When it comes to the order of makeup operations, you know what’s up: Concealer firstBut what about primers? What is face primer? When do you use it? And do you really need it? Here’s everything you need to know about how to use face primer.

Primer 101

What is Face Primer?

When it comes to understanding how to use face primer, let’s start at the nail salon, shall we? Think of primer like the clear, strong base coat that goes on your nails before you polish. Without that base, your nail polish *might* lay down properly ... or it might not set, slide off, seep into cracks, or chip off later. 

The same thing happens with good face primers. If your primer is laid down properly, everything that goes on top will look better, gliding over imperfections to create a flawless foundation.  

What’s the Difference Between Moisturizer and Face Primer?

Sure — the answer seems obvious, but this is a frequently Googled question, so listen up!


Moisturizer does exactly what it says it does: It moisturizes your skin, hydrating (aka giving water to) thirsty skin cells. If your moisturizer includes SPF, it might also protect you from the sun, but not all moisturizers do. 


Primer, on the other hand, pulls double-duty all the time by:

1. Providing a barrier between your skin and makeup products, and
2. Helping makeup stick, which makes it last longer. 

Some primers have extra benefits like SPF or shimmer, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

Do I Really Need Face Primer?

Not necessarily! If you're someone whose face looks the same at the end of the day as it does at the beginning, well, Mazel, hunny! Dance for joy, put it on TikTok and call it a day because you have hit the jackpot. 

But seriously, though, if you don’t see any real changes over 5-8 hours, your moisturizer-foundation combo may be doing the trick.

If, on the other hand, you’re more like us mere mortals and have any of these problems after working 9 to 5, primer will be your friend. It can help with:

- Raccoon eyes
- Smudged eyeliner
- Patchy foundation
- Makeup that sweats off
- Concealer that stops concealing
- Creased eyeshadow
- Disappearing lip liner

Which Primer Is Right For You? 

Not all primers are created equal! In order to #AceYourBase, you need to know your skin and your needs. 

Is your skin oily, dry or somewhere in the middle? What is face primer going to do for you? Do you need an SPF boost or are you more concerned with minimizing pores?  

Let’s break down the benefits of each of our 3 primers. 

Beautyblender Primer Collection

The Leveler

The Leveler™ Primer is our VIP makeup primer for pore control and oily skin. The Leveler helps: smoother skin, alleviate redness, minimize pores and shine and create a humidity-proof barrier.

Unlike other mattifying primers, The Leveler™ is lightweight, so it never feels caked on, and it comes in 2 tones: 

- Light-medium (Bounce Foundation shades 1.0-3.45)
- Tan-deep (Bounce Foundation shades 3.5-4.75)

Opal Essence

Next up, there’s Opal Essence™ Serum Primer, which is our normal-to-dry skin workhorse.

Opal Essence has:

- A hydrating formula which creates a subtle dewy look
- A firm base for foundation to glide over (no dry patches or fine lines here) 
- Fermented botanicals to help soothe and brighten skin

In a study, 100% of people felt an increase in moisture immediately after application, so, yeah — it works! And 97% said they still saw improvement 12 hours after applying.  

Selfie Shield

Finally, there’s Selfie Shield™ Broad Spectrum SPF 38 Dry Oil Primer. This gal works hard for the money, all behind the scenes.


- Is completely invisible
- Shields skin from harmful rays (UVA, UVB, and light from electronic devices)
- Sinks in without greasiness
- Blends with no chalky cast
- Includes antioxidants vitamin C and E, which neutralize pollutants and brighten skin

If the phrase “dry oil” is throwing you off, don’t worry — this unique formula does exactly what it sounds like. It’s an insanely light oil that nourishes and moisturizes without adding extra wetness or oil to skin. It lays down dry, and then you lay down your foundation perfectly on top. 

How Do You Apply Face Primer?

When it comes to how to use face primer, the rules are simple. Face primer works best on clean, moisturized skin, so: 

1. Complete your skincare routine and apply moisturizer.
2. Wait 5 minutes for it to fully sink in.
3. (If you already know what you’re going to wear, just go get dressed! That way there’s no makeup smudging.)
4. Wet, squeeze and bounce on primer using a Beautyblender.
- Apply primer anywhere you’d apply makeup.
- Use a sparing, nickel-sized amount, or, if you tend to be oily, go lighter.
- Consider adding an extra layer on trouble zones like your T-Zone or chin.
5. Wait 1 minute to let the primer dry.

Step by Step Primer Info

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