Staff Picks: Face primers for that long-wearing base

They say that preparation is the key to success. Here in our makeup-loving world, that means setting up a reliable primer. 

When it comes to achieving our most flawless base, using a primer allows us to smoothen skin, hide pores, help control oil, and make foundation last longer. Some primers even have SPF to give you an extra layer of protection while you're out in the sun! If you're new to this product, we have a really awesome primer on primers (pun intended) so you can know more how this addition can benefit your makeup routine. And of course, we're sharing our current favorite picks to help you find yours!

Liz: If you're asking about traditional primers, none is better for me than the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer in the peach tube. This seriously keeps my face on all day! But I normally don't really need it unless I'm having an uncommonly long work day or event. Normally I prefer using a CC cream like the Origins Smarty Plants CC Cream with SPF20 PA++. This instantly brightens my complexion while holding down my makeup better! And hey the SPF is always a welcome feature.

Kim: The Benefit POREfessional is a beautiful primer that banishes all my pores even with just a tiny amount of product. I apply it on my nose, the inner corners of my cheeks, and my T-zone, and it does help a bit in keeping me matte throughout the day. I don't really feel that it increases the longevity of my makeup, but it does help my foundation to glide on effortlessly. A ridiculously cheap dupe for it which I also love is the Quick FX No Shine Mattifier (just P89!!!). If you haven't tried that, you're missing out! There's a reason why it's always out of stock in Watsons.

Rae: I rarely use a primer all over the face. My overactive oil glands limit the goop I can layer on into two: sunscreen and foundation. So I usually use silicone-based sunscreens that work really well under foundation. I can't tell if they prolong makeup life, but they certainly don't make me look oilier than I normally would be

For "spot priming", my favorite is Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. I usually put it on the folds of my nose where my oils tend to hold their meetings in (ha!). I also like putting it over foundation on the sides where my eyeglass nose pads usually rest. They also help keep my glasses from falling off!

Jorj: I don't use primer all over the face. I only apply on my inner cheeks because I have large pores there. I use the Maybelline Baby Skin primer, which many people have tagged as a dupe for the Benefit POREfessional primer (although many still say that Benefit's is heaps better). I don't think I get baby smooth skin after using it, but it does blur out my attention-seeking pores.

Katsy: My top pick would have to be Laura Mercier Foundation Primer + Protect that I also use as sunscreen because of the SPF 30. My second choice for now would be Benefit POREfessional which I use alone to sort of mattify the moisturizer I slather on daily. My pores really seem to disappear with these two.

Stacie: I totally recommend The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser. Unlike other pore primers, it's not silicone heavy, so to my sisters who oil up because of silicone, this is a better alternative. It gives off a cooling sensation once applied, and it dries and mattifies perfectly. The herbal scent is quite strong though.

Angela: I've never really given attention to primers! But I've tried one before that I really liked: the Quick FX No-Shine Mattifier from Watsons. It actually does a good job at preventing shine! It also has salicylic acid, which helps acne-prone skin. I like that it glides easily on the skin and doesn't have any scent. I also noticed that it's able to conceal my bigger pores. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll probably repurchase again. Haha!

Marielle: I don't usually use primer, but I was wowed by the Kate Tokyo Makeup Lock Primer. Typical silicone primers in the market usually result in my skin getting even drier and patchy, so this light cream was totally unexpected. It also helped my makeup adhere better to my skin. Even on humid days, I notice that my foundation is less likely to rub off with a little bit of this stuff underneath.

VB: YET's Fill It Up Primer was a gift given to me which I find to be God-send! I fear the day that I run out of this, so I alternate it with Quick FX No Shine Mattifier. Both do the job, though I find that YET is much better at blurring my pores. Coupled with a good setting spray, my makeup does not move from day, to night, to the after-party!

It seems that the Benefit POREfessional is a runaway hit among the PV staff! If you’re still on the fence on whether you really need a primer or not, you might want to check out our list of primers under P500. At such affordable prices, these picks will start you off on your priming journey.

Are you primed and ready? What’s your go-to primer?