What Is Primer In Makeup, And How Can You Use It?


What Is Primer In Makeup, And How Can You Use It?

By Khanak Mehta


Did you know: the same way a wall needs to be primed before you put paint on it, your skin also needs to be primed before you apply your makeup and any other base products on top? This is where using a makeup primer can help. If you’re wondering “what is primer in makeup,” we’ve got you. Consider this your ultimate guide to finding the right primer for yourself and getting your application right every single time. Keep reading to know more about the use of primer on the face and how to use face primer.


Why use a makeup primer?

You may be thinking about primer makeup use and if it really has any benefits. Well, we’re here to tell you that you’re *seriously* missing out on achieving that flawless, perfect base if you’re not using a primer in your makeup routine.


But before we tell you more about these benefits, let’s first answer an important question – what is primer in makeup?


This product is essentially a cream or gel that you use underneath your makeup, as the first step in your routine. There are many kinds of primers that you can shop, right from face primers to eyeshadow primers to mascara primers. But, in this blog, we are going to be focussing on face primers.


Adding a primer in your makeup routine can help lengthen the wear of your makeup, make it go on smoother, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fill in any large pores, and even colour correct certain areas, too. Plus, it can even help your base makeup apply easier on top.


Keep in mind that you can even use a makeup primer on its own for all of these benefits, without layering other makeup on top. That’s how versatile this product is!


Types of primers: Mattifying primers

A mattifying primer is a holy-grail product for oily and combination skin. This formula essentially mattifies oily areas and prevents the oil from breaking through your foundation as the day progresses. Plus, these oil-controlling properties also help your makeup apply smoother on top and stick to oily skin better. If you’re afraid that these formulas may be heavier or pore-clogging, don’t worry! They are, in fact, incredibly lightweight on the skin, and some of these formulas have skincare ingredients as well to help control excess sebum. Yes, we’re talking about well-known actives like salicylic acid!

Read more: How To Get A Matte Base


Types of primers: Hydrating primers

Have dry, parched skin that seems to be rough and flaky no matter how many hydrating actives you add in your skincare routine? We know how frustrating it can be. If you’re tired of your foundation clinging onto your dry patches or flaking off completely due to the dryness, you need to invest in a hydrating primer ASAP. These are usually infused with skin-loving, moisturising ingredients that will give it that extra TLC it needs, and help your makeup go on smoothly, too. Here are some of our top picks that made the cut – shop them now!

Types of primers: Colour correcting primers

Are you someone who loves the clean girl makeup look? Or are you always on the go and need a quick and minimal five-minute makeup routine that will make your skin look absolutely flawless? Lucky for you, colour-correcting primers are the ultimate makeup MVP. They do double duty by building the perfect canvas for your makeup and correcting any redness or dullness, too. Plus, you can even use these primers in targeted areas and layer them up to replace your colour corrector. And finally, they are great to wear on their own as well, which is great if you’re someone who doesn’t like to wear a heavy base.

Other types of primers

Now that you know what is primer in makeup, along with some of the most common types of face primers, here are some other ones that you can try, too. 

  • Dewy primer for your face: Dewy primers essentially act like strobe creams wherein they give your skin a natural glow when you put them on. But the bonus is that they help prep your skin for makeup, too.
  • Eyeshadow primer: These are great if you have oily eyelids or are generally a really big fan of wearing eyeshadow regularly. These formulas are usually mattifying, built to help control oil on your lids. Plus, they also make your eyeshadows look more vibrant, and make them last longer. Using a white eyeshadow primer can help the eyeshadow colours pop more, especially if you have a deeper skin tone.
  • Mascara primer: These help make your lashes look more dramatic and aid in keeping their curl, too.
  • Lip primer: These fill in any lines in your lips, help any lip products go on top smoother, hydrate your pout, and make your lipstick last longer, too. Isn’t that amazing?


Discover: Primers for oily skin


How to use a makeup primer

We know that by now, you’re a pro at answering, “what is primer in makeup?. But it’s equally important to know how to use makeup primer. Here is an easy, step-by-step guide on how to apply face primer. Take notes! 

  1. Whether it’s makeup or skincare, it’s always a good idea to start with squeaky clean skin. This will help create a fresh canvas for anything that’s going on top and help all your products absorb and sit on top of your skin better. So, begin by using a cleanser that’s suited for your skin type and pat your face dry with a towel.

  2. Next, apply your skincare. Before applying makeup, always use a moisturiser followed by a sunscreen if you’re going out during the day. These products will also go a long way in helping prep the base for your makeup.

  3. It’s prime time! Choose the right primer to tackle your concerns and dot it all over your face. Then, using your fingers or a brush, blend it out into your skin. We suggest using your fingers because the warmth will help the primer sink into your skin better.

  4. And you’re done! You can stop right here or apply any other base products on top.


How to select the best primer

You now know how to use primer, but like we mentioned earlier, it’s important to choose the right formula for the best results. You can pick from two routes here – one, pick a primer according to your skin type. A hydrating one for dry skin, a mattifying one for oily skin, and so on. Or two, choose one according to the look you’re going for. If you want a dewy look, choose a luminous primer. Or, if you’re doing a full glam look, a gripping primer can be the perfect pick to make your foundation last longer.

Avoid these common primer mistakes! 

You may think that it’s quite easy to learn how to apply primer on face, but trust us, there are still some things that you may get wrong. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid: 

  • A primer does not replace skincare, so don’t skip out on using your moisturiser
  • Don’t use too little or too less, because this can lead to your makeup slipping off or applying patchier
  • Use the right primer for your skin type to make sure that you get the most out of this addition to your routine
  • Give your primer time to settle into your skin before applying foundation on top to avoid pilling

It’s your time to prime 

Now that you know what is primer in makeup and how to use primer, you can start incorporating this essential step in your makeup routine.

Ready to get started? Don’t forget to check out our top picks in each category and discover your perfect makeup match on the Tata CLiQ Palette app, too. Get haulin’! 


Primer 101


Q. Do I need a primer for makeup? 

Yes, in our opinion, a primer is necessary for every makeup look. After all, from a smoother base to a longer wear for your makeup, there are so many benefits to adding this product in your makeup bag!


Q. Can I use a moisturiser as a primer? 

You can use a moisturiser before your primer especially if you have very dry skin. But a moisturiser may not help your makeup go on smoother and adhere to your skin better like a primer can. So, it cannot be a substitute.


Q. Can I use a face primer every day?

Yes, you can use a face primer every day! Make sure that the formula you choose is dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic, and you’re good to go.