Smooth operaters: six great Primer picks from budget to bling


For ages now I've been kind of obsessed with finding the perfect primer. After much testing I've yet to find my shortcut to complexion perfection, but they're handy if my skin needs a boost or my make-up has to stay on longer than usual. These six are my favourites - they all work well under makeup and help to keep my base in place, while offering other benefits, too:

1. Essence My Base Skin Perfection Make-Up Base
A lot of primers that claim to boost radiance don't work too well on oily or combination skintypes. This is different - the alarming apricot colour blends out to a fresh, youthful finish. At €4.79 it's a bargain, so we can forgive it for not blurring imperfections or filling in pores.

2. Rimmel Fix & Perfect Perfect Pro Primer
This takes up where the Essence offering leaves off. For €8.25 you get a product that helps smooth out your skintone, while mattifying, too. After makeup the finish isn't flawless, but it's definitely improved.  Read our review here.

3. Avon Magix Face Perfector
This is €13.50 and is a step up again in terms of smoothing, blurring imperfections and filling in pores. With a velvety feeling gel-powder finish, this has been compared to Benefit's Porefessional and the SPF 20 means it helps to protect as well as perfect.


4. Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer
One of two new primers from the brand this spring, this version evens out the skintone, controls excess oil and calms problem skin, too, thanks to skin friendly ingredients like Green Tea and Vitamin E. An Illuminating version is also available for drier skintypes; both are €29.50.

5. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30
Unless I'm having a really good skin day, I don't feel this gives enough coverage when I use it alone. So although it isn't strictly a primer I've found if I stick it on under my foundation  it smooths, hydrates and controls oil all in one, a blessing for my combination skin. (€32)

6. Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse SPF30 P++++
My favourite, but sadly, the most expensive too at €34. The texture gives it the edge over the Clinique and Lauder offerings: the lightweight mousse dries quickly to a matte finish, but with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, its hydrating too.

Check out the primer category for even more tips and reviews.

I know lots of you will have tried one, some or even all of these so please, share your thoughts in the comments!




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