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The best primers that’ll give you flawless skin

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Find the best primer for your skin in our round-up

A quick survey of the office tells me that you’re likely to be one of two types of people: either you wouldn’t be caught dead applying your foundation without a layer of primer on your skin first, or you’ve never tried one. Whether you’re the former or latter, read on to find the best primer for you. Our sister site Powder gives tailored-to-you beauty recommendations so try looking here for your perfect primer.

I’m a recent primer convert; up until recently I didn’t think I could benefit from using one, thinking – wrongly so – they were only for mopping-up excess oils. How wrong I was.

But that’s not all they do; depending on the formula a make-up primer will blur enlarged pores, smooth bumpy skin and disguise redness. I’ve yet to find a concern that the correctly-matched primer couldn’t target.

Make-up artists are divided too. Primers aren’t used so much on the catwalk or on shoots, primarily because the foundation doesn’t have to be on the skin for too long and so doesn’t need any help staying there. But make-up artists do love a primer for their red carpet celebrities though. Blurring primers make skin look smoother and silkier, pores smaller and lines and wrinkles softer – all things the cameras love.

It’s in real life where primers really come into their own. Facing a long day in the office? A light layer of primer under your foundation will help it defy the air-conditioning and stay put all day. Get greasy in the afternoon? A primer will absorb the shine. Or, woke-up to a gigantic unwelcome friend on your face this morning? Well, after you’ve tackled the spot with this spot-busting routine then the right primer will help smooth over the bump and disguise any inflammation.

Best primer for dry skin

If dryness is your skin’s biggest concern, you want a primer that will hydrate your skin and make it look radiant, and prevent your best foundation for any skin type, best BB cream or powder settling into areas of loose, flaky skin. Velvety in texture and easy to apply, Benefit’s Porefessional is great if you want to achieve flawless looking skin. Or go for Tom Ford’s Complexion Enhancing Primer for a dewy finish – it’s worth the spend.

Best primer for oily skin

If you have oily skin a make-up primer is kind of essential; the right one containing fine silky powders will help to mattify by absorbing excess oils and keep your foundation in place for longer. Try Nars’ Pore Refining Primer or Stila’s Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm to keep excess oil at bay all day.

Best primer for combination skin

For combination skin, the right primer can make your face look dewy and luminous with light reflecting particles – that make your skin look glowy not glittery – for an enviable, healthy glow. Clinique’s Superprimer Universal Skin Primer is a great all-rounder to even out your skin’s surface and provide a great base for make-up.

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