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I Tested the Top Six Primers to See if They Hold Up to Their Hype

by Nour Kabbani

When you type in the word “primers” on Sephora’s website, 173 products show up. From mineral to color correcting to matte, there are dozens of different kinds that can highlight (or remove) whatever you desire. But unless you casually have a few hundred hours underneath your belt, you probably don’t have the time (or money) to test them all. However, it couldn’t hurt to treat yourself and try out just a few — well, at least that’s what I told myself. 

For the most part, my skin is pretty normal — during wintertime, it gets a little dry, while it doesn’t get too oily during the summer. I basically like to use primers to blur my pores and conceal my dark circles; however, they also can improve the coverage and lasting effect of my makeup. So for the past couple of days, I went on the hunt to search and try the top six primers (in my opinion) that would help my makeup stay put and skin look as flawless as Beyoncé’s.

Benefit POREfessional

POREfessional is a primer that I’m sure everyone has used or at least have heard of. It has a very matte finish and really makes your skin look like you haven’t had a pore in your entire life. It is silicon base which gives it that extra smooth finish. However, I’m not sure what it is about this primer but I just can’t get behind it. I think it does what it says but just not for my skin. I give this primer 3 out of 5 stars. I appreciate you but it’s a no from me.

Smashbox Photo Finish 

Ah, the beloved Smashbox primer… This was the very first primer I ever used when I started to wear makeup. If you would have asked me then what I would rate this, I would’ve given it a 10 out of 5 stars. While this primer doesn’t woo me like it used to, it’s still really great. But the older and wiser I have gotten, the more I realize that there are way better primers out there.

Like the Benefit primer, this one is silicon-based and gives you that silky-smooth, prepubescent-years finish to your skin. Smashbox has also come out with other primers that target different problem areas like a green-based primer to help reduce redness or even a primer specifically made to keep your under eye concealer in place. This one, though, gets the job done. I give it a 3.6 out of 5 stars.

Becca First Light Priming Filter Face Primer

The first time I used this Becca primer I was very concerned with the purple tint. But, to my surprise, it worked really well! Unlike the previous two primers, this one does not have that silicone feel. When I first applied this product I immediately noticed that my skin felt more hydrated than it ever has before post-primer. I had a nice glow to my skin and it looked great under my makeup. Although I really enjoyed this primer, it didn’t wow me. I give it a 3.8 out of 5 stars.

Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer

Korean skincare and makeup have been all the rage. There’s even a section of all Korean products at some of your favorite stores. One little product that you need to purchase is Touch in Sol’s No Poreblem Primer. First of all, super cute name! Second of all, this product is really great; it’s very blurring. I don’t know what it is about this product but the texture of it, once it has been rubbed in, makes me feel kind of weird. Some textures make me really uncomfortable and this did it for me. It really bummed me out because I do think this product is so great and I have read so many reviews raving about it. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars because I know I would be all over it if I didn’t have my weird texture thing.

Cover FX Blurring Primer

I am currently using the Cover Fx blurring primer. I have never bought anything from this brand but I was in Sephora one day and one of the ladies working suggested I give this a try. I blindly took her suggestion and was on my merry way. At first, I did not like this primer. I noticed that if I put it on too soon after I had done my skincare routine, it would start to clump and rub off. I was really disappointed when it first happened because I did really want to like this product.

Once I learned how to properly use it, I fell in love. I have always had a really bad problem with my concealer creasing and looking really bad only hours after I applied it — but this primer fixed it for me. Dare I say, I sometimes don’t put powder on if I’m using this primer because it’s so great with keeping my concealer in place. My under-eye concealer looks flawless all day now. It is silicon based and gives you a blurring effect but I feel like this primer does it in a very natural way, which I like. I’m all about that au naturel look. The only complaint I do have about this is that there isn’t a lot of product. If I’m paying close to $40 for a primer, I would hope a decent amount of it would be in it. I give this primer a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer

And now, we have reached the holy grails of primers. I present to you the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer. This is the most luxurious-feeling product I have ever put on my face. Let’s start with the packaging. It’s in a circular compact and it comes with a metal circle to use as a spatula. The product itself is a pressed silk that simply disappears as soon as it touches your skin. The first time I used it, my skin was bright and glowing and my makeup sat so flawlessly over it. The product itself is clean which is a plus. I have been trying to get into understanding ingredients in products and being aware of what I put on my skin. It’s very crucial for a primer to be clean because it acts as the base and it’s the product that’s going right into your pores.

I can’t say enough good things about this product and how much I love it. It is currently sold out on Sephora but you know as soon as it comes back in stock, I’m saying bye to my Cover Fx. This product is a little pricey but for the amount of product you’re getting, I think the price is very justifiable. I’m giving this product a 6 out of 5 stars because I created this rating system and I can do what I want!

Feature image via Madison Terry 

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