Makeup Primer: Everything You Need To Know And How To Pick The Right One For You

You did your whole skincare routine. Then you moved forward and applied your makeup step by step, but suddenly it starts caking right in front of your eyes, your eyeshadow creases, and your foundation looks dull or uneven. While in the past the best solution for these problems was setting sprays, nowadays, there’s another superhero coming to the rescue to make sure your makeup lasts longer and looks smoother: makeup primer.

This little godsend is not really considered a need, but it can make a huge difference in how your makeup turns out. While moisturizers take care of hydrating and softening your skin, primers prepare it so your fav foundation or BB cream has something to hold onto throughout the day. Its main purpose is to smooth out any skin texture or imperfections so your makeup looks flawless all day long.

Now, how do you know if you need one? And once you know, how do you pick the right one for you? While some makeup artists believe primer is only necessary for oily skin types, the truth is everyone can benefit from its perks, from filling in fine lines so makeup doesn’t crease, to dimming down oiliness or filling out large pores, leaving you with a smoother skin surface.

Convinced to get one for yourself? Here’s a little guide on how to pick the right one for you!

Mattifying primers

Suffering from oily skin? This is the kind of primer you need. These will help reduce oil production throughout the day and reduce shine while keeping your skin soft and smooth.

Innisfree Matte Blur Primer


Missha Start-Up Matt Primer


Banila Co Prime Primer Matte


Long-wear primers

Technically, all primers help your makeup stay put longer, but some are specially made for those of us who need an extra hand in this matter. If you tend to see your foundation melting or creasing right after you apply it, one of these could be of great help.

Etude House Face Blur

Etude House

Missha Layer Blurring Primer


Onsaemeein Magic Skinny Primer

Althea Korea

Color-correcting primers

While the typical primer looks white, nude, or even clear, there are some tinted primers out there that can help cover discoloration, spots, eye bags, or difficult undertones. If your skin gets red easily, go for a green primer, while if you need a little help with dullness or eye bags, try a purple or pink one.

Mamonde Color Veil Primers


Innisfree Mineral Make-Up Base


Etude House Fix&Fix Tone Up Primers

Etude House

Clio Instant Skin Corrector

Club Clio USA

Illuminating primers

Let me tell you, these are my personal favorites. If you’re in search for a dewy finish, an illuminating primer is definitely what you need to add to the equation. If you suffer from dull or dry skin, these are probably the best option too, as they’ll add an extra glow to your makeup base. Illuminating primers are also great on their own! If you don’t feel like wearing makeup but want that glowy finish, a layer of one of these will get the job done.

VDL Lumilayer Metal Cushion Primer


VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh


Etude House Glow On Base Shimmer Glam Base


Labiotte Healthy Blossom Skin Enhancer


Pore-minimizing primers

Large pores? No worries, there’s a primer for you too. Think of these as momentary fillers that will fill in your pores so makeup doesn’t. That way your pores won’t be visible, allowing makeup to look and feel smoother, showcasing an even complexion.

VDL Satin Veil Primer


Touch In Sol No Pore-blem Primer


Etude House Fix&Fix Pore Primer

Etude House

Clio Pre-Step Egg Pore Primer

Club Clio USA

Hydrating primers

If your skin feels or looks dehydrated, you better find a primer that not only smoothes out your skin but also adds an extra layer of moisture. Besides conditioning and refreshing your skin, these will also keep water and oils locked in so your skin doesn’t get dry throughout the day.

A’pieu Start-Up Aqua Primer

Missha US

Mamonde Aqua Glow Ball Base


Etude House Glow On Hydra Base


Are primers part of your regular makeup routine, Soompiers? Share with us some of your favorites in the comments!

Caromalis is a K-pop and K-beauty obsessed vlogger and writer. You can find her interviewing some of yours (and her) favorite groups when they visit NYC, trying the latest K-Beauty trends or testing idols’ skincare routines. Say hi to Caro on Instagram and Twitter!

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