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Top 12 Facial Primers

Primers are to skin what lingerie is to your figure - they smooth, flatter, conceal and hold things in place, so that everything you put on top of them looks immediately better.

Whether you want to blur wrinkles, mattify, minimise the appearance of pores or even skin tone, primers do this whilst creating a velvety base for make-up and helping it to stay put for longer. Convinced to try? Look below for our favourites.

Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base, £26.50 | Clarins

Available in no less than three shades - rose (brightens all complexions), champagne (corrects redness) and peach (restores lustre to medium and matte skin) Clarin’s complexion perfecting bases will make your skin so hydrated and perfected you won’t want to apply anything else on top.

Calming Primer, £29 | Cover FX 

If you suffer from Rosacea or easily irritated, sensitive skin this is the option for you. It will help to clarify, brighten and balance even the most damaged or pigmented of skins.

Prime Time BB Primer Cream Daily Defense SPF 31, £23 | bareMinerals

Perfect, protect and prime in one go with BareMinerals’ primer cream. The multi-tasking marvel gives just a hint of skin coverage, helps diminish the appearance of discolouration, uneven skin tone and imperfections, preps skin perfectly for makeup AND gives SPF30 protection. Phew.

Light Master Make Up Primer, £36.50 | Giorgio Armani 

Developed to create a mirror–like sheen that emphasises cheek bones and the contours of your face, this Armani primer will also help tone down any uneven skin patches, perfecting you skin with nominal effort.

Refining Make Up Primer, £30.50 | Shiseido 

Shiseido’s Primer helps to fill fine lines, counteract dullness, reduce redness and unevenness, all while leaving your complexion looking refined and polished, with or without your war paint.

Illuminating Protective Primer, £54 | Tom Ford 

Tom Ford has done it again with his illuminating formula - a must-have for flawless looking makeup. With a USP of ‘contouring’ your features, the texture and tone-enhancing liquid will show of all your best angles.  

Touche Eclat Blur Primer, £29.50 | Yves Saint Laurent

Ladies who swear by Touche Elcat’s highlighting abilities will be equally enthralled with its transparent gel that creates the perfect, light-reflecting canvas. Use it to prep before makeup or to give you confidence to go sans makeup by evening out skin tone and reducing the appearance of pores.

Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion, £19.50 | Urban Decay

A cult beauty buy, Urban Decay’s primer potion will ensure your foundation goes on smoothly, evenly and extend its life, meaning there’s no need to reapply throughout the day. Hurrah!


Base Perfectrice Pearl, £44.50 | Guerlain Meteorites 

Making use of all the light expertise of the brand’s cult Meteorites complexion booster, Guerlain’s cool gel will pep up skin with illuminating micro particles to help create a radiant and healthy looking complexion. Slick on before makeup and wait for the compliments to roll in...

Airflash CC Primer, £30 | Dior

With colour correcting at its heart, this Dior primer is the perfect solution for those who don’t wear much makeup but do want a little coverage to even out their skin. Subtly laced with multi-coloured pigments, it will freshen up your face in just a few seconds.  

Botanical Skin Prep Serum, £22 | Wild About Beauty 

Packed with anti-ageing goodness from Green Caviar and Sesame Seed Oil, this skin prep marvel will nourish and plump skin and help to improve its tone and texture over time as you wear it.

Absolute Bronzing Boost SPF15, £22.05 (was £31.50) | Murad
Those who favour a dewy finish should bag themselves Murad’s light-reflecting option, which gives you that covetable fresh-faced glow and minimises pores in one fell swoop.