All about Foundation Primers and Review of my top 5

It is a base coat which is applied beneath the foundations. It is a relatively newer concept and has gained incredible popularity in the past few years due to it immense benefits -

1) Extends longevity of makeup
The facial pores consume foundation when they breathe. Primer creates a barrier between foundation and skin, disallowing pores to absorb any foundation. It also prevents the foundation from melting down in hot weather.
2) Gives a porcelain finish and increases coverage
Primers give a more flawless finish by reducing the look of pores and fine lines and any other skin imperfections. The end result is much softer and smoothened skin.
3)Balances out skin's moisture content and oil levels
Some primers are meant to combat oil or provide moisture depending on your skin type.Hence, it prevents the makeup from looking chalky or sweaty.
4) Evens out skin tone 
It helps to camouflage skin pigmentations and discolorations such as someone with redness on the face might be advised to use a green color primer to neutralize the redness .See the picture below for an example.

5)Helps you achieve the kind of finish you desire 
Some primers are also meant to help us achieve the kind of finish we want -matte , dewy or luminizing . See the picture below for an example.
So all these benefits I talked about here are not just in theory but are 100% true . I have been using primers for years now and I totally swear by it.Makeup artists swear by it too.I have quite a problematic and sensitive skin so primers have gone a long way in helping me.Using just any primer might not help.It will only be as good as a moisturizer. Depending on your skin, you should go in for something which conceals your problem areas.For instance, I have Oily skin, with open pores and blemishes and dark circles. So I needed something which :
  • is oil free and gives a matte finish
  • combats oil
  • conceal my pores 
  • gives a good coverage
  • evens out my redness 
I use the "silicon" based primers .They coat the skin and you can actually feel the skin to have smoothened out. These gel based primes fill in the pores and evens out the skin thereby giving a better application and finer coverage. The visibility of pores reduces considerably and the foundations just glides on seamlessly. Bonus, the makeup stays put all day long.

 If you are convinced enough to buy a primer then go below to see the list of some of the best primers and  read reviews on some of my absolute favorites.


This is no. 1 in the list for me. Well, it is apparently the best rated primer at Sephora
  • It is a silicone based primers which gives all that my skin needs.After applying it, my skin feels soft and the foundation just glides on so easily. The visibility of pores reduces and my skin remains oil free. 
  • It is claimed to have antioxidants and vitamins and helps inhibit destruction of collagen.
  • They have the same primer in color correcting range as well. Those ones are meant to conceal any discolorations on that face.

  • Its quite pricey at $36 but goes a long way.

  • This is another awesome silicone based primer. It works as good as Smashbox Photo Finish if not better. 
  • It is claimed to have soothing plant extracts ,antioxidants and vitamin C and E for added age-defying power.
  • At $22 , it sells at quite a discount to Smashbox Photofinish Primer


This one no. 3 in my list. It is not a face primer but a balm to conceal the appearance of pores.I just apply this product on my cheekarea, forehead and nose and my skin looks kind of airbrushed. 
  • I like it but not as much as the two above,since for me they are better at concealing the pores and extending the longevity of foundations.
  • I would still use it because it is nevertheless a good product and does what it claims to do.
  • At $29, I would rather buy The BareVitamins Primetime instead.


It is apparently another very popular primer in the market . It claims to be a favorite of many makeup artists.

  • I somehow don't love it as much. I can happily live without this product. It has texture just like a moisturizer and so I use it as one and then pat on the silicone based primer on my open pores.
  • It keeps my oil under control but relying solely on this does not give me a smooth , velvety finish.

I got it as a sample from Sephora and I am glad I didn't have to pay for it.


This one is not a primer but a pore minimizing serum. I bought this because applying it twice a day reduce the visibility of pores permanently. So this sounds like a more permanent solution and the rest are just temporary ones. I have been irregular in using it so would review it once after I have diligently used it for a few weeks.


I got this one as a sample from Sephora . I don't like this product too much. It feels sticky on my face and doesn't help conceal any of the flaws.



  1. Great faves Tanya!!! All of them look great :)

  2. ooh great reviews on all the products! love how in-depth you go!

    love from San Francisco,

  3. I am completely a no make up person..but this is so educative :)
    The fact that some are good for the skin makes them a good buy..the Smashbox primer would top my list too :):)

  4. Hey Tanya! Absolutely love all your posts! They are simply amazing. Following you right away!
    Have a look at my blog:-)

  5. Thanx for sharing dear...Missing your outfit posts!!


  6. Chhavi Vashist13 July 2012 at 14:15

    I like it . Read your review and am thinking of buying one Tanya :):)


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