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:
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.)