How Do I Choose the Best Mattifying Primer?

Article Details
  • Written By: T. Alaine
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 15 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing a mattifying primer is an important element of cosmetic care for people who have oily skin or who simply desire a matte makeup look. The ideal mattifying primer will be able to fill in lines and pores and will leave the skin with a soft, velvety finish. There are so many kinds of face primers that cosmetics companies generally label their mattifying products very clearly, which makes it a lot easier to narrow down which product is right for you.

The best way to determine if you like the results of a primer is to try it before you buy it, if possible. Many large cosmetics retailers offer sample stations in stores, where you can apply a small amount of primer to your hand or face to determine whether it meets your requirements. Select a product that absorbs easily and quickly, dries clear with no trace of shine and results in a smooth, soft finish. If possible, test your foundation over the top of the primer to decide whether you like the way the two products interact. Your primer of choice should help the foundation go on smoothly and then grip it in place to prevent degradation or sliding over the course of wear.


If you have oily skin, choosing the right mattifying primer is essential to reducing greasiness and shine. You should look for a mattifying primer that has a thin cream or gel consistency, because a primer that is too thick with creamy, heavy moisturizers can worsen oiliness. Similarly, you should avoid any products that contain mineral oils, which will result in a shinier finish. In general, you should stay away from primers that are marketed as "moisturizing" or designed specifically for dry skin. These products are likely to overwhelm oily skin and can contribute to greasiness and makeup complications.

Even if you do not have oily skin, you might want to select a mattifying primer simply for aesthetic purposes. Certain makeup looks benefit from having very subtle, matte skin, which can be achieved with mattifying primer. If your reasons for choosing mattifying primer are purely aesthetic and not a result of your skin type, you still should be careful to select a primer that is labeled as "mattifying" or "oil-free" to achieve this look. People who have dry skin might consider a formula that contains lightweight moisturizers.

Finally, do not be fooled by some marketing words that will lead you to the wrong product. Primers that are labeled as "brightening" or "illuminating" are generally the exact opposite of mattifying primers. These products often contain oils or light-reflecting particles that make the skin "glow." This glowing skin finish will making the face appear shiny instead of matte.



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