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The best primers in the beauty business to get that flawless base 

We made a list of the best makeup primers in India that are popular and effective for every skin type.

Face primers are regarded as an ‘extra’ product in our beauty kit. They’re seen as non-essentials, probably not as popular as concealers, and most Indian women don’t know how to use them. If 2020 is a year of creating ideal playlists, essential buys, and mindful beauty, then we’d like to believe that primers are just as important as your foundation, even more so if you use them correctly. And they have come a long way in establishing their presence in beauty bags around the world. 

What’s a primer? A product that is essentially a bridge between skincare and makeup. Think of it as a screen that makes sure your base, foundation, and makeup stay put without being cakey and uneven. We’ll call it a complexion-perfecting, canvas-creating magician of a product that will eventually determine how long makeup will stay and thrive on your face as you go about your day. There are, of course, a few reasons why they can be tricky – they can clog pores. Some are seen as just rich moisturisers. While many claims to make the skin more slippery than usual, but that depends heavily on the kind of primers one chooses.

If used well, the right primer can give you that lit-from-within look. Take, for instance, the new Smashbox Primer that just hit the Indian market – the Photo Finish Vitamin Glow gives you instant hydration and comes with added vitamins B, C, and E and is as weightless as they come. It’s perfect for the weather in India, gives you a glow and nourishes the skin before you apply makeup, so you look radiant in minutes. How does one get the goodness of a primer and use it well? Just apply one thin layer, don’t slather or use too much. Just make it like a film on top of your moisturiser and make sure you give it a minute or two to get absorbed into the skin well. And how does one know which primer suits you? Use a mattifying one if you have oily skin and a hydrating, illuminating one if you have dry skin.  

So what’s in the Indian market when it comes to primers? We put together the top 5 primers that are not just popular but do the job well. With zoom meetings and online classes a priority now, long-lasting makeup is a requirement and if it covers your patchy skin and uneven skin tone, even better. So invest in your basics right now – the point is to not keep reapplying your makeup but to make it last longer.

Here are the 5 best makeup primers in India –


If even-toned skin is what you are looking for, this mattifying primer fits the bill. It not only balances the skin, hydrates, and gives you a smooth finish, but it also tackles your oily skin, pigmentation, and dullness. Also, if you are looking at minimising pores and giving your skin that much-needed gloss, this is the one to take back home.

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We interviewed Guerlain’s makeup artist who emphasised the strength this primer holds when it comes to giving your skin a radiant, highlighted finish. This cult favourite oil contains pure 24-carat gold flakes that are reflective and give your skin that smooth finish with just a hint of glow. The hydrating gel-like primer glides on smoothly on the skin and enhances your features beautifully, making it the perfect canvas for whatever you will apply after. Mix it with your foundation for that beautiful inside-out glow.

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There are mixed reviews on this one, but for us, it worked wonders. The gel-like formula does work beautifully on oily skin, giving it radiance and smoothness. Whether it’s the appearance of pores or the uneven skin texture, this primer tackles everything beautifully. It comes with an optical matte-blur technology that not only filters out imperfections but also makes you shine-free and soft, perfect for taking selfies.

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Too Faced has its share of good primers and the Hangover option is by far touted as their best offering. In a bright peachy packaging, this coconut water and peach-infused mist will add a thin film on your face, setting it up and refreshing it as the day goes by. If you are looking for a primer that hydrates and boosts moisture and hydration, then this is the one to go for. The good thing about this primer is its versatility – it’s a primer, a mist, and a setting spray much like the MAC Cosmetics Prep & Prime.

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One of the most popular primers, this invisible-finish mattifying gel is by far the most effective in tackling shine and uneven skin tone. Known to minimise pores and give you that smoother blurring effect, the water-based gel comes with diamond powder that adds extra radiance.


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One of our favourite primers, the nourishing Bobbi Brown shea buttercream is as rich as they come. Empowered by Vitamins B, C, and E alongside Grapefruit and Geranium, the primer makes sure dry skin gets enough hydration and makes sure the foundation stays on longer.

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No one can deny the power of a good primer, and MAC Cosmetics Prep & Prime has been in every celebrity list till now. This skin-nourishing mist gives hydration, radiance, and minimised pores all in one. Plus, it comes jam-packed with hyaluronic acid, essential oils, and vitamin C – so expect a warm glow all day long.

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Latha Sunadh
Deputy Editor
When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.