A Primer on Face Primer (+3 Drugstore Primers that Work): Makeup Mondays

Makeup Mondays, Uncategorized

Face primer is one of the most underrated beauty products on the market.

Like many frugal people, I went for years without purchasing face primer in an effort to save money. Since I started picking up primer and using it on a regular basis I can’t imagine going back. The reason is simple:

Face primer actually helps you save money.


  1. It makes your makeup ‘glide on’ way smoother, so you use less foundation on the first application.
  2. It keeps your makeup from running or rubbing off throughout the day, so you don’t have to bother with reapplication.
  3. At around $10 per bottle at the drugstore, primer is generally cheaper than foundation that is saved because of its usage. (Trust me, all you need is a drugstore primer- don’t spend big bucks here!)

As you may have gathered from the above points, in addition to helping you save money face primer also makes your daily makeup routine easier. Although this may seem contradictory as primer ads an extra step in the morning, face primer makes smooth flawless foundation coverage more achievable and truly does extend the life of your foundation.

Less trips to purchase makeup + less effort to apply makeup+ less time touching up makeup + money saved = a great product!

In my experience, drugstore face primers work just as well as (if not better than) high end primers. Frankly, if you’re spending big bucks on a primer, you’re not necessarily going to be saving money by using less foundation.


On that note, here are three great drugstore primers!

1. Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer

I love this primer so much! As you have probably gathered from my gushy blog posts about L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, I’m totally obsessed with the matte look right now. Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer makes your foundation slide on so easy. It’s also smooth, long lasting, totally affordable, non-greasy, easy to take off, and natural looking. I’ve been using this primer exclusively for months now; it’s my number one choice for a reason!

Cost: $8.98 at Walmart Canada (less online or with sales)

2. Maybelline FaceStudio Master Prime

This primer is available in three types: smoothing (for scarring or uneven skin), colour correcting (for red skin from rosacea to acne) and illuminating (for dull looking skin). Overall the Maybelline Facestudio Master Prime line offers a great series of primer options that are specially suited to fit three major skin concerns. This line’s rave reviews and the competitive price of the product make it a fierce drugstore competitor.

Cost: $10.96 at Walmart Canada (less online or with sales) 

3. NYX Cosmetics Studio Perfect Primer

Good things must come in threes because NYC Cosmetics Studio Perfect Primer also comes in this select number of shades, featuring a purple primer for dull skin, a green primer for redness and a clear primer for those who don’t require colour correcting. I personally didn’t find that it made my foundation last quite as long as Rimmel London’s Stay Matte Primer but it was still a pretty great product and it is very popular. If Rimmel’s product doesn’t work for you or if you’re looking for colour correcting foundation this could be the right product for you!

Cost: $15.00 at Lawton’s Drugs (less on sale or online)

Bonus Buy

E.L.F Cosmetics Blemish Control Face Primer

I technically couldn’t add this one to the list because it’s only available online right now. E.L.F.’s new Blemish Control Face Primer has been getting awesome reviews online and has been a huge hit with people seeking an additional layer of acne fighting skin care. This vegan product features tea tree oil, vitamin E and salicylic acid. If you’re into online shopping it’s worth looking into!

Cost: 7.99 on Well.ca (for Canadians) 


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