioxidants
  • It has a unique whipped texture that glides on like silk and melts to an even finish
  • Hydrates and nourishes the skin with its hydrolyzed rice protein, oat kernel protein, jojoba seed oil, and esters
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • UVA/UVB PA+++ broad-spectrum 20 SPF
  • 100% mineral protection free from chemical-active ingredients.
  • Hypoallergenic. Non-comedogenic. Fragrance-free. Paraben-free.
  • Reef-safe. Vegan. Cruelty-free.
  • Sweat- and Water-resistant (40 minutes)

Cons: 

  • It does not offer color coverage; you still need concealer for spots
  • It does not match skin tones despite its universal nude shade

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Use just half a pump (instead of a while pump) into your fingertips. Dot around the face and blend for even coverage.
  • You can wear this alone or under makeup.
  • As this has a lot of moisturizing properties, you can replace your moisturizer with this primer except in cases where you have dry or fragile skin.
  • As with all SPF products, wait 15 minutes before sun exposure for complete protection.

Coupons + Current Promos

Colorescience Official Website
AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
Greater Medical
BeautifiedYou

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Dermalogica – Skinperfect Primer SPF30

BEST FOR: All skin types, Dullness, Fine lines & Wrinkles, Loss of firmness & Elasticity, Uneven texture

Our Review

The Skin Perfect primer is a multifunctional product—your last step of skincare and your first step of makeup.

It's a makeup primer, sunscreen, and anti-aging in one.

It enhances the appearance and duration of your makeup, conditions your skin, treats the signs of aging, and provides broad-spectrum defense against UVA and UVB rays.

  • Pearl powder and natural earth minerals provide a neutral tint to help balance skin tone and enhance luminosity.
  • Multiple peptides stimulate collagen production, helping to reduce wrinkles and improve skin firmness.
  • It also contains silicones combined with soy protein to even out skin texture and improve your skin tone.

It feels velvety, and it glides effortlessly on the skin.

It will have your makeup last longer and give your skin a soft-focus effect.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Non-comedogenic.

Clean Beauty: Gluten-free. Vegetarian. Paraben-free.

Green & Cruelty-free: Cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color:
 Neutral tint to balance skin tone
Consistency & Finish:
 Velvety finish, luminous glow

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • 3-in-1 primer, sunscreen, and anti-aging treatment
  • Smooths fine lines and texture with a “soft-focus” effect
  • Supports healthier, firmer skin
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Treats signs of aging while providing UVA/UVB protection
  • Preps skin for long-lasting makeup coverage
  • The velvety formula makes application effortless

Cons:

  • The extra shimmer from the pearl powder can accentuate acne scarring. Best to avoid illuminating products in general and opt for mattifying finishes if you have acne scars.
  • Not recommended for dry skin as it may be too heavy and not as hydrating.
  • Not a true color match for very fair skin.

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Cleanse, tone, and moisturize your skin as usual before applying the skinperfect primer. Wear alone or underneath your foundation.

Video Review

Video: SkinPerfect Primer spf30

Coupons + Current Promos

Dermatologica Official Website
AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
SkinCareRx
BlueMercury

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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La Roche-Posay – Anthelios Anti-Aging Primer with SPF 50 Sunscreen

BEST FOR: All skin types; Photo-protection from Sun damage; Sensitive skin; Wrinkles, fine lines

Our Review

Our list continues with another multi-purpose silicone primer, this time from dermatologist-favorite La Roche-Posay.

This French brand is known for their medical-grade products created specifically for skin concerns like sensitivity, acne, dryness, and rosacea.

They've reformulated their signature Anthelios sunscreen into a face primer that instantly blurs visible signs of aging and provides long-term skin protection.

  • Cell-Ox Shield® Technology – A core antioxidant technology in the Anthelios sun care line. It combines photostable UVA/UVB filters to provide broad-spectrum protection and potent antioxidant defense.
  • Senna Alata – An extract from a tropical herb that protects skin cells in the epidermis from the sun's harmful free radicals.
  • La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water – A unique natural antioxidant rich in selenium
  • Ceramide-3 – A skin-identical lipid that helps retain moisture and maintain a healthy skin barrier
  • Niacinamide – A soothing water-soluble vitamin known for its restorative properties
  • Glycerin – An excellent humectant derived from vegetable sources. It hydrates the skin by absorbing water from its surroundings.
  • Dimethicone – A silicone-based polymer applied to the skin as a moisturizer to prevent water loss.
  • Silica – A powder containing spherical beads that gives a smooth feel and a soft-focus effect. It is lightweight and absorbs a considerable amount of oil from the skin.

This silicone primer is cosmetically elegant, especially for a sunscreen with five active ingredients.

It has the weight of a night cream but is easily absorbed and doesn’t leave a white cast.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Dermatologist-Tested. Allergy-Tested. Suitable for sensitive skin. Fragrance-Free. Non-Comedogenic.

Clean Beauty: Oil-Free.

Green & Cruelty-free:

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color: Translucent white
Consistency & Finish: Thick and smooth with a mousse texture, Matte finish

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • SPF 50 broad spectrum photoprotection
  • Mattifying, oil-absorbing texture
  • A potent antioxidant complex that helps protect skin from free radicals caused by UV rays.
  • Fine lines, wrinkles, and pores are visibly smoothed and blurred for an even complexion and younger-looking skin.
  • Created and rigorously tested for skin tolerance, especially on sensitive skin

Cons:

  • This can feel heavy if you have very oily skin
  • The product starts to pill if applied too quickly before makeup. Make sure to wait until the primer is set before applying your foundation.

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Use as you would sunscreen–apply liberally 15 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Instead of a sponge, use the warmth of your fingers to help it meld into your skin.
  • When swimming or sweating, use a water-resistant sunscreen.
  • If used with other skincare products, use it as the final step in the regimen. Use as is or with makeup.

Video Review

Video: PRIMER with SPF 50 – Anthelios 50 Sunscreen Primer Hides Wrinkles – Review Tutorial

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
SkinCareRx
BeautifiedYou

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Dr. Brandt – Pores No More® Pore Refiner Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types, including Sensitive skin; Oily skin; Minimizing large pores, fine lines, and imperfections

Awards

Winner: Bride's Magazine Beauty Award Winner – Best Shine Stopper

Our Review

“Dr. Brandt’s pores no more pore refiner primer is my secret to having close-up-ready skin. It shrinks the size of pores and refines the skin. It is brilliant!”

Rising to cult status, Dr. Brandt’s celebrity-famous pore refiner primer is sold once every 3 minutes worldwide.

It minimizes pores, diffuses fine lines with other imperfections, and boasts of an instant fix that would rival any photoshop filter.

It has a silky-smooth formula with oil-absorbing spheres that are proven to free you from shine. You can use it as a makeup base or over makeup during the day for touch-ups.

It dries to a matte finish that leaves your skin flawless and ready for makeup.

The formula also has skincare ingredients like red clover flower extracts that shrink the appearance of your pores over time. It also re-balances skin conditions that are causing pore enlargement.

A derivative of salicylic acid is also incorporated. This gently removes oil-build within pores and lightly exfoliates, smoothening the skin’s surface.

With its long-term benefits, this is the best primer for large pores.

Formulation

Clean Beauty: No Synthetic Fragrance. Paraben-Free. Phthalates-Free. Sulfates-Free. GMO-Free.

Green & Cruelty-free: Cruelty-free.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based
Color: Nude
Consistency & Finish: Lightweight, velvety cream

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • Decreases pore size instantly and improves pore appearance over time
  • Has Oil-absorbing Spheres that diffuse light to instantly diminish the appearance of lines, pores, and wrinkles.
  • Leaves a matte finish
  • Red Clover Flower Extract assists in rebalancing the skin, which causes the enlargement of pores.
  • Salicylic Acid Derivative gradually exfoliates the skin and releases any oil build-up to smoothen the skin's surface. Also helps soothe irritation.
  • It can be used over and under makeup to instantly absorbs any excess oil during the day.

Cons:

  • The tea tree oil comes through a little bit, but not exceedingly so.
  • It tends to pill on dry, flaky skin
  • It has tea tree and lavender oil in minute amounts but can still irritate sensitive skin

Makeup Artist Tips

Makeup Artist Tips: Make sure to exfoliate and moisturize well before application, or it can accentuate the area.

Coupons + Current Promos

Dr. Brandt Integrative Dermatology – Official Website
SkinCareRx
Dermstore

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Clarins – Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types; Fine lines & Deep wrinkles, Pores

Awards

Winner: BELLA's Beauty Awards – Unrivaled Results

Our Review

This award-winning silicone primer has a wrinkle-smoothing formula that leaves a soft veil over the skin’s surface.

It contains blurring, soft-focus pigments to conceal fine lines, pores, wrinkles, and other imperfections.

It has an ultra-light texture that melts into your skin but neither weighs down nor clogs your pores. Your skin becomes even and flawless, ready for your foundation.

In line with Clarin's expertise, the Perfecting Touch is formulated with potent botanicals that deliver skincare benefits.

  • Vitamin E – protects the skin.
  • Acacia Micro-pearls – temporarily refine skin and fill in fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Pink Pearl Pigments – Optically minimizes fine lines and wrinkles by blurring or softening the skin’s appearance.

You can use it alone, under, or mixed with your foundation.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Non comedogenic primer; allergy and ophthalmologist tested.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color: Skintone
Consistency & Finish: Ultra-lightweight, Creamy

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • It fills in fine lines, pores, and deep wrinkles.
  • It makes your skin smooth and hydrated.
  • Ensure flawless makeup application by prepping the skin

Cons:

  • Quite pricey for the amount of product, though a dime size is all you need for the entire face.
  • If you put it on too thickly, it can clump up with a powder foundation.

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Wait a few minutes before applying your foundation. The heat from your skin will help the primer melt into fine lines and pores.

Coupons + Current Promos

Clarins Official Website
AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
BlueMercury

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Dermablend – Poresaver™ Matte Makeup Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types, Normal to Oily skin with large pores, Acne-prone skin

Our Review

This brand-new release from Dermablend is one of the best mattifying, non comedogenic primers for oily skin.

It instantly reduces the appearance of large pores and gives the skin a matte finish.

This lightweight gel has been formulated with only 6 ingredients to avoid any major irritants. It absorbs excess oil as well without drying the skin.

The Poresaver Primer also extends makeup for up to 24 hours, leaving the skin smooth to the touch.

You can apply this the ways: under makeup as usual, alone, or mixed with your favorite foundation.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Non-comedogenic primer that doesn't clog pores. Dermatologist-tested.

Clean Beauty: Formulated without Tricosans, Phthalates, Fragrance, Parabens, or Sodium Laurel Sulfate.

Green & Cruelty-free: Vegan formula, no animal byproducts or derived ingredients from it were used.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color: White/transparent gel
Consistency & Finish: Smooth and light, Creamy

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • Pore minimizing primer
  • Absorbs oil and mattifies the skin without drying it out
  • Extends makeup wear for up to 24 hours
  • Can be applied three ways: mixed with foundation, alone, or under makeup
    Formulated with only 6 ingredients

Cons: Can be drying to dehydrated or flaky skin

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips: 

  • After applying, allow the primer to settle into the skin for at least 30 seconds.
  • Make sure to exfoliate before applying to avoid the primer clinging to dry flakes on the skin. You can use a gentle AHA toner regularly to avoid build-up.
  • Matches well with Dermablend's line of liquidcover creme, and powder foundations.

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
SkinCareRx

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Elizabeth Arden – Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types; Issues with skin texture

Awards

Winner: IMAGE Beauty Awards

Our Review

A product that you’ll find in most professional make-up artists’ 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.

One of the best silicone primers for acne-prone skin, especially for those with texture issues.

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 as it doesn’t clog pores.

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

Alternatives: Same product, reformulated for different skin types and conditions

Formulation

Safety Testing: Non-comedogenic.

Clean Beauty: Oil-free.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color:
 Nude
Consistency & Finish: 
Silky, lightweight, universal-tint primer

Key Benefits + Cons

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
  • Instantly retouched look, very useful for those with skin texture issues

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.

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Apply a thin layer throughout your face and under the jaw. The blurring effect should be instantaneous.
  • Allow the 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

Video Review

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

Coupon Codes + Current Promos

Elizabeth Arden Official Website

Murad – Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++

BEST FOR: All skin types, including Sensitive Skin

Our Review

3-in-1 powerhouse makeup primer that’s backed by science: it protects, blurs, and primes for 12 hours.

This silicone face primer gives an instant 30% reduction in the appearance of pores*. It goes on the skin to seal fine lines for a smooth finish.

This primer has a gel-like texture and applies like velvet. One drop goes a long way. Perfect for those no-makeup days.

That’s not to say it doesn’t compliment your color cosmetics. Blush and eyeshadows wear longer and stay true for 12 hours.

It also has an innovative blend of skin benefits:

  • Soft-Focus Complex — blurs imperfections to improve texture and even out skin tone.
  • Extracts from Sunflower, Barley, and Cucumber — improve your skin’s ability to preserve hydration.
  • Mushroom Peptides — help repair your skin’s resilience and combat visible signs of skin aging.

An invisible SPF technology provides you with sun protection without giving you that infamous white cast.

Formulated without: Formaldehyde, Petrolatum/Petroleum, Sulfates, Mineral Oil, Parabens, Animal-Derived Ingredients, Oxybenzone, Gluten

A non pore clogging primerCruelty-free.

Formulation

Safety Testing: A non-comedogenic primer that doesn’t clog pores.  Safe for sensitive skin.

Clean Beauty: Formulated without Formaldehyde, Petrolatum/Petroleum, Sulfates, Mineral Oil, Parabens, Animal-Derived Ingredients, Oxybenzone, Gluten

Green & Cruelty-free: Cruelty-free.

Formulation Base: Silicon-based primer
Color: Transparent gel
Consistency & Finish: Velvety smooth, lightweight feel

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • 3-in-1 multi-purpose face primer that has skincare qualities
  • Invisible SPF sun protection that doesn’t leave a white cast
  • Blurs skin pores and fine lines, as well as evens out skin tone
  • Improve the skin’s ability to preserve moisture
  • Help rebuild skin firmness and elasticity.
  • Great for all skin types, even sensitive skin
  • Murad is a cruelty-free brand.

Cons:

  • On the higher end of the makeup primer scale
  • Tendency to pill on flaky skin

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • Make sure you have exfoliated well, as it tends to pill when put on dry, flaky skin. Use exfoliants regularly and before application to avoid any build-up of dead skin.
  • Don’t rub it in—just pat gently. As mentioned, a little goes a long way.

Video Review

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
BeautifiedYou
Ulta Beauty

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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YVES SAINT LAURENT – Touche Éclat Blur Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types including Sensitive skin, Uneven skin tone

Our Review

YSL’s first and best-selling illuminating primer.

They combined their famous TOUCHE ÉCLAT highlighter effect with advanced blurring technology with powerful nourishing oils for instant luminosity.

This formula allows light to be diffused optimally and obscures any skin imperfections to create a flawless complexion.

This sets it apart from other makeup primers containing opaque fillers that can dull your skin.

It boosts your foundation so you can have a radiant, strobing effect.

The YSL blur primer comes in a light, transparent, and non-greasy gel with gold particles to give you a delicate glow.

It’s also enriched with passiflora oil and kernel oil to help nourish and moisturize your skin.

All this gives you refined pores, instant radiance, and luminosity. It can be used over or under your foundation.

Formulation

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color: Transparent
Consistency & Finish: Lightweight gel, Illuminated finish

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • Advanced blur technology that optimally diffuses light to refine any lines, and pores and even out skin tone
  • It has nourishing oils to keep skin moisturized
  • Golden particles for a glowing shimmer
  • Light, non-greasy, doesn’t leave any residue
  • A radiance-boosting foundation primer

Cons:

  • A high-end product that would come as an investment

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

  • This is one of those brightening primers that can be worn over or under your foundation. (Insider tip: Jennifer Lopez prefers her luminizers under her foundation!)
  • Apply one pump of the product to your hands and use your fingers gently, sweepingly.
  • Wait for about 10-15 seconds for it to melt into your skin before applying foundation.

Coupons + Current Promos

YSL Official Website
AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)

theBalm Cosmetics – timeBalm® Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types, especially Pores & Fine Lines

Our Review

This soothing balm has a milky consistency that gives a dewy glow.

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.

The TimeBalm Face Primer is 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. This holds up pretty well except on really dry patches where it can get cakey after a time.

You need to make sure your skin is well exfoliated and hydrated/moisturized prior, and you’re good to go.

Formulation

Clean Beauty & Green Packaging: The Balm Cosmetics strive for an ingredient rating of 2 or lower according to the Environmental Working Group (1 being the lowest). And if for some reason an ingredient falls out of range, we will let you know why with an asterisk (*).

Formulation Base: Silicone-based
Color: Milky, clear gel
Consistency & Finish: lightweight, silky

Key Benefits + Cons

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, it tends to look cakey if you have dehydrated skin. Make sure your skin is well exfoliated and moisturized prior.

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

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

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
BeautifiedYou
Oz Hair and Beauty
Adorebeauty

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Bodyography – Veil Foundation Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types, Skin tone issues like rosacea, redness, dull skin, sallow undertones

Our Review

Bodyography is a brand found in most professional makeup artists’ repertoire. 

One of their best-selling products is their multi-tasking, wide range of primers.

It has a clear version, a hydrating formulation, a bronzer, and color-correcting colors: green, purple, and neutral.

  • Clear primer – for all skin types. Neutralizing skin tone, and smoothing lines and pores
  • Green primer – Soothes redness instantly. Perfect for correcting acne scarring and rosacea
  • Purple primer – Instantly brightens tired or dull-looking skin, also keeps makeup from appearing ashy in dark skin tones
  • Neutral primer – Brightens uneven skin tone, Conceals undereye circles and age spots
  • Bronzer primer (Tahitian Glow, Monaco Matte) – Adds warmth to your skin and helps you achieve that sun-kissed glow

This face primer is also anti-aging, formulated with antioxidants, jojoba, vitamins E & A, and grapeseed oil. It softens fine lines and prevents collagen breakdown.

This is made of a weightless, professional-grade silicone-based formula that gives the skin a smooth and flawless base.

This foundation primer helps control oil and extends makeup wear.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Non-comedogenic, non pore clogging primer.

Clean Beauty: Free from gluten and parabens.

Green & Cruelty-free: Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free. PETA-certified.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color: Variants: Clear, bronzed, color-correcting: purple, green, and neutral
Consistency & Finish: Smooth and weightless

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • Used by professional make-up artists
  • Have color-correcting variations to neutralize redness, dullness, and sallowness in the skin
  • Has anti-aging properties with vitamins and antioxidants that help prevent collagen breakdown
  • Smoothens fine lines and imperfections.
  • Extends wear of makeup.
  • Vegan formulation. Cruelty-free and PETA-certified.
  • Gluten-free and paraben-free.

Cons: 

  • Can be difficult to use with all the variations
  • Will have to purchase variants separately

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips: 

  • One of the few primers that we recommend using a brush on, for an even application
  • Don’t be afraid of the colors. This will blend out once you have your foundation in place.

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Mary Kay® Foundation Primer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Mary Kay® – Foundation Primer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

BEST FOR: All skin types, including Sensitive skin

Our Review

A primer and sunscreen in one, Mary Kay®’s foundation primer also offers broad-spectrum sun protection of up to SPF 15.

It’s an oil-free, lightweight gel that applies to your skin effortlessly to fill out any creases and imperfections in the skin.

It dries quickly and leaves an even, matte finish that improves foundation wear and longevity.

This makeup primer is mineral-enriched to help absorb excess oil and diffuse light to diminish the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Formulation

Safety Testing: Dermatologist-tested. Fragrance-free. Non comedogenic makeup primer, will not clog pores.

Clean Beauty: Oil-free.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based primer
Color: White to transparent
Consistency & Finish: Lightweight gel

Key Benefits + Cons

Key Benefits:

  • Multi-tasker primer with sunscreen for additional day protection
  • Contains a mineral optical diffuser called silica that helps reduce noticeable signs of skin flaws
  • Also contains a sin-conditioning agent to help smoothen out the application of foundation and extend its wear throughout the day

Cons: 

  • In our opinion, not hydrating enough for dry skin
  • Has a bit of a smell, but not overwhelmingly so

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips: Apply using fingertips to improve blending with the skin.

Video Review

Video: Mary Kay Review: Foundation Primer Sunscreen SPF 15 | Alicia Olsen

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)

*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.

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Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

BEST FOR: All skin types, especially Combination skin with Pores & Texture Issues

Our Review

This silicone primer can work for dry and oily zones, making it perfect for combination skin.

The texture is thick and comes in a neutral shade, which disappears on the skin once applied.

The Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer 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.

  • 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

Make sure to pair it with a good non-comedogenic sunscreen, as retinol can be photosensitizing.

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

Formulation

Safety Testing: Gluten-free.

Clean Beauty: Paraben-free.

Green & Cruelty-free: Vegan & Cruelty-free.

Formulation Base: Silicone-based
Color: Light beige, disappears once blended
Consistency & Finish: Silicone-rich, Thick with a dry-finish

Key Benefits + Cons

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

Cons:

  • There’s only one shade (light beige). Whilst it disappears into the skin once 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.

Makeup Artist Tips

Make-up Artist Tips:

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

Video Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBcFiRurGOI

Video: TOO FACED PRIMED AND PORELESS PRIMER | First Impressions

Coupons + Current Promos

AMAZON (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)
Ulta Beauty
Cult Beauty
Photo of author

Jade Serieys

A beauty journalist and copywriter with over eight years’ experience in the industry. Jade has contributed to print titles in magazines like Le Figaro and various publications before shifting to freelance writing.