Many may not think that makeup primers are an essential. But it can make all the difference in perfecting your makeup and making it last. The usage of a primer is really dependent on your skin needs and condition, anything from brightening to mattifying and pore-minimising. Some are so good you may not even need foundation after. Here’s what we’ve tried.

What: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer, $55

“The primer has a velvety texture which goes on like a dream. I was hoping for it to smooth out my fine lines and leave a ‘soft focus’ effect, and I’m happy to report that it did just that. What’s more, my complexion looks much brighter too. With this, I can almost go out without any makeup!”

What: Benefit PoreFessional Facial Primer, $54

“This balm glides smoothly onto my skin, and doesn’t require a lot of blending to get it even. This means less tugging on the skin! It really does what it promises, which is to create a pore-less appearance. This is perfect for those with oily skin who want their makeup to stay matte all day.”

What: NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35/PA+++, $65

“I’m always on the lookout for products that will add glow to my skin. I was a bit worried when I saw that this primer has a pinkish golden hue and thought it would be too much, but actually, you couldn’t really see a difference at all. It goes on smoothly and blended very easily. The fact that it offers sun protection is a bonus since it means one less step in my daily makeup routine.”

Here are also some of our favourite makeup primers (or bases).

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Text: Cynthia Chew