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What is Primer Used for? – Eye, Face, Lip, and Mascara Types

What is Primer Used for

Struggling with a smooth base for your makeup look? We’ve all been there. 

You’ve got foundation, concealer, and the highest quality of brushes and sponges. What on earth could you be missing?

The answer: face primer. It’s a staple for makeup artists and enthusiasts alike!

But wait – before you put anything on your face, make sure you’re well-informed!

We’ve got the perfect run-down on primer for you in this article. Read on!

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Face Primer

An Introduction

Primer is the first building block for makeup artists to create the best makeup look. It’s what you use for your base.

Before you apply foundation or any other base product, you put on primer first. Among other benefits, it can:

  • Smoothen your skin,
  • Make your look last, and;
  • Cover up pores!

A face primer can either be water-based or silicone-based. Certain primers have mattifying properties; others focus on hydration. 

Some act as a moisturizer or an SPF product.

It all sounds so simple, but primer has so much more to it! Let’s get more in-depth with types, uses, and benefits.

Ready? Prime yourself (wink, wink) for discovery!

What Does Primer Do?

What Does It Do

We’ve got five uses we’re sure you’ll love. No matter your skin type or experience, particular makeup primers are sure to help you out!

1. Controls All That Shine and Excess Oil

An oily skin type can be the worst predicament when it comes to makeup. Y

ou love the colorful look you painted on your face until your sweat glands decide to come out. Nothing ever seems to last!

So, to keep your makeup look not oily, using a primer can help. Your skin and makeup look will thank you for it.

Go for an anti-shine primer. Be strategic about where you put it on! Target oily areas such as the T-zone or cheeks. 

Extra tip: Make the most out of your primer with setting powder or setting spray! You’ll control extra oil better with this makeup primer technique.

2. Makeup Primer Makes Large Pores Vanish!

Sadly, there isn’t a magic cure-all to shrink large pores with one swipe. What you CAN do is minimize them – and primer plays an important role!

Look for non-comedogenic primers that aim to blur or minimize pores. 

Makeup primers fill them in and smooth your face so that it’s ready for a foundation for large pores as well.

And guess what? Primer rewinds time, too. Your wrinkles will be gone in a blink!

Extra tip: If you want to have a longer-lasting effect outside cosmetics, use active skincare ingredients to remove dirt and oil. You’ll minimize each pore best with skincare and makeup power!

3. Allows Makeup to Stick, All Day Long

Primer will create a barrier between your skin and makeup

Your foundation, eyeshadow, and blush can sit pretty on a solid base and never, EVER budge. Party, dance, and run around in your favorite makeup look!

Extra tip: Priming your face doesn’t stop at just the skin. Try out eye primers to make eyeshadow pop and lip primer to make rosy hues last all day!

4. Evens Out Blotchy Skin Tones

Got red spots you don’t know how to fix or dull patches that ruin your entire beauty look? 

Make some space for the winning solution: color-correcting primers.

Aside from building a strong base, you can conceal and blend your makeup correctly. A primer can adjust your tone. 

You can kiss sun spots and red patches goodbye!

Extra tip: If you want to get rid of that unwanted texture on your skin, use a full-coverage foundation on top of the primer. Set with some setting powder for dry skin. In a few minutes, you have flawless skin!

5. Hydrates Dry, Splotchy Skin

Who said primer was just for oily skin? ALL SKIN TYPES benefit from this wonderful cosmetic product. Just pick out the right formula!

Putting makeup on dry skin can result in a cakey, uneven look. Go for hydrating primers best for dehydrated skin. 

In a way, the layer that primer creates can act as a moisturizer.

Some primers even let you skip foundation because of their nourishing properties.

Extra tip: Lock in moisture in your skincare routine with serums. Do this every night, and you’ll have a better surface to prime the following day!

Four Types of Primers You Can Use

Four Types

Okay, we mentioned a lot of primers above. Which one should you use? 

We’re here to guide you through it! Treat this as the ultimate beauty guide as to what primer you can wear.

1. Makeup Primers or Face Primers

Built for your skin and foundation to roll on smoothly, you can use tons of primers.

In our opinion, the best primer is one that targets your main beauty problems. You want all the high points of your face to be noticed, not the flaws.

Here are some primers you can try out:

Water-Based Primer

The makeup base can be too heavy for some people. If you’re one of them, the water-based formula will leave a lightweight feeling while doing its job!

To make the most out of this primer, use a water-based foundation as well.

Silicone-Based Primer

Silicone-based primers are best if you want to make sure not one smudge will happen.

Though it can have a reputation for being too greasy, most silicone-based primers are actually oil-free! Control sebum production and create the best look possible.

Hydrating Primer for Dry Skin

These products will moisturize your skin while making your paint last all day long. Glow from the inside out with a hydrating primer!

Mattifying Primer for Oily Skin

Prefer a flawless matte look? Lessen the oiliness with the perfect combo of the following:

  • Mattifying primers,
  • Oil-control foundation, and;
  • Setting powder

Color-Correcting Primer

Create an even skin tone even before the foundation can come into play! Fix red spots, hyperpigmentation, and dark sunspots.

Illuminating Primers

Need something a little extra for a full glow? An illuminating primer can help enrich your skin!

Sunscreen and Primer Combo

Layer on SPF protection and prevent aging and sun damage! Use a primer that has broad-spectrum SPF to keep you safe since it shields skin from UV light.

2. Eye Primer or Eyeshadow Primer

Want to make your eyeshadow pop and have your eyeliner glide on easily on your eyelids?

There’s a primer made for eyelids to complete your look! Apply primer with your fingers or a brush before doing your eye makeup.

3. Lip Primers

Does lipstick never stay on your lips? The trick to never getting them smudged is a lip primer! Create a smooth surface and plump your pout naturally.

4. Mascara Primer

Your lashes can benefit from a mascara primer, too! You can have a dark, full, dramatic curl that boosts the volume of your lashes upon use.

Don’t think you have to be a makeup artist for this extra step.



Makeup artists aren’t the only people where a strong, smooth base is a must. 

You can try out all other techniques, but a primer has been the best way to go for the past decade!

Whether your base coat suffers due to your skin, fine lines, or uneven skin texture is no matter. 

There’s a primer for your unique problem that can be the answer.

Read through our article on How to Properly Apply Primer, Foundation, and Concealer for a complete makeup guide!


August 17, 2021 – Updated article formatting and content

July 15, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.