The 17 Best Face Primer Brands of 2022

Veronica Hope
Mar 16, 2022

Before putting on makeup, we always need to apply a layer of lotion to prep our skin. Primer is a must-have to create a flawless canvas for makeup application. Infused with moisturizing ingredients, primer makes your makeup stay put all day. It also works to even out the skin tone and diminish the appearance of pores for a more seamless finish. If you felt fed up with flaking or separating when wearing makeup, be sure to use the primer. This product can enhance the adhesion of foundation and makeup while leaving skin feeling lightweight and shine-free. We talked to Evangeline, a professional makeup artist. “Makeup primer is a very important product to prepare your skin for applying makeup. It can also be used as a moisturizer. But to reap benefits, pick the right one for your skin type,” she said.

We rounded up a host of brands with a cult following, like HOURGLASS, BOBBI BROWN, Laura Mercier, Yves Saint Laurent and so on. Each brand boasts a wide range of super-quality products, most of which are the winners of multiple beauty awards. Now, if you’re ready to get the perfect face primer, scroll down to check the following list of brands we’ve compiled for you.

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  • 1. Hourglass
  • 3. Laura Mercier
  • 4. Yves Saint Laurent
  • 5. Clé de Peau Beauté
  • 6. Sisley
  • 7. Tatcha
  • 9. Chantecaille
  • 10. PAUL & JOE
  • 11. Giorgio Armani
  • 13. MAQuillAGE
  • 14. NYX
  • 15. Benefit
  • 16. Smashbox
  • 17. M·A·C


Hourglass is a popular American makeup brand, which is favored by Hollywood actresses and makeup influencers. It is one of the most successful brands introduced by Sephora from 2013 to 2014. Hourglass launches products with numerous advantages, leaving a delicate and long-lasting makeup finish.

Veil Mineral Primer is the hero product from Hourglass foundations. The oil-free, alcohol-free, and colorant-free primer is friendly for acne-prone skin and sensitive skin. With an oil-controlling and waterproof power, the primer is suitable for oily and combination skin, leaving a long-lasting makeup finish. The white emulsion-like Veil Mineral Primer is easy to spread, giving a refreshing skin feeling. Moreover, it also can slightly whiten and brighten your complexion.

N°28 Primer Serum is designed for dry skin. Infused with various vegetable oils and essential oils, the gel-like N°28 Primer Serum offers good bendability and strong moisturizing power, keeping the skin hydrated. However, people with oily skin may feel uncomfortable.

Both Hourglass makeup primers are packaged in an exquisite glass pump bottle, which are easy to apply. There is a travel-friendly version with 8ml, and also can be regarded as a sample. Hourglass has become an emerging luxury brand in the cosmetics industry thanks to its high-quality products and delicate packages. And there are various popular cosmetics products under Hourglass.

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BOBBI BROWN is a professional makeup brand founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown in New York in 1991. BOBBI BROWN pursues a natural, simple, and translucent makeup finish, which is known as the "Queen of creating a no-makeup look in Hollywood".

The all-round Illuminating Face Base is the first primer with an antioxidant ability from Bobbi Brown. Illuminating Face Base has a weak bendability, but it can moisturize the skin effectively, leaving the skin refreshing. It works for most skin types except oily skin. Illuminating Face Base is suitable for people with dull skin as it can brighten and whiten your skin to some extent. With SPF25/PA++, it is suitable for daily use in autumn and winter. And it is recommended to apply professional sunscreen in summer.

Bobbi Brown also launched the PROTECTIVE FACE LOTION that integrates primer, sunscreen, and moisturizer into one. The lightweight PROTECTIVE FACE LOTION is suitable for people with dry skin and normal skin in summer, leaving a refreshing skin feeling. However, it is a moisturizing primer with low SPF value, and without extra effects.

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Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier is a makeup brand named after its founder established in 1996, and known for its makeup concept-flawless and lightweight. Laura Mercier was born in Provence, France, and she entered the French painting school for advanced studies at the age of 17. Laura Mercier first put forward the concept of primer in 1996 and launched the first-ever primer, which started a “Foundation Revolution". Today, Laura Mercier has earned a good reputation thanks to its primers and loose powders. Among them, the primers are clearly classified into many series. Primers under Laura Mercier are moisturizing without oily, and have a higher quality compared to competitors.

Laura Mercier has launched a series of primers for different skin types and needs. Foundation Primer is the most classic one. Besides, Laura Mercier released Hydrating, Protect Broad with SPF30/PA+++, Oil Free, Blemish Less, Radiance, and Radiance Bronze for people with deep skin tone. Among them, the Foundation Primer, Radiance and Oil Free are the most recommended.

Foundation Prime emphasizes moisturizing, which is suitable for young and healthy skin. Foundation Primer is a water-based product, so it offers an average staying power. The refreshing gel-like Foundation Primer is suitable for combination skin and oily skin, leaving a lightweight skin feeling.

The glossy and moisturizing Radiance is suitable for dry skin, and people with normal skin can apply it to avoid melting down. The emulsion-like Radiance is also water-based. It offers complexion correcting effect with pearl. The fluid primer is easy to spread, leaving a natural look.

Oil Free is specially designed for oily skin. And it is also suitable for acne-prone skin use in summer, creating a refreshing makeup finish.

Laura Mercier is laced with antioxidant ingredients and various plant extracts, which has a certain skin care effect. The portable primer is available in 30ml and 50ml.

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Yves Saint Laurent

YSL is a famous French luxury makeup brand established by Mr. Yves Saint Laurent in 1962. YSL combines elegance and rebellion, and always pursues freedom and truth. YSL makeup features in red lips and bright complexion.

The Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow, with a YSL classic style, was launched in 2016. The silicone-based Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow is waterproof. It can minimize fine lines and pores, leaving a long-lasting finish. The pink gel-like primer helps moisturize the skin effectively, and it works for various conditions.

The gel-like Touche Éclat Blur Primer targets moisturizing and adopts the advanced blurring technology. It has a transparent gel texture and floats with thick golden particles. The Touche Éclat Blur Primer will turn into a water-like texture when spreading. It can brighten the complexion firstly, and then cover pores and fine lines, leaving the skin silky. The Touche Éclat Blur Primer is suitable for people with pores, fine lines, and smile lines.

These two primers offers a refreshing skin feeling. The Touche Éclat Blur Primer is more suitable for people who pursue a matte and bright finish. The Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow is also practical, and it provides more extraordinary moisturizing effect and staying power compared with the Touche Éclat Blur Primer.

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Clé de Peau Beauté

CPB is the top-notch brand under the Japanese Shiseido Group founded in 1982. CPB has spread to 23 countries and regions around the world till now, and has highly praised by its consumers. The main features of CPB primer are translucent, lightweight, long-lasting. CPB has launched three primers types for different skin types.

The fluid and lightweight BRIGHTENING ENHANCER BASE is easy to spread. Although it has a weak coverage, it helps create a delicate and translucent look. With an extraordinary oil-controlling power, the BRIGHTENING ENHANCER BASE is suitable for oily skin, leaving a refreshing skin feeling. For normal skin or dry skin, it is recommended to apply moisturizers before the BRIGHTENING ENHANCER BASE, or apply it in summer. With the SPF30/PA++ value, it keeps skin protected from the sun in autumn and winter.

The classic CORRECTING CREAM VEIL specializes in moisturizing and complexion correcting, which is suitable for dry skin. It helps whiten and brighten the complexion, fill fine lines and minimize pores. The heavy CORRECTING CREAM VEIL offers an excellent complexion correcting effect and good staying power, and people with light undertone may look more natural after applying.  

With the same packaging design, the LONG-LASTING HYDRATING VEIL and BRIGHTENING ENHANCER BASE can be differentiated by colors. The lightweight and fluid LONG-LASTING HYDRATING VEIL is the most refreshing series from CPB primers, which is suitable for oil skin. It has a weaker oil-controlling power compared with BRIGHTENING ENHANCER BASE. The LONG-LASTING HYDRATING VEIL targets smoothing and brightening complexion, which helps create a seamless finish.

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Sisley was a perfume company, and acquired by Hubert d'Ornano in 1976. Hubert d'Ornano reorganized the company and focused Sisley's research in phytocosmetology. He relied on the research of chemist Egmont Desperrois for his products and came up with the idea to use essential oils and active ingredients extracted from plants in the beauty products. Sisley is favored by consumers all over the world.

SISLEY DOUBLE TENSEUR can be used for skin care at night, but it is more suitable as a primer. The heavy gel-like DOUBLE TENSEUR offers a good bendability, leaving the skin hydrated and smooth after spreading. And it can be absorbed by the skin quickly. The SISLEY DOUBLE TENSEUR emphasizes firmness and long-lasting finish. It helps achieve a natural and seamless makeup finish all day.

SISLEY DOUBLE TENSEUR works for people with mature skin, which can firm the skin and minimize pores effectively. However, SISLEY DOUBLE TENSEUR is regarded as the most expensive primer. People who pursue a perfect and long-lasting makeup finish with a big budget are worth considering.

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Tatcha is an American makeup brand and products from Tatcha are made in Japan. The brand concept is derived from Geisha.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas can smooth the skin, cover pores, and brighten complexion to achieve a delicate base makeup. The silky and cream-like primer can be emulsified before use. You may feel slightly greasy when applying, and this feeling will disappear after massaging evenly. It can smooth the skin, cover the pores and fine lines visibly, which is suitable for people with obvious undereye lines. The Silk Canvas helps create a flawless and silky finish. The Silk Canvas is friendly to oily skin, leaving a refreshing skin feeling. For dry skin, it is recommended to use moisturizers before applying due to its moderate moisturizing effect.

The official promises that The Silk Canvas not only can be applied to face, but also can be used to eyes and lips. If you need to define eyebrow and contour, you are advised to avoid hairy areas, otherwise it may affect the makeup finish. The Silk Canvas is easy to be absorbed when applying by your hand. It is highly praised by many beauty influencers thanks to its elegant lavender packaging design. The Silk Canvas emphasizes natural ingredients, and it becomes popular since it launched.

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The Perfume House Guerlain was established in 1828 under LVMH Group. Guerlain has been famous and earned a good reputation worldwide thanks to its unique aristocratic style and high-quality products for more than one hundred years.

GUERLAIN L’OR RADIANCE CONCENTRATE MAKE-UP BASE has an exquisite transparent bottle, and you can see the fine gold leaf clearly. With a satisfying fragrance, it can be used as a skin care product and a primer to brighten the complexion. The gel-like shimmering L’OR RADIANCE CONCENTRATE MAKE-UP BASE is easy to spread, leaving a hydrated and delicate skin feeling. It can improve dryness effectively, and it is an ideal choice for people with combination skin use in dry and cold seasons. The L’OR RADIANCE CONCENTRATE MAKE-UP BASE contains gold leaf particles, which will turn into fine shimmering powder glitter upon contact, leaving the skin glossy. For people with mature skin, it can hydrate your cheeks and give the face a more plump look.

The L’OR RADIANCE CONCENTRATE MAKE-UP BASE specializes in moisturizing, and without other extra effects. There is nothing special in ingredients, so you can find alternative products. Although it has a higher price, many beauty lovers always pursue it thanks to its perfect skin feeling, advanced fragrance, and exquisite packaging.

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Chantecaille is a luxury makeup brand founded by the French Mrs. Sylvia Chantecaille in 1997. It has been popular among Hollywood celebrities Since its establishment. As the top series of Chantecaille, the Nano Gold series is designed for working against anti-aging. Chantecaille takes the 24K nano gold ingredient as its selling point, which is well-known for its excellent anti-aging and antioxidant effects.

Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer has color correcting effect and can be applied with a lightweight foundation to reach a flawless finish. It is popular among people. The Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer is available in 7 shades, and offers a natural complexion correcting effect. You can choose an ideal shade according to your undertone. The moist and cream-like Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer is easy to spread, leaving a lightweight skin feeling. It is more suitable for dry skin to achieve a natural look, and people with oily skin also can apply it in autumn and winter. It offers weak complexion correcting and brightening effect, so you may look natural after applying. The Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer is suitable for most skin types due to its mild ingredients. With SPF15 value, you can layer it under the professional sun protection products.

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Paul&Joe is a French brand founded in 1995, and named after the two sons of designer Sophie Albou. The package of PAUL&JOE products is mostly printed with chrysanthemum, which is delicate and has a unique and romantic French style.

PAUL & JOE is known for its base makeup products. The base makeup covers the MOISTURIZING FOUNDATION PRIMER, the PROTECTING FOUNDATION PRIMER, the ILLUMINATING FOUNDATION PRIMER. In addition, PAUL&JOE always launches seasonal limited products.

The MOISTURIZING FOUNDATION PRIMER is the hero product from PAUL & JOE. It offers extraordinary moisturizing and brightening effects since its upgrade in 2015, which is suitable for combination skin and dry skin. It helps create a natural and translucent finish, and people with healthy skin can use it as a foundation. It is recommended to apply the lightweight and glossy MOISTURIZING FOUNDATION PRIMER to create a weightless finish. The MOISTURIZING FOUNDATION PRIMER is available in 3 shades for people with different undertones. #01 Dagree is designed for light skin to achieve a bright and natural finish; 02 Miel is for evening complexion. Both of them have SPF value. The cream-like # 03 Creme is without SPF value, which can be a moisturizer before makeup.

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Giorgio Armani

In the mid-1970s, Giorgio Armani met his lover and partner Sergio Galeotti, and then creating the Italian brand Armani named after him. Armani started in men’s clothing, pursuing simplicity and details. Its makeup also retain these features and has an elegant and unique Italian style.

The silicon-based Fluid Master Primer has been regarded as the “invisible canvas” and can cover pores and fine lines effectively. It helps create a long-lasting and natural makeup finish even with a poor skin condition. The Fluid Master Primer leaves a more refreshing and comfortable skin feeling compared with competitors. The gel-like primer is countless and odorless, and is easy to spread. It also can smooth and brighten the complexion. The Fluid Master Primer is more suitable for dry skin due to its weak oil-controlling ability, and people with combination skin can try it in autumn and winter.

You can judge the quality of the primer from the makeup finish. Armani Fluid Master Primer can be matched with various foundations, but it is recommended to apply it with the foundations under the same brand to achieve a natural, flawless, and long-lasting finish.

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MAKE UP FOR EVER is a professional makeup brand founded by Ms. Dany Sanz in Paris in 1984. In 1999, MAKE UP FOR EVER became a member of LVMH group. MAKE UP FOR EVER is synonymous with fashionable cosmetics, which is favored by professional models and makeup artists.

STEP1 RADIANT PRIMER series is available in 11 models, covering various functions such as controlling oil, minimizing pores, moisturizing and nourishing, covering redness, and brightening complexion. #1, #2 are two popular models among them.

STEP1 RADIANT PRIMER #2 can cover pores, fill fine lines, and smooth the skin effectively. It not contains oils with high moisturizing degree and also has small amount of moisturizer, which is suitable for oily skin, leaving a refreshing skin feeling. #1 is designed for controlling oil, bringing a  matte finish. It is easy to spread, which is more suitable for oily skin, and people with combination skin can apply it to T-zone.

MAKE UP FOR EVER primer emphasizes skin care, and products are laced with plant extracts, moisturizers and exfoliating ingredients. Although there are many series, it offers excellent concealing, oil-controlling, and complexion correcting effects. However, some people may complain about the skin feeling.

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MAQuillAGE is a brand under Shiseido founded in 2005. The products cover foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, concealer, etc., which are designed for women aged 18 to 25 to create an attractive and exquisite makeup. It is favored by young girls as its style and packages. Although it is not as popular as Nars, CPB under Shiseido Group, it is always on the Cosme Awards list thanks to its high-quality products such as pressed powders and primers.

MAQuillAGE DRAMATIC SKIN SENSOR BASE has ranked first on Japan's COSME Awards list in primer division. It targets oil-controlling and long-lasting makeup, which is more suitable for oily skin and improves dullness. And people with combination skin can apply it to T-zone, leaving a refreshing and long-lasting finish. So it is suitable for use in summer and party night. Although the DRAMATIC SKIN SENSOR BASE offers an excellent oil-controlling effect, it achieves a matte finish with a slight glow. The fluid primer has a good bendability; and you should shake it before applying, bringing a natural and refreshing look. The DRAMATIC SKIN SENSOR BASE helps brighten the complexion and then creates a healthy look. With an SPF25 value, it is suitable for daily use.

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NYX is an American professional makeup brand founded in 1999. Although it is an open-shelf brand, it produces a wide range of high-quality products with good price. Moreover, NYX offers various concealer series.

NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer targets minimizing pores and fine lines, and helps layer makeup products smoothly. The white cream-like primer has a similar texture as Hourglass, which can brighten the complexion slightly. It is more hydrated than Hourglass primer, and it is suitable for dry skin. However, it is not fine, smooth, and refreshing enough compared with Hourglass primer. And oily skin should take a decent amount when applying. NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer can cover small blemishes effectively, such as pores, fine lines, post-acne marks, leaving a matte and natural look. Moreover, when it comes to staying power and oil-controlling effect, the Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer is not as good as Hourglass. And your face may be oil after wearing for a long time.

NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer is an ideal choice for people who has limited budget and don’t pursue long-lasting finish in daily use.

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Benefit was founded by Jane Ford in 1976. Jane Ford and her twin sister Jean Ford opened a boutique in the San Francisco Bay Area called "The Face Place", and initially sold some self-made skincare products and cosmetics. The products of Benefit have been sold on about 600 counters in 10 countries around the world. Moreover, Benefit, Guerlain, MAKE UP FOR EVER, and Fenty Beauty is all under LVMH Group. Benefit is more suitable for young girls with its cute style.

The POREfessional Face Primer is the top makeup product on the British Boots ( one of the largest retailers in the UK ) makeup sales list. It can effectively minimize pores, fill fine lines, and smooth the skin, which is suitable for applying it to the T zone, chin, and sides of the nose. People who pursue a refreshing skin feeling should take a decent amount. The POREfessional Face Primer can not whiten and moisturize the skin, and also without SPF value, people with dry skin should use moisturizers before applying.

"That Gal" Brightening Face Primer can be applied with the POREfessional Face Primer to minimize pores effectively. "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer helps achieve a natural and bright finish, but you need to apply foundations to even the complexion. It received mixed comments due to its skin feeling and moisturizing effect. Fortunately, "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer is available in 7.5ml, 22ml, 44ml, you can try it with a sample.

Benefit is known for its colorful package and is favored by models and professional makeup artists worldwide thanks to its cute and delicate products.

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In 1991, the brothers Dean Factor and Davis Factor opened the first photography studio-Smashbox Photo Studios in Los Angeles. Their grandfather Max Factor is a a famed Hollywood makeup artist. In 1996, they released Smashbox makeup named after the photostudio. Smashbox, M.A.C, and Bobbi Brown are the same-level professional beauty brands, and Smashbox's products are "born for the lens."

The oil-free and silicon-based Foundation Primer helps minimize pores and smooth the skin. The gel-like primer is easy to spread and without complexion correcting effect. Foundation Primer is suitable for dry skin and normal skin, while Foundation Primer Light is suitable for oily skin and combination skin.

Infused with 2% salicylic acid, Color Correcting Foundation Primer has an exfoliating effect. It is more suitable for people with oily skin and combination skin who have to build up skin's tolerance. The Vitamin E and a small amount of soothing ingredients also add to Color Correcting Foundation Primer. The lightweight emulsion-like primer leaves a soft and matte makeup finish.

Smashbox is one of the brands with the largest range of base makeup products. The primer is designed for minimizing pores and covering blemishes. It is divided into 8 types for different skin types. It is available in three sizes: 15ml, 30ml and 60ml, which is convenient in daily use and to carry.

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MAC is a brand co-founded by professional makeup artist, photographer Frank Toskan, and Frank Angelo who runs a chain of hair salons in Toronto in 1985. MAC was acquired by Estee Lauder Group in 1998. M·A·C always surprise people for its avant-garde style and bold colors.

MAC launched many primer series. The STROBE CREAM HYDRATANT LUMINEUX can nourish the skin to some extent, which is suitable for dry skin. Fine glitter particles are added to correct and brighten the complexion effectively. It has an average coverage and without SPF value, so it is more recommended to apply the STROBE CREAM HYDRATANT LUMINEUX with MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation to achieve a delicate finish. The STROBE CREAM HYDRATANT LUMINEUX is available in 5 shades, and you can choose it according to your undertone and skin type.

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