Why I prefer moisturizing, glowy primers over mattifying ones

A love - perhaps even an obsession - with mattifying primers is understandable in a hot country like ours. A good primer can keep your skin matte and fresh-looking all day even with the humidity that's constantly pounding our makeup into shiny pulp! But hear me out: if you have dry or combination skin like I do, moisturizing, glow-enhancing primers can make a huge difference in how your skin looks even without makeup. They keep your moisturizer sealed while making skin look brighter instantly.

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So what's the difference? A mattifying primer is typically silicone and mineral-heavy, as this keeps skin looking matte and soft. A hydrating primer has a texture that's close to moisturizer; it may also have ultra fine shimmer or pigments to bounce off light from the skin, thus the extra brightening effect.

While I can get quite oily in the summer, I've found that a good foundation will hold without a primer. Long-wearing formulas set into a solid layer, much like a primer, so that there's less of a chance of it breaking apart during the day. In fact, I find that particularly long-wearing formulas benefit from a hydrating primer: such primers keep skin from getting parched under a moisture-sucking formula, plus the extra glow they add makes the foundation look less mask-like.

I have a few favorites in my stash: the Becca First Light Priming Filter (P2,234 at Sephora.ph) is a color-correcting primer with hyaluronic acid and bluish tint to brighten skin. It has a runny texture. I use this daily and my skin looks fabulous even without any foundation on top. The Marc Jacobs Coconut Face Primer (P2,312 at Sephora.ph) feels like cream moisturizer; it has a glowy finish with no visible shimmers. I love this with heavy liquid foundations as it diffuses the coverage a bit. Smells sooo nice too! Finally, I've got the Shiseido Glow Enhancing Primer (P1,750 at Shiseido stores). This feels more like a traditional primer, with a softer glow compared to the other two. 

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Perhaps this will make you re-consider hydrating primers if you have dry to combination skin. If you're oily though, it's still definitely best to stick to primer that keep skin matte. What do you think? What's your favorite glow-enhancing primer?