Primers and mattifiers help set a solid base for your face to look good all day and through the night, no matter what. Below are a few of my tried and true favorites!
EDIT: Updating this to share another lip primer I’ve picked up and think is better than the MAC primer I listed below when I originally wrote this post in March. Add these to your Christmas list or pick them up for your betches as a stocking stuffer!
Lip Insurance Lip Primer ($19) | Too Faced
This has a way different formula than the MAC primer, and I’m glad. It takes a little getting used to but, in my opinion is much less drying (my main issue with MAC). Be careful not to apply too much or it can dry and cake your bitchstick – not keep it kissable for hours. Less is more, just spread a thin, even layer and let it set before applying your color of choice! Very happy with this one. Get it here.
Prep + Prime Lip ($16) | MAC Cosmetics
I know I’ve covered this MAC Prep & Prime lip primer in this essentials post, but it’s definitely still worth mentioning. If you want your lipstick to look good for more than five seconds, and it’s perhaps a satin or thinner consistency – you NEED to use a primer first. If you haven’t yet, I cannot emphasize the benefits enough – it makes a noticeable difference with staying power for your color, and makes the application process smoother if you’re still new to lipstick… Get it from Nordstrom.
Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder ($34) | Laura Mercier
This translucent powder is one of my all-time favorite products. Rather than cake up a ton of face powder, you can use this and it just absorbs oil but keeps your face looking clean and fresh. I have an oily/combo complexion, so I’ll set everything with this while I’m working on my face makeup and get a nice base (totally foolproof for longwear if you’re setting foundation or tinted moisturizer) and then use proper pressed powder to finish my look at the end. You can get this one here.
‘Pro Prime’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($25) | NARS Cosmetics
This is the best primer for your eyes, of all time: NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone give a bad review… I’ve also used Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray in a sample, which was okay, but the longevity and feeling of this one the eyes makes it the best, in my opinion. If you’re someone who feels like they’re not getting enough pigment deposited to your lids, using a primer may help, and keep them from creasing or the color moving as you do.
Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel ($35) | Peter Thomas Roth
This mattifying gel by Peter Thomas Roth is fairly thick, and you only need to put a little over any shiny areas and it spreads really well out and across the rest of your face. Super easy and convenient, and definitely has the same sort of long term capability that the NARS eye primer does. You can check it out here, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking to hide shine.
All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray | Urban Decay
This setting spray by Urban Decay is a true gem. I first picked it up before we headed to Vegas last spring and have been hooked ever since. There’s a temperature technology with this that claims it keeps you fresh in hot or cold conditions (somehow regulating the actual temp of your makeup – so cool), and I would say in my experience it has fully lived up to that. This is just like using pump hairspray – just make sure to have a thin coat sprayed evenly across your face so it sets how you’d like! Get it here. Ps. I cannot tell a lie, I have sprayed hair spray across my face in a pinch because I’ve been out of this. Traveling, running around, dancing the night away – this is an essential.
Stone Cold Beauties, what’s your fave primer? Tell me in the comments. I’m always on the prowl for the next best thing!
3 thoughts on “pro tip: prime and mattify.”
Have you tried Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (oil-free). Similar to the Peter Thomas Roth in that you only need a little; works great for my combination/oil tendancies skin
Yes! I have the original and pore minimizing, the PTR was my old go-to primer… I now use Dr. Brandt Pores no More (just posted about it, if you haven’t seen yet!) and find its better than both. same consistency-ish as the Smashbox but sets better and seems to wear better on my skin through the day. I just think my skin is a bit too oily for the Smashbox.
I LOVE TOO FACED’S LIP PRIMER. LITERALLY EVERYTHING <3