Laura-Mercier-Primer
The first step before any make-up application, primers are an essential tool in keeping our faces looking fresh and smudge free from day to night. Here, we break down the best primers to use for your face, eyes and lips, and outline the best tips for a long-lasting finish.
Beautiful make-up always starts with [primer](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/featured/primers). The first and foremost step before any application, primers are essential to ensuring that our make-up doesn’t budge during the long hours of the day. With so many options out there, from mattifying to illuminating finishes, it can be difficult navigating exactly type would work best for you. And there’s the factor of how to apply it and on where. Here, we’ve compiled recommendations for every skin type, and picked the best ones to use on your [face, eyes and lips](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/featured/primers). Ready, set, prime! Not sure exactly what primer is? Check out our [make-up glossary](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/daily-muse/article/?cid=fc90836d-f088-4bbe-9a35-81fe74d58a2a) here to discover its definition.
For the Face

Which ones to use?

Whether your concern is dryness or sallow skin, tailor to your skin type with Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Primer, which has versions for hydrating, smoothening and mattifying. Plus, Clarins SOS range includes illuminating formulas that boost radiance, and the brand’s classic Beauty Flash Balm has been a longtime favourite for reviving tired skin. To reduce redness and soothe rosacea, choose a colour-correcting primer from Rosalique.

How to apply?

Designed to create the perfect base for make-up, always apply primers after your last skincare step. To apply, use fingers or a foundation brush to blend over the face; fingers will give a more natural look, while a brush allows for heavier coverage. After applying primer, wait a minute for it to fully dry before layering anything else. A little goes a long way, so remember to use a tiny dollop and apply lightly. Pro tip: for illuminating primers, use your fingers to tap the product into certain points of the face before blending it out.

For Eyes

Which ones to use?

We’re all more too familiar with eyeshadows creasing and flaking off throughout the day, so combat those problems by priming your eyes with an eyeshadow primer. Not only do they help set even the oiliest of eyelids, they also help enhance the pigmentation of your shadow and in short, keep your make-up locked in place. There’s a wide variety to choose from; Bobbi Brown’s one comes with a few shades – making it easy to find one to match to your skin tone, while NARS’ primer is a clear solution that mattifies oiliness. Plus, prep your lashes before mascara with a lash primer. Our pick is Lancôme’s lash-lengthening booster and Estée Lauder’s primer – which extends the wear time of your mascara.

How to apply?

For eyeshadow primers, use fingers or the accompanying sponge applicator to apply a thin layer over the lids. Give them a minute to fully dry before applying any mascara. Likewise, with mascara primers, comb the primer through your lashes, like you would do with mascara, then wait for them to dry to a clear finish before applying mascara.

Lip Primer

Which ones to use?

Often neglected but critical in keeping your pout fresh all-day, lip primers are designed to smooth and condition the lips before any lipstick, liner or gloss. A classic make-up bag necessity, MAC’s hydrating Prep + Prime Lip comes in a clear balm and helps lock matte or liquid lipsticks in place. For lips that are especially prone to dryness, opt for this soothing primer by Tom Ford – it gently exfoliates off flakiness for a soft finish. To add a slight hint of colour, pop on this nourishing balm from Bobbi Brown, which enhances the colour of any rosy lipstick with a dusky pink tint.

How to apply?

Most lip primers come in tube or clear formulations, so you can directly smooth them over the lips – similar to your usual lipstick. If you’re using a primer with a wand, apply a thin layer and wait until it fully dries before layering on your lipstick. Remember to work the primer on the edges of your lips to prevent any feathering!

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