A Guide to Primers

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Primers are definitely a love or hate type of product. For me I love them and can’t imagine doing my makeup without them. But I remember back in the day when Benefits Porefessional and thick silicone primers were the only ones on the market and I hated them. Fast forward a few years and now there’s a primer for every skin type! Skin type and what you want from a primer is definitely the most important thing to consider when choosing one. If you have oily skin you might like heavy silicone primers. If you have dry skin a more hydrating primer is the way to go. I have dehydrated skin so I tend to find most silicone, or pore filling primers only make my skin more dry so I avoid those.


Hydrating primers are one of my favourite types of primer. I reach for hydrating ones if my skin is more dehydrated than usual or if I want to use a matte foundation. My favourites are:

Too Faced Hangover primer | £27 |

This primer is packed full of skin loving ingredients like Coconut Water and Vitamins, that plump, hydrate and re charge the skin. This does give my skin a stuble radiance to it as well. This is perfect for my dehyrated skin. It leaves my skin smooth and ready for makeup. If I’m reaching for matte base products this is my go to primer, it helps my skin stay hydrated all day.

NYX Skin Elixir Q10 Primer | £11

Like the Too Faced one this is packed with skin loving ingredients to plump and hydrate the skin. It has a thick, cream like texture but it melts into the skin with ease, leaving a nice smooth base for makeup. This definitely helps prevent my skin from drying out throughout the day and helps keep my makeup looking fresher for longer.

La Roche Posay Efficlar Duo+ Unifant | £16.50

Now this is the famous Efficular moisturiser with a tint too it. The Efficular moisturiser is aimed at those who suffer with breakouts and blocked pores, with ingrediants that aim to treat and prevent blemishes. I have tried the original and I’ve been using this for a while and I don’t find this does anything life changing for blemishes. I tried to use this as a foundation but the coverage just wasn’t enough for me. But as a primer it works fine. I don’t find this as hydrating as the Too Faced or NYX one. But I like the coverage it gives. I think this would be better suited to oily skins.


Blurring primers are great for disguising pores and fine lines. Primers along these lines tend to contain silicones and have quite a thick texture. As I said previously these type of primers aren’t my favourite but I have a few I like…

Boots Time Delay Primer | £10.99 |

Boots Time Delay Primer contains light defusing particles to give the skin a blurring effect. Which this definitely does, everytime I use this I’m instantly wowed at how much better my skin looks before I’ve even applied foundation. It leaves a super smooth base for foundation application and helps prolong my makeup wear time. This is definitely a hidden drugstore gem!

Hylamide HA Blur Primer | £19 |

Hylamide have developed a pretty unique formula with primer. It uses hyaluronic powders to blur the skin rather than silicones. It does have a powder like feel but in a cream formula, it’s so strange! This does have good blurring properties and leaves my skin so smooth. This does also claim to be hydrating but I don’t actually find it is, but it’s not drying. Overall, a nice blurring primer.

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot | £10

This reminds me a lot of the Boots Time Delay one. They do pretty much the same thing – blur and leave a smooth base for makeup. Although when I use this it basically keeps my makeup on all day! I’ve heard people with oily skins rave about this too. So I think it’s a good all rounder for most skin types.


Illuminating primers are my absolute favourite! I tend to find most illuminating primers also offer the hydration I need too, My favourites are…

Becca Backlight primer filter | £32 |

This primer has to be favourite of the bunch. It’s a pearlescent cream that blends into the skin, leaving behind a gorgeous glow. This is really glow-y so I just like to use one pump. And this really gives a lit from within glow. It smooths over dry patches and just makes my skin look better! This works with all my favourite foundations. It also works well with matte products. If you have very oily skin then this probably isn’t for you, but normal /dry / dehydrated skin I can’t recommend this enough.

NYX Honey Dew Me Up Primer | £14 |

I don’t know weather to include this in Illuminating or hydrating because it does both. This has little gold flecks in it that give the skin a very subtle glow, no where near as much as the Becca one. But it makes my skin look more alive. Because it’s hydrating this also plumps and smooths the skin ready for makeup application.

The do it alls..

These are the primers that hydrate, blur and illuminate the skin…

Rimmel Insta Flawless Primer | £6.99 |

Hate the name, love the product! This is one of my ultimate favourites; it’s tinted so it gives the skin a bit of coverage. It gives a glow, hydrates, and gives my skin a blurred effect. Although this isn’t as blurring as the ones in the blurring category but it just makes my skin look all round better! If you have really good skin you would probably just use this on its own without any foundation. For just £6 this is a total bargain!

Estee Lauder Illuminating Primer | £21.50 |

I’m really surprised more people don’t talk about this! It’s a great primer. Now this does everything apart from add coverage. The formula is so nice, it melts into the skin and leaves behind a nice subtle glow. Nothing too over the top though. I also find this hydrating and it stops my skin from drying out. Although the texture is very different from the Too faced one (which is very similar to moisturiser). It also blurs my skin a bit but I think this is down to its light reflecting properties rather than silicones. It’s just a great primer!

So there’s a little guide to primers.

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts?

Until next time…