How Much Primer Should I Use on My Face?

Face primers increase makeup longevity, minimise pores and discolourations, and create an even surface for easier makeup application. Knowing how much makeup primer to use is vital. The right amount ensures maximum benefits without clogging pores.

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How much primer should I use?

Primer should be used sparingly, as a little bit goes a long way. Aim to use a pea-sized amount on your face per application. Even primers that feel quite dense can be patted into the skin to ensure an even finish whilst still only using a small amount.

We recommend the cult classic Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD for a smoothing and hydrating makeup base that is suitable for all skin types. Some of our other top rated primers include:

RCMA Pre-Foundation Moisture Lotion 59ml

Smooth and hydrate the skin with RCMA Pre-Foundation Moisture Lotion. Ideal to help prep and prime your face to the perfect canvas for foundation application, this emollient texture will help foundation to apply flawlessly. RCMA Pre-foundation Moisture Lotion helps to balance the skin to extend the wear of your makeup. Your face will look flawless for longer, the skin more hydrated.

RCMA Pre-Foundation Moisture Lotion 59ml

MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equaliser Hydrating Primer is a saviour for dry skin, creating the ideal base for makeup that stays fresh and healthy looking longer. This innovative primer contains both H2O Complex, and Equalizer Complex for a dry-skin friendly, double effect.

Pack potent treatment into every step of your routine with Dermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer SPF 30. The unique, blurring formula is a great base for makeup and gorgeous on its own. This Dermalogica primer product blends anti-aging treatment, complexion perfecting, and sun protection all into one easy step. Used before makeup application or on its own, Skinperfect Primer smooths and blurs the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture. You’re left with a gorgeous finish that lasts all day long whilst fighting the visible signs of aging.

Skincare meets makeup with the Murad Age Reform Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 15. This skincare primer is an invisible shield that protects your skin from harmful sun rays while leaving your complexion positively flawless. Smooth fine lines, blur imperfections and refine skin texture in one simple step, as this primer leaves your skin prepped for makeup application. This versatile primer can also be used to set makeup in place, or for touch-ups throughout the day to leave skin matte, protected and smooth.


How can I tell if I've used too much primer?

If you've used too much primer, your skin may feel clogged and coated. One of the main benefits of primer is a smooth skin surface for even makeup application. If you've applied too much, you may notice that your foundation grabs or clumps in certain areas.

Using too much primer may leave your skin feeling slippery and oily, especially if you're using a product that contains silicones or hydrating ingredients. Be careful with colour-correcting primers, focusing on areas of discolouration. If you use too much of a green primer, you may look sickly.

Clinique Superprimer Face Primer - model touches chin and has 3 different shades of primer on her cheek -  500 x 386Clinique Superprimer Face Primer - model touches chin and has 3 different shades of primer on her cheek -  500 x 386

How can I tell if I've used too little primer?

If you've used too little primer, you simply won't reap the maximum benefits. If you notice that your makeup isn't lasting any longer despite using a primer with extra hold, you may be using too little primer. Similarly, if your primer isn't providing much hydration or glow, consider using a little bit more.

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I'm using the right amount of primer, but it's still not reacting well with my foundation. Why is this?

If you're using a pea-sized amount of primer and still getting negative results, you may want to reassess your product choice. If you're using an oil-based primer, you should be using an oil-based foundation. Similarly, pair water-based foundation with water-based primer. Never mix the two, as the products can end up disturbing each other and give the impression of congested skin.

If you're getting good results from a primer, it may be tempting to load it up thick and fast on your skin, especially if you want the extra hydrating or smoothing effects. However, always stick to a pea-sized amount to ensure even application of your makeup and rely on your skincare for help instead.

We offer a large range of primers to address every concern on Adore Beauty. Just remember to use your winning choice sparingly!