A makeup primer should be a staple in your makeup routine. A good primer creates the ideal base for your makeup and works to extend wear time. A primer also helps smooth and soften your skin so that any products you apply on top adhere perfectly and stay put.
Many primers on the market are silicone-based. These primers aren’t the best for your skin because they can trap dirt, sebum, and impurities to suffocate your skin. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. That’s why water-based primers are the way to go.
Water-based primers are lightweight and hydrating. This type of primer feels more natural on the skin than a silicone-based primer. And since a water-based primer doesn’t suffocate the skin to cause clogged pores, you won’t be more prone to developing breakouts and pimples.
We’ve put together this list of the best water-based primers that won’t come off. Take a few minutes to read about these primers so you can decide which one is right for you.
1. Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless Makeup Primer
This Covergirl primer uses a nurturing formula that hydrates the skin to keep it feeling and looking natural. Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless primer fights the signs of aging and reduces the appearance of wrinkles for a more youthful complexion.
When you use this primer with hyaluronic complex and Vitamin C, your skin will be treated to firming hydration to keep it looking radiant and healthy. This primer comes in multiple shades so you can easily find the perfect match for your skin tone. It goes on smoothly, feels great, and stays put all day long.
This is an excellent water-based primer that holds up very well for hours on end. It’s a great choice if you want a long-lasting, non-greasy primer that goes on light and smooth.
2. Two-Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer
This water-based primer hydrates, smoothes, and brightens the skin for a fresh and healthy finish. Two-Faced Hangover Replenishing primer contains coconut water, probiotics, and skin revivers to boost the radiance of your skin. This primer promotes elasticity and locks in hydration for a fresh, long-lasting base for your makeup.
You can wear this primer all day long and it won’t let you down. Your complexion will look just as fresh and healthy in the evening as it did earlier when you applied it under your makeup. It’s a vegan-friendly and paraben-free primer many women put their complete trust in.
3. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
This set and refresh spray from Smashbox leaves skin instantly hydrated. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is formulated to hydrate, prep, and refresh the skin. When you spray it on, it instantly absorbs into your skin for all-day hydration. Your skin is left soft, smooth, and well-hydrated.
Photo Finish primer delivers revitalizing electrolytes that awaken the skin to restore moisture. This water-based primer is super lightweight and non-sticky. It can minimize the appearance of large pores. It also helps make your foundation look less powdery and unnatural. Photo Finish boosts the brightness and natural tone of your complexion to help you achieve a natural, healthy look with the makeup you apply.
This water-based primer goes on like a fine mist, it smells great, and it’s very refreshing. Best of all, it won’t let you down in the middle of the day; it’s got the lasting power you need for all-day confidence.
4. Elf Hydrating Face Primer
A great primer will hydrate and transform your face into a smooth and flawless canvas for the application of your makeup. Elf Makeup Hydrating Primer does all that and more. This primer adds illumination and minimizes pores so your makeup looks fabulous.
Hydrating Primer by Elf adds the hydration your face needs to stay moisturized all day without making your makeup look cakey. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and harmful chemicals. You can use this primer even if you have sensitive skin because it doesn’t contain anything that can cause irritation.
This primer is formulated to make your makeup last all day. It’s infused with grape and Vitamins A, C, and E to hydrate & boost your complexion. When you use this primer, it will minimize the effects your foundation has on your skin for a fresh, youthful, and natural appearance you’ll love.
5. NYX Professional Hydra Touch Oil Primer
We’re impressed by this hydrating primer by NYX that adds moisture to your skin before applying makeup. NYX Professional Hydra Touch Oil Primer is a great choice to make if you’ve got dry skin. This primer contains jojoba and safflower oil to give your skin a fresh, dewy finish.
Hydra Touch Oil primer will ensure that you can maintain hydrated skin from morning to evening. This primer will never make your foundation or makeup look cakey and it won’t clog your pores. It only takes a couple drops to get the protective hydration your skin needs before you put on makeup.
6. Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer
There are times when your skin rebels against your foundation and refuses to cooperate. These are the times you should turn to Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer.
This long-lasting, never-comes-off primer will prep your face to create a wholesome makeup base.
It only takes a tiny amount of this primer to create a flawless finish that’s ready for makeup. Just as the name suggests, Pixi Flawless & Poreless won’t allow your pores to show through. This is a lightweight, water-based primer that hydrates your skin as it prepares it for makeup and concealer.
7. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
Stay Matte Primer by Rimmel is a silicone-free primer that works wonders for dry and aging skin. This primer uses an ultra-lightweight formula that never leaves your skin feeling greasy or heavy. This primer also fights shine on your face for a full eight hours.
Stay Matte preps your skin for makeup while making your pores look smaller and almost invisible. Once you’ve applied this skin-perfecting primer, your skin will be flawlessly smooth with a long-lasting matte finish. This product won’t clog your pores with unnecessary oils. It moisturizes your skin naturally and prevents sebum from peeking through your makeup.
8. PUR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer
Oil-free and silicone-free PUR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer is the ideal mattifying and moisturizing makeup prep for you if your skin is prone to breakouts. This is a makeup primer that provides up to 72 hours of pure hydration.
This PUR primer will give your makeup a mattified look, without the appearance of discoloration. This is a lightweight formula that goes on smoothly. It contains calming lavender extract and PUR’s own Cerertin Complex that evens out skin tone.
This is a top-rated water-based primer scores of women depend on daily. It’s sure to become your go-to primer too once you try it. You’ll love having your makeup look completely natural and long-lasting, all thanks to this primer you applied before your foundation. PUR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer is fine to use on sensitive skin because it doesn’t contain any irritating ingredients.
9. BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
With its instant skin tightening effect and oil-control, BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is ready to get your skin prepped for makeup. This water-based primer helps control excess oil to reduce shine. When you use this primer, your foundation and makeup will go on evenly and smoothly.
This is an all-day primer that doesn’t contain oil, fragrance, or alcohol. It visibly eliminates the appearance of pores and gives you a smooth matte surface to work with. It doesn’t matter if you have oily, dry, normal, or combination skin: Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector works great for all skin types.
This primer is perfect for those hot and humid summer days. Just apply it in the morning and forget about those blotting pads you’re used to carrying. This primer stands up amazingly well to heat & humidity, and it only takes a small dab to achieve full coverage.
10. Skindinavia Makeup Primer Spray
What’s not to love about a silicone-free spray-on primer that won’t come off? Skindinavia’s Makeup Primer Spray is super easy to use. You just mist a fine layer of this primer onto your skin, let it dry, then apply your foundation and makeup. This primer may be ideal for you if you have oily or combination skin.
This is an extended wear primer that makes your makeup look amazing while extending its wear. You never have to worry about your makeup creasing, melting, fading, or sliding off your face when you use Skindinavia. It’s a primer that also works very well at minimizing the appearance of pores and fine lines.
11. Monica Ann Beauty Dual-Action Face Primer
Here’s a primer that will hydrate, mattify, brighten, and minimize pores to give your skin a healthy and natural glow. Dual-Action Face Primer by Monica Ann Beauty provides your skin with the hydration it needs. It also keeps your makeup looking fresh and natural all day.
You can say farewell to visible pores, fine lines, and wrinkles with this water-based primer that goes on smoothly. It contains hyaluronic acid to make your skin take on a youthful glow.
This is a primer that won’t come off half-way through the day. This stuff is so good that you can wear it with or without makeup. It doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.
Water-based primers are lightweight, gentle, and designed to hydrate and mattify your skin. Our picks for the best water-based primers won’t come off or feel sticky and uncomfortable. Pick your favorite and prep your skin for foundation and makeup the right way.