Many people, including myself, often think that makeup primers are a scam and useless. And let’s be honest, a lot of them are useless and really only tend to produce a placebo effect because we always want our products to work so badly. A lot of primers on the market are aimed towards eliminating dry skin, reducing the look of large pores, or claiming to banish oily skin and increase the longevity of your makeup, but they don’t always get the job done.
As a long-time makeup wearer and enthusiast, I can say that most primers don’t really help with oiliness because more often than not, oily skin is simply genetic and there’s nothing you can do about it. I also know that complexion and tone itself can be a big issue for women with dark skin because we tend to have more than one shade of brown in our faces, as well as different undertones in different areas. After much experimentation with different primers and research, I present to you 5 of some of the best primers you can find for dark skin, as well as oily skin too.
1. Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizer Caramel Primer - $3
This primer is one of the 11 types of primer from this line in particular to help meet your skin’s needs for priming your skin for makeup application. The caramel color in this is perfect for dark skin as it helps to add a little more radiance and life to the skin without being noticeable or leaving any weird color payoff behind. The darker you are, the more this shade will benefit your skin. This is perfect if you’re looking for something to add more of a warm brown glow to your skin.
2. BECCA First Light Priming Filter Face Primer - $18 - $38
Skin that’s on the deeper end of the spectrum, think Alek Wek, can often look dull and may be in need of a pick-me-up sometimes in order to bring vitality back to the face, especially those with a cooler undertone. The lavender shade of this primer will help to counteract the sallowness that often occurs in dark skin, as well as the ginger and sodium hyaluronate helping to hydrate and energize the skin.
3. Hylamide HA Blur $19
This primer is a personal favorite of mine, it’s literally a filter in a bottle. It does an amazing job of smoothing out the skin and blurring the look of pores without leaving any residue or white cast on the face like some mattifying primers tend to do. It creates the perfect canvas for foundation while also helping makeup last longer. Since it doesn’t leave a white cast, it’s also perfect to wear on its own so you can pretend you’re naturally flawless with invisible pores.
4. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Blend - $39
If you struggle with uneven skin tone or any sort of hyperpigmentation whether it’s dark spots or around the mouth, this primer will help to tone down the darker areas of the face so that they’re not so noticeable after makeup application. Similar to color correcting dark spots or under eye circles with a more concentrated and orange color corrector, this primer has a peachy/apricot tone to it so that it’s suitable to wear over the entire face and help make color correcting quicker and easier.
5. MAC Prep + Prime, Radiant Yellow - $42
With this primer you can kill two birds with one stone by brightening and moisturizing your face. This is a primer that feels like a gel-cream moisturizer so it’s suitable for any skin type, though it is specifically targeted towards combination and oily skin types and helps control oil as well. The yellow tone of the primer will also act as an aide for brightening the skin as well as the illuminating pearl powders in it that will help give your skin a more radiant and glowy appearance without being oily, so you can wear it under makeup or wear it alone.
“Erin Dyana is a freelance writer with a focus on pop culture, criticisms, and beauty. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Urban Social TV, Wear Your Voice Magazine, Clementine Zine, and Philadelphia Print Zine. In her free time she likes to create art, watch films, read books, and eat everything in sight."