All About Primers…

All About Makeup Primers

Today’s post will be all about makeup primers!

You may be like I was a few years or so ago….WHAT. IS. THE. POINT?!

Believe me, I thought that primers were all a gimmick to take our money and make us poor …but then I started getting into makeup pretty heavily so I decided to try them out and I haven’t looked back!

So, today – I’d like to share with you some primers that I’ve tried (and some that I haven’t) and give you a little description of what they’re supposed to do, cost, and all of that fun stuff!

Before I get started – no matter what, I will always remember something my Dad said to me before.
“Uh oh, she’s priming that shit – guess she’s ready to paint next!”
Yep – he always makes fun of me “painting my face on”, but that’s ok!
…and essentially – he’s right!
I mean, it’s like painting a house essentially – if you don’t start out with a flawless base, don’t you usually prime beforehand?
Well – apply that to makeup and it’s the same thing!


A makeup primer is a product that is applied after your moisturizer onto your clean face, before you put your makeup on.  Many primers are formulated with silicone-based polymers (while others are not) which create a smoothing effect.  Primers can help smooth fine lines, fill in large pores and smooth wrinkles.  Primers also help make your makeup apply smoother and will definitely help your makeup last longer, and can lead to using less product for makeup application.  Lots of primers help makeup last longer when you live in a hot/humid climate (a.k.a. North Carolina summers), they also even out skin tone, control oil and eliminate shine.

I’ll first start out with the primers that I’ve used and give you a quick overview…whether I liked them or not, then give you the price and all that jazz.

BENEFIT – The POREfessional



This primer is $31 and you get 0.75 oz of product

  • Minimizes the appearance of pores
  • Silky feeling and lightweight

This was the first primer that I purchased and I loved using it!  I think this is one of the better
primers out there, but my needs for my skin have moved on to more hydration and I felt that this was a little drying for my skin, but it was still a great product.

URBAN DECAY – Pore Perfecting Complexion


$31 for 0.94 oz of product

  • Velvety formula
  • Minimized the look of pores
  • Ideal for oily skin

I just recently finished up a tube of this and I really liked it.  I’m not 100% sure that I’d repurchase it again because it felt a little oily to me although it claims to be ideal for oily skin.  But, with that said,
this tube lasted me FOREVER.  I really feel that I got my moneys worth out of this product, but as I said above, my skin needs changed so the primer stopped working the way I wanted it to.

TOO FACED – Primed & Poreless


$30 for 1.0 oz of product

  • Contains Vitamins A & C, mulberry extract and retinol
  • Creamy matte silky finish
  • Comes out in a nude color before becoming invisible on the skin
  • Great for oily skin

I really like this primer.  I haven’t purchased any lately because I’ve been using some other products, but when my skin becomes more oily (later in the summer is when it usually hits), I will be
repurchasing this one.
I have 3 top favorites of the ones I’m going to list today, and this is #3 on the list!

NYX Cosmetics – Angel Veil


$15.99 for 0.67 oz of product

I have to say, this is definitely NOT a favorite of mine.  Now…don’t let that discourage you – we are all different, have different skin types, and are looking for different things from a primer.  I honestly think I might have been allergic to this because I’ve used it a few times and every time I get small breakouts every time.  It does apply very well though, and makes makeup last all day.  Another plus of this product is that it is a substantially cheaper “dupe” for the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.

NIVEA Men’s Post Shave Balm – Sensitive


OK – now, I know what you’re thinking…”Melissa – you’ve lost your damn mind”!
Well…nope, I haven’t haha.  This has been going around the YouTube makeup Vloggers channels
since last year.  Nikkie Tutorials was the one who originally discovered this idea, and here’s a link to her video where she talks about it.

Between $5 to $10 for 3.3 oz of product

  • Gentle formula enriched with Vitamin E, Chammomile and Witch Hazel extract
  • Lightweight formula
  • Contains a lot of glycerin which makes makeup stick

When I first saw this going around YouTube last year, I thought it was crazy and there was no way I was going to waste my money trying it.  Then I was at the grocery store one day and I found it on sale for $4.99 and thought that I didn’t have anything to lose.  I tried it and I now swear by it!
This product contains a high amount of glycerin which is what makes the makeup stick to your face.

Also, did you check out the size of this?!  It’s HUGE!
This is probably the cheapest and best primer alternative and I encourage you all to try it!  It does smell pretty strong at first, kind of manly, but that goes away after a few minutes. I just apply a nickel to quarter-size amount in the palm of my hand and rub it all over my face. You want to make sure you rub it in well enough until the surface feels slightly tacky and then continue on with your makeup application.
Out of my top 3 primers, this is #2!

So – what’s my #1?

TOO FACED – Hangover Replenishing Primer


$32 for 1.35 oz of product

  • Hydrates, smoothes & brightens skin for luminous, dewy finish
  • Infused with coconut water, a probiotic based ingredient & skin revivers
  • Boosts radiance, hydration & elasticity
  • Formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates
  • Cruelty free, vegan & silicone-free

Right now, this is my #1 primer that I’ve been using.  I got this as a deluxe-sized sample when I ordered something else and I will definitely be buying this!  I have been on the hunt to find a luminous foundation that makes my skin look fresh and revived.  When I tried this, I was amazed at how good my skin and makeup looked.  It feels super hydrating, but doesn’t make my face feel oily at all.

Now for some primers that I haven’t tried but I’ve heard great things about!

HOURGLASS – Veil Mineral Primer



$52 for 1 oz of product

  • Mineral based
  • No parabens, sulfates or phthalates
  • Water-resistant
  • Absorbs oil and minimizes pores




$32 for 2 oz of product

  • Contains antioxidants, white tea extract and aloe vera gel
  • Suits all skin types


BECCA – Backlight Priming Filter


$38 for 1 oz of product

  • Blurs imprefections
  • Adds a radiant glow to skin
  • Vitamin E enriched formula which helps reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Formulated without parabens, sulfates of phthalates


SMASHBOX – Photo Finish Primer Water


$32 for 3.9 fl oz of product

  • Hydrates and revitalizes skin
  • Formula packed with electrolytes to restore and awaken skin
  • Free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, fragrances, silicone, oil and talc


Are you overwhelmed yet?
I was honestly blown away at how many primers there actually are out there!
Both Sephora and Ulta have about 160 primers each, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
I hope this post helps you figure out the type of primer that your skin needs and that you found this informative to help you make a decision!

Keep in mind, your skin is always changing, so different seasons may call for different primers!

Do you have a primer that you love that I failed to mention here?
Comment below or tweet me – I’d love to try it out!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!


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