While I used to minimize my makeup routine by skipping face primer, I’ve curated a handful in my collection that actually make a difference and are worth the extra step. Many of my go-to foundations work hard by themselves, but the right primer can take them to the next level, whether my goal is to achieve more glow, longer wear, or smoothing texture.
Keep reading to discover what I consider the best drugstore primers that will help you achieve the makeup look you love!
The Best Drugstore Smoothing Primer: Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Pore Minimize Primer
The Maybelline Master Prime Primer is a classic drugstore primer that delivers a smooth, even base for your foundation. It helps blur texture and pores while adding more wear time to your makeup. This has been named a dupe for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer at a fraction of the cost, and with a more lightweight feel. Remember: since this is a silicone-heavy primer, you should use a silicone-based foundation for best results.
The Best Drugstore Long Wear Primer: e.l.f. Power Grip Primer
If you need your makeup to last from morning through the night, the e.l.f Power Grip Primer is the way to go! This is a gripping primer, which means it goes on with a sticky feel that grips onto the makeup you apply over it. The formula is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid to help your skin retain moisture and a plump effect that keeps your makeup out of fine lines. I trust this primer with anything I throw at it– it’s never let me down, particularly keeping my makeup looking freshly applied after long nights out spent dancing at concerts!
The Best Drugstore Mattifying Primer: L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Lock Primer
If you have oily skin and need help keeping your makeup matte, reach for the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Lock Primer. It gives you all day oil control while smoothing your skin and extending the wear time of your look. This is also suitable for acne-prone skin, as it’s non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores.
The Best Drugstore Brightening Primer: Milani Bright Side Illuminating Primer
Looking for glow? The Milani Bright Side Primer delivers an instant and long lasting brightening effect. The formula has a radiant finish that shows through your foundation without being overly dewy, while also delivering the skin care benefits of Vitamin C, ProVitamin B5, squalane & jojoba oil that dry/normal skin will drink up. It has a creamy lotion texture and is a dupe for the Ole Henriksen Banana Primer.
The Best Drugstore Color Correcting Primer: NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer
Color correcting is the practice of cancelling out discoloration using color theory techniques. The NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Color Correct Primer has a sheer green tint to it, which will help neutralize redness all over the face for issues like breakouts or rosacea. It has a matte finish and has a slight blurring effect.