Why I Hate Makeup Primer and What I Use Instead

When I think of primer I think of super basic white paint that you apply to a wall before applying a color of your choice. I’ve been painting and repainting my home for years due to indecisiveness and I can tell you that it’s definitely okay to skip the primer (for your face too). If you have a really good paint, or makeup in this case, with amazing coverage, then you really don’t need a primer.

Primers claim to smooth and minimize the appearance of pores while giving your makeup a nice base to adhere to. As someone who suffers from large pores and other skin issues like redness, acne scarring, and the occasional pimple, an extra layer of makeup is the last thing I want on my face.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried dozens of sought after primers and NONE of them claim to do what they say. If anything, they make my makeup harder to apply and the smear marks are nothing to be excited about. I’ve even done experiments where I used primer + makeup on half my face and skipped the primer on the other half. I can say with 100% certainty that the side without the primer always looks better.

Now that I’m in my thirties, I’m all about trying to mend my skin rather than covering up my flaws or any damage from my younger years. I prefer to use products that help my skin issues in the long run, and make my skin look great whether I choose to wear makeup or not.

Alternatives to Makeup Primer

One of my absolute favorite products is hyaluronic acid and it is by far better than any primer that I’ve ever used and it feels amazing on my skin. The term sounds scary but it’s actually a naturally occurring moisture binding ingredient that is found within our bodies. As the human body ages, it slowly disappears leaving skin wrinkled and dry. By applying hyaluronic acid topically, it keeps skin smooth and moisturized all day long.

It’s quite pricey but well worth it and is starting to become more consumer friendly which means most major drugstores stores carry it. I currently use a Korean brand but can’t find it in stock anywhere (total bummer). However, I did find the following products all under $30 and highly reviewed. I’d say they’re worth a shot! Let us know in the comments below if you have any experience with either.

Vichy Mineral 89 Face Serum Moisturizer to Hydrate Skin

Minéral 89 Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid moisturizer contains 89% Vichy Mineralizing Water with 15 different minerals, This serum hydrates, plumps, and fortifies skin with its sensitive fragrance-free and oil-free formula.


L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

This hyaluronic acid serum by L’Oreal contains 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid and plumps skin while reducing wrinkles.


Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream

This product claims to create younger looking skin in just one week. The serum contains both hyaluronic acid and retinol, an optimum wrinkle-fighting mixture that promises to regenerate, moisturize, and smooth your skin.


White Egret Hyaluronic Acid Day Serum

The White Egret serum aims to moisturize, firm, and tighten with its formula of hyaluronic acid, alpha lipoic acid, and over 72 sea minerals. This serum also uses all natural plumeria fragrance.

White Egret/Facebook

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Why I Hate Makeup Primer and What I Use Instead