Primers for Different Skin Types

I have a feeling I have spoken about my favourite primers a little while ago but I am sure you all don't mind another post. However, this is the first time I have rounded them all together to talk about each of them. A few of them have been reviewed separately so I would link them where relevant. I used to be the girl that always skipped primers and makeup in general but I started getting into the groove. I am not sure which primer I ever tried first but I think it may have been a sample in a magazine (I think it was a Benefit one) and I was so impressed. My makeup lasted much longer and my foundation was incredibly easy to use. Since then, I have been absolutely hooked and I have a full Muji drawer dedicated to primers. Let’s get into the swing shall we?

What is a Primer?
Primers have various functions including increasing the longevity of your foundation, decreasing the appearance of pores, helping foundations go on smoother, reducing the infamous T-zone shine, etc. I have various primers for different purposes depending on how my skin is feeling. My skin type is predominantly combination-oily and I tend to have a shiny T-zone during the course of the day. I also notice that my foundation tends to disappear around my cheeks towards lunch time which is super annoying.  Due to these little issues, I choose primers which largely help my foundation last longer and help reduce my shiny T-zone. If these primers help my foundation go on smoother or reduce the appearance of my pores, then that’s an added benefit.

                                        Primers for Combination Oily Skin (Mattifying Primers)
These primers are most suitable for my skin type and they are my favourite category of primers above others because they help with T-zone shine reduction and prevent my foundation from sliding off my face. There are various formulas within this category but I tend to reach for primers that have a mattifying effect which aid a smooth application.

Kiko Mat Base Corrector Primer//Review//Link
This is definitely my Holy Grail Primer for my skin type. It comes off as a thick lotion or cream but it applies well. You may need to work fast with it because it sets really fast and you can literally see the area become mattified after you have applied it. It’s not one I would recommend for dry skin because I can imagine that it will definitely cling to dry patches. I ensure I apply and let it set well (dry) way before I apply my foundation otherwise it becomes problematic and patchy. You have to use it sparingly because if you use a lot, it will be incredibly difficult to blend in your foundation. I don’t use this all over my face; I just use it around my T-zones and it works a treat. I tend to pair this primer with foundations that have a dewy finish or creamy textures. I don’t recommend using it with a Matte foundation because its texture may interfere. However, it is my favourite primer and I use it almost every day.

Mary Kay Mattifying Primer
This is also one of my favourite primers and it works really well. I would not say it is as effective as the Kiko Mat Base corrector Primer but it is a good contender. The texture is very different which makes it easier to apply. It has a light lotion like texture and it applies like a dream. I think this is one that is an all rounder as it is suitable for all skin types. If you have dry skin with a shiny T-zone or normal skin with an oily T-zone, I think this would work a treat. This does not interfere with my foundation application at all and I tend to combine this with foundations that have a matte finish. I only use this on my T-zones as opposed to all over my face. It is very affordable and I always reach for it when I use my Mary Kay Matte Wear Foundation.

                                               Primers for Dehydrated Skin
I know many people don’t think that combination/oily skin can be dehydrated but it definitely can. I find that during Winter/Autumn, my skin feels a little dehydrated and I have no idea why. I think it may be related to the change in weather and the fact that I don’t drink as much water as I would during the warmer season.. I love to drink water but I drink more during the warmer season and my skin notices a difference during Winter/Autumn when I drink less water. However, these seasons make my skin feel dehydrated. The plus side is my shiny T-zone is well reduced so I don’t reach for mattifying primers as much. I love primers that help in keeping my skin hydrated and allow my foundation apply smoother

Becca Rejuvenating Hydrating Primer//Review//Link
This is definitely an absolute gem when it comes to leaving my skin hydrated. It feels very much like a moisturiser and you can hardly tell you have a primer on.  I apply this all over my face concentrating more on my cheeks and T-zones. It helps my foundation apply so easily and it has a way of transforming even cheap foundations to amazing ones. I think this may be also better suited for matured ladies as it does not tug on the skin. It helps the skin feel rejuvenated and hydrated and you can feel the effect through the course of the day. It definitely helps to keep shine away from my face and mostly, my foundation last so much longer than without it.

                                Silicone Based Primers and  Pore Blurring Primers
I used to be a fan of silicone based primers because they helped my foundation last so much longer and had a way of blurring my pores. However, some of them can be very slippery and they may contribute in making my foundation slip off my face. It’s just one of those primers that you either get on with or you don’t. Silicone primers are mainly popular because they act as fillers so they fill any wrinkles or fine lines you may have and they help foundations adhere better instead of directly on your skin. They act like coats for foundations to stick on and they really help make foundation application smoother.

Superdrug B.Prepared Makeup Primer//Link
I can’t recall who recommended this primer but I went out to try it and I loved it. It is a typical silicone based primer but it does not feel slippery at all. I dare say it feels almost like a gel which I absolutely love. It goes on really smoothly and that’s a huge winning point for it.  I apply it sparingly all around my face concentrating on areas where I have enlarged pores such as my nose and cheeks. It really helps my foundation apply flawlessly and my pores are almost undetectable. I always use this in addition to another primer on days when I want to film or take photos. Its pore blurring powers are very impressive especially for  drug store brand. I am really impressed.

Kuddy Cosmetics Mattifying Primer*//Review//Link
I was very curios to try this primer especially while I was on holiday in Nigeria back in 2014. As the name suggests, it is aimed at keeping the face mattified and helping the foundation last longer. It is a silicone based primer just like the Superdrug offering but it goes on even smoother. It does not leave my face feeling slippery at all because I find that some silicone based primers can have this oily/slipper effect. I apply a little amount all over my face concentrating on my T-zones. I always let it set before going in with my foundation. It really helps in keeping my face mattified but I don’t think it is as effective at helping my foundation last long. It does a good enough job but compared to some other primers I have tried, I would say it is average. However, it works amazingly well as expected with the Kuddy Cosmetics Mattifying Foundation which I absolutely enjoy. 

Body Shop Instablur Primer//Review//Link
I featured this primer in my Disappointing Products post but I actually think it is a good primer for blurring pores. I don’t agree with all of its 5-in-1 action claims but it definitely does an amazing job at blurring pores. If your major problem is enlarged pores, then this is one to try. I am not sure it is particularly effective in helping my foundation last longer but it definitely helps my foundation apply smoother. It works amazingly well with the Body Shop BB Cream and I think they are even sold together! They have a synergetic effect on each other and that’s why I still have it within my stash.

Improving Foundation Longevity- Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer//Review//Link
I only discovered the Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer this year and I am absolutely in love with it. It really helps in improving my foundation’s wear time. I would say it has a mattifying effect but it does not make my skin feel dry at all. I find that some mattifying primers like the Kiko one can sometimes feel drying but I really don’t mind as it’s a temporary feeling. However, this primer works by keeping my skin mattified and helps my foundation last really long. On application, it feels like a thick moisturiser but it applies really well. I always wait for it to set before going in with my foundation. I have used it with many foundations and it works excellently. However, I experienced some patchiness/streaking when I used it with my NARS All Day Luminous Foundation (review hereso I am guessing it may not work well with some foundation. For the most part, it helps make most of my dewy foundations much wearable and it’s perfect for Spring.

The All Rounder Primer- Laura Mercier Foundation Primer//Review//Link
It is very rare that I find one primer that does everything for me and I think Laura Mercier Foundation Primer does it for me. I had to place this in the all rounder primer category because it ticks all the necessary boxes for me. It helps my foundation apply so smoothly, creates a perfect barrier between my skin and the foundation and it helps my foundation last longer. Although I still use a mattifying primer sometimes on myT-zones, I find that it still does the job well on days I have skipped this step. I absolutely enjoy it and I have not tried anything else that ticks all the boxes for me. I also think it is one that would suit all skin types because it does not cling to dry patches or interfere with my foundation. It keeps my skin plump and hydrated all day and it’s definitely one of my Holy Grail foundations.

The Strange One- Clinique Universal Primer//Link
It is rare that I come across primers that do absolutely nothing for me mainly because I do a lot of research before purchasing them. However, I did not purchase this one as I received it as a gift with the purchase of a Clinique Foundation. I enjoy Clinique skincare and makeup which is why I was happy to try this primer. However, I have to say I am very disappointed. It does absolutely nothing for my skin. It’s just like adding another moisturiser to my face. It does not blur my pores, increase my foundation ‘s longevity or mattify my skin. It’s such a shame and I am curious to see if it has worked well for anyone else. The reason I still have it is because it is such an amazing base for mixing in with foundations that are too dark for me. The By Terry Cover Expert Foundation (review here) is always paired with this primer and the results are really amazing!! Even if we did not get on well as a primer, it does a lovely job at helping me get my right shade of foundation

Overall Thoughts
Due to my skin type (combination/oily), I never ever skimp on primers because my face would be super oily by noon. I love using primers and it just feels good to know that there is a barrier separating my foundation from my face. I feel primers make a massive difference to the application and overall look of your foundation and makeup. If I were to choose only three primers, I would go for the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation Primer and of course, the Kiko Mat Base Corrector Primer. There are other primers on my radar including the Benefit Porefessional (amazing for minimizing pores) and the Becca Ever Matte Primer (amazing for keeping the skin mattified). I would also like to try the Hourglass Veil Primer and Chanel Le Blanc Primer but there are all quite pricey so I may be giving them a miss unless I get a massive discount. What’s your favourite primer?
*PR Samples and affiliate links used above, read my disclaimer here


  1. right now I'm loving Revlon photoready perfecting primer and benefit porefesional, you make me what to try the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer now haha! I also have Becca Ever Matte Primer on my wishlist! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! I have never tried Revlon Primer but I have heard it is really good. Is it suitable for oily skin? You should definitely try the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer as it is really good and an absolute all rounder as mentioned in the post. I am totally with you on the Becca Ever Matte Primer!!..xx

  2. Maybe I need to try the KIKO one again - I only used it once to be fair but wasn't too keen :( I tend to go for pore-blurring ones as I have large visible ones on my cheeks! xx

    Magpie Jasmine

    1. Awww really!! The Kiko offering is definitely my favourite but you should use it sparingly around areas that tend to be shiny. Using it all over the face does not work well for me. Pore Blurring primers always give such a flawless finish and I definitely like the Benefit Porefessional but I haven't gotten around to purchasing the full size yet...xx

  3. I've only just started using primer and feel it really makes a difference to how long the foundation lasts. It goes on smoother and keeps my shine away for longer. After all my years of not using primer, now I will always. I use the rimmel one in your photo. It was good to hear the benenfits of the other brands too. Thank you.

    1. I toallly agree that primers make such a massive difference and I cannot even imagine ever doing my makeup without a primer. The Rimmel one is really good and very affordable. I am pleased this post was helpful to you and thanks for stopping by...xx

  4. Ohh I need to try the Kiko matt primer it's always out of stock online. I love how detailed the reviews are, keep it up💖💖💖


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