Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Best & Worst Drugstore Primers

To me, the search for a great primer is just as stressful as the search for the perfect foundation. Especially when it's at the drugstore.

Thank God the selection of drugstore primers has grown over the years. A few years ago, there were very few options at the drugstore. Now all the major brands, and some of the smaller ones too, have a primer. Some are better than others, but that all depends on your preference and skin type. 
Here's some to choose from:

Revlon PhotoReady
Perfecting Primer

0.91 fl oz, $12.99

A soft, satiny cream that dries to a matte finish. It blurs imperfections and covers pores. Makes a GREAT base for all types of makeup

Avon MagiX
Face Perfector Primer

1.0 fl oz, $8.99

Very similar texture to the Revlon: soft, satiny cream. Also dries to a matte finish. Prolongs makeup wear.

Maybelline Instant Age
Rewind Primer

0.85 fl oz, $9.99

A thick, clear silicone gel, blurs imperfections and reduces the appearance of pores. Better for drier skin than creams.

Ulta Fabulous Face
Foundation Primer

1.0 fl oz, $12.50

Another clear silicone gel, this one is a thinner and more liquid than the Maybelline and would be even better for dry skin. Blurs imperfections. 

Boots No7
Shine Free Primer
Now called:
Beautifully Matte Makeup Base
Same size, same prize

1.3 fl oz, $9.99

A thicker, white cream. Smoothes out very well. Dries to a very matte finish. REALLY prolongs makeup, especially for very oily skin.

Boots No7
Colour Calming Primer

1.3 fl oz, $9.99

A green-tinted cream, when smoothed out covers redness very well. Dries to a soft, semi-matte finish. Doesn't feel heavy. Contains licorice extract to help soothe skin.

Shine Control Primer

1.0 fl oz, $11.99

A white liquid-cream that dries to a matte finish. Contains rice protein complex to stop shine. Smells kinda like sunscreen.

L'oreal Studio Secrets
Magic Perfecting Base

 0.5 fl oz, $12.95

A soft, satiny cream. Blurs imperfections and pores. The texture is almost identical to the Revlon, only cream in a pot instead of with a pump.

L'oreal Studio Secrets
Anti-Redness Primer

0.68 fl oz, $12.99

A thinner, liquid consistency. Spreads and covers very well. A little of this product goes a long way. 

L'oreal Magic Lumi
Light Infusing Primer

0.68 fl oz, $12.95

A thinner, liquid consistency. Very shimmery and frosty. Works great under makeup or mixed into foundation for a luminous glow. Not great for stopping shine.

Monistat Soothing Care
Chafing Relief Powder-Gel
Skin Protectant
1.5 fl oz, $5.99

I know, it's not a makeup primer. But, if you think about it, it's properties are perfect for prolonging your makeup. A soft, silicone gel that dries to a matte finish. It REALLY prolongs foundation, especially for oily skin.

L'oreal Magic
Skin Beautifier BB Cream

1.0 fl oz, $10.95

Comes out a white liquid with micro-beads, but when spread it changes into skintone. I know it's not a primer, but the matte finish works really well as a primer.

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Primer in Green

0.5 fl oz, $10.95

The built-in brush is a bit of a fail. The product is a green-tinted liquid. The coverage isn't quite as heavy as the L'oreal Studio Secrets. Dries to a soft, creamy finish

All prices via drugstore.com

Don't forget to check out my Youtube review video!!


  1. Such a nice blog!
    Stop by at mine sometime ♥ Maybe you'd like to follow each other, let's stay in touch ♥

    1. Thanks! Already followed you, would love to see you here again sometime. Love your blog pics!

  2. Thanks for the in depth detail of each product! I love primers! This is great! Have you ever tried the black radiance primer? The nouveau cheap blogger swears by it. Also, I know its kinda strange like the monistat, but what about trying milk of magnesia for the mattifing effect?

    1. I will def keep an eye out for the Black Radiance primer. I bought one of their eyeshadow palettes and it rocks, so I'm up for anything BR makes. I've heard of the M of M trick but never been brave enough to try it!

  3. Thank you so much for the video & blog about drugstore primers. I am getting married in about 10 days & realized I should get a primer. I am doing my own makeup because I do not like the heavy look salons go for (my friend got married in Oct & looked great, but not for me). While I am doing my own makeup because I dont want it to be heavy, I do want it to be more dramatic than my every day makeup. From your video, I am debating between the Loreal BB cream & the Boots No 7 Shine control. I have dry to normal skin, medium beige with olive tones. For photos I think shine control is probably pretty important. Do you have any further advice for choosing between the Loreal BB cream & Boots No 7?

    Thank you for doing what you do! :)

    1. I think you're right about the shine control. Even if you're not a typically shiny person, your wedding day is not the day to be shiny (CONGRATS though!) You should shine in only good ways that day. If you're undecided, maybe get both to try out beforehand. A little extra homework before the big test is never a bad idea.

  4. Oh, and my foundation is the Bare Minerals powder. I know you mention your liquid foundation a lot. Do you know how those two products I mentioned above work with powder?

    1. I think the Boots will be just fine with B.M., as long as you let the primer completely set before starting the mineral foundation. Any wetness or tackiness to the Boots and powder is going to clump and cling to it. But this would happen with any primer that's not completely dry yet. I've never used this primer under mineral foundation, but I have used other primers under mineral and as long as you apply it evenly and let it dry, its been ok. Now depending on how much movement you do or stress you encounter, remember to keep shine control/blotting/translucent powder handy. I know that's alot of info, I hope it helped. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you here again soon!

    2. Thank you so much for the advice! I'll be sure to bring along my setting powder you get with BM & I've heard blotting towelettes are handy. Thank goodness I only bought from RiteAid so far (you can return cosmetics, even if opened) because I bought the Almay Corrector & Perfecter. Ooops.

      Wedding or not, I enjoyed your video & your blog & will continue looking at your posts in the future. :)

    3. I really enjoy to read your blog and will be waiting for your next update.I appreciate all the work you put into this site, helping out others with your fun and creative works.
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  5. Thank you for posting! Because of this post I found the perfect primer with no trial and error. I really appreciate it!

  6. Loved this!!! I bought the ALMAY primer and cc cream and I'm back at cvs--smoking a cig and watching this to figure out which is best!! Haha. I really like the loreal primer for the matte finish but wanted something with more shine control. I don't use liquid makeup in the summer so I either want JUST primer, primer that works well by itself and with makeup or a bbcream with a matte finish. Do you suggest the photo one by revlon for oil control /shine control or the chafing item lol??? Also have you tried physicians formula bbcream with primer in it?? Last question: I read comments above and what would you recommend for drugstore translucent powder?? I live in SC--and it's HUMID now plus I have combination/oily skin! Thanks in advance :)

  7. Hello. Thank you very much for this blog! But now I can't decide. I have combination skin. What specific brand can you suggest? And should I get a foundation of the same brand as the primer, too? Thank you.

  8. thanks :) a great overview. I use yes to grapefruit tinted moisturizer. I put it on first, and then if I want a bit more coverage I let it set in and then mix a little bit more with either the revlon or the loreal magic...works great.

    1. I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment sooner, I promise I wasn't ignoring you on purpose :( I love the Revlon primer, I've almost gone through my current one and will definitely buy another one when it's done!

  9. Was looking for a REAL customer review about multiple drugstore brands of primers. Your blog is very helpful! Thank you. :))

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I'm so grateful I randomly found this blog omg! <3

  12. I am really glad that I have found this post and I thank you for letting us know about this information….This is a big help for sure!!Thanks!
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  13. Which of these do you love most? I'm currently looking for a primer to use. I only usually use BB creams as primer. Thanks!

  14. Thank you so much for the straight to the point reviews, which were exactly what I was looking for. All in one place, minus a thousand pics & slide shows. Do believe I'll have a look around ;-)