The Best Face Primer

Updated on 11 October 2022

After 9 hours of research, a careful analysis of 33 products and our tests on 7 of them, we believe that Avril’s Face Primer offers the best value for money at the moment.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Avril Bio (30 ml)

This organic and vegan face primer has a more liquid texture that is more pleasant to apply. Because it contains no silicones, it feels as if the skin can breathe better than with more conventional products.

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Avril Base de Teint Face Primer

This is the product we liked the most of the ones we tested. Its lighter, more liquid texture makes it easier to apply than the others. We also found it to be less occlusive, which can be explained by the absence of silicone and synthetic polymer. The scent is also very light and quite floral, but you only smell it when you apply it. In our opinion, it makes the skin a little more satiny than at first. In addition, it managed to prolong a little the permanence of our make-up. Finally, if its composition is much better than others, it should be noted that it still contains many allergens, so it is not recommended for sensitive skin.

 

 

Best mid-range

Erborian Matte Crème (15 ml)

This base foundation helps to slightly mattify the skin before applying make-up, while prolonging its hold. Easy to apply, its texture is creamier than others and has the particularity of being bluish.

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Erborian Matte Crème Soin matifiant visage effet flouté

Erborian’s cream ticks almost all the boxes. In fact, in our tests, it seemed that our skin was a little more matte after applying it. It benefits from a subtle water lily blossom scent and has an easy-to-apply creamy texture. On the other hand, it is a pity to see such a bad composition: 10 different silicones, 8 allergens, synthetic polymers? Therefore, we do not recommend it to people with sensitive, reactive or oily skin.

 

Best high-end

Urban Decay (30 ml)

It's the best choice if you want your makeup to last as long as possible. Perfect for a 'flawless' look, it smoothes, moisturises the skin and is comfortable to wear.

£ 37.00 on Sephora

Urban Decay’s All Nighter is known for its ultra-long wear and its ability to keep make-up in place for hours. Therefore, it is a particularly popular solution for your wild parties, but it is also pleasant to wear daily thanks to its light texture. Its long-lasting formula is particularly suitable for oily skin. Although its composition leaves something to be desired, it is still vegan and cruelty-free.

 

Budget alternative

Maybelline Baby Skin (20 ml)

This face primer, formulated with various silicones, has the effect of smoothing the skin to make it feel softer. It also helps to prolong the life of make-up and is very attractive for its low price.

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Maybelline Baby Skin Effaceur de Pores Instantané

Maybelline’s Baby Skin cream allows you to slightly smooth the skin. It has the advantage of having a relatively correct composition despite the presence of silicone. It is this ingredient that gives it its velvety gel texture. During our tests, we were more convinced by its ability to smooth the skin than to reduce the visibility of fine lines and pores. On the other hand, it allowed us to keep our make-up on all day long. Ideal for mature and/or combination skin, it has a slightly oily texture that is not to everyone’s liking, and in particular does not seem to suit the needs of oily skin.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBest high-endBudget alternative
Avril Bio (30 ml) Erborian Matte Crème (15 ml) Urban Decay (30 ml) Maybelline Baby Skin (20 ml)
This organic and vegan face primer has a more liquid texture that is more pleasant to apply. Because it contains no silicones, it feels as if the skin can breathe better than with more conventional products. This base foundation helps to slightly mattify the skin before applying make-up, while prolonging its hold. Easy to apply, its texture is creamier than others and has the particularity of being bluish. It's the best choice if you want your makeup to last as long as possible. Perfect for a 'flawless' look, it smoothes, moisturises the skin and is comfortable to wear. This face primer, formulated with various silicones, has the effect of smoothing the skin to make it feel softer. It also helps to prolong the life of make-up and is very attractive for its low price.
See the price on Amazon £ 16.00 on Amazon £ 37.00 on Sephora £ 7.99 on Amazon

 

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How did we do the tests?

To recommend the best face primers, we have tested each of them for several days with and without makeup. We observed our face after application to confirm or deny the possible effects claimed by the brands (mattifying, moisturising, pore-reducing, etc.).

We also judge texture, smell and ease of application of each product. At the end of the day, we check the reaction of our skin as well as the general hold of our make-up (better than without base?). Finally, we analysed the composition of each of the products tested, paying particular attention to silicones and synthetic polymers, known to be particularly occlusive.

 

How to choose a face primer?

While the primary purpose of a makeup base is to prolong and maximise the longevity of your makeup, it also aims to perfect your skin and complexion according to different needs. And with so many different products on the market, it can be hard to know which option to choose.

Base de teint

To help you in your search, we have listed some essential elements to consider before making your purchase:

  • The desired effect: this product not only prolongs the hold of make-up throughout the day and allows for an even application of the foundation, but also contributes to perfecting various aspects of the skin (moisturising, mattifying, illuminating, etc.). Finally, some face primers are also designed to reduce the appearance of pores, blur imperfections and fill in fine lines.

Base de teint

  • Application: this product is usually applied after moisturiser and before makeup. However, it can also be combined with one of these products, or worn alone. For example, you can also use an ultra-luminous foundation only on the areas of the face you want to brighten, or a mattifying foundation only on the T-zone of the face (which is usually shinier). In short, you can tailor its use to your needs!

Base de teint

  • Texture: while it’s best to choose a lightweight and comfortable formula that you can wear all day, the most important thing is to make sure it’s compatible with your makeup routine. Many face primers are very sticky when applied (this allows them to hold makeup in place), so make sure it’s comfortable to apply.

Base de teint

  • Composition: many face primers contain silicones, valued for the velvety texture they add to skincare and for their ability to fill in fine lines and minor imperfections to leave skin smooth and soft. However, be aware that, like shampoos, they are occlusive and can, over time, clog pores and/or prevent the skin from breathing. They are also bad for the environment because they are not biodegradable, and some of them also pose health concerns, such as Cyclopentasiloxane.

 

Other recommended face primers

Benecos Natural Face Primer (£7.95 / 25 ml upon publication): a good composition alternative. If you are looking for a basic product and attach particular importance to the composition of your cosmetic cosmetics, this low-cost face primer may appeal to you. Ideal for unifying and smoothing the complexion, it helps make make-up last longer while moisturising the skin. Its composition (certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free) is also impeccable. Simple but effective, it lacks enough user reviews to merit a place in our selection.

L’Oréal Paris Infaillible Resurfacing Primer (£9.79 / 35 ml upon publication): one of the best in its price range. In our tests, this product smoothed out our complexion better than the Maybelline Pore Eraser. Its more liquid gel texture also seemed more pleasant to apply. It also proved to be effective at keeping make-up on for longer. On the other hand, its composition is not as good as its competitors in our top pick. It should therefore be avoided if you have a combination to oily skin or skin that tends to react quickly.

NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect (£11.00 / 30 ml upon publication): a very interesting choice. This face primer was effective in smoothing out the skin on our face, as it helps make the makeup last a little longer. During our tests, we found it easy to apply thanks to its slightly greasy gel texture. However, its composition is very occlusive and should be reviewed by the brand. Thus, it should be avoided in combination to oily skin.

 

Other tested face primers

Revlon Photoready (£12.99 / 20 ml upon publication): too bad composition for minor effects. Even though it is not bad (easy to apply and no skin reaction), we are not entirely convinced by this product. It has no particular effect and its composition is frankly improvable (silicones, PEGs, mineral colourants…).

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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