All About Foundation Primers

Foundation primers have been gaining momentum. In the United States, the product sales grew from $26.9 million in 2006 to $46.6 million in 2011 according to the New York Times. But what exactly is foundation primer and do you really need it?

Just like you would prime a canvas before painting it or use a base coat before polishing your nails, foundation primers prep your skin before you add makeup. They even the surface of your skin, filling in pores and fine lines. They also create a barrier between your skin and foundation, control shine, and help your makeup last longer.

I recommend foundation primer for anyone with fine lines, wrinkles or noticeable pores where foundation can settle and look unnatural. It’s also terrific for anyone who has oily skin or uses mineral makeup which can appear shiny. Finally, I always use a primer on clients that need their makeup to last for several hours. It extends the life of their makeover and keeps foundation smooth and even.

Intrigued? Click through the slideshow for 13 high-quality primers that have glowing reviews. In case you are wondering, my favorite is Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer because I love the velvety texture.

  • All About Foundation Primers 1 of 14
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  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36 2 of 14
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    Smashbox offers a wide variety of foundation primers but this original oil-free original is a beloved classic. Formulated with vitamins A & E, green tea, and grape seed extract, it's also nourishing. 

    Found on Smashbox.

  • Arbonne Makeup Primer $38 3 of 14
    02

    This primer is the top rated foundation primer on TotalBeauty with a consumer rating of 9.6. The Arbonne site reports that 100% of users "experienced better and more natural looking coverage."

    Available at Arbonnne or through a local Arbonne consultant.

  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer $32 4 of 14
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    This water-based  primer is enriched with anti-oxidants and is revered for its ability to extend the life of your makeup for hours.

    Pick it up at Sephora.

  • Make Up Forever HD Microperfecting Primer $34 5 of 14
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    Make Up Forever's HD Microperfecting Primers are available in clear or a variety of color-correcting versions. This mauve-tinted primer helps correct a sallow appearance.

    Available at Sephora.

  • Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer $10.39 6 of 14
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    Looking for a primer that's easier on your wallet? This award-winning primer is lightweight and light-diffusing.

    Found on Drugstore.

  • Philosophy The Supernatural Poreless Flawless Primer $30 7 of 14
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    This oil-free multi-tasking primer is tinted and has built-in SPF 15.

    Get it at Macy's.

  • Glo Minerals Face Primer $26 8 of 14
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    I have used this antioxidant-rich face primer and my foundation looked flawless all day and night.

    Available at Glo Professional.

  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer $10.99 9 of 14
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    This great inexpensive primer contains soy to help improve skin tone. It has SPF 15 and a slight tint so it can be worn with or without foundation.

    Buy it at Neutrogena.

  • Amazing Cosmetics Anti-aging Face Primer $34 10 of 14
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    This anti-aging formula contains vitamins, minerals and a botanical called Cassia Angustifolia that assist in keeping skin hydrated.

    Find out more at Sephora.

  • Stila Hydrating Primer SPF 30 $34 11 of 14
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    This smoothing formula contains a variety of vitamins and other antioxidants as well as hyaluronic acid for increased hydration.

    Get it at Nordstrom.

  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer $52 12 of 14
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    This highly-rated, mineral-based primer absorbs oils and creates an even canvas for your makeup.

    Available at Sephora.

  • Too Faced Primed and Poreless $28.99 13 of 14
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    This primer contains brightening and anti-aging ingredients to improve skin tone with continued use.

    Found on Amazon.

  • Tarte Clean Slate Flawless 12-hour Brightening Primer $30 14 of 14
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    If your skin is looking dull, this is the primer for you! It contains brightening ingredients to help you get glowing for Spring.

    Get it at Tarte.

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