Cut your morning routine in half with these makeup primers that will ensure your foundation goes on smoothly. These base products go from illuminating to colour correcting so no matter what challenge your skin poses in the morning, there is always a quick save on your vanity. 

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $89 for 30ml

What It Is:  A face primer with a lightweight, whipped texture.

What It Does:  When applied on cleansed, dry skin, a little of this primer goes a long way in neutralising redness, reducing the appearance of pores, filling in fine lines and wrinkles, as well as creating a smooth and flawless base for makeup application. Plus, it also repels water so makeup stays fresh and radiant all day long without any added weight. It also has SPF 15 UV protection for added sun protection. We also love that it works under foundations of all formats, including liquids, creams and powders.

Finish:  Soft matte with no added dewiness.

Shine-Control:  9/10

Makeup Wear:  9/10

Best For:  Those with combination-oily skin types.


Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, $70 for 50ml

What It Is:  A weightless fluid primer that preps skin for flawless makeup application.

What It Does:  One of the first foundation primers in the market, this OG primer does it all, and then some, which explains why it has won countless beauty awards all over the world. Formulated by makeup artist Laura Mercier herself, this is one of the brand’s iconic products as it forms an imperceptible veil over skin, perfecting it so you can achieve a pro-like makeup applcation. Apply a thin layer onto skin after skincare and sunscreen and watch it soften the appearance of flaws like pores and fine lines.

Finish:  Just a teeny bit of dewiness.

Shine-Control:  7/10

Makeup Wear:  10/10

Best For:  All skin types, although oily skin types might have to blot by afternoon.


Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer, $72 for 20g

What It Is:  A multi-tasking primer that protects skin and keeps makeup looking like it’s just been applied.

What It Does:  Formulated with silk extracts, botanicals and antioxidants, this makeup primer not only prolongs makeup wear but also infuses skin with skincare ingredients to airborne pollutants out and maintain hydration level. Silk Powder helps control excess shine, helps smooth skin surface so makeup glides on seamlessly and gives a soft focused finish. A blend of Japanese superfoods like green tea, rice and algae also helps maintain healthy skin for a youthful radiance.

Finish:  Velvety smooth that’s neither matte nor dewy.

Shine-Control:  8/10

Makeup Wear:  8/10

Best For:  All skin types.


Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer in 5 Redness Correcting Primer, $70 for 30ml

What It Is:  A colour-correcting primer that not only enhances makeup wear but also counters redness.

What It Does:  With the brand’s exclusive Equalizer Complex at the heart of this formula, this virtually weightless primer is developed specially to refine, smooth and even out the complexion for smooth and flawless makeup application. In addition, makeup also stays on and stays fresh for longer so you don’t have to worry about smudged makeup at any time of the day. This tinted version contains green pigments that help to neutralise redness with its gentle formula so it is perfect to use on those experiencing angry zits, broken capillaries or any SOS skin flare-ups.

Finish:  Green-tinted formula blends into skin to take away redness without any whitish or greyish cast.

Shine-Control:  7/10

Makeup Wear:  10/10

Best For:  Those who are prone to redness like broken capillaries, breakouts and irritation.


MAC Prep + Prime Skin Lotion Primer, $54 for 30ml

What It Is:  A priming fluid that feels like skincare and improves skin radiance.

What It Does:  If you’re looking for a skin primer that brightens skin without any glittery or pearlescent finish, this is your best bet. Thanks to special-effect silicones, it evens out skin tone, reduces redness and enhances skin luminosity without feeling like an extra layer of makeup. While it isn’t made to control shine specifically, it doesn’t feel rich on oily skin and has an oil-free and non-acnegenic formula. Plus, as part of the brand’s Prep + Prime range, you know it means business when it comes to locking down makeup wear for fresh and radiant skin that lasts all day long.

Finish:  Dewy and plump.

Hydration:  8/10

Makeup Wear:  10/10

Best For:  Those with combination-dry skin.