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Alongside extensive research, our editorial team have tried and tested a wide range of primers to find which ones perform best. For each category, we considered factors like skin type and concern, and budget to come up with a list of the nine best primers in Australia.
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Our choice for the best cheap face primer is e.l.f.'s Poreless Putty Primer. This influencer-approved product is designed to help you create the perfect canvas for your makeup, and it comes in at under $20.
The unique velvet formulation glides effortlessly over the skin, working its magic to minimise the appearance of pores and create a smooth base for whatever you choose to put over the top. It can also be used by all skin types, as it's formulated with squalene which really helps to lock in long-lasting hydration.
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Our pick for the best high-end face primer is the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base. This double-duty product works as a moisturiser and primer at the same time.
The oil-free formulation is enriched with shea butter as well as vitamins B, C and E. This primer provides intense hydration while softening and plumping the skin. It also works to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines.
No matter what kind of product you decide to put over the top, this primer provides you with a super smooth base.
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Our choice for the best primer for large pores is the Benefit Porefessional Face Primer. If you're looking to create a flawless base for your makeup, this kind of primer can do that for you.
The formulation is silicone-based, which works to minimise the appearance of large pores and fine lines. It doesn't feel too heavy on the skin, in fact, the lightweight formula is more like a balm. It feels incredibly silky and smooth when applied to the skin.
The Porefessional Face Primer is a cult product from Benefit and actually helped the brand become a household name in the cosmetics industry.
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Our choice for the best primer for dry skin is the Too Faced Hangover Primer. If your skin is in desperate need of a tall drink of water, this product will be sure to get the job done.
The formulation is infused with coconut water and enriched with probiotics and electrolytes. The result? A hydrated, smoother and brighter complexion. This face primer is fast absorbing, and can be worn alone or under makeup. It also works to extend the wear of your makeup and prevent foundation from clinging to any dry patches.
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Our pick for the best primer for oily skin is Fenty Beauty's Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer. Not only does it do an exceptional job at minimising the appearance of pores, but it also stops any excess shine in its tracks.
As the name suggests, this primer makes it look like a smoothing filter has been applied to your skin. The formulation is mattifying, yet doesn't leave your skin feeling dry and lifeless. Instead, the primer sits comfortably on the skin being lightweight and breathable.
It also allows any foundation you apply over the top look better and last longer.
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Our pick for the best colour correcting primer on the market is Stila's One Step Correct. This multi-tasking product is designed to work for all skin tone issues. The green pigments neutralise redness, the lavender pigments correct any yellow, while the peach pigments work to brighten the overall complexion.
Not only does this Stila primer do a fantastic job at colour correcting, it also smoothes the surface of the skin, giving you a seamless foundation application. Don't feel like wearing makeup? This primer can also be used on its own, brightening the skin without the need for foundation or concealer.
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Our top choice for the best brightening primer is Charlotte Tilbury's Wonderglow Face Primer. This award-winning product is designed to give your skin a soft focus glow.
It's formulated with light diffusing pigments to soft focus and blur the appearance of imperfections and fine lines, while peptides and wild pansy extracts help to plump the skin. It's also enriched with a combination of hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil and camellia oil, which provides intense hydration and moisturisation.
The Wonderglow primer can be used underneath foundation or on its own to instantly transform the look of your skin.
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Our choice for the best primer for mature skin is the Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre Foundation Primer, specifically the special Gold edition. If your complexion is looking dull and dehydrated, this primer is perfect to give your skin a little pick-me-up.
It's formulated with a number of nourishing ingredients: vitamin E works to nourish the skin, glycerin promises to hydrate and lock in moisture, while chamomile and yarrow extract are designed to soothe and calm irritated skin. You're left with a beautifully prepared canvas for any kind of makeup application.
The gel-like formulation bridges the gap between skincare and makeup, and feels super lightweight and breathable on the skin.
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Our best overall pick is the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer. It's designed to work like a skincare product – wearing it alone will make your skin look radiant and hydrated, but wearing it with foundation can improve the look and wear of your makeup.
This lightweight illuminating primer is formulated with vitamin C and banana-powder inspired pigments to really brighten your skin. No matter what your skin type is, the Banana Bright Face Primer can work for you. It does a great job at hydrating, and softening the appearance of fine lines and imperfections.
When we tested the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer for ourselves, we found it did a great job of keeping our skin fresh.
Primer is a product that you apply between your skin and your foundation. It handles any skin concerns that you may have and/or helps your makeup appear better and perform better.
You can also find primers on the market that work for your eyelids, eyelashes and lips, but the most common primers are for your face.
Preparing your skin before the application of makeup is important. All primers work to make your skin look better and prepare it for makeup wear. Depending on the skin concerns that you may have, you can tailor your choice of primer to help:
This depends on the type of primer you use, but generally, all primers can be applied with just your fingertips. You can treat your primer as another skincare product. Simply apply it to your skin, allow it to sink in and then follow it up with whatever face products you usually use.
There are some exceptions though. Some beauty brands have designed primer sprays. These products are liquid-based, so you can spray them directly onto your face and then follow up with makeup once the primer has dried.
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