You might think that primers are something only required by make-up artists or beauty aficionados. You’d be wrong. Whatever your level of knowledge or interest in beauty, applying a primer is a key step in wearing make-up, and one that shouldn’t be missed. Think about it; applying make-up takes time and effort, so you want it to last all day, and perhaps through the evening too…

A good primer will smooth out and minimise the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores and provide a base for your foundation to ‘cling’ to so that it doesn’t perform a disappearing act during the day. A primer will also reduce shine and enable you to blend foundation more evenly. Oh hello, flawless skin! And particular skin concerns can even be addressed with the right primer. Oily skin? Go for a mattifying primer to blot excess oil. Patches of redness to cover up? Choose a colour-correcting primer. And if you’re after a dewy glow, it’s an illuminating, radiance-boosting primer you’re after. Here’s our edit of the very best primers, all promising to ensure that skin looks as fresh at the end of the day as it did first thing in the morning.

Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 Anti-glycation Primer

Tackling skin concerns and priming with the added benefit of sun protection, this one’s for skincare enthusiasts. Chantecaille’s lightweight, mattifying primer can be worn even without foundation – it’s great for a smooth, flawless complexion. Packed with anti-ageing ingredients, this primer is also water and humidity resistant so it’s perfect for wearing if you’re hitting the dancefloor or spending time in sunny climes.

best primers

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

Minimising the appearance of imperfections, pores and fine lines, Revlon’s pink-tinted primer smooths evenly over skin to create the perfect base for foundation. Clever photochromatic pigments in the primer diffuse light so that skin looks even and blemish-free regardless of camera flashes, fluorescent lights or bright sunshine. Apply before adding foundation or concealer, and you can expect make-up to last all day long.

Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Dewy Finish Primer

After a dewy finish? Murad’s primer comes highly recommended. There’s a big difference between shiny and radiant – particularly when it comes to skin – and rest assured, this promises the latter. Disguising blemishes and evening out flaws, the oil-free formula balances the skin’s oil production while light-enhancing minerals work to create a radiant glow.

Smashbox Color Correcting Foundation Primer Adjust

If there’s a brand that knows what’s what when it comes to primers, it’s Smashbox – there’s one  for just about every skincare concern and complexion finish you care to imagine. The green-tinted colour-correcting primer is excellent if you suffer from redness or discolouration, and it can be applied all over, or just on areas of concerns. The primer also contains a range of skincare ingredients designed to soothe and calm dry, irritated skin – it’s a long-term solution as well as an instant fix.

Dr Lewinn’s Skin Perfect Primer

Chantecaille’s skincare-focused primer is pure brilliance, but it is a little spendy – this is a great alternative. Pores are minimised and excess oil absorbed, and skin feels smooth – without any tightness or dehydration. Lightweight and formulated with collagen and radiance-boosting ingredients, wear this with or without make-up for skin that looks softer and brighter.