Primer is one of the great mysteries of the beauty world…why do we need it? What does it do? Is it something you have to splurge on? Read on for the answers to all of these questions, plus products recs and more…


It may seem excessive to put an extra product on your face in addition to your skincare, foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, etc., but trust us when we say primer is a necessary addition to the routine. Foundation will go on more evenly (giving that desired airbrushed look), plus it will minimize the appearance of pores. It’s a quick and easy way to fake hydrated, glowing skin. For an inexpensive choice that works just as well as the pricier options, try NYX’s Studio Perfect PrimerSmashbox’s Photo Finish Blemish Control does double duty by also fighting breakouts. If oily skin is an issue for you, give Cover FX’s Mattifying Primer a shot. Pampadour users love Benefit’s POREfessional for truly reducing the look of pores, while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, creating a base for silky smooth skin.


Shadow primer tends to be the first primer a beauty novice starts using. The difference a good eyeshadow primer makes is like night and day: shadows look more vibrant, last much longer and don’t crease. Arguably the most popular shadow primer is Urban Decay’s – that famous tiny purple tube deserves all the hype it gets and more. It’s that good. theBalm’s Put a Lid on It is perfect for creating vibrant looks – brings out the best in your brightest shadows. Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Eye Primer is specifically formulated for metallic and shimmer eye makeup. Perfect to use around the holidays. It prevents smudging, creasing and dreaded glitter fallout.


Before you start saying that lash primer is one of those made up, unnecessary beauty buys, hear us out… Eyelash primer can help to plump and lengthen lashes pre-mascara application. On top of that, it helps to curl lashes without using a curler, reduces breakage and prevents clumps. Some of our favorites include Smashbox’s Layer Lash PrimerEstée Lauder’s Lash Primer Plus and Motives’ Lash Primer.


When lip liner is simply not enough to get your bright lipstick to stay put, turn to lip primer. Lip primer keeps lipstick from fading while simultaneously hydrating lips. Many primers also come with SPF protectant. Try Too Faced’s Lip Insurance, which ensures color won’t feather or transfer. Bite Beauty’s Line & Define Lip Primer is pretty stellar, like all of the brand’s lip products, and subtly plumps lips for an alluring effect. Apply MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip like a balm – it adds moisture, while smoothing lips.


The new kid on the block in the primer world is hair primer…and it’s kind of amazing. Essentially, the goal of hair primer is to extend the life of your hairstyle by up to twice as long. Say goodbye to blowouts that only last for a day or two! Try either Living Proof’s Prime Style Extender or Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer (which smoothes hair to make styling easier).

For more primer recommendations and to discuss your favorites with other beauty junkies, visit PAMPADOUR.com!