The 13 Best Face Primers That Will Last as Long as Your Love (AKA a Long Time!)

It's prime time, baby.
Three face primers
Photos, left to right: Sephora, Milk Makeup, Sephora
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Lauren Whalley
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
Fashion Editor, Beauty & Inclusivity
  • Lauren writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in fashion, beauty and size inclusivity.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Lauren worked in wedding editorial for Brides, Style Me Pretty and Enaura Bridal.
  • Lauren studied public relations and advertising at the University of Central Florida.
Updated Aug 03, 2023
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When it comes to the wedding makeup routine, we're all about that base. No, really. Face primers are the true foundation (no pun intended) of a long-lasting beauty look. It creates a smooth canvas for your makeup, extends its wear and ensures a beautiful finish that will help your foundation last through every tear, smile, and dance move. Whether your skin is oily, combination, acne prone, sensitive or dry there is a face makeup primer out there for you. And there are so many good options on the market. To help narrow down your options, I've curated a list of some of the best primers for makeup to help you achieve a flawless complexion. So, go ahead and choose the primer that suits your needs, and get ready to say "I do" with confidence, radiance, and impeccable style.

What is Makeup Primer? Do I Need It On My Wedding Day?

Makeup primer creates a smooth and even canvas for your foundation, helps your makeup stay put for hours, and can even blur imperfections. It's like the cool AF sidekick your foundation needs to stay fab throughout the day before you apply your makeup. And trust me, on your wedding day, you want to make sure your makeup lasts from the first dance to the champagne toasts.

Best Face Primer Picks for Every Skin Type

Your wedding day is one of the most special and photographed days of your life. You want to look your best, and one way to ensure that is by choosing the right makeup primer. Check out the best face primer picks for every skin type to make your wedding day makeup last as long as the memories.

Best Overall Face Primer: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Veil mineral primer from Hourglass
Photo: Sephora

The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer gives what needs to be given. Period. It easily wins the title of best overall face primer because of how seamlessly it smooths the skin, blurs pores and fine lines, and enhances the staying power of your foundation. It is also lightweight (the texture feels amazing!) and oil-free, making it perfect for all skin types.

Best Drugstore Makeup Primer: NYX Professional Makeup Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

Angel Veil skin perfecting primer from NYX
Photo: Target

If you want to slay your wedding day glam without breaking the bank, NYX Professional Makeup Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer is your go-to. This primer creates a perfect base for makeup, and it's perfect for blurring pores and perfecting the skin's texture. The best part? It's non-comedogenic and vegan.

Best Primer for Long-Lasting Makeup: Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

Hydro Grip Makeup from Milk Makeup
Photo: Milk Makeup

You obvy want your wedding makeup to last all day long (and well into the night), whether you're a to-be-wed, a bridesmaid or a wedding guest. So it comes as no surprise that the TikTok viral Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer is the go-to choice. This primer locks in your foundation and ensures that your makeup stays fresh and flawless all day.

Best Makeup Primer Spray: Iconic London Prep Set Glow

Prep Set Glow primer spray from Iconic London
Photo: Ulta

If you want a primer that will hydrate your skin, set your makeup and give you a lit-from-within glow, the Iconic London Prep Set Glow spray was made for you. This primer comes in mist form and refreshes and primes your face while also locking in hydration and setting makeup. Plus, it comes in two glowy shades to choose from.

Best Face Primer for Oily Skin: Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Primer

The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Primer from Benefit Cosmetics
Photo: Sephora

Where are my oily skin besties? You know her, you love her, the Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Primer is here to save the day. This primer mattifies your face, absorbs oil, and minimizes the appearance of pores, leaving your skin shine-free.

Best Face Primer for Dry Skin: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer - Hydrating

Pure Canvas Hydrating Primer from Laura Mercier
Photo: Sephora

Dry skin? We don't know her. That's all thanks to the Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Hydrating Primer. This nourishing primer hydrates and nourishes your skin, creating a smooth, plump base for your makeup. It does not feel heavy or greasy on the skin. It's a win-win.

Best Primer for Combination Skin: Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Pore Diffusing Primer

Pore Diffusing Primer from Rare Beauty
Photo: Sephora

The struggle can sometimes be so real when finding the best face primer for combination skin. But Selena Gomez has got you back! The Rare Beauty Pore Diffusing Primer is the perfect combination of hydration and oil control. It hydrates the dry areas of your skin without making the oily areas greasy. You'll love this primer like a love song.

Best Face Primer for Sensitive Skin: Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

The Silk Canvas Protective Primer from Tatcha
Photo: Sephora

If you know, you know when it comes to Tatcha's Silk Canvas Protective Primer. A little goes a long way and is packed with good-for-you ingredients that won't irritate your skin while also creating a smooth base for your wedding makeup. It's also effective at blurring fine lines, pores, and imperfections.

Best Makeup Primer for Acne Prone Skin: e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Putty Primer

Acne Fighting Putty Primer from e.l.f. Cosmetics
Photo: e.l.f. Cosmetics

If you have acne-prone skin, e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Putty Primer is one of the best options, thanks to its oil-free, water-resistant formula. It blurs imperfections and pores and creates an even skin tone, leaving you with a smooth and blemish-free base.

Best Face Primer for Mature Skin: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer and Primer

Magic Cream Moisturizer and Primer from Charlotte Tilbury
Photo: Sephora

Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream Moisturizer and Primer is the ultimate luxurious primer that gives your skin an extra boost of moisture. This primer is perfect if you want to give mature skin a youthful-looking, radiant glow. It also does wonders for soothing and calming dry or irritated skin.

Best Face Primer for Redness: Smashbox Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Face Primer

Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Face Primer from Smashbox
Photo: Sephora

I've always been prone to redness, and I can attest that the Smashbox Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Face Primer never fails me when I need to neutralize my skin. So if you're in the same boat, this is just what you need. This primer has a green color that works like magic to reduce redness, leaving your skin looking balanced.

Best Primer for a Sweaty Face: Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Mattifying and Blurring Makeup Primer

Pore Eclipse Mattifying and Blurring Makeup Primer from Milk Makeup
Photo: Milk Makeup

If you tend to sweat easily, then the Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Mattifying and Blurring Makeup Primer is the perfect primer to keep your face looking fresh. This primer mattifies your skin and blurs out any imperfections, keeping you shine-free and sweat-free.

Best Makeup Primer with SPF: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 from Supergoop!
Photo: Sephora

If you want to have the perfect base for your makeup while also protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays on your big day, then Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 needs to be added to your cart ASAP. The formula is cruelty-free, reef-safe, and perfect for any skin type.

How to Apply Primer on Face

Now that you know what a primer does, let's talk about how to rock it like a boss on your wedding day. Whether you're using a cream, gel, or spray primer, the application process is pretty simple. Here are a few methods to consider:


Squeeze a small amount of primer onto your fingertips and gently massage it into your skin. This works great for a more natural and diffused look.


Grab your favorite makeup sponge, dampen it slightly, and dab the primer onto your skin in quick, bouncy motions. Hello, airbrushed perfection!

Brush It Out

If you're all about that makeup brush life, go ahead and apply the primer using a foundation brush or a fluffy brush. Just make small, circular motions to blend it flawlessly into your skin.

What Does Makeup Primer Do?

Okay, let's get real about the magic of primers, sis. They're not just there to be cute. They actually have some amazing benefits for your face and your makeup game. Check it out:

Makeup Benefits

  • Smooths out your skin, so your foundation glides on like silk.
  • Blurs those pesky imperfections, like pores and fine lines, for a selfie-ready complexion.
  • Extends the wear of your makeup, so it won't budge or smudge even when you're tearing up during the vows.

Skin Benefits

  • Hydrates and nourishes your skin, giving it a healthy boost.
  • Creates a protective barrier between your skin and makeup, helping to prevent breakouts.
  • Some primers even have SPF to protect your skin from the sun's rays.

Silicone, Oil and Water-Based Primer: What's the Difference?

You might've heard these terms floating around in the world of primers, but what's the tea on the differences? Let's break it down:

Silicone-Based Primer: These babies work wonders for smoothing out your skin and creating a flawless canvas. They're great when you want to blur those pesky imperfections and keep your makeup in place all day.

Oil-Based Primer: If you have dry or normal skin, this type of primer can be a game-changer. It adds an extra boost of hydration and keeps your skin looking dewy and fresh. Perfect for that bridal glow!

Water-Based Primer: Oily skin gals, this one's for you! Water-based primers are lightweight and won't clog your pores. They're great at controlling shine and keeping your makeup from melting off.

Now that you're armed with primer knowledge, go out there and get your glow on, queen! Your wedding day makeup is going to slay harder than a Beyoncé concert. Don't forget to test out different primers before the big day to find the one that works best for you. Get ready to steal the show with that flawless face!

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