Primer Power!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA primer primer Primers. For many years I thought they were pointless, but I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. One of the first ones I tried was the Hourglass Primer and I was completely shocked by how much better my makeup looked and lasted throughout the day. Probably not a good idea to start with one of the best, but it got me hooked. Since trying that one I’ve been trialling lots of different primers and these are my favourites.

Clinique Superprimer-Colour Corrects Redness
Redness problems? Me too. I tend to get a lot of redness around my nose and on my chin, so using a primer that’s specifically formulated to correct redness is a no-brainer. Besides helping to even the skin tone, it also smooths the skin and helps makeup glide on. Clinique also make primers for dullness, discolouration, and sallowness.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Definitely not the cheapest primer in the world, but this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for. I’ve somehow managed to get 3 tiny little samples of it (Sephora point perks etc.) and they’ve lasted a surprisingly long time! This one is so great because of the silky, smooth texture. It reduces oil on the skin, glides on like nothing else and reduces the appearance of pores (it really does!). It doesn’t feel heavy, but it somehow manages to make my skin look remarkably even.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser
Looking for a summer primer? This one is more of a gel-like consistency and the tea tree factor makes my skin feel so fresh on really hot days. This feels different to most primers I’ve tried out, but I love the mattifying effects are undeniably good. My cheeks tend to get a bit dry, so I just focus this on the t-zone area.

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Primer
Onto the primer I use most often…the little red pot of magic! I’m thinking they should re-name it. Not only do I love the packaging (which is weird because I normally don’t like the jar thing), but the product itself has some seriously skin changing properties. This goes everywhere with me.

Benefit The Porefessional
A cult classic. I find this one to be slightly thicker than the others, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I prefer to use this one in the colder months though because it can be a bit much when it’s hot out. Like the rest of the primers it evens out the look of pores and gives your makeup something to cling onto!

I’d love to know what you think of primers in the comments below. Which one is your favourite?

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  • Krysti Encounters

    I’ve tried Benefit’s Porefessional and the hourglass primer. I absolutely love them! Thank you for the lovely post. Can’t wait to try out some of your suggestions.

    • Tess McLaughlan

      I use the new Body Shop Instablur all in one primer, it’s amazing! It’s silky to put on my face and fills my pores perfectly, while still feeling light. I use it under my makeup every day :)

  • Lisa

    I have never found a primer that I really liked. The silicon-y feel of a lot of them freaks me out – but I might give the Tea Tree primer by TBS a try. That sounds like it might work for me.

    A Tiger’s Life

    • Selene

      I agree! I’ve tried Porefessional but when I put it on I always make weird faces because I don’t like its silicony consistency at all! :)

  • Ashley

    I haven’t branched out to Primers yet but I have a list of things I want to try :D

    Ashley |

  • Madeleine – The Daily Mark

    I’m addicted to the Hourglass too! I love the Napoleon also if you get a chance to try it!
    Madeleine, The Daily Mark

  • emilylikesmakeup

    I’m interested in trying the Body Shop Primer, it sounds lovely! I love the Maybelline Baby Skin and Benefit Porefessional and Bourjois Happy Light primers.

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  • Savannah Giersthove

    Really want to try the Body Shop one! x

  • Julianne

    I’ve been looking for a good primer, and this is super helpful! I’m so paranoid about clogging my pores that I try to keep the amount of product I put on my face down, but I really think I need to start using primer to keep my face looking better for longer. Thanks!

    xo Julianne

  • Ella

    I tried the porefessional at Sephora and it’s amazing, the difference is incredible! Do you know any low-cost version? Because I really want it but it was very expensive :)

    There’s a giveaway on my blog, check it out if you want! ;)

    • disqus_S2LklURnxI

      Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser (or something close to’s in a Tiffany Blue tube) is really good! I switch back and forth between that and the porefessional and don’t see a difference in how my makeup looks. And it’s around $6 I think :)

      • Ella

        Thank you so much! :)

  • Claire Pedersen

    Thanks for a helpful post! Im still looking for a good primer – mac prep and prime didnt do anything for me but the Benefit porefessional was decent :)

  • LadyPinkLilly

    I absolutely loved this post!! Really helpful!!. I am thinking about purchasing the Clarins primer because I really like the brand, and if you call it “pot of magic” then it HAS to make wonders. Definitely going to try it. Thank you so much, Estée!!

  • Kate

    I have yet to try a primer! Will be referring to this post when I start looking though! X

    Kate Louise Blogs

  • Kate Wilson

    really want to try the tea tree body shop products! x


  • Annie Banannie

    Love all Clinique products including this!

  • Krithi Marla

    all of the mention looks like best ones
    as always love your recommendation Estee :)

  • Jen

    I want to try all of them..too bad I don’t have enough money ha!

  • Anna

    Aah Benefit’s Porefessional… For me it’s a guaranteed breakout in a tube! I am tempted by the Clinique one though, if only to take down all the redness in my breakouts!

  • Becky

    I have the porefessional primer and I love it. It’s the first one I’ve ever used and I’m hooked :)

  • Yolennie

    I’m with you when it comes to primers. I used to think they’re an absolute waste of money, but I’ve definitely changed my mind since then. I really enjoy the refining primer by Shiseido.


  • Michaela

    I’m really interested in the Clarins and Body Shop primers, thanks so much for the review/reccomendations! xx

  • Mary Jo

    Ough, I really like how primers look on other people, but I think there might be something wrong with my pores, as every time I use a primer it look like they get more bumpy than usual!

    Anyway, I haven’t tried the pore-fessional, and that’s the one I really want to test out, as it always look to even out complexion really well!

    My latest video!

  • Nicola

    Desperately need a pore filling primer!!

    Would love a follow or some feeback on my bloglovin account


  • tamsin

    i’ve used the clinique one and thought it was absolutely awful! the texture was terrible and wouldn’t smooth onto my skin, and i saw no difference re: redness. i’m using a laura mercier one now and that’s the best i’ve tried.

  • Lizzie Wilson

    The superprimer sounds lush x

    Lizzie’s Corner

  • Melissa

    I started using primer while I was dealing with horrible acne after I saw a YouTube tutorial by Cassandra Bankson on how she covered up her acne. I could not BELIEVE how smooth her makeup went on with primer!!! I immediately ran out and bought some and have been a primer devotee ever since. I’ve used a few, but my favorite would have to be Mary Kay. Most days I mix my primer and foundation together and apply it to my face with my hands. If I’m getting ready for a special occasion or something, I mix a bit of green concealer (I like NYX) with my primer to make sure my skin stays even, and apply that by itself, then do my foundation with a brush.

  • Megan Roisin

    Primers are one of my favourite parts of my make up bag… is that a bit sad?
    Megan x

  • Ashley

    I love the Porefesional and Im interested in trying the Clinique 1, tend to love Clinique products. I myself just did a post on m y fave drugstore primers.

  • Eunice Choi

    I really want to try the Tea Tree Primer! I just ran out of the Benefit’s 15 hour primer, and I didn’t really like how it doesn’t have a smooth texture (more like sticky). I think i’m gonna try Body Shop’s next

  • Natascha

    I have dry skin, so you wouldn’t recommend the body shop primer, right?

  • Pauline

    Dying to try the Body Shop Pore Minimizer now! Tried the Porefessional but I’m not sure if I like it :/ Great post though!

  • Plearn Nataricha

    I love Bodyshop tea tree concealer so I think I might try out its primer too

    Kiss me Sunday // Bloglovin

  • Briony Crew

    I love benefit pore professional, but I also use benefit stay don’t stray around my eye area – it’s fantastic at ensuring my eye makeup stays put throughout the day!

  • Toni

    I’ve been trying out various primers and while they look great to begin with, they don’t seen to add much to the lasting time of my foundation. Maybe I’ve not found a good one for me yet?! xx
    Meet Me On My Sofa

  • Nairlin

    I love them all

  • sarah hanrahan

    Smashbox is another great one, my fave out of all the ones that Iv tried :)

  • rano

    I love you essie, and I’m so excited to try the hourglass primer

  • Jennifer

    That Clarins primer is officially on the top of my wishlist. I wanted to try the Hourglass one but the formula resembles the Smashbox one I loathe

    My Most Coveted| A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • Hannah

    I have the POREfessional and I didn’t like it much the first time I used it.. I’ll have to try again soon! I tried the Rimmel Stay Matte primer and we didn’t get along well even though my sister (who has similar skin) really liked it.