How To Choose a Primer

How to choose a primer best suited for your skin

A makeup primer is an essential step in my daily makeup routine and has been for quite some time. I was recently made aware that a lot of the people around me rarely use one, which surprised me. A primer ensures my makeup applies nicely and lasts throughout the day. It’s a product I couldn’t imagine giving up.

I started using primers back in high school and couldn’t believe how many people around me skip them. It got me thinking though that there are a lot of primers on the market and all of them are targeted at different skin issues. I can see how if someone wasn’t super into makeup the way I am would easily feel overwhelmed with all the options. So, for today’s blog post I thought I would share some tips on how to choose a primer best suited for your skin.

If you have oily skin

You will likely want to look for a mattifying primer. This will work to prevent your skin from getting too shiny or greasy throughout the day. If you have oily skin you may also want to look for a primer that has a pore minimizing effect to it. One of my favourite options is the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer*. This primer is silicone-free which is less common when it comes to mattifying primers, but it still does a really good job. This primer fills pores to create a smooth, even texture. The formula contains pomegranate extract and rice starch which does a really great job at keeping excess oil at bay.

If you have dry skin

You’re going to want to look for a moisturizing primer. You may also want to look for a primer that is brightening and/or going to give your skin a healthy glow. My skin gets dry in the winter and my go-to is always the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Hydrating. It has a cooling effect on the skin which feels really soothing on dry, irritated skin. It also helps eliminate any flakes that I get when the weather turns cold. I have yet to find anything better for my dry skin!

If you have combination skin

This is where it gets tricky. You can either choose a more neutral primer that only slightly mattifies but won’t give your skin too much glow either, or else use a mattifying primer on your oily areas and a hydrating primer on your drier patches. The second option can be pricey, however if you’re someone who likes to have a large makeup collection or has skin that changes with the weather like I do, investing in two really good primers could really be your best bet.

If you’re just looking to use one primer though, the Stila One Step Primer* is a really great option. This primer has a moisturizer built in but still gives the skin a matte effect. The One Step Primer works to minimize the appearance of pores and gives a super smooth finish to the skin, which is nice to apply foundation on. It helps control oil and gives the skin a blurred look to it while nourishing the skin at the same time.


While looking for a suitable primer can seem overwhelming, knowing what your skin needs will really help narrow down your search. The good thing is, with having so many options to choose from, there really is something for everyone. If you’re looking to get the most out of your foundation, I strongly recommend giving a primer a try. While I featured more high-end options, there are tons of great drugstore options available as well.

*This post contains product that was sent to me for consideration. This in no way influences my opinion.