5 All-Star Face Primers!

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Today Rowena from Cosmetic Candy Blog shares five of her favorite face primers.🙂



From the first moment I discovered primers, I have been obsessed with all the various kinds of textures and types out there.

Primer is supposed to do a few things; firstly prepare the face as a canvas, smoothing out pores and wrinkles, making foundation easier to apply and last longer. Some primers are color corrective, so useful for people with dull skintones or overly red ones, some primers have mattifying properties for oily skins, and some contain salicylic acid for acne prone gals.

There are also various textures to choose from – gels, creams, lotions, silicone based.
I have completely troublesome skin; oily on my t-zone, dry on the cheeks that then turns oily, sometimes flaky, always rosy, medium pores and a splattering of acne. I like my primers, but some work for me, some don’t.

With that in mind, here are five of my favourite primers.

1. Chanel: Le Blanc De Chanel, Sheer Illuminating Base


Le Blanc De Chanel Primer (30ml, $45) is a scary looking white creamy liquid that applies looking a tad wan, then rapidly sinks in to leave a brightening, radiant effect. I am not a fan of anything that looks chalky on my skin, and this primer does not leave my NC35 skin looking ghostly.

As well as illuminating, this silicone based primer is supposed to smooth out the skin surface and makes make up last longer. It is quite a rich, moisturizing primer – the SA told me when I bought it that it was for more mature skins than mine (but I bought it anyway!). Oily skins may struggle a little with it as it can be a little rich, especially if you apply too much product. Alternatively, it can be applied to specific areas of the face just for a highlight.

I like this used with a mattifying foundation like Chanel Mat Lumiere as it gives a refined glow.

Verdict: A wonderful illuminator

2. Paul & Joe: Moisturizing Foundation Primer


Sitting in a beautiful glass jar is Paul & Joe’s moisturizing foundation primer, (30ml, SPF 12 apart from shade 03) which is a creamy liquid that comes in three shades.

I have shade 2 which is the warmest tone. Although I don’t like scented face products, this one smells beautiful and it really adds moisture to the face and adds a soft, dewy glow. Used sparingly under a powder foundation, it helps balance my skin so that I don’t get that horribly cakey-powdery-nose look. It also smoothes out my pores but not in a fake, over the top way and looks oh so pretty on my dressing table.

Verdict: Keeps the skin hydrated all day

3. Illamasqua: Satin Primer


Illamasqua is a fairly new UK based make up brand, one which will be winging its way all around the world quite soon! Their Satin Primer (30ml, SPF 20, £18) is a white lotion which sinks in quickly and adds instant glow. Even with foundation and primer on top, my face is left with a beachy glowy look without looking like I have dunked my head into some Crisco. SPF 20 is also a big bonus!

Verdict: Dewy Goodness

4. RMK Creamy Make Up Base


RMK make wonderful base make up products, from concealers to foundations to powders. Their primers are also excellent and come in liquid (30ml) for normal to oily skins, Creamy Matte Base (colorless and mattifying) and Creamy Make Up Base (30g) in two hues. I have a liquid and a creamy and I alternate depending on if my skin is feeling oiler or drier on the day.

Creamy make up base is my favourite because it really smoothes out the face and can be used all over. It adds a subtle glow and covers pores and lines quit well. I’ve also find it makes make up last longer, but works best if you give it some time to sink in properly.


Verdict: A great all rounder

5. Clarins Lisse Minute – Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Make Up Base


This primer sits in a little pot (15ml, $30), inside containing a light salmon colored thick cream which easily blends into the skin. This primer is not just your average primer – it fills in lines and pores too using what Clarins calls miniscule Acacia Micro Pearls that sink into wrinkles and plump out the skin. I had to think long and hard before buying this one because it’s expensive for not a lot of product, but I am glad I did.

I use this just on targeted areas like on my cheeks where pores are more prominent and around my mouth where I feel lines may be visible. It provides me with the smooth canvas to work with and I really notice the difference to using foundation on its own and using it with this. If I want an extra boost, I use another primer all over and this one just on spots that needs some extra oomph!

Verdict: Polyfilla for the face

If you already have amazing skin, a lot of primers can be used on their own just to add some glow. Have I converted you to priming your face if you don’t do so already?! You know what they say; a stitch in time saves nine (or rather, a layer of primer saves you the job of retouching later!).

This post was written by Rowena, the creator and writer of Cosmetic Candy Blog, where she writes about everything beauty related, moans about bad customer service and talks about her 5 fat kittehs.


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So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Rachel says:

    I love the packaging of Illamasqua, Chanel and Paul and Joe 🙂

  2. Tali says:

    I love the Illamasqua primer but I use the matte one!
    I just did some major hauls there.. last week and then today.. :/ I have no self-control!

    Tali´s last blog post..Prestige Bronzers

  3. Connie says:

    I’m thinking of trying the Paul & Joe makeup base but the packaging, although pretty, isn’t very user-friendly. I’ve used the RMK Creamy base too and it’s alright for me. My favorite base to use is Monistat Chafing Gel. LOVE IT! Makes liquid and powder foundation look awesome. Followed by Majolica Majorca Skin Lingerie and Benefit That Gal

    Connie´s last blog post..LAST CALL: I Nuovi Contest + Makeup Show NYC Tickets Giveaway

  4. Elle says:

    They do look intimidating, but its so hard to find the right kind that suits the skin. I guess it’s all about trial and error!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Connie – I second the Monistat Chafing Gel as a primer!! I have very oily skin and using this as a primer really helps to keep the oil under control, plus it feels AMAZING on. Definitely a great (cheap!) find!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lindsay,

      Thanks for letting us know that’s an option for the oily skinned gals. 🙂 I probably would’ve loved it when I was a teenager.

  6. Luv J says:

    Chanel Le Blanc is one of my faves.. I love this during the winter since it’s moisturizing.

  7. TUPRNUT says:

    My new love is one of the MUFE primers – I JUST ADORE IT! I’ve tried MAC, Smashbox and Stila, and MUFE is my favorite hands-down.

  8. Sheila says:

    My favorite is the Laura Geller Spackle. It can be used under the eyes as well to make your concealer go on smoothly and last all day. I have oily skin and it does not make my skin breakout.

  9. Tali says:

    Ooo… And another primer I like is the YSL matte one! Very good to keep shiny noses at bay!

    Tali´s last blog post..FOTD using Illamasqua- Orange!

  10. Misti says:

    Gosh, are you my skin twin? Other than the fact that I’m a NC15 and you’re in the 35 range? 😉

    Do you have a green primer you like? I’ve been using Smashbox’s but there’s just got to be something better out there for my crazy-rosy, oily-ish skin.

  11. Solé says:

    I like Smashbox and Laura Gellar Spackle. When I wear warm colors like I’m supposed to I use the bronze tinted ones, but when I’m bad and wear cool colors, I use the purple one which really tones down the yellow undertones in my skin and makes the cool colors wear better on me.

  12. Glosslizard says:

    Great info! I need to try some of those moisturizing primers!

  13. Mariko says:

    Where can I get a hold of the RMK line in the bay area?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mariko,

      Hmm, I tried a quick google search and couldn’t find the answer. Does anybody have any idea? I’d love to check some out, too. 🙂

  14. Catherine says:

    Oooh, the RMK one sounds really nice.

    Catherine´s last blog post..SUNGOD ’09!

  15. Tali says:

    So for I mostly got eyeshadows. And then more eyshadows :/

    The Matte ysl doesnt dry me out further so it actualy works pretty good!! I thought id be patchy.. but no.. so far nothing!

    Tali´s last blog post..ILLAMASQUA Haul & Review!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tali,

      That’s what I’m interested in the most. I can’t wait till we get it here… WHEE!

      And thanks for letting me know about the YSL primer. I might have to try it.

  16. Stef says:

    Nice job Rowena! These are some great cult brands that fly under the radar. It’s nice to know there are other primers than just Smashbox (which did NOT work for me).

    Stef´s last blog post..Weekly love list – Mood lighting

  17. Row says:

    Hi Stef!

    Thank you! I have tried Smashbox too, its give me spots! I’ve tried to pick ones that don’t automatically spring to mind!

    Mariko – RMK doesn’t have any counters in the US just yet. You can buy it online though, from eBay, check out seller: Vooboodoo – she’s super reliable and quick.

    You can also buy it from http://www.ichibankao.com but it might be a bit more expensive.

    Hope that helps!

  18. TUPRNUT says:

    I use MUFE’s HD Microperfecting Primer in 5 Blue… LOVE IT!

  19. Bobbie says:

    I love DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat and Monistat anti chafing gel.
    The Velvet Shin Coat is the first one I ever tried and it is my all time favorite. I’ve tried most of the others and these are the only two I use.

  20. chudy says:

    I want to try Chanel Le Blanc but, maybe it’s too siliconate ,
    I don’t know, ’cause I’m xtra sensible skin, the silicone use broke me down…:(

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