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Best Foundation Primers

Foundation primers are not essential to beautiful makeup application, but we've chosen some favorites for those curious about this superfluous category. A foundation primer should:

  • Be lightweight and apply smoothly
  • Enhance makeup application
  • For oily skin, help keep exess shine in check
  • Not change the color of your skin 

Although not essential many women have been led to believe that skipping the primer step is absolutely ruinous to a beautiful makeup application.

The fact is, most of us are already priming our skin for makeup by virtue of following a good skin-care routine beforehand. You don’t need a special product labeled “primer” before applying foundation, and there is nothing in foundation that skin needs to be protected from, so let's put that myth to rest!

The primers on this list are included not only because their formulas surpass standard primers but because our readers continue to ask us for our favorites in this group.

Although all of the recommendations below are great, you can achieve similar results applying a state-of-the-art serum or lightweight moisturizer instead. You definitely don’t need a well-formulated moisturizer, serum and primer. That’s  going overboard and can cause your makeup to not last as long—just the opposite of what primers are said to do.

Note: If you decide to use a primer, it should be applied after your regular skin-care routine but before your daytime moisturizer with sunscreen.

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