How To Find The Right Primer For Your Skin Type


To paraphrase Carrie Bradshaw, finding the perfect primer is like finding the perfect partner; it can take years. Yes, we know she technically said ‘apartment’ in the movie, but just go with it; the sentiment rings true.

There are just so many factors. Because while we all have a pretty clear common goal (flawless foundation, of course), the route you’ll need to take to get there does depend on your individual skin type. Everyone’s roadblocks will look different, and so you need to tailor your approach accordingly. 

Our advice? Take your skin concerns (excess oils, dehydration, redness, roughness, etc.) and flip them: Those are your priming goals.

And hey, we’ve got a good feeling that one of Nude by Nature’s 100 per cent natural, silicone-free primers will align perfectly with yours. Allow us to play matchmaker for a moment, will you? 

So your skin is… normal

Your goal is to: Smooth, nourish and brighten

The best bit about having a skin type billed as ‘normal’? The freedom. You don’t have any major concerns you need to address, so you can focus solely on achieving the very thing we all dream about: A face of foundation smoother than velvet. You’re going to need a primer on your side that blends seamlessly into skin and helps your base to gloss over any imperfections for a super silky finish.

Our pick for your ‘normal’ complexion? The Perfecting Primer Smooth and Nourish. It knows good and well how to deliver on smoothness with a natural finish, thanks to the right roundup of skin-prepping ingredients.

It’s loaded with anti-oxidant rich papaya extract and kakadu plum, paired alongside what we affectionately refer to as the ‘Charlie’s Angels of smooth skin’: Hydrating vitamin E, anti-inflammatory green tea and texture-refining vitamin A. All natural, all good.

So your skin is… normal/dry

Your goal is to: Hydrate, illuminate and plump

Prepping a dry skin type for makeup can be about as fun as realising you’re fresh out of wine on a Tuesday night, when you obviously need it most. To put it simply, it’s a struggle. Go too light on hydration and your face will take your foundation straight to flake town, but load up on rich creams and oils beforehand and your base will pill and cake like nobody’s business.

The solution lies in hydration that’s heavy-hitting without actually being heavy; the kind that legitimately blends into skin rather than just sitting on top and sabotaging your foundation game. You’re also going to want that hydration to come with an illuminating finish – dehydration and dullness tend to come as a twin set.

The Perfecting Primer Hydrate and Illuminate is definitely the gal for the job – its hyaluronic acid, olive fruit oil and vitamin E-enhanced formula will soften, plump and nourish, while simultaneously protecting skin against dreaded dry conditions. Its dullness-fighting lilly pilly and Kakadu plum duo, on the other hand, will handle the whole ‘lacklustre to luminous’ journey (with the help of lustrous light-reflecting pearls, of course).

 So your skin is… redness-prone/stressed

Your goal is to: Correct, calm and even out

Ah, loading foundation straight onto an angry redness-prone complexion: A sensitive skin type’s joy of joys. Jokes; it’s downright painful in both a literal and figurative sense. The telltale sign of stressed skin? Patchy redness, AKA the ironic issue that begs for a little base, and yet makes it downright difficult to apply it.

Tone is your biggest concern here, so let’s start there: A little calming colour-correcting action will be your skin’s saving grace. That’s exactly what the Perfecting Primer Correct and Even is packed with – its formula is a minty green colour, the exact shade you need to counteract and correct redness. It just so happens to (fittingly, considering the colour) contain a hearty helping of green tea, plus vitamin E and olive oil, a lineup that’ll work like deep calming breaths for your face.

Reducing redness isn’t all it does in the tone-correction department, either – it also heroes a skin-conditioning and evening papaya extract, Kakadu plum and jojoba ester trio. Let’s just say your face’s forecast is looking calm with a side of satin-matte, stress-free smoothness. And all without the use of synthetic ingredients – impressive.

So your skin is… combination/oily

Your goal is to: Blur, mattify and balance

Oil overproduction is not a friend to foundation; it basically makes you look like you didn’t even bother with base in the first place a few hours in. The words we advise you put on your personal primer vision board? Balanced, blurred and bright.

First up: Balance. A non-greasy formula like the Perfecting Primer Blur and Mattify is a must – with oil-absorbing lemon myrtle leaf extract mixed in, it’ll drink up the excess oils wreaking havoc with your coverage without sucking your skin so dry of oil that it kicks into overproduction gear all over again. Remember, ‘balanced’ is the aim here.

Next goal? Blurring imperfections, such as the enlarged pores that an oily skin type tends to bring with it. This clever formula offers a covetable soft-focus finish that’ll do just that, minimising the appearance of pores while also adding a veil of blurring softness over the skin, which will probably even mean you can go a little lighter on the post-primer coverage. Win, win.

Last on our list? Brightness; everyone wants the good kind of glow, and once you’ve got the annoying types of oils in check, you’ll see it in spades, thanks to the radiance-revealing powers of Kakadu plum, lilly pilly, papaya extract and green tea. 

Talk about the ultimate primer party guest list.

Main image credit: Getty

Do you use a primer? What do you find works for your skin type?

Share your thoughts

Comments 40

  1. I’ve never used any of these before. I’m actually not wearing foundation very often right now, because there’s not really much point considering it would be covered up by a face mask.

  2. Would really like to try Perfecting Primer Correct and Even especially for my red cheeks, but I would need two Primers because my Skin doesn’t fit into the one Box with what needs covering.
    The Nude by Nature Perfecting Primer Blur and Mattifying to help cover areas like my nose needs to Blur for larger Pores.

  3. I don’t have a favourite primer, although I don’t mind Hourglass’ Mineral Veil Primer (just wish it didn’t have an SPF in it, otherwise I’d use it day & night). I don’t mind the sound of these primers – tried an NbN one in the past & wasn’t fussed on it. Glad to see they’ve got a bigger range now; might have to try the Correct & Even + Blur & Mattify primers.

  4. I thought it was just me until I read “finding the perfect primer is like finding the perfect partner”. It’s so true.
    Since reading the BH article The Benefits of Choosing A Silicone Free Primer it suddenly hit me that this is where I am going wrong.

  5. I don’t use a primer. Also I did read recently that it is not “politically correct” to use the term “normal” when it comes to skin type as it can be upsetting to some people who believe there is something wrong with them because they don’t have “normal” skin. Not sure if anyone else read this?

  6. Past experience with a primer, that yucky feeling on my skin, slippery I’m guessing from the cones. It’s been a while and maybe things have moved on but I don’t know if I really feel the need to try primers again. More important things to worry about…

  7. A primer works or it doesn’t. So many different textures in different brands and we just can’t try all of them to find the best one. I have several but none by Nude by Nature but would be happy to trial, if ever I get another invitation.

  8. I like primers for the way they make the makeup staying fresh-looking all day. It’s always a nice surprise if I look in the mirror during the day and see fresh-looking makeup and then I remember that I’d used primer that morning. They do work for me and probably because having oily combo skin that then my makeup doesn’t just slide away quickly – don’t ask me where it slides away to. That’s a mystery lol.

  9. I was trying the primer without makeup as I wasn’t able to go out – needed to apply it with makeup for my review and the difference was astounding and NOT in a good way! It did not like my skin with the Nude by Nature mineral powder! I do really like the original NBN airbrush primer, which I think they’ve discontinued so I ordered a new tube of that!!!

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