There’s no denying it—makeup doesn’t look as flawless without a great primer. Whether you prefer creams, gels, or oils, primers act like real-life filters for your skin. They prepare the face for layers of product, blur imperfections, and prolong makeup wear. They can even be worn solo to fill up large pores or add a super-hydrated glow! Suffice it to say, the best primers do a lot—and there’s a lot of bests out there on the market.
But because we can’t all afford luxury, we’ve picked out 4 budget-friendly primers that are worth way more than their price tags. Check ‘em out below.
If you like MAC Prep+ Primer Fix+…
TRY: Pro Studio Beauty Exclusives Pro Primer Water, P499
When it comes to being lightweight, nothing beats a primer water. These sprays give you the same hold as gels and creams without the heavy feeling. In fact, they’re as refreshing as facial mists! If you’ve been eyeing the iconic MAC Prep+ Primer Fix+ but don’t have the dough for it, give PRO Studio’s Pro Primer Water a shot. It has a similar soothing, rejuvenating effect and helps lock your makeup in place for hours.
If you like Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer…
TRY: Cloud Cosmetics Baby Pores, P499
Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless is famous for its airbrush effect on pores and rough skin texture. But it is hard to come by and will cost you a pretty penny when you do find stock. Why not try Cloud Cosmetics’ Baby Pores? This primer delivers a filter-like finish similar to Too Faced’s, and it only goes for P499! A cream-to-powder formula, it’s designed to erase pores, control sebum and prolong makeup wear. It even provides added protection against harmful UV rays. Insta-GLAM!
If you like Cover FX Illuminating Primer…
TRY: Milani Prime Light Strobing + Pore Minimizing Face Primer, P550
For those who want a boost in radiance, the Cover FX Illuminating Primer is a certified Holy Grail. But it’s also a bit of a splurge (sob!). So we recommend Milani’s Prime Light Strobing + Pore Minimizing Face Primer, which works just as well. It has the same light and creamy consistency that creates a subtle ethereal glow, and you want have to empty out your coffers for it. A universally-flattering formula, it’s safe for all all skin types, even sensitive skin. Truly a customer fave!
If you like Smashbox Pro Finish Primer Oil…
TRY: Ushas Pro Finish Primer Oil, P399
The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil is well loved for its youthful, dewy effect on the face. Unlike traditional primers, this oil-based formula is perfect for dry skin types. Need a more affordable version that will nourish and prep your skin just as well? Try Ushas’ Primer Oil! It’s just as moisturizing, with the same non-greasy finish and weightless feel as the Smashbox fave.
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Cover photos via Instagram (@coverfx, @milanicosmetics)
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