How to Pick a Makeup Primer For Your Skin

A primer is where skin care and makeup routines collide. A good primer is supposed to do the job of both: work with the pH and the texture of your skin, while also creating a smooth base for the rest of your makeup look.

Primers aren't one-size-fits-all. Like foundation, they're trial-and-error: One might be too drying, while another will leave your foundation looking splotchy and oily. Looking for a primer that counteracts your skin ails (masking redness, acne or dryness) while still integrating and playing nice with the rest of your look is tricky business.

Luckily, we have assembled a fool-proof guide for even the trickiest and neediest complexions:

For Redness

If you tend to get a little rosy, opt for a green primer like Clinique's Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base. It's less than $25 and counteracts the redness.

For Dry Skin

Stick to a primer that can also double as a moisturizer in a pinch. This NYX Hydra Touch Primer is under $15, and feels just as luxe as your fave face lotion.

For Oily Skin

Opt for a primer with a silicone base to give the illusion of smaller pores and a matte T-Zone. I love this Smashbox primer because it doesn't leave my face greasy by lunchtime.

For Blurring Fine Lines

Be sure to stick to a primer that won't settle into any facial crevices, like Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur.

For Dull Skin

If your skin is in need of a bit of brightening, go for a glow-getting primer -- like the Hourglass Ambient Light Primer (which, no lie, gives the same lit-from-within glow the notorious powders do.)

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