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How to use makeup primer

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Get smooth skin & flawless makeup

With primer, your makeup glides on smoothly and blends easily. Plus, it doesn't rub off or smear. Primer gives your makeup something to hold onto, helping it last much longer. Read on to find out more about the benefits of using makeup primer.

Flawless skin

Benefits of makeup primer

  • Creates a smooth base for your makeup
  • Evens out skin tone and disguises flaws
  • Reduces inflammation and redness
  • Hydrates and nourishes skin
  • Reduces oil and shine
  • Helps fill in wrinkles and fine lines
  • Makes pores appear smaller

Is primer for you?

Primers are generally easy-to-apply, oil-free gel formulas. They control excess shine, making them ideal for women with oily or combination skin. Makeup primer also can benefit sensitive or dry skin, because it hydrates and nourishes it while calming inflammation. Additionally, many primers contain SPF, which protects your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

How to apply primer

Using a makeup primer creates a smooth surface and flawless-looking skin. Apply it after you put on moisturizer, but before you apply your foundation.

Apply your primer all over your face, or just to the areas where your makeup doesn't usually last -- nose, chin and eyelids.

Use a very small amount and apply to your skin with your fingertips, blending thoroughly.

Wait a few minutes after application before putting on your foundation to allow the primer to sink in and create a smooth surface.

Our favorite primers

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($32 for 1 ounce): This popular primer helps inhibit the destruction of collagen, smoothes the skin and fills in fine lines. It's created with plenty of healthy ingredients including green tea, grape seed extract and vitamins A, C and E. In addition to its original colorless formula, Smashbox offers Color Adjust (minimizes redness), Color Balance (for yellow undertones), Color Blend (conceals veins, undereye circles, etc.), SPF 15, Luminizing and Bronzing primers.

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer ($30 for 1 ounce): Created with vitamins A and C, along with mulberry extract and Retinol, this mattifying primer can be worn alone or under your foundation. Your skin looks bright and fresh with reduced pores and a smooth finish. It offers a great boost for tired skin and uneven skintones.

NARS Makeup Primer SPF 20 ($33 for 1.7 ounces): This lightweight moisturizing primer protects your skin from the sun with SPF 20 while creating a flawless base for your makeup. It absorbs very fast, so you don't have to wait before applying your foundation.

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