• NO.1 HOURGLASS Veil Mineral Primer
  • NO.2 e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer
  • NO.3 Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Hydrating
  • NO.4 Clé de Peau Beauté Voile Blanc Brightening Enhancer Base
  • NO.5 Honest Beauty Everything Primer Glow
  • NO.6 Yves Saint Laurent TOP SECRETS Instant Moisture Glow Face Primer
  • NO.7 Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer
  • NO.8 MAKE UP FOR EVER STEP1 Skin EQUALIZER #1 Base Matifiante Mattifying Primer
  • NO.9 Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer
  • NO.10 Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Blurring Primer
  • NO.11 Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer 
  • NO.12 Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer
  • NO.13 First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer
  • NO.14 NARS Pore & Shine Control Primer
  • NO.15 MARC JACOBS Under (cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer
  • NO.17 Smashbox Photo Finish Oil and Shine Control Primer
  • NO.18 BOBBI BROWN Primer Plus Mattifier
  • NO.19 benefit Cosmetics The PORE fessional Face Primer
  • NO.20 M·A·C Prep + Prime Skin

Best Primers for Oily Skin

Feb 17, 2022

Oily skin bases tend to peel off easily and may even become caked. Especially in the summer, your makeup can get even messier due to excessive facial oil production and perspiration. For those with oily skin, making the look last all day is the biggest problem. Oily skin without effective oil control is difficult to create a clean and flawless base makeup.

Effective skincare and a refreshing base will keep your makeup on all day. So a good oil primer is especially important for oily skin. When choosing a primer, you should try to avoid using glitter and pearlescent products. Because they can sometimes make your face look greasy.

Matte primer reduces pores and effectively controls shine, which makes your makeup look clearer and more natural and helps make subsequent makeup more durable.

I would like to remind you that if you have oily skin, please do not choose those with heavy textures or containing acne-causing ingredients. Because it's more likely to clog pores and cause acne.

A lightweight, safe primer will be your best bet. If you find that this formula provides nutrients, don't miss out on this project!

To effectively make your look longer and smoother, we've rounded up the 10 best pre-creams for oily skin, based on dermatologist advice and thousands of customer reviews.

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  • Shine control
  • Great at concealing blemishes
  • Water-proof
  • Sweat-proof
  • Oil-free
  • A bit expensive

Unlike other primers, this oil-free primer features an airy, velvety soft texture that not only creates a smooth canvas for makeup, but also conceals redness, minimizes the appearance of large pores, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and provides broad-spectrum SPF15 protection. It is the winner of the InStyle Best Beauty Buy award for Best Primer in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Veil Mineral Primer is an iconic product of the HOURGLASS Veil collection. The lightweight texture feels like melted ice cream or whipped cream. The white primer absorbs into your skin quickly upon application and leaves a brightened smooth finish.

Formulated with oil-free, pure botanical ingredients, it effectively controls shine without clogging pores, extends the life of your makeup, and conceals blemishes and skin imperfections. Compared to the primers from YSL and Bobbi Brown, Veil Mineral Primer has a more delicate texture.

Even if you have acne-pore skin, this primer still makes a solid choice. It’s worth mentioning that it is the most popular and highest-rated entry-level primer recommended by a large number of beauty bloggers on YouTube.

Beauty writer Jasmine Garnsworthy is a huge fan of Veil Mineral Primer. She said, after applying this primer, she took the subway at around 11 a.m. By the time the sun went down, her face was still shine-free.

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  • Thin
  • Moisturizing
  • Affordable
  • Some users think that pores cannot be invisible

e.l.f products are comprehensive, fashionable, and affordable. It is a brand that has been very popular among young Americans in recent years.

Hydrating Face Primer is a makeup primer that is very suitable for dry skin. It ranks first on the list of the best moisturizing primer for dry skin in 2020 recommended by many websites.

This e.l.f. moisturizing primer is one of the best drugstore primers for dry skin. Its recipe contains grape extract as well as vitamins A, C, and E to brighten and moisturize your skin. You'll be left with a smooth, faultless canvas that's perfect for long-lasting makeup.

About ingredients, it does not contain fragrance but contains risky ingredients such as preservatives, which may cause allergies. It is recommended to use it with caution on sensitive skin and pregnant women.

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  • Moisturizing
  • Oil control
  • Clear
  • Some skin types will be dull for applying it after a long time

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Hydrating is a very classic product. This series is divided into 6 models. Hydrating is a model with a very good reputation and a high repurchase rate for its plush to use.

It is very suitable for dry skin and normal skin. Its texture is white emulsion-like, easy to spread, and not greasy. It can even out skin tone and relieve fine lines, which will make your complexion look very good during the next procedures, not cause creasing.

After smearing on the face, it has a matte finish and good staying power. It contains a lot of moisturizing ingredients, and you will still feel moisturized after removing your makeup.

For the ingredients, it is very safe and can also be used for sensitive skin. Many bloggers have given their reviews of it, and believe that it is a makeup primer that people want to buy.

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  • Shine control
  • Brightening
  • Sun protection
  • Resisting dullness
  • Not suitable for those with too many blemishes

Voile Blanc Brightening Enhancer Base is the best seller of CPB offerings. It has attracted a large number of return customers thanks to the extraordinary quality. The clear and durable primer gives a smooth and seamless finish and provides potent benefits of brightening and shine control. It makes use of titanium dioxide to physically conceal dark spots and other skin imperfections to make your skin look radiant and refreshed without applying other whitening products.

If you don't want to wear makeup, you can just apply a thin layer of primer, which also makes your skin look great. This primer contains silicone oil and oil-absorbing powders to deliver a refreshing feel on the skin, ideal for oily skin. However, if you have normal or dry skin, we recommend you apply moisturizers in advance or use the primer during summer. The Voile Blanc Brightening Enhancer Base also features SPF35 / PA ++ for daily sun protection during the autumn and winter.

The CPB Voile Blanc Brightening Enhancer Base is packaged in a white bottle. Though not sealed by a pump, it is very easy to squeeze out the lotion through a nozzle. The primer has received a lot of positive reviews from customers, “Brightens my skin. I have been using this product for a week and the result is amazing,” said one of them.

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  • Moisturizing
  • Invisible pores
  • Some people don't like its smell

Honest Beauty is an adult beauty brand launched by Hollywood actress Jessica Alba, targeting people aged 15-35. Honest Beauty Everything Primer Glow is suitable for dry skin. It has a light yellow cream texture, good bendability, and is easy to push. It adds a lot of moisturizing and skin conditioning ingredients, so it has a good moisturizing effect and can play an anti-oxidant effect.

Everything Primer Glow can even out the skin tone to make the skin look better, and prepare for the follow-up makeup. It also has a sunscreen effect, so there is no problem if you only apply it and go out. It contains flavors and preservatives but no risky ingredients, no irritation, almost no sensitization probabilities, and it’s also for the pregnant.

The blogger Allie Glines made a live-action evaluation in her YouTube video and believed that the overall skin condition would be better after using it. She said that her sister has loved this makeup primer since she used this makeup primer. Got on it.

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  • Moisturizing
  • Brightening skin tone
  • Not suitable for mixed oily skin and oily skin

TOP SECRETS Instant Moisture Glow Face Primer is very suitable for dry skin even in cold and dry winters. It is used as a makeup primer but has skincare effects for it is mainly designed for girls who often make up. This makeup primer has a moisturizing texture and is more viscous than lotion. It is easy to push away and will make the skin a natural glow. If you stay in an air-conditioned room, you won’t have a dry face.

TOP SECRETS is packaged in YSL classic style, which can create a satin makeup look. The very moisturizing skin feel, refreshing texture, and powerful moisturizing effect contributes to a more compliant follow-up makeup and avoid powder sticking. It can also tighten pores, fill fine lines, smooth the skin, and make makeup more durable.

It has good bendability, so each time a little primer is enough. Whether it is nude makeup or formal makeup, you can easily create it with it. This product can also be used as a moisturizing cream to brighten and even skin tone. It should be noted that it is not suitable for oily skin or mixed oily skin. Excessive oil secretion may cause it to become uncomfortable and powdery after applying makeup. 

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  • Good durability
  • Oil control
  • Moisturizing
  • Clogged pores

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer is a very popular makeup primer. Many celebrities and bloggers are using it. Silicone-free, Paraben-free, Cruelty-free, Gluten-free, Fragrance- Free, Oil-free, and Vegan are its biggest features. Its moisturizing effect is good—even in the air conditioner room where the skin stays relatively dry, it is easier for makeup to be more compliant.

This green gel has relatively light and thin, containing ingredients like agave, cherry blossom, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B, etc. All these ingredients contribute to its effects of anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, moisturizing, and skin conditioning.

Please pay attention to its using methods: you are supposed to apply it evenly on the face, and it will form a film in 1 minute. After the film is formed, the makeup will be more compliant and the makeup effect can be prolonged. You need to clean it carefully, otherwise, it may clog your pores.

For making skin seem glowing, nearly 1,000 Sephora reviewers gave this Milk Makeup hydrating gel primer a 5-star rating.

One reviewer commented, "My complexion had a shine from within that was noticeable even after I set my makeup with translucent powder." Another wrote, "It was incredibly moisturizing for my very dry skin."

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  • Shine control
  • Available in multiple shades
  • Concealing pores
  • Moisturizing
  • None

Make Up For Ever has always been a color expert in the makeup industry. When established, it was known for releasing hand-crafted eyeshadows with 100 shades. Its primers also inherit the feature.

Step 1 Skin Equalizer primers come in 11 shades, and each one is formulated specifically to deliver different benefits, such as controlling shine, minimizing pores, hydrating, correcting redness, and brightening different skin tones. No matter what skin tone you have, you can always find a perfect primer in this collection.

The gel-like #1 Base Matifiante Mattifying Primer is packaged in a dark gray tube, suitable for oily skin. This primer mainly makes use of magnesium aluminum silicate to control shine. After application, the primer leaves skin with a soft, matte finish.

Be sure to apply the smooth primer correctly to your face, or it is prone to result in an uneven finish. It allows for covering the whole face if you have oily skin, while for those with combination skin, it is a good option for controlling an oily T-zone. The primer also contains botanical extracts, moisturizing and exfoliating ingredients for skincare, so rest assured when using it.

Bailey B did a wear test of this primer on YouTube. “I'm not a primer person, but I couldn't share my thoughts on MAKE UP FOR EVER's Mattifying and Smoothing Primers,” said the beauty blogger.  

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  • Moisturizing
  • Non-greasy
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Not suitable for oily skin

Armani has never disappointed its customers. This liquid foundation is also very moisturizing with a refreshing texture. Easy to push, it can make pores invisible. Even in dry weather, it is the first choice to maintain the whole makeup. The official website describes it as "creating the perfect canvas for your favorite Armani foundation with a luminous glow".

Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer is a dry skin-friendly makeup primer. It absorbs quickly when applied to the face, and it becomes very compliant after applying makeup. Some oily skins also find it very easy to use.

The official claims that it is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. But the oil skin type is not strongly suggested.

Look at its ingredients, it contains many moisturizing and skin conditioning ones, which can play an anti-oxidant effect. But its sunscreen effect is not enough, some sunscreen products are still needed.

It got 4.2 stars in Sephora Evaluation and 88% of customer recommendations, one consumer said "To test it out, I put the primer on one side of my face, and compared it to the side that didn't have anything.

Without make-up on, my pores on the side with primer definitely look smaller and more diminished than the side without primer. The side with the primer looked more matte too. ” 

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  • Shine control
  • Moisturizing
  • Matte
  • Sun protection
  • Skincare ingredients
  • It balls up with liquid foundations, according to some customers

Laura Mercier has gathered a cult following with its "flawless base makeup". Laura, the founder of the brand, changed the makeup industry forever with her introduction of the world’s first primer to create the perfect canvas for makeup application in 1996.

Today, Laura Mercier is still well-known for its primers and loose powders. It offers a wide range of moisturizing and oil-free primers that stand out among its siblings.

Pure Canvas Primer collection is a star product lineup of Laura Mercier, consisting of 5 primers with different packaging colors and features.

The lavender-hued Pure Canvas Blurring Primer for oily skin is excellent in shine control. It minimizes the appearance of large pores and blemishes and absorbs excess oil while providing a smooth, mattifying effect. It also extends makeup wear, especially suitable for normal and oily skin types.

The white lotion-like primer is easy to spread and has a lightweight texture. Oil-free and silicone-free, this formula doesn’t feel heavy when applied.

Melissa Alatorre did a wear test of the primer on YouTube.

After her makeup staying on for 5 hours, she said, “this looks amazing, I’m honestly pretty amazed by the way, my skin is looking right now, it doesn’t look dry, it doesn’t look overly oily, I think it looks perfect”.

After another 5 hours, her makeup still looked great, “I said the most shocking part is the fact that I used a dewy foundation and paired it with the blurring primer,” said the beauty blogger.

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  • Moisturizing
  • Good staying power
  • No effect of filling pores
  • No brightening effect

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer is considered a makeup primer with a high repurchase rate. It is mainly designed for dry skin users. The pink gel texture is slightly sticky, but it won’t feel awful when applied to the face.

Though it is a little sticky, moisturizing effects are perfectly shown in this product, and for most people, its smell is good. This makeup prime is just a moisturizing primer that can make the follow-up makeup look very docile and comfortable; it does not have the effect of whitening and brightening the skin, nor does it have the effect of concealing pores. It can make your skin clear and make your makeup last longer.

If you go to the gym, you don't have to worry about sweat problems. Many bloggers use and recommend it for its high quality. From the point of view of ingredients, it contains some ingredients that may cause sensitization. Sensitive skin needs to be tested in advance before use. 

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  • Moisturizing
  • Light and thin
  • Sweet smell
  • Easy to ball up
  • Not conceal blemish

The main feature of Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer is moisturizing. If your skin is very dry and needs to be hydrated, then Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer must be a good choice. It helps to create a compliant makeup. This makeup primer is suitable for dry skin and mixed dry skin. Its texture is moisturizing and non-greasy, light, and easy to spread, which makes the skin feels refreshing.

White lotion-like is packaged in a pink jar. Many makeup primers can modify skin tone, but this makeup primer does not seem to have this function. Girls who have higher requirements for concealer are recommended to use special concealer products. It can smooth the skin better and make the skin feel more delicate.

What is worth to be mentioned is its smell: infused with coconut water, it has a very sweet coconut flavor, which can make people refreshing. Some users said that it has a serious ball-up phenomenon, so you need to pay attention to the use of techniques and subsequent liquid foundation and other cosmetic choices. If your skin is too dry, you can apply some lotion before using the makeup cream.


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  • Moisturizing
  • Oil control
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Some users will ball up

First Aid Beauty has various products, and this makeup primer is a popular one of them. It has a good moisturizing effect, cream texture, good bendability, and it is easy to push and absorbs quickly after being applied to the face. It can effectively control oil but won’t be too dry and is also suitable for dry skin.

If you are prone to acne, you can use it with confidence. Containing the ingredient—coconut oil, it has a strong coconut smell and a good moisturizing effect, but it feels refreshing on the skin.

Greasy, it can naturally brighten the skin tone and cover the pores. If you don't usually wear makeup, you can apply it and go out at ease. It has a little pearly luster, so it can make your skin tone look very even after application. Its makeup holding ability is good, and your skin tone will not appear dull after a busy day.

This makeup primer has no sunscreen function, so you need to add some sunscreen products yourself. Some users complain about its ball up, which may be due to skin quality problems or they have applied a thicker cream or lotion before this.


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  • Shine control
  • Concealing blemishes
  • Downsizing the appearance of pores
  • Not suitable for dry skin

In recent years, NARS cosmetics is well received by a large number of girls. NARS launches three primers, of which the Pore & Shine Control Primer is perfect for oily or combination-oily skin. It prolongs the look of makeup without separating and minimizes the appearance of large pores while controlling shine.

The primer uses soft-focus powders to absorb excess oil and leave skin feeling weightless. It is also hailed as the “best balancing primer” by beauty writer Jasmine Garnsworthy in her article on Byrdie. This primer has a smooth texture that diminishes the look of pores instantly, covers fine lines and wrinkles, prepares skin for makeup application, and prolongs and enhances the look of makeup.

Even after using moisturizers, the Pore & Shine Control Primer can still surprisingly leave the skin with a matte finish. Since it does not include SPF protection, you will need to apply some sunscreen to it. However, the Pore & Shine Control Primer is often out of stock, so we highly recommend buying a few more when they are available!

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  • Moisturizing
  • Refreshing
  • Comfortable smell
  • Not suitable for oily skin

MARC JACOBS Under (cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer is a makeup primer with a very good moisturizing effect. Its capsule-like white glass bottle is a very luxurious packaging. It is a thinner white lotion that will become transparent after being applied. It is very easy to absorb. It is a refreshing skin feel not sticky, which means it is suitable for summer use.

This makeup primer is formulated with 5 kinds of coconut essence, not containing silicon and any chemical oils, and the ingredients are relatively safe. It has a light texture, good bendability. It is easy to spread and can cover some finer pores.

It should be noted that: before applying this makeup primer, you need to avoid applying too many products on your face, otherwise you will rub mud while applying makeup.

In addition, This makeup primer is not recommended for oily skin. It is recommended for dry skin or mixed skin. The effect is pretty good.

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  • Shine control
  • Moisturizing
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to remove makeup
  • Medicore effect of blurring imperfections
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

If you wear makeup every day, then besides foundation, it is more important to apply primer. YSL Top Secretes Instant Moisture Glow is a primer that combines moisturizing and shines control in one, suitable for both dry and oily skin types. If you need SPF protection, apply a thin layer of sunscreen on your face before using it. YSL Top Secretes Instant Moisture Glow is excellent in covering the look of pores. This primer even leaves oily skin looking clear and luminous without dryness, and prepares skin for long-lasting makeup.

Though the primer comes in a small black tube, it can be used for a long time because a small amount of this product is enough for good results. The light pink, gel-like primer becomes translucent when applied evenly to the skin. It leaves skin looking smooth and soft for a more gorgeous makeup look. This primer is one of the most popular products from YSL.

However, if you get acne or pimples on your face, you should use the product with caution, especially in the summer. If you use this primer after staying up late, it won't be very effective because of its lightweight texture. But for this point, it is relatively easy to remove makeup.

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  • Shine control
  • Matte
  • Minimizing the look of pores
  • Cost-effective
  • Prone to ball up if applied too much

Smashbox is one of the brands with the largest range of primers. Its primers feature pore refinement and blemish concealing. Smashbox offers 8 primers for different skin types, of which the Photo Finish Oil and Shine Control Primer is a star product. If you have oily and acne-prone skin with large pores, this primer is your best bet. It contains silicone that fills in pores.

The sticky primer is easy to spread and has good staying power. It is excellent in shine control and never leaves skin feeling dry, perfect for oily or combination-oily skin types.

This primer is hailed as the “BEST PORE-MINIMIZING PRIMER FOR OILY SKIN” by Good Housekeeping, the famous American women’s magazine. It’s also a recommended item in Becki Murray’s article on Harper’s BAZAAR. “Smashbox's award-winning Photo Finish Primer is one of the best in the industry. It contains skincare ingredients such as witch hazel and salicylic acid, ideal for the oily skin type,” said the beauty editor.

However, according to some customers, it balls up easily. So we recommend applying a small amount of the product with multiple layers to achieve a better result.

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  • Shine control
  • Moisturizing
  • Covering pores
  • Long-lasting
  • Not suitable for dry skin
  • Few channels for purchasing

Bobbi Brown's makeup and skincare products are really excellent. Its Primer Plus Mattifier is specifically tailored for oily skin and combination oily skin. It comes in a simple yet sleek squeeze tube, which greatly prevents the product from oxidation after contact with the air.

The bendable primer is very easy to use, and generally can be used many times thanks to its adequate capacity. Aside from blurring pores, the lightweight primer does a great job of keeping your skin shine-free all day. The brand claims that it can act as the “liquid blotting paper”.

This primer is easily absorbed to give skin a matte look. It also provides brightening and moisturizing benefits and doesn't feel heavy even if you apply foundation and sunscreen afterward. However, it is not very suitable for dry skin, since it balls up sometimes. If you have oily skin, you also need to hydrate your skin before using it.

Beauty writer Becki Murray said, “if you want a semi-matte finish without dulling your complexion, Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier makes a solid choice. It blends well with liquid foundations.” QVC, the home shopping network, uploaded a wear test video of this product on YouTube, in which it was acclaimed as an ideal primer for oily skin. 

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  • Covering pores
  • Shine control
  • Long-lasting
  • Prone to clogging pores
  • Allergenic ingredients

Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional Face Primer is always a well-known and the most popular product in this collection. It minimizes the appearance of pores and hides fine lines while controlling shine, perfect for combination skin and oily skin.

The primer has a delicate creamy texture that is easy to spread and fills in almost all pores and imperfections, as well as prolongs the look of makeup. It contains silicone that makes your face feel very smooth after application. Some customers complain that this primer balls up, which may be due to the application techniques.

Be sure to moisturize your skin before use, and apply a small amount of the product with multiple layers. However, this primer may clog your pores, so be sure to remove makeup and cleanse your face thoroughly, or your skin will get worse.

It was rated as the “Best Long-Wearing” primer by Jasmine Garnsworthy in her article on Byrdie. “Benefit's primer is a bit thicker than the ones you might have used before, so it's best suitable for those who don't mind the heavy texture of the product. And it keeps my foundation stay put all day long—even lasts through my evening run,” said the beauty writer.

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  • Shine control
  • Moisturizing
  • Long-lasting
  • Cost-effective
  • Cheap-looking packaging

MAC, as a professional quality cosmetics brand, not only offers a variety of shades of lipsticks but also provides excellent primers. MAC Prep + Prime Skin is a popular primer and even the go-to item of MAC counter attendants.

This primer is recommended by many beauty editors at Harper’s BAZAAR and Good Housekeeping. They say, “specifically designed for oily skin, this gel-like formula makes use of green tea extract, caffeine and antioxidants to even out your skin tone and keep your base stay put.”

Prep + Prime Skin is excellent in shine control, perfect for oily skin or combination-oily skin. The gel makes your face well-hydrated after being absorbed by the skin and leaves a subtle pearlescent finish. It also works wonders for minimizing the appearance of pores and fine lines. The primer is easy to spread and does not ball up. It will not dry out your skin after makeup application.

However, it does not provide SPF protection, so you need to apply some sunscreen. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, this hypoallergenic formula makes a solid choice. This primer comes in a black bottle, which is slightly cheap-looking compared to its benefits.

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