best makeup Primers

Beauty Watch: 8 of the best makeup primers – are they the new foundation?

Love that fresh, glowy look but hate the feel of caked-on foundation? We have the answer. Go light with your daytime makeup with one of these magical primers

Are makeup primers the new foundation? There seems to be much debate at the moment among influencers and people in the beauty industry as to whether primers should be used in place of concealers or foundations.

It’s certainly true that many have taken to using less makeup to get Insta-ready during a lockdown Britain. But is this something we can carry on now we’re back to school runs, lunches and days at the office?

“Face primer can change your makeup look in several ways,” says Stoke-on-Trent-based makeup artist, Laura Whitehurst. “Using it under your foundation to give that flawless base or on its own for an everyday laid-back look. A good primer offers the same purpose as photoshop, transforming tired, dull and uneven looking skin.”

But trying to master that daytime makeup look is no easy feat. We either look like we’re ready for a party or we’ve only just made it out of bed. So what’s the answer to finding that perfect happy medium? 

Experts will tell us that all forms of concealers and foundation are bad news for acne-prone skin and are often responsible for a whole host of acne causes. Most foundations and concealers do not let the skin breathe. And they tend to clog up pores and attract an excess of bacteria and dirt that stick to foundation and make matters worse for acne-prone skin.

So the best thing we can all do for our skin – especially acne prone skin – is to give it a break from makeup completely. But if that’s just not going to cut it from day to day – the answer could be using a good quality primer for a light and dewy daytime look. 

“For an everyday look, buff your primer of choice into clean, cleansed skin, focusing more on troublesome areas such as those pesky large pores and any dry areas,” says Laura. “Adding to this soft, youthful look, add a pretty cream blusher and a sweep of highlighter onto the high points of the face, finishing off with eye makeup and lip of your choice.”

We share some of the best makeup primers on the market that help to give you that fresh-faced glow with just enough coverage to hide a multitude of sins. Here’s 8 of our faves.

Best Makeup Primers  - Clarol Nordic Birch & Willow Primer

1. Clarol Nordic Birch & Willow Primer

UK skincare company Clarol has developed a new bioactive mattifying primer used to combat oiliness, promote healthy skin microbiota and create an instantly mattified and smoother skin tone in acne-prone skin.

£12.50 (30ml) available from

best makeup primers

2. Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream

Lightweight coverage builds to conceal blemishes and dark spots, and minimise the appearance of pores with this CC cream by Arbonne Intelligence. The formula primes, mattifies and brightens for more even looking skin tone.

Fair, Light, Medium & Dark shades available. £34.00 from

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best makeup primers

3. Decleor Neroli Bigarade BB Cream

This Decleaor BB cream promises beautiful, natural-looking, flawless skin and is great for all skin types. Enriched with Neroli Essential oil, it works as a primer and a moisturiser with SPF providing hydrated, light coverage for 24 hours.

£34 (40ml) available from

best makeup primers

4. Dermalogica AGE Smart Skinperfect Primer SPF30

Smooth away fine lines with this Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer. It brightens for flawless skin while velvety silicones create an instantly smooth surface. Its neutral tint helps balance tone and enhance luminosity and radiance.

£49 (22ml) also from

Kalme Chameleon concealer


T&T: Kalme Chameleon Concealer with anti-redness technology - and it works as a primer too!
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Best Makeup Primers

5. Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer

**Laura’s star buy** Leaving a soft touch of colour and a healthy, youthful glow, this Charlotte Tilbury primer is an award winning formula. Skin feels hydrated and looks smooth. Great underneath foundation or on its own for a dewy daytime look.

£39 (40ml) available from

Best Makeup Primers

6. No7 Airbrush Away Primer 30ml

No7 created this primer to work alongside its Airbrush Away Foundation, but it’s a little powerhouse all on its own too. Containing ‘hyaluronic acid moisture locking spheres’ to help soften the appearance of fine lines and smooth the skin.

£16.50 (30ml) available from

Best Makeup Primers

7. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Primer

The Sensual Skin Primer from Kevyn Aucoin is a weightless, hydrating primer that perfects and minimizes pores. Use before applying foundation to create the perfect base. Or mix with a glow or enhancing product for a perfect finish. 

£33 (30ml) available from 

Best Makeup Primers

8. Olehenriksen Banana Bright Face Primer

The Los Angeles-based spa has its own range of beauty products. Latest on the list is the Banana Bright range and this vitamin C-powered face primer. Illuminating the skin providing instant radiance while nourishing and protecting, 

£28 (30ml) available from

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