Like all things in life, it’s important to get the basics right. So before you apply the best concealer or blusher, don’t forget to apply a primer. The often overlooked item is crucial to ensuring makeup goes on better, stays fresh and last longer. Whether your concerns are to even out skin texture, mattify makeup or hide enlarged pores, there’s a primer for everything. If you’ve got dry skin, look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid that help lock in moisture, if you’ve got oily skin look for a primer that absorbs sebum to reduce shine. We particularly like primers that double up as moisturisers or are convenient for touch ups.
Best for enlarged pores: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer, $55
Create a airbrushed finish with this primer that reduces the appearance of pores. With a velvety texture, this lightweight primer also has a slight pink tint to give skin a healthy glow. Moreover, skin is nourished and protected with a moisturising blend of vitamin E, argan, rosehip and meadowfoam seed oils.
Best for oily skin: Maybelline Dream One Day Perfect Dual Protection Lasting Base, $19.90
A formula that is formulated with sebum-absorbing powders, this primer keeps even the oiliest complexion feeling and looking fresh and flawless all day long. Specially developed for Asian skin, it goes on sheer to create a perfect smooth canvas for makeup application. Bonus points for its SPF18 PA++ UV protection.
Best for combination skin: Huda Beauty Matte Perfection Pre-Makeup Base, $55
Made with combination skin in mind, this gel-like makeup base in enriched with magnesium, potassium and calcium to regulate moisture and sebum levels. Thanks to its mattifying and pores-reducing formula, you can apply it all over your face for a smooth base, or just dab directly onto shine-prone areas to refresh your makeup later in the day.
Best for dull skin: Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base, $82
A mainstay in the kits of top makeup artists, this silky base goes on invisibly to create a soft-focused effect that subtly enhances skin radiance. Silica and mica pigments reduces the appearance of dark spots, pores, unevenness and wrinkles while a host of botanical extracts help brighten complexion and refine skin texture. Apply all over the face for a lit-from-within glow or specifically onto the high planes of your face to accentuate your features.
Best for those with fine lines and wrinkles: Dior Backstage Airflash Radiance Mist
If you hate the creases that appear when your makeup sinks into fine lines and wrinkles, this is your heaven-sent. Inspired by backstage and behind-the scenes techniques at fashion shows and photo shoots, this mist does more than improve makeup wear and impart radiance. Thanks to a blend of light-reflecting pigments and hyaluronic acid, it keeps skin surface plump and luminous so makeup remains fresh and flawless.
Best for dry skin: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, $90
A Bobbi Brown bestseller, this primer meets moisturiser allows for smooth makeup application. A blend of shea butter, carrot extract and vitamins A, C and E, it deeply nourishes parched complexion. This creates a dewy base on which makeup glides on seamlessly. Rich but never greasy, even with our humid climate, this oil-free formula also has a hint of grapefruit and geranium for a mood-boosting effect.
Best for ageing skin: Guerlain L’Or – Radiance Concentrate With Pure Gold, $105
Infused with pure gold flecks, the hydrating gel rapidly sinks into skin to give a plump and smooth effect. The cooling sensation on skin is super refreshing, and revitalises your senses to match the satiny complexion you get with the ultra-reflective gold flakes. Apply a thin layer under makeup for a youthful radiance, or mix into foundation for an incredible lightweight and dewy finish.
Best for sagging skin: Sisley Double Tenseur, $220
Upon application, oat seed extract forms a malleable and undetectable mesh over skin to tighten facial contours while lemon extract smooths and tones skin so makeup adheres seamlessly on skin. Over time, the combination of powerful botanicals restructures and rebuilds skin’s supportive tissue so skin feels plump and taut.
Best for normal skin: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $89
A multipurpose primer that does it all, this weightless product conceals redness, reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines and protects the skin with its broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Best part, it repels water so makeup looks perfect through perspiration and humidity.
Best for rough skin: Benefit The POREfessional (Pearl Primer) Face Primer, $54
Those who battle enlarge pores and scars will be familiar with the OG, Benefit’s POREfessional Face Primer. Retaining its iconic smoothing properties, this pearl-infused version has as pearly pink tint for added radiance. Use it under makeup to create a silky smooth canvas or dab onto problem areas any time during the day for an airbrushed finish.
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