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The 5 Best Primers for Long-Lasting Summer Makeup


Flawless skin

Summer can be a frustrating season for makeup wearers because it often requires a different approach to applying cosmetics. With hot summer weather, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your makeup from sweating right off your face. Nobody wants to see sweat streaks ruining their eye makeup or foundation!

One method that can be used to make your makeup last longer during the summer is to apply a makeup primer first. Makeup primer is designed to make your skin into a smooth canvas so makeup can go on more precisely. In my opinion, primers are the best way to help your makeup stay put, which can be very helpful during the summer season. They can also be incredibly useful for when you go out dancing with your friends at a club or party!

This post will break down some of the top primers out on the market so you can keep your makeup smudge-free for the summer!

Face Primers

Face primers are like a lotion you apply before you put on foundation; all you have to do is take about a pea-sized amount and dab it all over your face. Try to get an even amount on all areas of your face.

1. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – $36

smashbox face care photo finish foundation primer
Get yours here: Sephora

This Smashbox product is one of the best primers on the market and a top pick among makeup artists. Their unique formula contains vitamins and antioxidants to help smooth out your skin and make it look like poreless perfection. Because of its transparent color, this primer works well with any skin tone. Although it is a bit pricey, the ‘airbrushed’ look it gives your skin makes it worth the investment.

2. Rimmel Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer – $7.29

Rimmel fix and protect
Get yours here: Ulta

I absolutely love this foundation primer because it helps my makeup stay put, even through a night of clubbing! Don’t be frightened by the orange formula because it will blend in with any skin tone, light or dark. I was truly quite amazed at the quality of this product when I first tried it, especially after my makeup stayed on through hours of dancing. It will make your skin look smooth and help your foundation look flawless.

3. Revlon Smoothing Beyond Natural Primer – $10.97

Revlon beyond natural primer
Get yours here: Amazon

This Revlon foundation primer is another great drugstore substitute for the Smashbox Photo Finish primer. If you’re worried that the Rimmel primer may look too orange on your skin, then I highly recommend this Revlon primer. Like the Smashbox formula, it is transparent so it will blend in perfectly with any skin tone.

Eye Shadow Primers

Eye shadow primers are the perfect way to make your shadow or liner stay perfect all day – no creasing allowed! Just dab three dots above your lid and smooth it out so it covers the whole eye. Try to use your ring finger when applying because it wont tug on your sensitive eye skin.

1. MAC ‘s Paint Pots in Painterly or Soft Ochre – $16.50

MAC Paint Pot
Get yours here: Nordstrom

I love this eye shadow primer because it is so easy to apply and really helps my eye makeup look flawless. The consistency is absolutely amazing and it goes on very smoothly. It’s basically a nude cream eye shadow that you apply all over your eye – it helps any shadow stay on for hours and hours without creasing. But what I love the most is that MAC offers a great range of colors so you can find your perfect shade to match your skin tone!

2. Urban Decay Primer Potion – $18.00

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Get yours here:

This well-known eye shadow primer has been a favorite among women everywhere ever since it was first created. (It’s also one of our top 5 beauty products worth the hype!) Unfortunately, the packaging can be quite frustrating because the bottle’s curved shape causes you to lose a lot of product. Nevertheless, it really helps my eye makeup last longer. My makeup never creases and lasts for hours when I use this.

Your thoughts?

Do you use makeup primers? What primers or other products do you use to keep your makeup looking fresh? Let me know!

Posted on on May 26, 2010 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , ,

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46 Responses to “The 5 Best Primers for Long-Lasting Summer Makeup”

  1. 1
    May 26th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I love Smashbox! The green one really takes care of my redness plus it feels so good to put on. A HORRIBLE one is Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15- it looked so green on my skin and came apart in the bottle even when i first tried it, so it would come out oily and creamy- separated and gross! It was a pain to blend in too!

    For a good cheap alternative to Smashbox, you guys can try Monistat Chafing Gel, which isn’t meant for your face but I heard about it through MakeupGeek (my favorite YouTube star) and its really great as a primer!

    As always, great great great post Nicole!

  2. 2
    May 26th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Some people may think I’m crazy but I use a powder-gel from Monistat as primer for years.

    It has dimethicone in it (same as any other smashbox primer) and works similarly for less than $10 at a drugstore. It works really well with mineral foundation.

    DISCLAIMER: Like any new product I’d test it out on your jawline first to see if it works for your skin though, just in case.

    Makeupalley reviews here:

  3. 3
    May 26th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Whoops didn’t even notice the same product mentioned in the 1st comment! :D hehe. My bad.

  4. 4
    May 26th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I have to disagree with you about the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer. The orange formula does not blend in well with fair-light skin. I usually wear foundations in the ivory range, and the Rimmel primer made me look an oompa loompa. It looked like a very botched self-tanner job. The texture was very nice, so I imagine it would work fine with medium and darker skin tones, but I would not recommend it for people with pale skin.

  5. 5
    May 26th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I agree with Kristi. I bought the Rimmel primer and it did not blend into my skin at all. I have very pale skin (the lightest shade in almost all cosmetics). A primer I love is sheer envy primer by hard candy. It lasts all day and is like 7 dollars! the MA review agrees

  6. 6
    May 26th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Avon has a nice primer called Magix Face Perfector…it comes with SPF too!

  7. 7
    May 26th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    ladies mark has just released its first eyeshadow primer and its fabulous you will love it!! its only $8 and comes in 2 different shades light to medium and medium to dark!!

    mark Please Hold Eye Primer
    A creamy, oil-free formula that is two products in one.
    – Primes lids, conceals circles!
    – Helps eye makeup last and stay fresh-looking!
    – Helps prevent creasing!
    – Covers dark spots and puffiness!
    – Ol-Free!

  8. 8
    May 26th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    wen i run out of primer and have no cash i use a dab carmex to prime my eye lids. wrks the same

  9. 9
    May 26th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    The first primer I ever used was the Rimmel one, and I’m super pale so it turned my face orange. I now use the Monistat anti-chafing gel. It costs about $6 and smooths out my skin so nicely!

  10. 10
    May 26th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I just purchased Urban Decay Primer Potion recently and I am so impressed! It really lasts all day (: I am dying to try paint pots soon…

    Great post!

  11. 11
    May 26th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    SENSITIVE SKIN people beware of the Rimmel Primer!! I bought it because I heard great reviews about it and when I put it on my face started burning! I hurried and washed it off and it left my face red for awhile!! :(

  12. 12
    May 26th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    If you want a cheaper primer, try the e.l.f eyeshadow primer from their $1 line or even their studio line which has a mineral face primer which is amazing for $6. They always have sales so you can easily get it for less than that!

  13. 13
    May 26th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I wish you had posted this sooner, I just bought the Prep + Prime from MAC. Don’t know how well it works yet, but since I use foundation from MAC and love it I thought i’d give it a try. Hopefully it’ll keep my makeup on!

  14. 14
    May 26th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    My absolute favorite primer is Benefit’s “That Gal.” I have very acne-prone skin, and this has always been light and gentle for me. If you don’t have problematic skin, it’s great to wear alone as a face-brightener, but I always follow with concealers/foundations/etc cuz I’m not so lucky =P. You can find it at sephora. It’s not cheap ($28(, but if you’re willing to pay the money for smashbox or urban decay, you should definitely give it a go. The stick (it’s not a solid stick, though…you have to see it to know what I mean) is VERY long lasting, and you only need a little

  15. 15
    May 26th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I love Urban Decay Primer Potion and have sworn by it ever since I read about it on CF. I will definitely try the Rimmel foundation primer as I have a big problem with my makeup staying in place!

  16. 16
    May 26th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I got a sample of Too Faced Shadow Insurance recently- it works well! It made my really-cheap eyeshadow last through a workout, and even at then end of the day, it was still there. Apparently, it’s really concentrated, so you don’t need much and can make it last.

  17. 17
    May 26th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    How do primers work with oily skin? I’m always wary of putting an extra layer of anything on, especially in the summer where makeup + sweat = breakouts. Has any other acne-prone girl had experience (good or bad) with primers?

  18. 18
    May 26th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Alex, thanks for your input on what works for oily/problematic skin. I am in the same boat and it is good to know that a product works and doesn’t cause further breakouts! This was a great idea for an article.

  19. 19
    May 26th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Hey everyone!

    I also have really pale skin and Rimmel primer worked perfectly well for me. But there’s still the Revlon primer, which works just as well is transparent- so it is good for all skin tones!

    @Katie and Lalalina: Great question! I have oily skin (especially during the summer time ) that is prone to breakouts if I put the wrong type of face makeup on. I ,like you both, was concerned that primers would clog my pores but so far I haven’t had any breakout problems. Also, if you’re wondering about eye makeup primers- I’ve used them for years and have zero bad experiences :)

    You also don’t necessarily need to wear face primer every day- it can definitely become a hassle to add to your everyday makeup routine if you’re in a rush. Hope that helps!

    Thanks you all for your lovely comments! I hope you’re all having a great summer or studying hard for finals week!


  20. 20
    May 26th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I disagee on one. I think the Urban Decay Potion Primer is such a waste of money! I buy covergirl liquid concealer in the glass bottle, and use it to cover up any pimples, and double it for my eyelids! It never causes any creases, and my makeup lasts all night! If you look closely at the product, it seems that it is just liquid concealer. Waste of money!

  21. 21
    May 26th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve been using Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It never creases, and it’s fairly cheap.

  22. 22
    May 26th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I just switched from the Rimmel to Smashbox primer, and the difference is huge. Not to say Rimmel was really bad, but I didn’t know what I was missing until I started using Smashbox. It was like, “ohhh, THIS is how long my makeup is supposed to stay on my face.”

    I’d also recommend Too Face Shadow Insurance over UD Primer Potion, largely because of the packaging. They’re virtually the same product, so I’d rather buy a package that gives me all the product I paid for (without having to hack it open with a pair of scissors. True story).

  23. 23
    May 26th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I cannot live without Too Faced Primed & Poreless primer. It provides the perfect base for my Bare Minerals foundation as it essentially masks oil. Before I found this product, I had to retouch my make-up several times throughout the day; now, I no longer worry about my skin looking too dewey!

  24. 24
    May 27th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Yes, I tried the Rimmel primer once and it looked horrible and bright orange on my skin. However, I’m pretty much always the lightest foundation shade, and even some of those look too dark and/or orange on my skin, so I’m pretty sure that it will work fine on people who actually tan. I use the Revlon one in areas where my skin is dry to smooth it out, but I have to be careful in my t-zone, because it can make it too oily. There are primers for oily skin though, for anyone who does have it.

    For eye shadow primer, I’ve been using L’oreal Decrease and it works pretty well. It’ll last me through a school day, but if I’m going out at night I’ll usually have to touch it up a little. Without it, my eyeshadow will usually crease in a couple of hours, and with it I can go about 8 hours. To be honest, I like the Urban Decay one better, but I’m nowhere near a store that sells it and I can’t afford to pay for the expensive primer plus shipping.

  25. 25
    May 27th, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I use Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer. It’s cheap, and I like it a lot. It decreases the size of your pores and makes makeup application a lot smoother. It’s best to wait a minute for it to set though before applying foundation.

  26. 26
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:07 am

    I started with the Rimmel one but it’s kind of thick, so I only like to use it on my eyes to prime and it keeps my liquid liner and eyeshadows perfect all day! Lately I’ve been using the Almay color blend primer… I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called but it has those beads in it that blend in perfectly with your skin, I love it! JUST DON’T BE STUPID LIKE ME AND GET THEM IN YOUR EYE.

  27. 27
    May 27th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    My tested and proven primer is Monistat Chafing-Relief Powder-Gel .Works liuke magic!! Fresh face al day or night.I live in teh caribbean,its very humid at times and this primer never fails :) It cost $5

  28. 28
    May 27th, 2010 at 10:52 am

    OMG!!! didnt read teh previous post!!! I guess teh readers or this blog are truly beauty addicts like me!! U have to be to know the monistat trick ;)

  29. 29
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I’m an AVON girl, so the MAGIX face perfector (which is usually on sale for anywhere between $5~8), works wonders for anyone (I’m Black & dark skinned) b/c it’s a clear powdery gel, with SPF 15 so you don’t have to put on sunscreen with it. My skin also tends to get oily in the summer time, especially after workouts, & this stuff really tones it down for me.. I don’t wear face makeup…I usually just wear my primer to even out my skin tone & smooth my pores. :) I’m going to try to anti-chafing gel, though..because I keep hearing about it from you guys. Great post, also!

  30. 30
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    ladies mark has just released its first eyeshadow primer and its fabulous its called
    mark Please Hold Eye Primer A creamy, oil-free formula that is two products in one.,Primes lids, conceals circles! Helps eye makeup last and stay fresh-looking Helps prevent creasing!
    Covers dark spots and puffiness, Ol-Free!

    at only $8 its a steal!!!

  31. 31
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I love ! and i repeat Love! “Too Faced Shadow Insurance”
    I have only tryed this eye primer, but from what i was using
    at first ( which was nothing.) This is great stuff :]

  32. 32
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Too Faced is only $18 dollars and sooooo worth it

  33. 33
    May 27th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Another eyeshadow primer that works wonders is by Victoria’s Secret. It comes in a little black and white tube. I love it because it is more budget-friendly than smashbox and works just as well!

  34. 34
    May 28th, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Perhaps the Rimmel primer doesn’t work well on people with cool undertones, but works fine for warm undertones? I have cool-neutral undertones in my skin, so it just was not believable at all.

  35. 35
    May 28th, 2010 at 1:36 am

    For fans of asian cosmetics, a Korean brand called Missha makes some great colour-correcting primers.
    The light pink is fantastic for taking any yellow sallowness from the skin, they are not greasy, and they have enough pigment to be very effective while being sheer enough to wear on their own… they smell good, too.

  36. 36
    May 28th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I haven’t tried the Rimmel primer, but I’ve got sensitive skin and I just started using Laura Mercier’s primer. It’s awesome – I’d definitely recommend it!

  37. 37
    June 2nd, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I use the smashbox primer, it is the best! It makes my skin smooth and smooths out my pores!

  38. 38
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    The best primer I’ve ever used is the Mattify Ultra Powder. The liquid primers that everyone else likes don’t work on me because my face is oily. They only make it worse. So, I bought the Mattify Powder and use it under my liquid makeup. It helps makeup last all day and my face doesn’t get greasy. I love this one! It’s the only primer that has ever worked for me.

  39. 39
    September 22nd, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I don’t understand how you all can afford these things. Now I can’t use the Rimmel one since my skin color is the most pale shade you can get. I’m never going to be able to justify buying a primer for $30-$60 or $70. It just won’t happen. I would appreciate if a list was made of affordable primers that people can actually afford.

  40. 40
    November 15th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Can i use foundation primer on eyes whats the diff?

  41. 41
    April 6th, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    this is a really good website thank you for your help

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