The Makeup Face-Off: Pt. 1 – Primers

Primed & Ready to Go

After my morning skincare routine and sunscreen application, I liked to prime my face before applying makeup. I’ve put on makeup without primer before and experience has literally showed me that without a primer, makeup can move, wear off, and fade much quicker than if I did use primer.


So, what is the point of adding that extra layer of product on your face? Primer has many benefits, essentially boosting whatever makeup you put on and, hopefully, keeping it going strong the entire day.

There are different types of primers and among the most popular are those that mattify, nourish and/or hydrate, or illuminate your complexion.

As mentioned previously, I have combination skin. Normal skin (though, recently learned that I’m dehydrated in parts) and an oily T-zone. Apparently, a major cause of oiliness is the body compensating for dehydration, so that’s something to consider for the oily peeps out there.

Let’s break down the four primers, I’ve been using lately:


Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

  • Price: $7.99-9.99 CAD
  • Claims:
    • controls shine for up to 8hrs
    • lightweight formula minimizes pores
  • Effectivity:
    • moderately thick lotion consistency
    • minimal shine after 6hrs
    • pores looked minimized
  • Would repurchase? Yes.



BIODERMA Sébium Pore Refiner

  • Price: $23.85-29.95 CAD
  • Claims:
    • corrective concentrate for enlarged pores
    • tightens the pores
    • refines the skin texture
  • Effectivity:
    • thin lotion consistency
    • pores visible with slightly smoother skin
    • does not boost makeup’s performance
  • Would repurchase? Yes for treatment use.




  • Price: $9.99-11.99 CAD
  • Claims:
    • visually blurs tone imperfections
    • smooths fine lines
    • primes skin for a smooth start
    • lightweight non-oily formula that
    • doesn’t clog pores
  • Effectivity:
    • moderately thick lotion consistency
    • silicone slip upon application
    • smooth look to makeup up to 7hr
  • Would repurchase? Yes.



MAKE UP FOR EVER STEP1 Skin EQUALIZER (4 Nourishing Primer)

  • Price: $45.00 CAD
  • Claims:
    • balances skin’s texture and tone for more even, and longer lasting makeup wear
    • moisturizes and comforts
  • Effectivity:
    • creamy lotion consistency
    • smooths and hydrates for 8hr+
  • Would repurchase? Yes.



Something interesting to note is that you can mix and match primers in order to customize the benefits to your needs. For instance, you can concentrate a certain primer on the T-zone and another on the face’s perimeter. Among recent purchases, I have the Make Up For Ever Step1 Skin Equalizer in its Smoothing formula. There are a few other primers I’ve been trying and will review them in upcoming posts.

What primers do you like? Which ones are a no-go? What are must-haves in your makeup arsenal?

Next week, let’s talk foundation!

Until next time…




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