Best Beauty Buys

Primers

Refine By +

Face+

Lips+

Eyes+

Nails+

Skin+

Body+

Hair+

By Year+

        Best Primer 2016

        Hourglass Veil Mineral

        Best Primer 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

        Hourglass Veil Mineral

        If the whole “creating the perfect canvas for your makeup” thing has always seemed like high-maintenance hype, hear this: Worn alone, the silky, serum-like formula blurs fine lines, even around the eyes, says L.A. makeup artist Bruce Grayson (a pro at showcasing fresh, dewy looks on clients like Chrissy Teigen). And when applied under a layer of foundation, this mineral lotion stays in place and holds your base with zero slippery residue.

        Editor’s Pick
        Best Dry Skin Primer 2016

        Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2016

        Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

        “Yes, there are plenty of silicone laden versions that even out the skin, but this silky blend of argan, jojoba, and essential oils smooths by deeply hydrating and temporarily softening the look of fine lines.” —ANGELIQUE SERRANO, BEAUTY DIRECTOR

        20% off at smashbox.com.com from 4/15 until 5/12; use code INSTYLE20

        $42
        Editor’s Pick

        L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2014

        L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur

        This fast-acting finishing cream can be worn alone or under makeup to deliver a final dose of oil-absorbing silica and fade the look of fine lines and pores. Instant gratification junkies will be hooked.
         

        $20
        Best 2013 Primer

        Laura Mercier

        Best 2013 Primer
        WINNER 2014, 2013

        Laura Mercier

        This lightweight formula is quite the understudy. It preps skin, softens pores, and fills in lines but doesn't upstage the star. "Foundation won't cake when you use this," says L.A. pro Kindra Mann.

        $32
        Best 2014 Primer

        Laura Mercier Primer

        Best 2014 Primer
        WINNER 2013

        Laura Mercier Primer

        This lightweight formula is quite the understudy. It preps skin, softens pores, and fills in lines but doesn't upstage the star. "Foundation won't cake when you use this," says L.A. pro Kindra Mann.

        $32
        Editor’s Pick
        Editors' Pick 2012

        Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2012

        Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer

        The fact that this oil-free primer makes foundation last and last is almost an aside. Loaded with soothing plant extracts, this winner dials down pores, fills in lines, and makes skin look and feel incredibly smooth.

        $42
        Best 2012 Primer

        Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

        Best 2012 Primer
        WINNER 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

        Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

        We hesitate to call this a primer because it’s so much more-yes, it evens out skin tone, shushes yawning pores, and "creates the perfect canvas for foundation," says L.A. makeup artist Amy Chance. But the velvety formula is also teeming with antioxidants, so skin begins to look smoother all on its own.

        $36
        Editor’s Pick
        Editors' Pick: 6.21.10

        Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2010

        Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel

        Work a dab of this oil- and fragrance-free gel onto clean skin and say goodbye to pesky mid-afternoon shine. The gentle, lightweight formula still allows skin to breath-which means your complexion isn't left clogged or stripped of natural moisture.

        $35
        Editor’s Pick
        Editors' Pick 2005

        Estée Lauder Prime FX Color Neutralizing Primer

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2005

        Estée Lauder Prime FX Color Neutralizing Primer

        Whether you have ruddy, ashy, sallow or dull skin, this base counteracts discoloration, evens out your complexion, and brightens skin using neutralizing pigments and reflective particles. With a choice of four formulas, you might even be able to go without foundation.

        $20
        Back to Top