Don’t Be Afraid to Use Multiple Primers to Address Different Issues Around Your Face

Published in: Face, Make Up For Ever, Makeup Tips/How To

make up for ever primers

Mix and match your primers!

One of the beautiful (but sometimes frustrating when you can’t control yourself) truths about makeup is that you can make it as easy or as complicated as you want.

Case in point: primer. Most of the time, either because I’m inherently lazy or because I’m almost always running behind, I’ll use a single un-tinted pore-minimizing primer all over my face, except for on my lids, where I’ll use a separate eye primer, but sometimes I’ll feel like going the extra mile, so I’ll use a combination of multiple face primers, and sometimes I’ll even incorporate an additional color-correcting primer.


Make Up For Ever’s Step 1 Skin Equalizers are good for things like this.

make up for ever primers

Make Up For Ever Radiant Primer (left) and Smoothing Primer (right)

When I feel like going that extra mile, before applying my main face primer, I’ll use a separate orange-tinted color-correcting primer first, and I like $36 Make Up For Ever Radiant Primer Peach for this, to neutralize any purple, blue and gray tones on my skin, which for me is usually under my eyes, around my mouth and along my jawline.


make up for ever redness correcting primer

Make Up For Ever Redness Correcting Primer ($36)

A lot of people use a green-tinted primer, like Make Up For Ever Redness Correcting Primer (also $36), to neutralize redness in the corners around their nose, the sides of their mouth and sometimes around where they’ve had recent breakouts.

make up for ever nourishing primer

Make Up For Ever Nourishing Primer ($36)

And in addition to these color-correcting primers, there are other primers designed to help with specific concerns, like sometimes when my skin is crazy dry and flaking, I’ll dab a very small amount of Make Up For Ever Nourishing Primer on my cheeks, then go back in and pat a smoothing primer like Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer (this one’s also $36, but MUFE also sells a smaller $16 travel size) on top to mellow out my pores and fine lines.

So the take-home message here? No one says that you can’t combine multiple products, and you can totally use more than one face primer if you can’t find a single one that addresses all of your needs. You can mix and layer them. I sure do. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 32 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Erin says:

    I really like the Nourishing primer. I got a small sample from Sephora. I found it felt great and I think it made the new MUFE foundation look like a rockstar. I wish it handled pores better so I didn’t have to get both!
    Erin recently posted … RUTZ 2012 Alexander Valley Chardonnay

  2. Rachel R. says:

    I have a few different primers, depending on how oily my face is that day. Sometimes I use a couple, when my Tzone is oily but my cheeks are closer to normal skin.

    • Karen says:

      Isn’t it funny how skin can change on a daily basis? I try to adjust my primers according to how mine is acting that day, too. I can really tell the difference when I don’t get enough water — then it’s usually very dry the next day.

      Oh, and off subject but I’m going to make your hubby’s banana bread tonight. 😀

      • Rachel R. says:

        It’s crazy!!! My skin was just a constant oil slick till I hit 45. Then it started changing every few days. I never know if it’ll be oily, combination or normal. I think it’s the hormone fluctuations from getting ever closer to menopause. I have a wardrobe of primers and foundations now, when I used to just use one of each.

        Enjoy your baking! 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Oh my gosh, I feel you. Mine was oily all over until I hit my early 30s, and then it completely changed! Now my cheeks get so dry, and it’s such a pain. At least when it was oily it was consistent, LOL!

          So, I didn’t get a chance to make the banana bread last night, because after I worked out and made dinner, I was too tired. It’s on the list of things to do tonight though, because I’ve got some bananas are about two seconds away from going too brown. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I can do your hubby’s recipe justice.

          • Rachel R. says:

            Cravings vs. fatigue is a tough battle when you’re pregnant. I was never a nap person until I got pregnant.

            If you can’t make the bread any time soon, and the bananas are going too black, just leave the bananas in the peel and freeze them whole. They can be defrosted later. I think freezing them first actually makes them easier to mash.

  3. Metta says:

    I play around with a lot of different primers too but mostly because I just can’t seem to find one that works well with my skin. I have combo skin, oily t zone. I have been going back and forth with hourglass, and muf photo finish pore minimizing. If anyone knows of any better so appreciate it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Metta,

      You might like Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing by Smashbox. I was using it pretty consistently until I started with the MUFE one. It’s really great for those oily spots, and it does a banging job with minimizing pore too! I usually use it during the summer when my forehead is crazy oil. HTH! ANd let me know if you need any more recs. 🙂

  4. Lulle says:

    I started doing that recently, usually for special occasions when I really want my makeup to look flawless. I’ll use a primer all over, plus something to minimize pores where I need it (I like Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch for that).
    And very recently I’ve discovered that a peachy CC cream a friend brought back for me from Taiwan is great at correcting redness (I can’t manage to make it work on its own though, so I use it under a powder foundation).
    Lulle recently posted … My selection: 10 lipsticks for Fall

  5. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been using NARS radiant primer all over and MUFE smoothing primer on my cheeks and under eye area. I was thinking I should check out some of MUFE’s other primers, my skin has been like a desert lately so maybe the hydrating would be a good one to test out.

  6. Kellie says:

    For some reason I have never found a primer that has worked for my oily skin. They always seem to make me oilier! Any rec’s for gal’s with super oily, breakout prone skin? Redness is also a big issue.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kellie,

      I use Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing on my oily forehead (which is an oil slick) in the summer and really like it.

      Any gals here with oily skin care to chime in? Kellie needs your help!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, and Smashbox also has a redness correcting primer (it’s the one in the green tube). I haven’t used it, but next time you go to Sephora you might want to get a sample!

  7. Amalia says:

    “So many products for just one simple reason, just to apply color to our face.” as Olivia from The Unknown Beauty Blog says.

  8. If multimasking is a thing then multipriming can be a thing too, I agree!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Protecting my freshly colored hair with the Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair range with quinoa

  9. Kim says:

    I usually Tzone prime with Porefessional and, of course, use Pro Prime for my eye area. I ran out of PP a couple of days ago and have been using Hourglass Veil around my eyes. Not the same. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Oh my gosh, definitely NOT the same. Maybe try priming your eyes with a little bit of concealer or foundation? Just a little bit though. I’ve done that in a pinch.

  10. Nicole says:

    I do this too! I use a pore minimizing/ smoothing primer on my t zone and over a little scar on my cheek which currently is the mufe. I like a moisturizing primer on the rest of my face and something with a glow under my eyes. Those hydrating primers switch depending on the degree of coldness here in Oh. Right now, I’m super dry so it’s Hourglass oil primer. Under my eyes , I’ve been trying a sample of the cover fx illuminating. But, I think I like the color correcting theory a little better. I’m going to try that out! Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole,

      You use the No. 28 primer, right? That’s good stuff! How are you liking the Cover FX Illuminating primer? I keep meaning to go over there and get a sample but then I get distracted by all the pretty, pretty things at Sephora. LOL!

      • Doreen says:

        Hi Karen,
        I have the Cover FX illuminating primer and its very nice. Not greasy at all makes makeup look fantastic. I also have MUFE green primer and I love that also because I have broken capillaries on my cheeks and it really helps.


  11. Ruchita says:

    Great idea! I like the idea of color correcting primers. For me, especially in the winter, my skin tends to get kind of dull and sallow looking. Anything to help brighten things up is good!

    • Karen says:

      I feel you! I’ve been using the orange corrector in a number of places besides my under eye area — around the mouth, nose and jawline. I think it does make a difference.

      Forgot to ask you how dinner at your mom’s went. Did she cook dosas? (I looooooove dosas!) Hope you had fun!

      • Ruchita says:

        Thanks for asking! Dinner was very yummy and fun. 🙂 I always tend to eat a bit too much because the food is so good! She sent us home with leftovers too, which is awesome.

        My mom is a second grade teacher, so she was telling us about some of the challenges of the classroom. I have a huge amount of respect for her and other teachers. It’s not an easy job!

  12. Pamela Haddad says:

    I haven’t tried Make Up Forever yet. I really like Benefit’s Stay Flawless Primer. But I saw Ulta’s Professional Matte Primer as I was checking out. (they totally know how to market.) So I thought I’d try it. I really liked it at first, but now after a couple of months, it seems to “pill” up along my jawline. I don’t know it I used too much, but it’s weird. Anyone ever had that happen to them?

  13. I don’t even wear one primer, let alone different ones. I am so lazy.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Making an impact – Cliniques High Impact Mascara

  14. Missey says:

    Karen- you look lovely without any makeup or primer on. In fact, the opening photo on this article is one of your prettiest.

  15. Katie says:

    I adore the MUFE Redness Correcting primer! It’s the only green-tinted primer I’ve tried that has ever really worked. I like to use that on the sides of my face where I have scar tissues, and in the quarter sized area under my under-eye area, where I also have a lot of redness. Then I’ll use the Too Faced Primed and Poreless on my pore-y and rough patches. I think multi-priming is the best way to go!

  16. Melissa says:

    Anyone have a good suggestion that helps makeup stay on around your mouth and chin? Seems that’s the only area I notice doesn’t stay on.

  17. Doreen says:

    Hi, I have drier mature skin, and I have many primers and foundations.
    One foundation that is oil free but so nice is Siseley oil-free foundation. Now am I suppose to wear an oil free primer with that? Or can I use any primer?


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