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The Best Makeup Primer, According to Your Skin Type

Prep and prime for a flawless base.
The Best Makeup Primer, According to Your Skin Type
IMAGE Tom Ford, Sephora, Estee Lauder
Prep and prime for a flawless base.

Primer's primary job (pun intended) is to prep the skin for makeup so everything goes on smoother. It's also meant to create a physical barrier between your face and the products, which doesn't only prevent breakouts, the indirect contact actually helps makeup stay on longer. While it's up for debate if it's necessary, we do know for sure that it can address skin concerns that an average moisturizer might not. Below, we rounded up our best makeup primer picks per skin type—for your convenience.

Best Makeup Primer for Dry/Mature Skin

Moisturized skin isn't always enough for a flawless base, and this is where primer enters the picture. Applying primer on dry and mature skin helps boost hydration and smooth out dry patches and fine lines that foundation could cling to. Here are five parched skin-friendly primers to try:

1. Clio Pre-Step Moist Primer

One benefit of having dry skin is that you can get away with wearing the dewiest foundations without looking too greasy. But if it's a "glass skin" look you want, this primer creates a moisturizing film over the skin for a smooth and luminous finish.

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PHOTO BY Lazada

CLIO Pre-Step Moist Primer, P1240, Zalora

2. Becca First Light Priming Filter

The subtle lavender tint of this primer remedies the appearance of dull-looking skin, which is often caused by dryness. It also blurs out uneven texture for a photo-ready finish, like a liquid Instagram filter. You might even be tempted to skip foundation altogether!

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PHOTO BY Sephora

BECCA First Light Priming Filter, P2500, Sephora.ph

3. Guerlain Meteorites Base Primer

Rosy, glowing skin is only a few pumps away with this cult-favorite primer from Guerlain, which has concentrated micro-shimmer particles that add a light-catching sheen while correcting discoloration. Think of it as your personal ring light without the need for electricity.

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PHOTO BY Sephora

GUERLAIN Meteorites Base Primer, P3500, Greenbelt 5

4. Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum

This primer and serum hybrid has a lipid-rich plant oils, which will moisturize and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles under foundation. When worn in the day, it works as a hair oil substitute and protects the skin from UV damage thanks to antioxidants like vitamin A, C, and E. At night, it can replace your regular night serum, too!

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PHOTO BY Sephora

HOURGLASS No. 28 Primer Serum, P4000, Sephora.ph

5. Tom Ford Illuminating Primer

A thin layer of this illuminating primer already gives the illusion that you've applied highlighter. It delivers a soft-focus dewy look and helps other products glide onto your skin smoothly, especially if you're being plagued by dehydration. If you really want to go makeup-free, add another layer on the high points of your face for a naturally highlighted effect.

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PHOTO BY Tom Ford

TOM FORD Illuminating Primer, P4000, Rustan's Makati

Best Makeup Primer for Normal Skin

Without the struggle of dry or oily skin, priming normal skin often focuses on correcting texture and improving the longevity of makeup. Having this complexion type also means you don't need excess hydration or oil control—just a little bit of both at once. For options that do just that, keep scrolling!

1. Too Faced Hangover Repleneshing Face Primer

Even if you're not hungover, your skin could always use a little more hydration to look a little more alive. This primer from Too Faced not only brings back lost moisture for a pretty glow, the creamy texture also helps makeup adhere better sans the sticky feeling.

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PHOTO BY Sephora

TOO FACED Hangover Repleneshing Face Primer, P1888, Sephora.ph

2. Smashbox Photo Finish Set & Refresh Primer Water

No time to do full skin prep? Try this mist for a quick hydration-boosting fix. Since it's basically water with primer benefits, you don't have to wait too long for it to dry. It can even help your foundation blend easier if you're using a creamy or matte formula. When you're done, just spritz on some more to set your makeup because yes, it also works as a setting spray!

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PHOTO BY Beauty Bar

SMASHBOX Photo Finish Set & Refresh Primer Water, P1800, Beauty Bar

3. J.One Red Jelly Pack

A primer, serum, and ampoule all in one, the J. One Red Jelly Pack is a true multi-tasker. As a serum, it delivers anti-aging properties through red algae and moisture lock with hyaluronic acid. As a primer, it color-corrects dullness with a pink hue and provides a slightly tacky finish that acts like glue for your base makeup.

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PHOTO BY Sephora

J. ONE Red Jelly Pack, P1700, Beautymnl

4. Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

This cream is Bobbi Brown's number one moisturizer for a reason. It combines the benefits of primer and moisturizer, being both hydrating and softening at once. The oil-free formula has it feeling almost weightless, too, so you can slather it on even on your oilier skin days.

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PHOTO BY Bobbi Brown

BOBBI BROWN Vitamin Enriched Face Base, price unavailable, Glorietta 3

5. Estée Lauder The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer

To smooth out your skin, massage this perfecting primer all over to blur out the appearance of visible pores and any kind of texture you want to hide. The clear gel practically disappears into the skin, giving you a natural matte effect that perfects the look of foundation.

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PHOTO BY Estée Lauder

ESTEE LAUDER The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer, price unavailable, SM Aura

Best Makeup Primer for Combination/Oily Skin

Oil breaks down makeup, which is probably the reason why your glam won't stay on as long as you want. Thankfully, primer exists to save the day, so you can keep shine at bay instead of applying more layers of powder. Here are five that are perfect for this skin type:

1. Benefit Porefessional

This primer is basically concealer for your pores, and that's not just because it's slightly tinted. It's actually loaded with silicone that fills in the tiny gaps, which instantly reduces their appearance. The balmy layer then helps makeup blend easier on top so you won't have to cake much on at all.

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PHOTO BY Zalora

BENEFIT Porefessional, P2120, Zalora

2. Banila Co Prime Primer Matte

If oil control is your concern, this primer controls excess sebum to prolong the wear of your makeup. The silky gel won't feel heavy on oily skin either. In fact, it can minimize the look of fine lines and pores with a single layer.

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PHOTO BY Zalora

BANILA CO Prime Primer Matte, P1150, TriNoma

3. Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Instant Retouch Primer

The Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch is a mattifying primer, but it also evens out the skin tone and texture, blurring pores and lines so your foundation looks even more flawless. Trust Rihanna to create a primer that's basically Photoshop in a bottle. 

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PHOTO BY Sephora

FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filtr Instant Retouch Primer, P1850, Sephora.ph

4. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Oil-Free

Laura Mercier herself made this primer for oily skin to keep the complexion looking fresh with a soft-focus glow. It's lightweight, water-based, infused with antioxidants, and delivers a gorgeous demi-matte finish—so what's not to like?

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PHOTO BY Laura Mercier

LAURA MERCIER Foundation Primer Oil-Free, P1900, Rustan's

5. Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer

Perhaps one of the most popular face primers in K-beauty is this gem from Innisfree. Infused with mint and minerals from Jeju island, this formula promises to balance the skin's moisture levels to reduce excess shine. It also hides visible pores and bumps with a smoothing and lightly brightening tint.

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PHOTO BY Innisfree

INNISFREE No Sebum Blur Primer, P599, SM Mall of Asia

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