Tried and tested – the best primers for all skin types reviewed

February 16, 2012
Since I started writing this blog, I’ve been exposed to a plethora of beauty products, some good and some not so good.  So this puts me in good stead to share my opinion on what’s worth your money.  And I’m sharing my two pence worth on primers.  So I’m showing you the best primers for all skin types, including the best primer for mineral foundation, and the best primer on a budget.
There are so many primers out there, it’s difficult to know what to use.  On top of this, I was initially unsure about what exactly a primer does – as any descriptions I read just sounded like marketing BS.
So if you’re looking for a new primer, or never used one and are intrigued as to how a primer will help you, look no further, as I’ve reviewed some primers I’ve tried and tested, and detailed what they’re best for.
But before I launch into my lowdown, I’ve detailed some marketing BS for those who are still in the dark about primers…

The best primers for all skin types…what does a primer do?               

I’ve browsed many beauty websites to get a definitive answer, and they all pretty much seem to say this:
Primers work much like a moisturiser.  They create a barrier between the foundation and skin.  They also create a smooth canvas for your skin by minimising the appearance of fine lines and pores.     
For makeup novices, you’re probably thinking that a primer is some minor miracle.  Well let me tell you, that’s not always the case, and often a high price tag does not reflect the quality of a primer.

How do you distinguish a good primer from a crappy one?       

The primer acid test is pretty simple – smooth some primer onto the back of your hand.  How does it feel?  A good primer should make your skin feel soft and velvety.  Unlike a moisturiser, it shouldn’t absorb straight into your skin, it should produce a smooth layer on top.  It shouldn’t feel dry or tight.
Below are some of the primers I’ve tried, and what they work best for…

The best primers for all skin types

The best primer for mineral foundation:        

BellaPierre's Mineral Foundation Primer is a luxury mineral primer
BellaPierre’s Mineral Foundation Primer
– BellaPierre Mineral Foundation Primer – £45,  
If a luxury mineral primer is what you’re looking for, this is it.  Bellapierre’s primer is thick and luxurious and only needs a minimal application.
I’ve used it with BellaPierre’s Mineral foundation.  Due to its heavier texture, I would say that this primer is perhaps better on dry skin, rather than oily, as oily skin may feel congested and end up looking shiny.  My sister – who has dry skin – has recently tried and fallen in love with the BellaPierre primer.
However a bugbear for me is the price.  I think many people will struggle to justify spending more on a primer than they would on a foundation!
Sheer Cover Base Perfector is great for oily skin
Sheer Cover Base Perfector
– Sheer Cover’s Base Perfector – Comes with the Sheer Cover kit, which starts at £29.99  (If you don’t want the set, this can be bought individually on various websites)                
For oily or combination girls, a better primer for mineral foundation is Sheer Cover’s Base Perfector.  It’s a lot lighter than Bellapierre’s primer, so won’t make your skin feel heavy.  It still has the same smoothing effect, though it is not as thick in consistency.  Conversely, if you’ve got dry skin, you might find that this primer saps your skin.
Gosh Velvet Touch Primer - a budget yet luxe primer
Gosh Velvet Touch Primer

The best primer on a budget:       

– Gosh Velvet Touch Primer – £12.99, Superdrug   
Don’t be fooled by the price, Gosh’s Velvet Primer is as luxe and smoothing as the best of them!  Its fine, velvety finish leaves a smooth canvass for liquid, cream or powder foundation to glide across.
This is a great low budget primer which does what you’d expect – minimises pores and fine lines.  It’s like the BellaPierre primer, but not as thick. And like the Bellapierre primer, it’s more suited to dry skin rather than oily.

The best primer for problem skin:  

Great for problem skin - Witch Anti-Blemish skin clearing primer
Witch Anti-Blemish
skin clearing primer
– Witch Anti-Blemish Skin Clearing Primer – £6.99, available at Boots, Tesco and Superdrug   
That’s right, Witch have brought out a cosmetic range to solve that age old vicious circle: makeup causes spots, which need to be covered with makeup, resulting in more spots!  Witch’s Anti-Blemish primer has added witch hazel, which helps fight spots, whilst providing a protective layer between skin and makeup.  I’m currently using this primer while my skin passes through its angry teenage phase.

The best-all-round primer:       

New Cid I-Prime primer
– New Cid I-Prime – £24, QVC,       
This is one of my favourite primers.  It’s not too light and not too heavy, and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy.  It’s the perfect primer for combination-skinned girls like me.  One squirt of the primer smoothes skin like a dream, making it the perfect go-to primer for a flawless canvass.  Once my skin is less angry, I’ll be back using the New Cid I-Prime again.

About the Author


I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!

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