Once upon a time, primers were considered just that: the first steps to your makeup routine. Smashbox Cosmetics’ Photo Finish was a big hit (and still is), because of the way it could go on smooth as silk on skin with its silicone ingredients.
But now, primer options have moved well past smooth and silicone-infused. The notion of a primer as merely prepping a canvas for makeup is so 2010—primers today serve to correct skin tone, texture, and even makeup. Here are a few that are upping the ante.
Clinique Superprimers ($27 each)
From correcting skin dullness to counteracting redness, each Clinique Superprimer tackles a problem one by one. There are six Superprimers—one Universal Face Primer five Colour Corrects formulations for Dullness, Redness, Sallowness, Discolorations, and Dullness specifically for darker skin tones. And yes, if you have more than one skin concern, you can layer the primers like frosting on a cake—we’ve tested a variety of combinations on our skin, and cannot recommend them highly enough. If you’re unsure what to get, you can filter the results by taking an online quiz here. All six are worth stocking up on, and also make great gifts.
Using Dior’s Airflash Primer is equivalent to getting a makeover from makeup artist extraordinaire Pat McGrath. The light liquid spray is best applied on your face directly, but you can also spray it on your hands and then apply. The micronized texture of the primer gives the face an instant prep, and since it’s also a color corrector with a mix of hyaluronic acid and minerals, the primer imparts a beautiful radiance to the skin, and also hydrates. This Cadillac of primers that will erase discolorations and then some.
Kinara Weightless Infusion Primer ($80)
A pricier version than the ones mentioned above, this antioxidant-rich primer is a serum-gel formulation, and aims to improve texture and tone. I can also honestly say that after using this primer, my foundation goes on evenly and makes my face seem quite flawless. The texture is serum-like, not silicone-like as with the Clinique or Smashbox primers, so you’ll feel as though your wearing no primer at all. The Kinara primer goes beyond the basic primer because of its anti-aging properties, and is ideal for women who want to treat their skin as well as prime it.
Photo Credit: NARS Cosmetics
This oil-free gel primer targets that pesky skin problem: unsightly pores. The end result is a matte surface for makeup application. It also contains mineral powders, which is a departure from the norm, in order to give your skin a nice matte-like finish on the T-zone area. It’s also ideal for shine control, so you can safely leave your blotting papers at home.