When it comes to applying a full face of makeup, a good primer is often overlooked. Nonetheless, this unsung hero is key to a gorgeous glow-up, delivering hydration and skin-smoothing benefits while blurring texture and offering staying power for your foundation.
If you skip the primer and go straight for the foundation, your complexion’s dryness could cause the makeup to cake or crease, makeup artist Nydia Figueroa notes. To avoid this, she says to look for nourishing face primers that contain hydrating skin-care ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, aloe, and blue agave extract. You’ll also want to steer clear of traditional mattifying primers, as these were made with oily skin in mind and contain ingredients that could potentially dry out the skin.
If you’re looking for the best primer for dry dull skin, best hydrating glow primer and which face primer is good for dry skin, we have made a list for you.
best primer for dry dull skin
Named an Allure Best of Beauty winner in 2021, Make Up For Ever Step 1 Prima Hydra Booster Primer is a staff favorite. “This product feels more like a hydrating serum than a typical primer and gives my stressed complexion a much-needed wake-up call every morning,” commerce editor Sarah Han says. Glycerin brings serious moisture to the skin and ginseng does it all, including reducing redness, brightening up dull skin, and firming up the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Glow Recipe, the buzzy, celebrity-loved beauty brand, has a true hit for dry skin with its Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. There are multiple ways of using this highlighting serum, but we’re especially fond of using it as a primer. Featuring ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid watermelon, these drops should be applied as the final step in your skin-care routine — which creates a glowing, hydrated palette for the rest of your makeup to sit on. Plus, the star ingredient, niacinamide pulls double duty and diminishes the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots for a more even skin tone.
This multipurpose primer earns the MUA seal of approval from both Jaikaran and Figueroa. “It adds incredible hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and uses blue agave to lock in your makeup,” Figueroa notes. Unlike your traditional liquid primer, the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Hydrating Primer is made of a gel-like formula. Prepare for super-smooth makeup application and hydrated skin, especially with the addition of niacinamide (a well-known antioxidant).
From the drugstore aisle, we’re big fans of Bare With Me. This water-based primer provides up to eight hours of hydration, sets the skin with a sublime, glass-like finish, and effortlessly grips to your makeup.
When it comes to Laura Mercier’s famous primers, you can believe the hype.
Of the five-strong collection, the Hydrating primer would have been the obvious pick here – but actually, we prefer the Illuminating version when our skin’s feeling parched. It’s enriched with luminous, non-glittering pigment, and imparts a glow that’ll show through your foundation.
This gold-flecked cream contains pearlescent pigments that’ll gleam through your foundation in the most flattering way (think strobe lighting, rather than all-out shimmer). It’s hydrating without feeling suffocating, and has a fresh coconut scent.
best hydrating glow primer
In regard to primer application, makeup artists Allan Avendaño, Mary Phillips, and Robin Black have all previously recommended using your fingers for a natural, melts-into-your-skin finish. “A makeup brush will just drag the primer around,” Phillips noted.”If you’re a germophobe, you can always use a slightly damp Beautyblender sponge.”
Like moisture, dry skin tends to absorb makeup more quickly, so a hydrating face primer is of the essence. While it’s always smart to start off with a small amount and build up as needed, like makeup artist Vincent Oquendo has divulged to us in the past, people with dry skin can handle up to a quarter-size dollop of primer with no issues. Make sure your primer is fully massaged and absorbed into your skin — when in doubt, Philips recommended waiting for a full minute before tackling foundation — to avoid unnecessary pilling or patchiness.
When you do find the right hydrating primer, you’ll definitely know it. The makeup experts said that your skin will appear more nourished, hydrated, and radiant. Primer can surely help in combating signs of dehydrated skin, but Vincent notes that skin care plays an important role too, saying, “Your canvas is the most important factor for beautiful coverage, so skin prep, including adequate exfoliation and moisturization will always be key to providing the smoothest base for your primer to then do its job.”