Can I Wear Primer by Itself?

Primers are a great way to make your makeup last all day and apply more evenly. However, there are benefits to using a primer on its own too.

Primers are a great way to make your makeup last all day and apply more evenly. However, there are benefits to using a primer on its own too.

Primers are often packed with nutrients and SPF to protect the skin plus additional ingredients to help manage skin concerns. Find out why it's a good idea to wear primer alone for a finished, natural look.


model with primer strips on cheek


Boost natural radiance

An illuminating primer can add a natural-looking glow to your skin, even if you aren't wearing foundation on top. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Face Base is a lightweight formula that contains light-reflecting pearl pigments. It also contains SPF 25 to protect the skin and is well worth using on an everyday basis.

Control oily skin

A mattifying primer helps to control oil and reduce shine, whether you wear makeup or not. We recommend Estée Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, which contains tea tree and vitamin E to help balance and protect the skin.



Shop Estée Lauder Perfecting Primer The Mattifier

Shop Estée Lauder Perfecting Primer The Mattifier

Hydrate dry skin

Whilst you can pack your skincare routine with hydrating products, there's no harm in using a moisturising primer for that extra kick. Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer is packed with moisture-rich ingredients and vitamins to condition dehydrated skin.


Napoleon Perdis Primer


Add a natural-looking tint

Tinted primers can soften the look of hyperpigmentation and even out skin tones. Dermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer SPF30 provides minimal coverage and smooths skin's texture for a flawless but natural finish.

Even eyelid discolourations with a tinted eye shadow primer

If you prefer to skip coloured eye shadow, you can use a tinted eyelid primer to even out your eyelids for a fuss-free, no-makeup look. theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer combats redness with yellow hues and make your eyes look refreshed. Clinique All About Shadow Primer for Eyes is another pick.


model looking at skin in the mirror

Condition your lashes

It's always important to be gentle around your eye area. Frequent mascara use and removal can weaken eyelashes. Use a conditioning lash primer to nourish and strengthen lashes even on no-mascara days. Tinted lash primers such as Benefit They're Real! Tinted Primer also provide subtle definition and colour.

Are there any primers I should avoid wearing alone?

Whilst there won't be any negative side effects of using any primer on its own, certain products are intended to work specifically with makeup. You won't necessarily benefit from wearing these primers alone. This goes double for primers with SPF - make sure you're wearing proper sunscreen underneath them, because even with a primer with a high SPF level, you're probably not applying enough to get the full sun protective benefit.

Primers formulated solely to ease makeup application and extend its wear offer little benefit to the skin. If you're using a primer on its own, it's best to use one that has its own additional perks.


Can I wear primer by itself?