Best primer in Australia

We’ve put in months of testing and assessment to come up with a list of the 9 best primers in Australia for all skin types.

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The best primer in Australia

How did we pick this list?

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.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Best affordable primer: e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Can also be used as an eyeshadow primer

Cons

  • Often sold out online
  • May be too thick for those with mature skin
Price (RRP): $16
Amazon Price: Check site for current pricing
Buy at Amazon
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Target

Why we chose it

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.


Best high-end primer: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

Pros

  • Double-duty product (primer and moisturiser)
  • Formulated without parabens and animal-derived ingredients

Cons

  • Some customers say the formulation is too thick
Price (RRP): $88
Amazon Price: From $100.60
Buy at Amazon
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Myer

Why we chose it

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.


Best primer for large pores: Benefit Porefessional Face Primer

Pros

  • Sold at many online retailers so it's easily accessible
  • Oil-free formulation

Cons

  • May not be suitable for dry skin
  • Some users with acne prone skin did not have a positive experience
Price (RRP): $56
Amazon Price: From $53.50
Buy at Amazon
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Sephora

Why we chose it

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.


Best primer for dry skin: Too Faced Hangover Primer

Pros

  • Made without parabens
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Strong coconut smell
  • Some users claim this product breaks them out
Price (RRP): $53
Amazon Price: From $54.31
Buy at Amazon

Why we chose it

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.


Best primer for oily skin: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer

Pros

  • Oil-free formulation
  • Hydrating yet mattifying at the same time

Cons

  • May not be suitable for dry skin
  • Some users claim this product breaks them out
Price (RRP): $46
Buy at Sephora

Why we chose it

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.


Best primer for colour correcting: Stila One Step Correct

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Provides sheer coverage, as well as colour correction

Cons

  • Some users experienced breakouts from using this product
  • May not work for severe redness
Price (RRP): $55
Amazon Price: From $67.47
Buy at Amazon

Why we chose it

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.


Best primer for brightening: Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Vegan friendly and gluten free

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim the formulation is too sparkly
  • Other customers claim the tint is too dark for their skin tone
Price (RRP): $76
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

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.


Best primer for mature skin: Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre Foundation Primer Gold

Pros

  • Australian made
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • May feel too heavy for those with very oily skin
Price (RRP): $59
Buy at eBay
Buy at Adore Beauty

Why we chose it

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.


Best overall primer: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer

Pros

  • Can be worn alone, under makeup or on top of makeup as a highlight
  • Free from parabens

Cons

  • Some users say it pills on the skin
  • May not be suitable for those with sensitive skin
Price (RRP): $49
Buy at Sephora

Why we chose it

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.


What is a face primer?

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.

What does primer do?

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:

  • If you have dry skin, opt for something that is hydrating.
  • If you want to cover pigmentation, choose something that is pigment-based.
  • If you have oily skin, opt for something that is oil-free and mattifies.
  • If you have large pores, choose a silicone primer.
  • If your skin looks dull, opt for a light-reflecting or brightening primer.

How to use primer

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.

Amazon prices last updated on 2 August, 2021 at 04:01 pm

Methodology

25+
Brands considered
25+
Products compared
9
Best products chosen
  • Our editorial team has experience in makeup testing, having tried over 25 face primers from over 25 beauty brands.
  • We excluded some brands that aren't widely available across Australia.
  • The products on this list were chosen by our editorial team and were not selected based on commercial relationships.

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