I've tried and tested a lot of primers over the years, especially before I properly got into skincare and realised that creating a long-lasting flawless base, is as much to do with how happy your skin is, as what products you use on it. Having had predominately oily skin since I was around 16, I've turned to primers over the years to try and keep the oil at bay for as long as possible, which was also the main benefit I looked for in a primer. I've come across more than my fair share of benefit-promising primers that really don't do much, but there's a few that I really like and turn to often.
If we're talking everyday, any look, any occasion, then the Laura Mercier Oil-free Foundation Primer (50ml, £29) is my favourite go-to. It has a light-weight cream formula that once applied creates a veil of smooth skin, and let's me create a look without worrying about which products will last the day; it keeps everything in place from morning to night. It's one of the few primers I've tried that ticks all the boxes, and I've been getting through my sample size for ages now - I'll definitely be investing in the full size!
A budget-friendly alternative to Laura Mericer, is the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer* (30ml, £10.99) which I actually think is just as good quality wise, as any other high-end primers I've tried. Another light-weight formula, I find it works really well under bases and is the right side of mattifying, containing micro-correctors which keep excess oil at bay. It comes with built-in SPF20, working with any kind of base from liquid to cream, stick or powder.
One of my favourite Urban Decay finds has definitely been the Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion (28ml, £19) which I would repurchase over and over again. I even prefer it to their famous Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It's slightly thicker in consistency than most primers, but once applied it's almost as though it has given me a a new layer of flawless skin. It disguises pores, creates a soft-matte finish and keeps oil at bay no problems. It's my favourite go-to primer for disguising pores, without a doubt.
Another primer that is fantastic at making your pores look like airbrushed perfection, is a primer I reserve for 'special occasions'. I'm on my second pot now, and it's the primer I reach for when I'm off out for dinner, a family occasion, birthday's, Christmas, you get the jist... Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch (15ml, £22.85) is one of those luxurious primers that you know will make your skin look flawless. I'm talking at-your-best primer status here. It minimises the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores, works well as a base for makeup with a smooth finish and keeps oil at bay with ease. Love.
If you're looking for a more specific primer, then when I'm having a less-is-more makeup day and just want something to control my t-zone, The Body Shop All-In-One Instablur Universal* (25ml, £14) fits the bill perfectly. I'm not so keen on the silicone texture, but it's light-weight and easily reduces the appearance of pores, literally 'blurring' my complexion and creating a smoother, more even base for makeup.
I use a primer every single day - it's just a habit and part of my routine, I just wouldn't apply a base without a primer on. It's very rare nowadays that I find myself suffering with an oily complexion, but I think that also has to have a lot to do with having a good skincare routine in place too and always finishing with a good setting powder (I'm currently smitten with Soap & Glory Kick Ass Instant Retouch Powder, see here). What are your thoughts on primers, do you have any favourites?
*PR Samples - Disclaimer