When it comes to my makeup routine, primer tends to fall into the same category as dental floss does for me. It's a step I tend to to forget, but when I remember, makes a big difference (smoother, more even makeup application / squeaky clean teeth). If you're reading this article, you, like me, are probably ready to incorporate primer into your makeup routine for good. And when it comes to providing a smooth, even base, curbing mid-day shine, and ensuring your makeup stays on longer, you can't do better than one of the best mattifying primers from the list ahead.
While oily, combination, and/or acne-prone skin types will benefit most from a mattifying primer, there are formulas out there that work for dry skin types, too. Also, you can find innovative mattifying primers that target other skin care concerns, like redness or enlarged pores, or that offer added benefits, like sun protection, to cut down on the steps in your morning routine. Ahead, you'll find seven great mattifying primers that do all of these jobs and more, plus options to suit every skin type, budget, and formula preference — from refreshing gels to primer/serum duos — as well. Scroll on to shop now.
1. The Best Budget Mattifying Primer
As far as Amazon reviewers are concerned, Maybelline's Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer is the best mattifying primer money can buy. Baby Skin is a thin, silicone-based primer that instantly smoothes your skin, minimizes the appearance of pores, and mattifies oily areas — and all you need is a thin layer. You can wear it under foundation or on its own for skin that looks smooth as a baby's (hence its name) and feels "like velvet," according to reviewers.
Over 2,000 Amazon shoppers gave Baby Skin a perfect five-star review. "Unlike many similar products, this is colorless, so it works on all skin tones," noted one fan. "It's weightless and it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything; but it gives skin a beautiful evenness. Even hides mild acne scarring." Other reviewers wrote that it also helped with dry, flaky patches, for what it's worth.
2. The Best Mattifying Primer With SPF
If you're looking to cut down on the steps in your morning routine, Etude House's Face Blur is for you. It has an incredibly high level of sun protection, with an SPF of 50 PA++++, so you don't need to apply sunscreen separately. As its name suggests, it works to "blur" your pores, while a subtle pink tint offers just the tiniest hint of illumination, so skin looks not only smoother and more even, but brighter, too.
3. The Best Mattifying Primer For Oily Skin
This Dermablend Poresaver Matte Makeup Primer was specially formulated for people who tend to get shiny throughout the day. The brand claims it provides 24 hours worth of mattifying, oil-absorbing benefits, while simultaneously blurring pores, softening skin, and extending the staying power of your makeup. It's a tad on the pricey side, sure, but you're getting a product from a pro-level brand.
One reviewer raved, "Praise the higher powers for letting me stumble onto this product. I have such oily skin that I usually feel the need to wash my face mid-day at work. With this baby, I can seriously go the entire day at work, and not even feel the urge to wash it the second I get home. What a time to be alive!"
4. The Best Mattifying Primer For Acne-Prone Skin
Using the powers of tea tree oil, The Body Shop's Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion goes way beyond just mattifying your skin — it helps treat acne, too. The formula is more of a traditional lotion (think of it as more of a priming moisturizer than an actual primer), but it still soaks up shine and leaves skin with a mattifying effect. It also provides just the right amount of hydration that acne-prone skin needs without being greasy or clogging up pores — and it's 100% vegan, too.
5. The Best Mattifying Primer For All Skin Types
Designed to work on any skin type, the L'Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer has a silky, almost putty-like texture that blends in seamlessly and transparently into skin, despite its pink appearance. Skin will look smoother and more matte, pores will become blurred, and makeup — should you choose to layer any on — will look absolutely flawless. You can also wear it sans makeup, or just apply it to particularly oily areas to soak up shine.
"It takes only a small amount and makes your skin feel like silk," wrote one reviewer. "My favorite primer!" raved another. "This is perfect if you have oily skin. It mattifies your skin, and controls oil for nearly the entire day. Even though it's such a small pot, it lasts for a few months. It glides on your face so smoothly - definitely a great part of your daily make-up routine."
6. The Best Mattifying Primer/Serum Combo
If traditional primers seem a little too heavy for you, this primer/serum combo from Neutrogena is a great alternative. It's lightweight, liquid-y, and fast-absorbing, and it does the job of two products at once. Using oil-absorbing rice protein, just a light layer will leave skin with a refreshed, but mattified finish. Wear it on its own for an all-over shine-free complexion, or use it as a base for the rest of your makeup.
7. The Best Color-Correcting Mattifying Primer
Looking to mattify and color-correct your skin at the same time? Then the Maybelline New York Face Studio Master Prime primer is for you. This one has a slight green tint to cancel out red tones, while the oil-free formula works to blur pores and prep skin for makeup application (though many reviewers said they stopped wearing foundation once they discovered this color-correcting primer). Think of it as skin care and makeup in one.
"I don't normally rave about beauty products, but this one has been a life-saver. I have fair skin prone to flushing. A couple of dabs of this primer on my cheeks, and any redness disappears. It's great (and long-lasting) under makeup, but I'm now wearing this cream every day on its own. It feels cool and soothing going on, and my skin looks flawless," commented one reviewer.
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