The Short Version1. POREfessional by Benefit
2. Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Ultra Hydrating Sensory Awakening Primer Serum by It Cosmetics
3. Skin Renew BB Cream by Garnier
4. Pores No More by Dr. Brandt
5. Prime Time Primer (original & brightening) by bareMinerals
6. Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass
7. All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray by Urban Decay
The Long Version1. POREfessional by Benefit - this has my trusty, go-to primer for a few years now. It's lightweight on the skin, helps smooth things out, and isn't that silicone-y type texture. My makeup definitely stays in place and looks better for several hours longer than when I don't use this.
2. Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Ultra Hydrating Sensory Awakening Primer Serum by It Cosmetics - I discovered this product when I was in Ulta last week and have been reaching for this instead of my Benefit one every day since. I find it to be more moisturizing on the skin, but it sets quickly enough that you don't feel like your foundation is going to take a slip n' slide right off your face. I also like the fact that it has "serum" in it's name so I feel like it's going to have long term effects (this could be a total marketing scheme but I'm gullible enough).
3. Skin Renew BB Cream by Garnier (I wear light/medium) - This is the most budget conscious product that I've found works. While it's not a standard "primer", it's a BB cream and they claim to replace your moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, concealer, and foundation. It never actually fully replaces any of those well enough for me to use just this on a daily basis; my personal goal is to get my skin all fixed up so I can one day though. Hey! We all can dream! I prefer the oil-free formula and it provides enough moisture, with a slight smoothing of my skin tone, and doesn't clog my pores.
4. Pores No More by Dr. Brandt - I did not like this product. I don't like the silicone formula, I found it to do nothing to improve the look of my crater pores, and it felt really slimy on my skin. Thank goodness I only has a trial size of this, I will definitely not be buying the full-size.
5. Prime Time Primer (original & brightening) by bareMinerals - Again, this was another primer I did not like. It too has a slimy texture. I felt the brightening formula make me sparkle like a Twilight vampire. Another thing I didn't like about this product was the packaging. It is in a hard plastic container with a pump, so when you get to the last 1/4 of the product, it's difficult to get out and it's hard to control the amount of product with the pump.
6. Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass - I've gone through a few trial sizes of this; I pick it up every time Sephora offers it as one of the 100 point rewards. I like how luxuriously this feels on my skin, it really leaves a smooth, satin-y finish - it better feel like liquid gold considering the high price tag! I haven't brought myself to buy the full size simply because I'm still loving my other primers (#1, #2, and #3) and the trial sizes last forever.
7. All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray by Urban Decay - If you have read this far, clearly you are interested in extending the longevity of your makeup. This setting spray is a game changer! If I had to choose between starting with a primer or finishing with this setting spray, hand me the spray! It's super easy to apply (spray 3-5 sprays about 8 inches away in a "X" formation and then a "T'" formation, or just go crazy with it!). There is another formula for oil-control (De-Slick) and another for dry-to-combo skin (Chill).
BIG DEAL ALERT: Online at Sephora you can get two 4 oz. bottles (typically sold for $30 per bottle) for $39!!!
Remember, when using any primer, a little goes a long way! A pea sized amount (or less) is all you need for your entire face.
Products mentioned in this blogPOREfessional by Benefit - $31
Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Ultra Hydrating Sensory Awakening Primer Serum by It Cosmetics - $38
Skin Renew BB Cream by Garnier - $10
Pores No More by Dr. Brandt - $45
Prime Time Primer (original & brightening) by bareMinerals - $24
Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass (1oz) - $54
All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray by Urban Decay - $30