I am always looking for the best foundation primers for oily skin! If you’re anything like me than you know the feeling here…makeup and oily skin do not work well together! I have for the most part, lessened the amount of oil my skin produces (which will probably soon change) but has been a huge blessing. I do still produce a small amount of oil that tends to break up my makeup if I don’t use a good primer under my makeup. All the primers below are high end primers as I haven’t found a drug store primer that works quite as well as these ones do.
Smashbox Photo Finishing Primer Original
The Smashbox Photo Finishing Primer (the whole line) has been my ride or die foundation primer since the first time I used it. I have used the original, the pore minimizing, the light and the colour correcting. I started using the Original primer which is a silicone based primer, it has a very smooth silicone texture. It glides on like a dream and definitely helps to fill the very large pores near my nose (they’re like craters – I swear!). This can be purchased at Sephora for $44 CAD for 1 oz of product. It is quite pricey, but a little goes a very long way and you don’t need a ton of product.
Smashbox Photo Finishing Primer Colour Correcting
Seriously, ride or die. I started using this primer about 2 years ago because I have very bad Keratosis Pilaris on my face and it’s always red and angry. Granted, this primer by no means CLEARS the redness, it does help to conceal it slightly. It’s not a miracle product, but it combines the Smashbox Photo Finishing Original formula and colour correcting goodness in one primer. It has the same texture and same feel as the original with just that added benefit for my specific needs. This is the same cost and the consistency is similar – more of a mix between the Light formula and the Original formula.
If you use to much of this product it will not work the way you want it to. It can get really greasy, really fast if you use too much. A little goes SUCH a long way and a little is all you need – which is great, because this product the most expensive of these primers. It retails at Sephora for $44 CAD for 1 oz of product. Keep in mind, you only need a little and 1 bottle has lasted me a year before. So for me, it’s totally worth it!
Make Up For Ever Step 1
The Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer is a mattifying primer meant for those with an oily skin type. It contains Lactic Acid which is a chemical exfoliant and that is what attracted me to the product when I had purchased it – I did not look for reviews.
The package is not really anything special, it’s dark grey and in a squeeze tube – 1 point for hygienic packaging.
The product, however, is like glue. I do not know if that’s the consistency of this entire line – but this product is like spreading glue. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though! This didn’t fill my pores nearly as well as the Smashbox Photo Finishing Primer, but definitely got the job. It left me matte for most of the day but definitely isn’t a replacement for my HG Face Primer.
You can get this at Sephora for $43 CAD for 1 oz of product. I would say a little goes a long way with this product, but the consistency makes it rather difficult to blend I find.
Benefit’s The POREfessional
The Benefit POREfessional is very similar to the texture of the Smashbox Photo Finishing Primer – also a silicone base (most or all of my primers are). For me, this was an okay primer – it wasn’t anything crazy for me. It has a nude colour to it but there’s no coverage, and it blends right into your skin. It goes on smooth and blends wonderfully. However, it just didn’t have the staying power that I’m used to with the Smashbox Photo Finish primers.
In Canada, this is available at Shoppers (WOO! – I love Shoppers!) and at Sephora and it’s $39 CAD for 0.75 oz of product – which is fairly pricey.
These are my 4 favourite foundation primers that I have ever tried for my oily skin (and I’ve tried a lot!). Also keep in mind, that I use other products in conjunction with these to get the effect and the look that I want, one that works for my skin type. If these don’t work for you right away, I highly recommend experimenting with other products (sunscreen, serums, moisturizers, even other foundations) that will work with this product to control your oil and increase the staying power of your foundation.
What generally works best for me when choosing a foundation primer, is to really consider the base of the foundation that I’m using. Water-based foundations don’t generally do well on my skin, so I lean more towards silicone based foundations, and search for a primer with the same silicone base. Prep your face, allow all your layers to absorb properly, and set your makeup and you should be perfect!
Let me know if any of these foundation primers work for you!