Different primers will help you achieve different makeup looks. These can help with problem areas on your face (dry, oily) and color correcting.
All primers should help your foundation last longer. They have different functions which can help certain skin types makeup last. Primers can help foundation glide on easy, allowing for a more blended application. Quite a few primers have multi use properties. Ex: Hourglass Mineral primer has shine control, brightens, smooths the skin, and is a mineral based primer. Below I list different primers that fix into types but most overlap into different categories. Some have silicone and some are silicone free, I would look up the products if you’re sensitive to silicone primers. When applying foundation you can apply it just to problem areas or all over. Remember not to use a lot. Just use a 1-2 pea size for your entire face. Applying too much can be counter productive. I like to use my fingers to press in the product and then blend all over. You could always use a foundation brush if you wanted.
Bronze: These aren’t super well known in the makeup community. Bronze primers help give a warmth to the skin. I like applying these where I’ll be applying bronzer under my foundation. When applied all over it gives a major bronzing effect. Ex: Stila 1 Step Bronze / Laura Mercier Radiance Bronze (this shade can my a luminizing primer for deeper skin tones)
Brightening: Brightening primers have a blue pearl tint to a clear base. These help make the face look more awake under the skin. This can easily be confused with luminzing primers. These primers don’t have a shimmer but give a healthy glow to the face to help fatigue. Ex: Tarte Clean Slate Brightening
Luminizing: These primers add a major glow to the skin. They reflect light to give a glow to the skin, help keep skin from looking dull, and soften the appearance of imperfection. Luminizing primers have a shimmer to them opposed to a glow with Brightening primers. Ex: Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel (white shimmer) / Laura Mercier Radiance (golden shimmer)
Matte: Matte primers help keep shine away. When applied you’ll immediately get a matte look to the skin. I find very matte primers don’t allow foundation to apply better because they are so matte. Ex: Becca Ever Matte / Boots No.7 Beautifully Matte / MUFE 1 Step Equalizer in Mattifying
Pore-filling: These primers help fill in enlarged pores. These are almost always silicone primers. Some people with acne prone skin will have breakouts because it’s clogging the pores for a seamless application. Ex: Too Faced Primed and Poreless / Benefit Porefessional / Mally Prep Poreless / Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer / MUFE 1 Step Equalizer in Smoothing
Smoothing: Smoothing primers are again a silicone based primer. These can help cover pores but mostly allow foundation to be applied smoothly over uneven textured skin. Ex: L’Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base/ Tarte Timeless Smoothing / MUFE 1 Step Equalizer in Smoothing
Hydrating: Dehydrated skin can cause foundation to go on flakey and drag. Using a good moisturizer is important but still some people still have very dehydrated skin. These can be great for dry and oily skin. Ex: Too Faced Handover Replenish / Laura Mercier Hydrating / Smashbox Hydrating / MUFE 1 Step Equalizer in Hydrating
Nourishing: Nourishing ones are similar to hydrating ones but are more appropriate for dry skin. These will help with dehydrated skin and dry skin (lack of oil). Ex: Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing / MUFE Step 1 Nourishing / Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing / MUFE 1 Step Equalizer in Nourishing
Spray: Spray primers are new in the makeup game. Spray primers are easy to apply and have a refreshing feeling. Ex: Skindinavia Makeup Primer / Urban Decay B6 / Skindinavia Makeup Oil-Controlling Primer / Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
Anti-Blemish: These primers are great for people who suffer from break outs. They have some types of ingredient (mostly salicylic acid) to help fight acne when you’re wearing makeup. I’m not a fan of these because these tend to break me out oddly enough. Ex: CoverFx Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment / Smashbox Blemish Control Primer
Tinted: Tinted primers are very common in Asian beauty brands. I’ve seen quite a few from Korean brands. These primers help with extra coverage. Ex: Tarte BB Primer / Paul and Joe Moisturizing Foundation Primer
Mineral: These are mineral based (opposed to water or silicone) and contain vitamins to help the skin. In general all mineral primers have different benefits. These are perfect for mineral foundation but are good with liquid/powder too. Ex: Hourglass Mineral Veil / Bare Minerals Prime Time / Youngblood Mineral Primer
Color Correcting: Color Correcting can be crucial to skin with discoloration. One thing to remember is you don’t have to apply these all over. If you only suffer from a problem on your cheeks use it there or over the entire face for the brightening ones. Ex: MUFE 1 Step
Green: Help counter act redness.
Pink: Helps add radiance and counteract sallowness (yellow pigmentation in cool undertones) in fair complexions.
Blue: Help brighten and counteract minor discoloration in fair skin tones.
Peach: Help counteract ashy tones and counteract dark circles / pigmentation in fair/medium skin tones.
Yellow: Help lighten dark complexions / adds radiance/brighten medium/deep skin tones.
Purple/Mauve: Help sallowness (yellow pigmentation in cool under tone) in skin in medium/deep skin tones.
Caramel: Help counteract ashiness / discoloration in deep/dark warm skin tones.