Best primers for oily skin

Best primers for oily skin

If you - or someone you know - suffer from an oily complexion, a well-formulated primer base can help to keep that unwanted shine at bay. We did the hard work and reviewed the most talked about primers on the market which proclaim to combat oiliness and help make up last longer. Here’s what we thought about each one…


8. Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer - £6.99


This primer is a good budget option for helping to prep your face before applying your make-up. Its formula is perhaps best for those with a combination skin type that is a little on the drier side. You’ll definitely need to top up with some powder a few times throughout the day with this product as the oiliness does come through within a couple of hours. But on the plus side, it’s super easy to get hold of and is sold in most supermarkets and drug stores. 


7. Bobbi Brown Skin Smoothing Pore Perfector - £27.00


Packaged in a small tube, this primer is easy to transport around. Has quite a potent lavender scent which you’ll either love or hate. Helps to make foundation last longer but is it worth the price tag? Perhaps not. 


6. Garnier Perfect Blur Primer – £12.99


This primer is quite thick in consistency so you only need to squeeze a little out of the tube each time (which can be a bit tricky). It's great for creating a velvety base for make-up application and blurring out fine lines and wrinkles. As for oil-control, it only lasts for around four hours and you can feel your pores start to get a bit oily, so if you’re out all day, you’ll want to touch up with powder occasionally.     


5. Mac Prep and Primer Natural Radiance - £30.00


Great for helping to apply make-up and providing a healthy glow when skin feels dull or dehydrated. Shine starts to appear after five hours and you can feel the 'heavy oiliness' coming through. Perhaps most suited towards dehydrated combination skin which needs a 'pick me up', rather than skin which is excessively oily.


4. Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer - £28.00


This primer has a gel-like consistency, which transforms when applied to the skin. It creates smooth base and extends the wear-time of my foundation, while preventing shine for around five hours. This light formula prevents your face from feeling 'cakey' with makeup and while it definitely helps to minimise pores, it doesn’t disguise them completely. Only a little is needed at a time so the tube will last three months at the very least. 


3. Bare Minerals Prime Time Original Foundation Primer - £24.00


A little goes a long way with this product – all you need is one small pump to cover a full face. It’s great for creating smooth, silky canvas that keeps make up in place all day. When it comes to oiliness, it does prevent shine for a good five to seven hours, so a great option for those who don’t have access to their make-up bag when out of the house. It’s compact and easy to carry around so great for those who travel often. Just be careful not to press too hard on the pump, as you'll easily squirt out more than you need! 


2. Smashbox Photo Finish Mattify Primer Stick - £22.00­­­­


Say goodbye to powders and blotting paper for good! This primer stick helps to blur away large pores and mattify skin without drying it out. It enables foundation to glide on and keeps the oiliness stays at bay for a good six to eight hours. What’s best about this product is that you can apply this onto of your make up if you do happen to  get any oily breakouts. If you’re prone to spots, try applying with a brush to minimise the spread of bacteria.


1.     Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base - £42.00


This primer is delightful  and is a must-try beauty staple for anyone with oily skin. It has a subtle citrus scent and leaves skin feeling soft and silky and looking bright and keeps the oiliness at bay for at least six hours. Even when oils do eventually seep through, it gives you a healthy dewy look, rather than one that is shiny or greasey. In addition to this, it helps to reduce redness and keep foundation in place without ‘melting’ away or sliding off. A 50ml tub can last you a good few months so worth investing in. If the price tag is a little more than you can afford, a smaller tub (15ml) can be purchased for only £12.50.  


Our verdict: It would seem that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to primers. For those with oily skin, wearing a primer is definitely better than no primer at all, but some clearly outperform others. 

For those seeking an affordable option, the Garnier Blur Primer could be the one for you. It's great value, helps to reduce oilliness for a few hours and also disguises the appearance of any imperfections or blemishes. If you're happy to spend a bit more on something that combats shine and helps make up to stay in place all day, you really can't go wrong with the Smashbox Photo Finish Mattify Primer Stick - it does everything it says on the tin and more! But if your pocket can stretch to it, we can't recommend the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base enough! This all-singing-all-dancing primer will have your skin looking and feeling great all day, with or without make up. And most importantly - it'll keep your shine down to a minimum. 

  • Results may vary on different skin types
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  • For more beauty recommendations, see our Christmas 2017 favourites here