Choosing the Perfect Primer

Primer is that step in your makeup routine that I think people who aren't beauty obsessives are just now cottoning on to. I've tried many, many formulas that will work for different skin types, so today I'm talking you through my favourites and who I think they'll be perfect for. Hopefully this will help demystify what I now consider to be an un-skippable product!


Touch in Sol Feel Like Honey Moon Base | £19.50 | This is a gorgeous dewy primer to make the skin look fresh, radiant and healthy. It's hydrating, smoothing and just leaves my skin looking gorgeous whenever I use it! It isn't really going to smooth or increase longevity, it's almost more of a skincare product to boost the look of your makeup. It's definitely a slightly messy applicator but I can look past that because the product is fantastic.

Too Faced Hangover Primer | £27 | I'm actually nearly out of this but will definitely be repurchasing it once I finish up a few of the primers I already have open! It's a lightweight cream product made with coconut water that hydrates without being at all greasy. It gets rid of any dry patches and makes sure your makeup applies smoothly on top of it. Though I wouldn't say it's specifically a product to lengthen the wear-time of your makeup, it does stop my base going patchy during the day.


Hylamide Matte 12* | £23 | I really need to repurchase this one for summer, because I've used it so much during the warmer months. It's not at all drying and has an unusual, almost gel-like formula. It does a pretty good job of smoothing the surface of the skin but what I really love it for is keeping my skin shine-free for hours and helping my makeup last, even in the heat.


Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer | £15 | This has been my 'every single day' primer over the past couple of months - as you can see: I'm getting through it! I'm so glad I've found a pretty affordable product that genuinely does reduce the appearance of my pores and smooths the surface of my skin to stop foundation settling into fine lines. This gives a satin finish and definitely helps my makeup last longer.

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer | £5.50 | This is a total bargain, though be warned: you'll get through it pretty quickly - I'm already on my second bottle! It's essentially serum-like formula that's fairly hydrating, gives a semi-satin, silky base for foundation and is really nice and smoothing. It helps my makeup last and improves the look of my pores and fine lines.


Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer* | £11 | This is an old favourite of mine! Despite the name, it isn't super-mattifying, it's actually a reasonably hydrating cream formula that gives a satin finish and does a fairly good job of keeping the shine away. It's not super-smoothing but what I do love it for is extending the wear-time of my foundation. When I know it's going to be a long day (or night): this is what I reach for.


MAC Strobe Cream in Goldlite | £25 | swatch | MAC Strobe Cream is a cult product but until relatively recently I'd never tried it due to its the pinky tone. However they've since released more shades, including this oyster gold tone. The cream itself is lightweight and hydrating, giving the skin some glow without being greasy. Then it has that gorgeous yellow-gold shift to it, which adds a subtle radiance when applied under makeup.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter | £32 | This product is pretty much universally loved in the beauty world and I can totally see why; the name is perfect because it really does give this subtle background glow. It's great paired with a matte foundation because you get the coverage and longevity without sacrificing your skin's radiance and hydration. It has a pretty, pearlescent formula that doesn't look shiny or shimmery in the slightest but gives a beautiful sheen.

Minimal Effort

Glossier Priming Moisturiser | £18 | Personally, I prefer this version of this product, though for drier skin types there's also a Rich edition. It's a lightweight, whipped, hydrating primer and moisturiser all in one step. What I like about it is that it doesn't leave any excess on the surface of my skin and provides the perfect level of hydration for my combination skin. It also has this slightly adhesive quality that's not that common with priming moisturisers but helps makeup go on smoothly and last that bit longer.

Pixi Rose Flash Balm* | £26 | This is that rare, slightly more mattifying priming moisturiser. It's still nice and hydrating (as it contains rose) but the oil-free formula means it dries to a semi-matte finish. It gives a lovely fresh look to the skin whilst also keeping the shine at bay, making it perfect for my combination skin.

First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturiser | £20.50 | I never really hear people talk about this product but I absolutely love it! If you want hydration and radiance without the need to moisturise and then prime: check this out. It's a lovely smoothing and nourishing primer-moisturiser that gives my skin a subtle glow and smells amazing!

Perfect Skin

REN Perfect Canvas* | £50 | This is definitely a pricey option but it's an incredible all-rounder that makes my skin (and therefore my makeup) look better in just about every way. It's replenishing, hydrating and smoothing (helping to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines) whilst giving a semi-matte finish. It's kind of a 'good skin' serum and a primer all rolled into one and my makeup goes on so nicely over it, as well as looking fresh hours later. 

What's your favourite primer for your skin concerns?

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Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own.

Read more posts from this series here!



  1. I have so many primers it's a bit ridiculous, lol! I have tried quite a few of those you have mentioned here, the Hylamide and S&G ones are definitely some of my favourites. The one I can always rely on, no matter what skin concern is the Hourglass Mineral Veil which I desperately need to repurchase. x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

  2. I'd really like to try the REN primer you mentioned. I love No Poreblem too. My most repurchased primer is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm but I also recently repurchased a Natasha Denona one. I have a bit of a primer problem!! xx


  3. I need to try REN Perfecting Canvas! That's all I wanted to when it first came out but have since forgotten about it. I didn't get along with Too Faced Hangover Primer, I much prefer Marc Jacobs Coconut primer.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  4. I love the Glossier one too! The Charlotte Tilbury wonder under is great if you are ever looking for something new! xAllie

  5. Oooooo I want to try the REN one! It looks incredible! I really want to try the Primerizer though, by smashbox, it is next on my list! The No Poreblem looks fabby too - and I love the glossier priming moisturiser!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  6. I really want to try the Too Faced Hangover Primer. Although it is more expensive than my usual products, I have heard some really good things. x


  7. I absolutely love the High-Spreadability Fluid primer, it's one of my new favorites.I love the look of the Hangover primer, I guess I need to save my pennies.

    A Sparkle Of Grace

  8. Looks like Hylamide Matte is the one for me! Thanks for sharing this post :)

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  9. I think the Too Faced Hangover Primer is the next one on my list!

    Danielle xx

  10. The REN primer seems to have everything!
    I'd love to know about the Ordinary Fluid primer, do you think it's more suitable for dry or oily skin types? I've got the silicone one and I love it a lot. I've heard the Fluid primer is more for dry skin but the way you describe it, it might actually work for me as well. Just want to know what you think!

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

  11. Ooo love that you've separated these into different groups. That Too Faced Hangover Primer is needed!


  12. I'm always looking for a primer that is both hydrating and increases longevity but those two don't really work together haha as a matte one usually helps keep the makeup on for longer but I have lusted after the Too Faced Hangover Primer for so long now, I just need to purchase it! xx


  13. The Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer has been on my bucket list for quite some time and I think your praise was definitely the motivation I needed to finally grab a bottle. Will look into it during my stay in Korea! Keep the posts coming xoxo

  14. I love how you organized this post!! It makes it super easy to see which one would be best for my skin! I would definitely go for the Soap and Glory one, especially since its affordable too!! Loved this post! xx


  15. I don't know how I haven't tried that one! x

  16. I think you'd absolutely love the REN :) and me too...haha x

  17. I've heard amazing things about it too! I might have to pick it up when I've used up some of these :) x

  18. The Ordinary one is soooo good at such a great price-point! x

  19. Yeah I read on their website that they describe it as 'dewy' - it's hydrating in a way but I definitely wouldn't say it's dewy or glowing. I think it can suit most skin types, besides particularly oily (as it does have that non-matte finish) and very dry (as it won't be hydrating enough) x

  20. Yeah it can be a pain! I actually find the S&G quite hydrating x

  21. Hope you enjoy it if you do :) x

  22. My current favorite primer is the Too Faced primed & peachy cooling matte primer! I love primers though so I'm always looking to try new ones.

  23. this has been so helpful, i rarely wear primer as i wasn't entirely sure what it did until now aha! Really great that you included affordable ones and you were so thourough!! Thank u so much!

  24. Love this post! My skin is extremely dry and I’m super hesitant to splurge without fully knowing what products will actually work for me. Your post has persuaded me to try the Touch in Sol Feel Like Honey Moon Base (which I’m very excited about).

  25. I see a few of my favourites here but have also taken note of others I want to try. I've also been loving the Touch in Sol No Poreblem primer and keep getting comments saying my skin looks so smooth! Xx

    Toni | sheergloss


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