8 Best Water-Based Primers in 2020

Water-based primer

Applying the foundation directly on the clean face is not a guarantee that the makeup will last throughout the day. This is the reason why primers were invented! The primer prepares your face for makeup application and ensures the foundation stays on for longer. And if you have oily skin, you know how important it is to avoid the making running off your face.

There are three main categories of primers: water-based primers, silicone-based primers, and oil-based primers. But for people with oily skin, the right face primer is a water-based one. Let’s have a look at some of the best water-based makeup primers:

Best Water-Based Primers: Guide & FAQ

Why do I need a primer?

We use the primer firstly to ensure the makeup lasts longer. This means that if you are wearing makeup often, then you might appreciate the benefits of a good face primer. At the same time, you should know that aside from ensuring resistance for the foundation, the face primer can also fill fine lines and pores, even the skin tone, and balance the sebum production with a mattifying action.

You probably didn’t know, but there are many types of primers available nowadays – for the face, the eyes, lips, and even the eyelashes.

Water-based primers versus silicone-based primers

As we have mentioned before, there are different types of primers, and each one serves a different purpose. For example, the silicone-based primers aim to improve skin texture. Your skin gets smoother and enlarged pores, scars, or fine lines can be minimized. At the same time, water-based primers are a good choice to help your makeup last longer.

When to apply the primer in your daily routine?

Before anything else, we should mention that the primer is a valuable product, but it can’t replace your moisturizer or your foundation. Of course, there are some 2-in-1 formulas that incorporate the benefits of a primer and foundation, but this is not mandatory.

And this leads us to the steps of your beauty routine, once you introduce the primer to it. Whether you have dry skin, sensitive skin, or oily skin, you should moisturize it before applying makeup. Otherwise, you might be confronted with dehydration and the excess of sebum production associated with it.

The primer should be applied after the daily moisturizer and before the foundation. If you are using an SPF cream, apply it before the primer or choose a foundation with an SPF cream to be protected during the day.

The water-based primers, as well as silicone-based primers, can be easily applied with your fingers, so you don’t really need to get a special brush or sponge. Just massage the primer into the skin until it is fully absorbed. When it comes to a water-based primer, this happens very quickly.

How to get the best results with your primer

Yes, we have just mentioned that the primer is the secret to long-lasting, perfect makeup. However, not all primers are perfect for your skin. Different skin types have different needs. This means that even if you are wearing a primer, you might be confronted with foundation caking or getting too tight.

This is the reason why you should follow certain rules when choosing the best product for you. The primers targeting people with oily skin and combination skin usually have a mattifying effect and aim to minimize the visibility of enlarged pores. The best primers for people with dry skin or sensitive skin are created to hydrate and give brightness to the skin.

More the skin types, the foundation type is also important if you want to achieve superb results. What does the foundation have to do with anything? Well, funny you should ask, but the foundation needs to have similar characteristics with the primer.

It might sound complicated to match the primer with the foundation, but there is actually just one simple rule to follow – if you are using a water-based primer, make sure to choose a water-based foundation too. For a silicone-based primer, a silicone-based foundation is the best. And you got the idea for oil-based primers!

Primer myths

Just like it is the case with all the other skincare and makeup products, there are myths associated with the primers too. Let’s bust some of them now!

Myth 1: “I don’t need a primer because I use a good moisturizing cream.”

This is a bit like saying you don’t need makeup because you have a good toner. While it might be true, there is hardly any connection between the two statements. A good daily moisturizer is the foundation of any skincare routine, just like the foundation is for makeup. However, what the primer does is to make a connection between skin care and makeup. And this is why you need it!

Myth 2: “Primers clog pores and cause acne.”

It is true that there are comedogenic products out there that can do more harm than good. However, if you avoid the comedogenic ingredients and choose a product that is suitable for your skin type, you have nothing to worry about enlarged pores or acne.

And the fact that the primer fills in pores is not all bad news actually. With all the pollution out there, the primer can actually keep your skin protected from more damage.

To avoid clogged pores, make sure to exfoliate at least once every week, use a gentle cleanser twice a day and avoid comedogenic ingredients in all products you apply on your face.

Best Water-Based Primers: Our Top 8 Picks

1. wet ‘n wild Photo Focus Primer Water, Cucumber

  • 3-in-1 water-based primer for everyday use
  • Created to brighten skin and deliver the perfect canvas for the makeup
  • Formula packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Delivers an instant hydration boost
  • Glides easily on the skin

The Photo Focus Primer Water from wet ‘n wild is a good choice for all those looking for the most affordable alternative in terms of water-based primers. While the cucumber water is definitely a favorite, you can also try the coconut water from the same brand. Both cucumber and coconut water can be used as a setting spray after you have applied the makeup.

2. Ellipsis Labs Hyaluronic Makeup Primer

  • One of the best water-based primers with hyaluronic acid
  • Designed to retain moisture and deliver a plumping effect
  • Formula containing vitamin C
  • Cruelty-free
  • Can even the skin tone and texture for no more blemishes

There is no doubt about it – hyaluronic acid is certainly a hero of the skincare world nowadays. And for good reason! It is one of the active ingredients used in formulations that aims to increase skin hydration by locking in moisture for a plumper effect. Ellipsis Labs Hyaluronic Makeup Primer is among the best water-based primers for people with dry or mature skin.

3. ANNA SUI Black Primer Water

  • 2-in-1 water-based primer with deeply hydrating properties
  • Can be used as a skincare lotion and a primer
  • Ensures a makeup without any imperfections
  • Flawless results instantly
  • Makeup lasts all day long

How about we have a look at one of the designer water-based primers? If you are familiar with Anna Sui’s clothing designs, you should definitely check out her beauty collection too. The Black Primer Water is a light primer that can be applied with the help of a cotton pad. But the best thing about this product is that it allows you to skip on the moisturizer.

With a watery consistency, this Anna Sui primer can nourish the skin, hydrate it and ensure your makeup is flawless and lasts for hours. The liquid primer contains a pore covering powder to deliver a blurring effect overall skin imperfections. And the result? Picture-perfect makeup!

4. Luminess Air Airbrush Porcelain Primer

  • The best water-based primer for a flawless complexion
  • Moisturizes skin ensuring proper levels of hydration
  • Colorless formula
  • Helps balance the skin’s texture
  • Oil-free

The makeup just smooths onto this base, but this is just one of the things mentioned in reviews about this primer. This water-based primer delivers great results for people who want even skin texture, fewer imperfections, and more resistance for their makeup. This product can be applied on all types of skin.

5. Lunar Glow Makeup Primer

  • Among the best water-based primers that can reduce the appearance of fine lines
  • Formula designed to even out skin tone
  • Free from mineral oils and alcohol
  • Light serum texture
  • Prime your skin for makeup application

If you want a fast-absorbing primer for makeup, this is one of your best choices. Lunar Glow Makeup Primer is water-based, so suitable for all skin types. It makes the skin smooth and soft and can keep your makeup intact for up to 12 hours.

6. LORAC “I’m So Sensitive” Soothing Face Primer

  • Among the best water-based primers for sensitive skin
  • Oil and silicone-free
  • Skin-perfecting effect
  • Formula rich in antioxidants
  • Free of fragrance

As the name suggests, this is the water-based primer for you if your skin is sensitive. But it is more to it than this! This is the type of primer that you can use on those terrible days when your skin is impossible to please. It works well even on acne-prone skin, and this alone speaks volumes.

7. Skindinavia Primer Face

  • Among the best water-based primers with pore-minimizing properties
  • Can reduce the appearance of fine lines
  • Good for dehydrated skin
  • Primer spray
  • Silicone-free formula

If you are using a water-based foundation, then you might like to try the Skindinavia Primer. It is actually a spray, so the application couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is spray before or after you put on makeup and enjoy the results for the last of the day (or night!). Suitable for sensitive skin.

8. Belloccio Anti-Aging Moisturizing Primer

  • Best anti-aging primer with hydrating properties
  • The product can be used before, during or after makeup application
  • All-day coverage
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • It can deliver a matte, semi-matte or dewy finish

The list wouldn’t be complete without an anti-aging primer, right? Well, this one is certainly very interesting! As we mentioned already, you can achieve either a matte, semi-matte, or dewy finish using one single product. How is this even possible?

It all depends on the application time – for a matte finish needs to be applied before the foundation. For a semi-matte finish, it needs to be mixed in the foundation, and for a dewy finish, the application is after foundation.

Final words

The water-based primer is, without a doubt, a good investment. It can ensure a flawless complexion for longer, and you don’t have to worry about foundation caking or running down your face. Make sure to choose the primer to go well with your skin type and the foundation you use.

If you’re worried about adding a new product to your routine and how your skin might react to it, you can start with LORAC “I’m So Sensitive” Soothing Face Primer.

Ellipsis Labs Hyaluronic Primer is probably your best choice if you want hydration that lasts all day long. And if the idea of a spray primer appeals to you, why not give Skindinavia Face Primer a try!

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