Remember back in your college days the feeling of losing an entire unsaved term paper because your computer crashed? That's what expertly blended foundation sliding off your face is like.
The solution? Prepping your skin for makeup with a primer that will lock it into place. A solid face priming product will blur pores, smooth over fine lines, and keep excess oil under control in addition to helping your foundation stay on longer.
While there's a ton of options out there, a lot of primers don't come cheap. The good news: just like how you were able to buy Microsoft Word on a student discount, there are affordable primer options, too.
Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, there are different formulations out there that will target your major skin type's struggles along with prepping your skin for smooth, even foundation application.
Here, we've broken down the best drugstore primers for every skin need.
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1. Best Drugstore Primer For Dry Skin: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Glow-Lock Pro Primer
The easiest way to hide the fact that your skin is dry and flaking? A glow-enhancing primer that keeps your makeup on without drawing attention to rough spots. L’Oreal’s is lightweight so that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing an extra layer under your makeup, and adds an allover healthy glow to skin.
L'Oreal Paris | $11
2. Best Drugstore Primer for Dry Skin: Milani Prime Perfection Hydrating & Pore-Minimizing Face Primer
Is there anything this primer doesn’t do? Short answer: no. Milani’s bottle hydrates and illuminates complexions with simultaneously smoothing over pores and fine lines.
Milani | $10
3. Best Drugstore Primer for Dry Skin: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
If you’re convinced you have the largest pores on the planet, this primer will make you temporarily forget about them. A single coat smooths and fills pores for a long-lasting, even makeup application.
Maybelline | $6
4. Best Drugstore Primer for Oily Skin: Wet n Wild Photo Focus Matte Face Primer
This multitasking primer is a solid option if you're looking for a formula that does a little bit of everything in addition to keeping your complexion shine-free. It evens out skin texture, minimizes pores, boosts radiance, and locks makeup in place, too.
Wet 'n' Wild | $5
5. Best Drugstore Primer for Oily Skin: Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer
When your complexion is more shiny than your favorite late-night pizza slice, chances are your makeup usually slides off by mid-morning. Look for a primer with oil-control ingredient’s like Rimmel’s formula, which keeps skin matte for up to 8 hours.
Rimmel London | $5
6. Best Drugstore Primer for Oily Skin: E.L.F. Blemish Control Primer
Clogged pores, excess oil, and makeup are a combo that can lead to breakouts. If you’re skin’s acne prone, opt for a primer like e.l.f.’s that has added acne-fighting ingredients. It’s infused with salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and vitamin E to heal current blemishes and prevent future ones.
E.L.F. | $6
7. Best Drugstore Primer for Combination Skin: Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer
This primer's essential vitamins and cranberry water will hydrate the dry areas of your face without over-moisturizing an oily T-zone, which is prevalent with combination skin.
Essence | $6
8. Best Drugstore Primer for Combination Skin: NYX Professional Makeup Angel Veil Oil-Free Skin Perfecting Primer
This primer minimizes shine so that skin is so smooth, it lives up to its heavenly namesake. Oh, it also makes foundation look flawless.
NYX | $16
9. Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
Get a primer that does it all like Revlon's bottle. This formula controls shine where needed without drying out the parts of your complexion that need hydration. Bonus: its pink tint brightens up dark circles and spots. Consider it the equivalent of your favorite photo filter in a bottle for a perfect airbrushed finish.
Revlon | $8