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10 most popular face primers at Sephora

What are the most popular face primers at Sephora?


Few things beat a good foundation application, but as the day progresses, it’s prone to smear, transfer or come off. Instead of running back and forth to the bathroom for frequent touch-ups, invest in a face primer.

Face primers are lightweight yet grippy products that lock foundation in its place. Several formulas do double-duty with additional skin care benefits, ranging from all-day moisturizing to sun protection. If you’re not sure where to begin your search for a new face primer, Sephora now carries countless formulas — and there’s one out there for everyone.

What you need to know about face primers

What is a face primer?

Face primers, also called foundation primers, are applied on bare or moisturized skin prior to foundation. Not only do they provide a clean canvas by smoothing over uneven textures, but they also prolong foundation’s wear time. 

 Estée Lauder Futurist Aqua Brilliance Watery Glow Primer

Some people incorporate face primers into their everyday makeup routines because they’re easy to apply and quick to dry. Others prefer using primers only when they need to maximize wear time, such as special events or in humid environments. Certain primers can also be worn on their own, especially those with luminous or dewy finishes — including Estée Lauder Futurist Aqua Brilliance Watery Glow Primer.

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How to choose a face primer for your skin type

There’s no shortage of face primers on the market, and Sephora currently has over 170 available. The easiest way to narrow your options for the right formula is by choosing one suitable for your skin type. 

  • Normal: Normal skin can use most regular face primers, including formulas with dewy finishes. 
  • Oily: Oily skin types are best served by mattifying or shine-control formulas, both of which minimize excess oil production. Some varieties also contain salicylic acid to prevent oil-induced breakouts. 
  • Dry: Dry skin benefits from using face primers with moisturizing ingredients, particularly hyaluronic acid or collagen. They also benefit from occlusive ingredients, such as oils, that seal in hydration and protect skin. 
  • Sensitive: Those with sensitive skin often gravitate toward clean formulas with fewer artificial ingredients to reduce the risk for breakouts. Many face primers in this category are Clean at Sephora products, which are made without harsh or toxic ingredients.

Specialty face primers

While all face primers secure foundation, several formulas offer additional benefits. Blurring primers, one of the most popular varieties, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and fine lines. Illuminating face primers typically contain vitamin C to boost radiance. Face primers intended for outdoor wear offer sun protection or are infused with antioxidants. Color-correcting primers, typically available in green, tone down redness or irritation around blemishes

How much are face primers at Sephora?

Sephora’s most affordable face primers cost between $6 to $18, which includes mini varieties. Midrange options comprise the largest selection and fall between $22 to $40. Most luxury face primers, particularly specialty formulas with premium ingredients, cost $50 to $85.

Top 10 face primers at Sephora

Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth and Blur Oil-Free Foundation Primer

The lightweight Smashbox face primer is a transparent gel formula that spreads easily across skin and has a powder-soft finish. It’s infused with vitamin A, an antioxidant that protects against sun and environmental damage. The formula is also cruelty-free and vegan. 

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Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

The Milk Makeup primer, ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin, is a clean formula made with 94% natural gel. It contains niacinamide to boost moisture and leave skin with a radiant, dewy glow. The primer is a Sephora Community Favorite and earned the Clean at Sephora badge.

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Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Pore-Diffusing Primer

The shine-absorbing formula controls oil without over-drying skin, thanks to moisturizing ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. Although lightweight and sheer, it has a noticeable blurring effect on pores and fine lines. 

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Bobbi Brown Vitamin-Enriched Face Base Priming Moisturizer

This cream formula is packed with moisturizing and illuminating ingredients, and it leaves skin with a plump, supple appearance. It smooths over rough and bumpy areas, namely over the chin and jawline, for smooth foundation application.

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Tatcha The Liquid Silk Canvas: Featherweight Protective Primer

Tatcha’s primer is infused with silk proteins for a smooth, weightless application. The formula manages a wealth of skin concerns by minimizing the appearance of redness, large pores and uneven textures. 

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The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer

Although it’s the most affordable face primer at Sephora, it delivers some of the best results. The silicone-based formula has a non-greasy finish and is suitable for all skin types. It’s even ideal for sensitive skin because it’s formulated without parabens, artificial fragrances and sulfates. 

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Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

A perennial favorite, the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is an oil-free cream with a cloud-like texture. It’s a protective formula that contains titanium dioxide and zinc for sun protection. The lightweight primer works well with full-coverage liquid and cream foundations.

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Olehenriksen Banana Bright Face Primer

If you seek a bright boost, this illuminating primer has vitamin C and banana-inspired pigments that give skin a radiant glow. While it’s typically worn beneath foundation, many people wear it alone when they prefer a simple dewy look. 

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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Face Primer

The Yves Saint Lauren primer, a favorite among makeup artists, contains four nurturing oils that soften skin. It has a luminous finish that complements satin-finish foundations, highlighters and bronzers. The primer is also packaged in a pump bottle for easy dispensing. 

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Benefit The Porefessional Pore Minimizing Primer

Suitable for all skin types, the popular Benefit primer blurs enlarged pores and minimizes the appearance of fine lines around the eyes, forehead and mouth. It’s a mattifying formula that is particularly effective at controlling excess oil on the nose and chin. 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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