These picks from the pros will deliver a gorgeous, smooth base for makeup application.
Think of primers as built-in Instagram filters for your face. There are a variety of formulas out there for different skin types, but if you're looking for a primer specifically to help fill in fine lines and prep skin for makeup, it can be difficult to identify the right one. Your perfect primer should be thin enough to appear natural, but powerful enough to mask the appearance of crow’s-feet, deep-set smile lines, and more. To find out which formula is best for delivering a flawless, even base, we asked professional makeup artists which primers they keep in their kits. Below, nine of their favorites.
tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer
Lancôme La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer
"This primer is one of my all-time favorites because it leaves the skin with a silk finish and it works on any skin type, young or of age. The formulation isn’t heavy and therefore it’s perfect for people with fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it’s clear, so it doesn’t leave any form of discoloration on the skin."
—Stephany Andujar, New York City-based makeup artist and MSA model
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
"This primer not only smooths pores, it also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Living up to its name, 'Baby Skin', the primer gives you a youthful glow and your makeup a rosy boost right from the start. This beauty must-have is also easy on the wallet—it's under $10."
—Jami Svay, North Carolina-based makeup artist and author of The BEAUTY-Full Guide: Quick and Easy Makeup Tips for Today's Woman ($8; amazon.com)
Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum
Demarché Labs Roloxin Lift Gold Mask
"I actually love to use this face mask as a primer to prep skin for makeup application. It works like a matrix underneath skin to fill in fine lines and hold skin taut and firm. It lifts for up to 24 hours and is considered the temporary red carpet facelift in a packet. The gold actually casts a glowy tint on skin for radiance."
Covergirl True Blend Primer for Combo Skin
"This drugstore option helps makeup last longer by normalizing oily areas of the face and moisturizing dry zones. This is important because frequently touching up powder in an attempt to control shine can accentuate lines as makeup settles into them. Plus, dehydration lines can make skin look more tired than plump moisturized skin. This primer addresses both of those issues."
—Andrew Sotomayor, New York City-based makeup artist
YSL Beauty Touche Eclat Blur Primer
"This primer is so beautiful and can be used for all skin types. It smooths out pores, fine lines, and any small imperfections while giving skin that natural dewiness without looking and feeling oily. I usually apply a thin layer or two, let it soak into the skin for couple of minutes before proceeding with the makeup."
–Min Min Ma, New York City-based makeup artist
NYX High Definition Primer
La Mer The Perfecting Treatment
"This is my favorite primer. The blurring technology softens the appearances of fine lines and pores as soon as you put it on, and unlike straight-up silicone primers, this is actually skincare that makes your skin look better, even without makeup."