The best primer for oily skin, blurring, keeping make-up in place and more

the-best-primer-for-oily-skin,-blurring,-keeping-make-up-in-place-and-more

When you’ve spent time applying your make-up just so, wouldn’t you quite like it if it stuck around all day? That’s virtually impossible without using the best primer. However, this often overlooked step does more than just keep your make-up in place.

Why are primers such an essential step?

The best primers are now able to soak up excess oil and blur imperfections. They’re able to camouflage the appearance of large pores and  smooth out bumpy skin. If you suffer from redness, there’s a primer that neutralises it. There are now some formulations that even protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

If your only experience of primers are heavy silicone-based formulas that cause irritating pilling, then it’s time to become reacquainted. These days the best primer is one that has skincare benefits that look after your complexion. Whilst simultaneously helping your best foundation stay put for longer. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3 and witch hazel extract are now common in modern day primers. So you can forget that feeling of a thick layer of something on top of your skin.

‘Primers are an essential part of my personal make-up routine and a must have in my make-up kit, as they are the first step to a flawless base!,’ says pro make-up artist Cher Webb. ‘They are a game-changing product, working in harmony with your skin and foundation, merging and blending for a seamless complexion.

‘Primers are designed to adhere to your foundation and can provide amazing results when using the appropriate primer for your skin type. They act as an instant filter by reducing the appearance of redness, and adding instant radiance and glow while blurring imperfections.’

We’ve done our research and tried and tested as many of the best primers on the market and this is our edit of the best 14.

OleHenriksen Banana Bright Face Primer - best primer

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Cher Webb is a huge fan of this primer by Ole Henriksen. ‘It’s packed with Vitamin C, delivers instant radiance and glow whilst increasing make-up longevity,’ she explains. Inspired by the colour-correcting banana powders once used by make-up artists, it beats dullness by brightening up your complexion.


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Chanel Le Blanc primer - best primer

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As bases go, this one is kind of iconic, giving you the kind of healthy glow (you thought) you only dreamed of. Wear it alone for a skin boost or team with foundation for the ultimate radiance.


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Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer - best primer

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A mattifing primer does wonders if you have oily skin – especially around the T-zone. This genius primer by Smashbox (a brand synonymous with primers) helps keep your skin nice and matte for up to 12 hours. Consider your blotting time significantly reduced.


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Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Blurring Primer - best primer

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Laura Mercier’s primers are kind of legendary. There are multiple options available – including the much-loved Illuminating and SPF versions. However, the Blurring primer, which is oil-free, mattifies and blurs the appearance of pores and absorbs excess shine that manifests throughout the day.


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The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer - best primer

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‘High-spreadability’ is key here. This serum-like primer glides onto the skin and makes make-up blending so much easier. Foundation and concealer will melt into skin, rather than accumulating. It can also be worn alone as it creates the most beautiful blank canvas.


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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer - best primer

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This is a beautiful primer. It creates the most stunning veil of moisture and dewiness to the skin. Ideal when skin needs that little pick-me-up. Pair it with the Luminous Silk foundation and you’ll have people complimenting you non-stop.


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Nars Radiance Primer SPF 35 - best primer

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If you have oily skin that lacks glow, then this might just be your new favourite product. It’s oil-free and slightly pearlescent, which adds a subtle hint of luminosity. Oh and we applaud the added UVA and UVB protection.


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Urban Decay All Nighter Face Primer - best primer

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Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is considered one of the best because of its ability to keep make-up in place for long periods. As this primer promises the same, you know you can trust it. It blurs imperfections, whilst also boosting hydration.


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Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer - best primer

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This is one of the best primers if you have dry skin and hate when make-up gathers in your dry patches. It contains a multitude of ingredients that will help hydrate the skin. It also creates an invisible veil (that you won’t feel) that make-up attaches itself to for long-lasting impact.


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Ren Perfect Canvas Clean Primer - best primer

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When a product promises ‘perfect’ we are always fairly dubious. However, this silicone-free primer does just that: it perfects. Not only visibly with a mattifying effect, but also with the skin-boosting ingredients that after repeated use help to smooth and plump.


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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter - best primer

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Right, this is not TECHNICALLY a primer. It is described as a liquid highlighter, but so many make-up artists have praised its priming power. Not only does it create a beautifully illuminated base (which is the idea base for the no-make-up-makeup look), but it also holds on tightly to your foundation and concealer. We urge you to try it.


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Too Faced Hangover Primer - best primer

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It’s not at all necessary to get absolutely bladdered to reap the benefits of this primer. What it does is help skin when it has the tell-tale signs of a heavy night (even if you haven’t actually had one): redness, dehydration and dullness.


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NYX Professional Makeup The Marshmallow Smoothing Primer - best primer

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This whipped formula evens out skin tone and skin texture. It’s the one you grab when skin is having a meh day. It’s also vegan – yay!


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Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Hydrating Serum Primer - best primer

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When applying complexion products to dry skin, the big worry is dry patches. So the best primer to go for is one that’s packed full of hyaluronic acid. This is almost a hydrating serum, as well as a primer. Make-up with skincare benefits.


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