Makeup application is kind of like working in construction. Before you start applying your cosmetics, just like in a construction site, you have to put in your foundation. However, before you can even start that process, you have to do site preparation first! In construction, that includes using a bulldozer to clear the site of rocks and debris so you can lay the actual foundation. In makeup, you put on primer.

Liquid foundation is one of my must-haves in my kikay kit—but you don’t have to use foundation to use primer. Some girls use it alone as their makeup base! For me, this just goes to show that if you pick the right products for your lifestyle and apply them correctly, you’ll find something you just can’t live without.

Now, before we get into things, here’s exactly why primer is a must before makeup!


  • It seals your pores!
  • It gives your skin an even look, so you start with a smooth canvas before makeup.
  • It creates a barrier between your skin and your foundation, which stops your skin from getting too oily and your foundation (or concealer, or blush) from getting too cakey.
  • It lengthens the wear of your makeup, and can even be used as a “setter” on top of the finished look to seal the perfection in place.
  • It’s a moisturizing product, but also contains oil control properties to keep your skin balanced and refreshed.

    Got your attention? Good! Now the question is, how do we use it?

    STEP 1: Cleanse your skin thoroughly and pat your face dry with a towel.

    STEP 2: Squeeze a dollop of primer onto your fingertip.

    STEP 3: Dab it onto your skin, as you would a moisturizer. Apply a little more product to oil-prone areas or patches of skin that show bigger pores.

    STEP 4: Blend the primer evenly over your entire face until your skin feels smooth and dry to the touch. Like so:

In case you’re wondering, I’m using my Beauty Blender in this timelapse video!

STEP 5: Voilà! You’re prepped! Simply dive into the rest of your everyday makeup regimen, and marvel at the smoother, less shiny, longer-lasting results.

Now that’s settled, here are some great primers I’ve been experimenting with in the past few weeks. My makeup artist on Listed, Mylyn Concepcion, used them as the base for several makeup looks you’ll see on the show!

1. Max Factor’s Facefinity All Day Primer SPF20, P1,018
This primer has a slightly thick texture to it that blends best if you have oilier skin. It allows your foundation to stay on throughout the day. If you have combination skin, it would be best to apply this to your T-Zone for best results. This one was Mylyn’s favorite—she told me it was great for professional makeup!

2. Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer (Radiance), P1,650
This one has a bit of tint on it, so you don’t have to layer much foundation over it (none at all if you have good skin). The formula is water-based, so it creates a smoother finish and works well on combination to dry skin types. I’ve been using this primer every day since I got my hands on it!

3. Leyende’s Face Canvas VelvetSense Moisturizer & Makeup Base, on sale at P468
This primer is organic and sure smells wonderful! The scent fades after a few minutes, but the positive effects of this locally-made product work wonders. It moisturizes and nourishes the skin deeply and delivers a seamless base for your makeup. It’s great for all skin types, too, so everyone can enjoy it!

Non-product photos courtesy of Karen Pamintuan