Skin care

Best Drugstore Primer- May, 2021 Reviews and Buyers Guide

If you wear makeup already or are just starting out, you should know the benefits of a good primer. Primers are exactly what they sound like: you put it on your face before you do your daily makeup routine and it should help your makeup go on smoother and stay on longer.

Primers are good for masking those face lines or wrinkles and filling in big pores that your foundation would otherwise sink into. This can also protect your skin by helping to keep those aggravating pimples at bay.

If you normally keep it simple with your makeup, or for the day when you want a quick makeup day or just need a touch-up, a good primer can be used on its own to give your face a polished look. Some primers can be worn as is, as a light eyeshadow or even as a replacement for your foundation.

For larger areas of your face, you can apply primer with your fingers.

It’s important to experiment to find out what you value in a primer. Some primers will add shine to your face while others will take it away. Some are lightweight while others are a bit heavier. Not all primers will give you the same results.

Unfortunately, primers can get pretty expensive when you’re shopping at makeup stores like Sephora or Ulta, so we thought we’d provide you with a list of the best primers you can get at your!

Best Drugstore Primer

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Thank Me Later Primer

If you’re looking for a cruelty-free and pretty thick primer that will diminish lines and wrinkle, you may want to look at Thank Me Later.

This primer could come in super handy because even on days where you are not trying to put on a full face of makeup, you could use this primer on your eyelids to make your eyeshadow last longer.

Not every primer works for both your face and eyelids, so it’s cool that Thank Me Later tries to find that balance.

The colorlessness is a plus, as it should be able to work with any skin tone, but some reviewers have mentioned that it does dry white in some cases so keep that in mind if you truly do want something clear.

This primer may also be excellent if you have typically oily skin or eyelids because it has a matte finish, which should take care of some of that shine.

Pros and Cons

  • Water-proof
  • Can appear colorless upon application
  • Diminishes the appearance of wrinkles
  • May be thick to apply
  • Shouldn’t be stored in warm areas

e.l.f. Mineral Infused Primer

If you’re looking for something affordable that you can use for both your face and eyelids, you may want to take a look at e.l.f Mineral Infused Primer, because it is made to be light enough to work for both uses.

The potential great thing about e.l.f primer is that it can soften your face and blur those hard lines. It is also pretty smooth, which is great if you want something gentle for your face.

Although it only takes a little bit to achieve your goal, the product does come in a relatively small bottle so be sure to stock up if you decide that this is the primer for you!

This primer may also be good for you if you want to be more conservative with your foundation, as many reviewers have said that this primer makes their foundation go on easier and last longer.

Overall, you may have to work with it to see how it interacts with your other products, but if you’re looking for a soft starter to your makeup routine, you might want to pick this primer up!

Pros and Cons

  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Comes in different shades for different skin types
  • Runs out quickly
  • Might not do a lot to remedy skin redness

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Face Makeup Primer

This primer is excellent if you want something that can be worn by itself or paired with a simple moisturizer for all day use. If your makeup tends to sink into your pores, you might want this Maybelline primer.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this product may take a while to dry, so make sure you give yourself enough time to let it set before you put on your foundation.

It is also quite thick, which may surprise you if you are used to working with light primers. However, all this means is that you can get away with just using one light layer to get the job done.

If you have medium sized pores and are looking for a heavy duty primer to add to your makeup routine, you might benefit from trying this one.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordably priced
  • Applies smoothly and has a lightweight feel
  • Works well with oily or combination skin
  • Noticeable smell
  • May have a glittery/ shimmery finish

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

If you want a primer that will control your shininess or oiliness through your work or school day, Rimmel Stay Matte Primer might be worth a try.

This primer should give your skin a matte finish while minimizing your pores, which may be great for you if you want something that you can put on with or without foundation,

For it’s thick texture, it goes on pretty smoothly and also feels light on your face. That being said, the texture of this primer doesn’t require you to use too much of it to accomplish your goal, so keep that in mind when applying it!

Pros and Cons

  • Lasts all day
  • Super lightweight
  • Good for many skin tones
  • Using too much may result in residu

CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Primer

Covergirl + Olay is designed to moisturize your skin and leave your face smooth and ready for your makeup. If you typically use a moisturizer before applying primer, you may be able to skip a step with this one.

It has no tint, so it should most likely work for any skin tone, which makes it potentially great for that winter to summer transition when your skin tone fluctuates.

Now, you may be shocked by the small bottle that it comes in, but reviewers of this primer have said that it only takes a small amount to cover your entire face.

If you are also looking for a primer that you could potentially use on its own without foundation for those lazy days, you may have some luck with this one. It’s lightweight but full coverage, which is a good combination if you want something that doesn’t feel heavy on your skin but still covers hard lines.

Also, the addition of Olay it what gives the primer its moisturizing quality, and it does make this primer slightly scented, so don’t be surprised if you aren’t used to scented primer.

Pros and Cons

  • Oil-free
  • Moisturizer and primer
  • Makes skin tone appear brightened and even
  • No matte finish
  • Slightly scented

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

Revlon Primer may be good for you if you need to minimize your pores and minimize shininess. The cool thing about this primer is that it pairs well with a color correcting pen as well if you have one, which really can accentuate your natural highlights.

Many reviewers say that this primer is well worth the money, as it comes in a decently sized bottle and should last you a fair amount of time. This is great if you’re not the type of person who wants to re-up on makeup every other week! However, some say that you should be prepared to have to work with the dispenser to reach the last drop.

This primer may also be worthwhile if you are looking for something relatively heavy to really cover those pores and even out your skin before you apply your makeup.

This means that if you have deep pores or lines that lighter primers might usually not fill, you might want to start looking at heavy duty primers such as this one.

Also, we all know that it can be really difficult to find makeup that works with many different skin tones and types; or even makeup that transitions from summer to winter. But the good news is, a lot of reviewers of Revlon claim that it delivers for a diverse range of skin types.

Pros and Cons

  • Works on all skin types
  • Lasts all day
  • Protects skin from environmental impairment
  • Potentially problematic dispenser
  • Must wait for primer to dry before applying other makeup

Maybelline Face Studio Master Primer

Maybelline is a household name known for delivering products that people from all walks of life love. Many reviewers agree they have done it again with the Face Studio Primer.

This is a lightweight and easy to apply makeup primer that can leave your face feeling smooth and moisturized. It may also be good for you if your skin is prone to redness because its green tint is supposed to mitigate that problem.

If you’re on a budget and need to make your coins stretch, this may be the primer worth giving a try.

Face Studio Primer can also protect your skin from acne breakouts, which is super handy if you struggle with acne due to your skin not agreeing with your makeup, while also reducing the appearance of pores.

Pros and Cons

  • Great for makeup beginners
  • Product should last for a long time because a little bit goes a long way
  • Sets quickly
  • Not the best for oily skin types
  • If your skin is sensitive, it could break out

NYX Studio Perfect Primer

NYX has three shades of this primer: Lavender, Green, and Clear, which are created to work for different undertones and different skin types such as porous, dry, or red.

All of the shades go on your face looking clear, but still, have different properties. The clear version of this NYX primer is good for covering lines and pores, the lavender version is good if you want a brightening effect, and the green is for eliminating redness.

This is pretty cool to me because not all primers focus on multiple skin types. Also, any of the three shades could also work well for you if you have typically oily skin since they have the matte finish that should remedy that oiliness.

The only thing that you may want to keep in mind is that you might need to use a lot of this primer to cover your face, but its low price makes it relatively easy to stock up on.

Pros and Cons

  • Easy squeeze application
  • Comes in three shades for different skin types
  • Too heavy for use on eyelids
  • May run out quickly

L.A. Girl PRO Prep HD Primer

L.A. Girl primer may work for you if you want a soft, everyday type of look. Most reviewers say that its lightweight texture makes it especially great for the summer because you won’t feel weighed down by your makeup or have your face melt off!

If you struggle with your makeup settling into your lines or wrinkles, you may want to try pairing your current foundation or concealer with this primer.

The squeezable tube for this primer makes application easy, and even though it is small, it may be well worth the low price if you have oily skin that typically shows through your foundation.

Also, it pairs well with a setting spray, which is handy if you include that in your daily makeup routine already!

Pros and Cons

  • Paraben and fragrance free
  • Makes skin softer
  • Tube may be smaller than expected

L’Oreal Infallible Matte-Lock Primer

If you have oily or combination skin, you may want to try this matte primer. It is designed to keep your face from looking too shiny or greasy. It can also be handy for those times where the oils from your face may make your typical foundation sweat throughout your day.

If you have dry skin, on the other hand, L’Oreal also has a “Glow-Lock” version of this primer, which is meant to bring some of that desired moisturized, smooth look back to your face.

For normal skin or if your skin varies, you may want to try both primers to see which one gives you the look you want. So don’t feel left out, you have options!

Even though it is a relatively lightweight primer, this primer is excellent for taking care of large pores, or fine lines on your face. Best of all, it’s pretty easy to find (no more running around to that one makeup store in town to find your brand) and affordable.

It also may be good for you if you are going for a natural everyday look, as it gives you a soft, even sheen that would be subtle but effective under a light foundation.

Reviewers also claim that a little goes a long way with this primer and that it should even make your other makeup go on more smoothly so that you might find yourself having to use less foundation and eyeshadow every day.

Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight feel that is non-oily
  • Good for natural looks
  • Easy to apply with its simple applicator
  • May not work for all skin types
  • Matte texture can sometimes feel dry


All in all, we makeup users know that all primers are not created equally. If you have oily skin, you may need a different primer than someone who has dry skin and vice versa. Also, some primers are better for use on eyelids than others, so make a note of that if that is something you are looking for.

However, we can all agree that a good primer is usually the base of a good makeup day. We all hate when we spend the time to get our makeup perfect only to have it pretty much gone by the end of the day.

The good news is that there are a lot of primers out there. Since you might have to do some experimenting to find out which one best suits you, it’s helpful to look at primers that won’t break the bank, like these drugstore primers!

The main thing is to make sure you not only experiment with primers but play around with how you use them as well. Some primers need a longer time to set than others or may work better with a patting method as opposed to rubbing.

We hope you gained a lot of value from reading this article and will get started on your search for the best drugstore primer for you.