cream on skin

What is Makeup Primer and Why Do I Need It?

Wandi by Wandi on Jun 25, 2016
Why you should care

You need a primer for your makeup. Here’s why.

You might think that primer is an unnecessary makeup step, but it’s really the secret behind #flawless makeup.

Makeup primers act as a base for foundation, allowing it to go on smoother and last longer. It’s commonly available in cream, gel, and powder forms.

If you don’t already own one, here are 5 reasons you should run to the store to get one now:

1 Smoothens Skin

Many makeup primers are formulated with silicone-based ingredients such as Dimethicone. The ingredient acts as a skin protectant and a hydrating barrier on to give you a smoothing effect.

2 Conceals Large Pores

Large pores typically come with oily skin and most primers have the key ingredients of microspheres, flaxseed, and tea tree oil which work together to conceal pores, absorb oil, and reduce shine.

smooth skin

Take note that if your foundation is water-based, avoid silicone-based primers as it can cause your foundation to peel and dry out. Match a water-based foundation with a water-based primer for a smoother finish.

3 Reduces the Appearance of Acne

Primer conceals acne subtly and is usually light on the skin, giving your acne space to breathe instead of clogging the surrounding areas of the blemish. We like Benefit Cosmetics’ POREfessional primer which visibly reduces the appearance of pores for a smoother makeup application. For more coverage, apply concealer after your primer.

benefit cosmetics Primer

4 Makes Your Makeup Last Longer

Since most primers are silicone-based, they seal in your moisturiser and keep the oil in your skin from smudging your foundation, eye makeup, blusher, and more.

5 Works for Most Skin Types and Colour

Clear primers work for any skin tone. As for skin type, there are many types of primers for different skin types. Ask for samples to see how a product feels on your face for a full day of wear.

different skin tones


Powder or mattifying primers are suitable for oily skin as they absorb excess oil, like MAKE UP FOREVER’s Mattifying Primer.

makeup forever primer


For dry skin, use a primer that moisturises your skin, like Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer. This lightweight primer contains Hydraplex12, which nourishes skin and provides all-day moisture, while reducing redness, and refining lines and wrinkles.

smashbox hydrating primer


If you’re trying a new product, do a patch test before applying it to your face, or check with your doctor if you have pre-existing skin conditions.

Now that you’re #teamprimer, here’s how to apply it:

  1. Moisturise and apply sunscreen. Wait until your skin doesn’t feel tacky.
  2. Dab the primer onto your face. Make sure that you distribute the primer evenly all over your face.
  3. Gently rub the primer in, if you are trying to fill in pores or fine wrinkles rather. Gently dab the primer for other areas. Wait a few minutes for the primer to dry and set.
  4. Apply your foundation, BB cream or wear your mildly tinted primer out.
Why you should care

You need a primer for your makeup. Here’s why.

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