If you’re looking for the perfect primer to add in your makeup routine, you should probably stop and consider first some essential things: your skin type, your skin concerns, if it’s non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, its masking ability, the ingredients, and if it has sun protection. I reviewed below the best Korean primers with these features in mind. If you want to join me in my journey of finding the best of the best, go ahead and give it a read!
Sadly, I’m guilty of having often overlooked a primer and its key benefits in any makeup routine. Many people, myself included, tend to skip this vital step simply because they might be thinking it’s just some fancy makeup product that you put on under your foundation. When I was first getting interested in makeup and different cosmetic products, I never saw the importance of using a primer as a makeup base. And boy was I wrong.
After years of watching beauty gurus and reading about makeup, I learned that primers assist in blurring out enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and imperfections that may cause makeup to look less flawless than I’d want it to be. Adding a primer to a makeup routine preps the skin for the rest of the products. It also helps other makeup products stay and adhere longer to the face throughout the day.
It’s no secret that Koreans have one of the most sought-after skins in the world! And this shouldn’t come as a surprise because not only do they have intensive skincares, they also don’t slack off when it comes to their makeup routines!
With such a flawless and dewy finish to their faces, primers have become a staple in their makeup routines to ensure they achieve just that.
What is a Primer?
A primer is a makeup or cosmetic product applied on your face before the application of other makeup products to improve their adherence and staying power so your makeup could look the same at the end of the day as it was in the beginning of your day.
A makeup primer gets your skin ready for the rest of the products in your makeup routine, whether you have three or eight more products to put on your face. It literally primes your face so your foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, and whatnot goes much smoothly and doesn’t settle on your pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and imperfections at the end of the day.
Without a good primer in your makeup routine, it is more likely that the rest of your makeup could just slide off, fade, or might not set properly.
What are the Benefits of Using a Primer?
Using a primer in your regular makeup routine, does it really change anything? The simple answer to this question is: yes and many, actually! But for a longer and more detailed version to this answer, scroll and read along:
Your makeup lasts longer
As we’ve mentioned, using a primer before the application of the rest of your makeup products improves their adherence and staying power so your makeup lasts longer than it normally would. Regularly using a primer would mean your makeup looks better at the end of the day and you wouldn’t need to retouch so much.
It improves your overall makeup appearance
Aside from improving your makeup’s staying power, a primer also helps in improving the appearance of pores, fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and imperfections. It does so by filling up pores, lines, and cracks so your makeup doesn’t settle in them, making them look more obvious under all your makeup.
It makes your face more smooth and thus your makeup goes on smoothly. Your face is a canvas and a primer smooths over the canvas so the application is more flawless.
One for every skin type and skin concern
Primers don’t just generally prep your skin for the rest of your makeup routine, it also helps you get your skin ready according to your skin type and skin concerns. No matter your skin type and concern, there is a perfect makeup primer for you to help respond to those.
If you’re oily, there are primers out there with sebum control functions. Their purpose is to soak up excess oil your face produces so your foundation, concealer, and other makeup products stay on your face longer. If you have a drier skin, a primer that has moisturizing properties can help your makeup to not become cakey and flaky towards the end of the day.
Primers can also color correct redness or hyperpigmentation so your makeup looks more flawless without accentuating imperfections. Whatever skin concern you would want answered, you can definitely find a primer that’s right for you.
Our Top Picks for the Best Korean Primers
|Product Image||Product Name||Price|
|Our Pick||Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer||Check Price|
|Best for Hydration||VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh||Check Price|
|Best for Blurring||Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur||Check Price|
|Best for Glow||MISSHA M BB Boomer Illuminating Primer||Check Price|
|Best for Color Correction||The Face Shop Air Cotton Makeup Base||Check Price|
The Best Korean Primers
1. Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer – Our Pick!
Our pick for the best Korean makeup primer is the No Pore Blem Primer from K-beauty brand Touch In So! Big pores? That’s no problem for the Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer as it is effective in hiding away and diminishing enlarged pores so the rest of your makeup won’t be able to cling on them making them more obvious under layers and layers of makeup.
Aside from effectively hiding large pores, it also hides and fills in fine lines and wrinkles. So if that’s one of your other concerns, this might be a good way to go! It also smooths over your skin and skin textures for a more seamless makeup application. If you’re fairly new to the makeup game, you don’t have to worry because this primer is able to spread easily, dries quickly, and is very lightweight.
It’s very hydrating without making your face oily at the end of the day and is able to brighten your skin’s overall complexion to bring back that youthful glow! It has a smooth finish, making for a great smoother canvas for your makeup.
- Effectively hides pores, fine lines, wrinkles
- Smooths out skin and texture
- Face doesn’t get oily at the end of the day
- Brightens overall complexion
- Smooth finish
- Fragrance might not be for everyone
2. VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh – Best for Hydration!
Our pick for the best hydrating Korean primer is the VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh! If you have a drier skin and are constantly worrying about your makeup being cakey throughout the day, then the Lumilayer Primer Fresh from K-beauty brand VDL might just be the perfect fit for you! It’s a very hydrating and moisturizing makeup primer that won’t leave you looking flaky and cakey even towards the end of the day. And though it’s extremely hydrating and is great for those with dry skin types, it’s not heavy at all and is very light to wear.
It smooths out your pores so your makeup won’t cling to them, making them more obvious. It helps in giving you a much smoother base for your makeup. It brightens your overall skin complexion and gives your skin a natural glow finish. If you already have oily skin though, you might want to stay away from this specific primer.
- Hydrating and moisturizing
- Keeps your makeup from being flaky and cakey
- Smooths out pores
- Brightens skin tone
- Natural glowy finish
- Not ideal for oily skin
- Fragrance might not be for everyone
3. Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur – Best for Blurring!
The Beauty Shot Face Blur from Korean brand favorite Etude House is our pick for the best Korean primer with the best blurring effects! It’s great in blurring out many of your face’s imperfections and evening out your skin tone. It could also effectively cover and fill in pores, fine lines, and even acne so your makeup won’t cling to them creating even more makeup imperfections. It also doesn’t end up clogging your pores.
Using this primer before your makeup gives your skin brightening effects and the sought-after natural dewy finish! It also smooths out your face so you can start with a seamless makeup base. Putting this under your layers of makeup will help lengthen their staying power and prevent them from moving around. Its SPF 33 PA++ component is also a plus for that extra layer of sun protection!
- Blurs out imperfections
- Evens out skin tone
- Hides pores, fine lines, and acne
- Doesn’t clog pores
- Dewy, natural finish
- Makeup doesn’t budge
- Fragrance is not for everyone
4. MISSHA M BB Boomer Illuminating Primer – Best for Glow!
Our pick for the best Korean primer that gives your skin the best glow is the MISSHA M BB Boomer Illuminating Primer! This makeup primer boasts its glowy, sheer, and natural finish. Applying this under the rest of your makeup is sure to brighten and even out your skin tone to bring back that youthful glow! It’s non-greasy and very hydrating too, which makes for a great primer for those with dry skin.
It has a pearlescence finish to give you that extra glow and not in the unflattering way! Its illuminating effect can also double as a highlighter if you ever find yourself running out of your usual highlighter.
- Glowy, sheer, and natural finish
- Brightens and evens skin tone
- Great for dry skin
- Non-greasy and hydrating
- Pearlescence finish
- Can double as highlighter
- Fragrance can be overwhelming for some
5. The Face Shop Air Cotton Makeup Base – Best for Color Correction!
The Air Cotton Makeup Base from cult-favorite brand The Face Shop is our pick for the best makeup primer for color correction! This makeup primer is able to smooth out your pores to make room for a more seamless application of your makeup products, while neutralizing redness or yellow and sallow skin tones. The primer comes in two variants: mint (for neutralizing redness) and lavender (for neutralizing yellow and sallow skin tones).
This also helps in brightening your overall skin complexion. By using this primer, it helps lessen the amount of foundation you end up using because you’re already able to correct hyperpigmentation on your face. It’s also fairly easy to apply and has a matte finish. It has SPF 30 PA++ for that extra layer of UV protection.
- Color corrector
- Smooths out pores
- Neutralizes redness and sallow skin tones
- Brightens skin
- Easy to apply
- Matte finish
- Could leave a white cast on face
How to Choose the Best Korean Primer for Your Skin
Choosing the best primer to add in your makeup routine can make or break your entire routine and entire day. Choosing which one works best for your skin, skin type, and needs is a thorough process. It can be long and tiring too, but it definitely doesn’t have to be! Here, we list down some things you might want to consider in purchasing your new Korean primer:
First off, you should look for a primer that perfectly suits your skin type. If you have oily skin, go for something that has oil control components so you won’t look greasy at the end of today. If your skin is on the drier side, look for a primer that has moisturizer properties and is able to lock in moisture so you won’t get flaky towards the end of the day.
There are also primers which are also color correcting. Aside from priming your face for your other makeup products, it also corrects redness, undertones, and hyperpigmentation. If you know you’re prone to acne, choose something gentle so it won’t strip too much off of your face.
Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic
Opt for something that’s non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic so it won’t cause clogging in your pores that can eventually lead to even more serious problems like acne.
Pores and imperfections covering ability
A primer is what readies your canvas for the work of art that is your makeup. Make sure that whatever primer you end up purchasing helps in blurring and covering up your pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and imperfections. You’d want a smooth canvas and seamless makeup application. Make sure your primer does just that.
Always (always!) look and read through the ingredient list of the primer you’re considering to get. Make sure you aren’t allergic to any of them and they won’t worsen your skin condition and concerns.
Not all primers have an SPF component in them, but if they do, it’s definitely a plus! If you happen to find one that has it, ask yourself if this is enough sun protection for your skin. If yes, good for you! And if not, make sure to add in an extra layer of UV protection that you’re satisfied with. If your primer happens to not have SPF in it, don’t ever skip adding that sun protection to your routine especially when you’re going out.
Why Choose a Korean Primer (and Other Korean Cosmetic Products)?
It’s no secret that K-beauty cosmetic and skincare products are at the forefront of the beauty game. No matter where you are, whether you’re in Asia or halfway across the world, you’ve heard of K-beauty products and brands one way or another. And honestly, we’re not at all surprised why people all around the world choose Korean brand products to put on their faces day in and day out. So the question is, why should you choose a Korean primer (and other Korean beauty products)?
Endless World of Innovation
The thing with Korean beauty brands is that they never stop innovating their products. Once they put out a product, they continuously make it better and then put out an even better version of it.
Gentle Ingredients and Formulas
K-beauty products are known to be generally gentler than its Western counterparts. Many of Korea’s traditional beauty recipes have been passed down from one generation to the next and were eventually used in the beauty products they put out in the market.
They also have very unique and gentle ingredients in their makeup and skincare products that everyone around the world has access to now. From green tea, snail music, and bee venom, they make sure they only put the best ingredients in their formula and that they are effective at what they do without sacrificing your skin’s condition.
Beauty inside and out
With Korean cosmetic and makeup products, they don’t only work on the outside and surface of your skin, they also make sure to take care of your skin from the inside. They formulate their products so as to improve your skin permanently from the inside as well.
How to Correctly Apply Your Makeup Primer
Your makeup base either makes or breaks the rest of the products in your makeup routine. If you want a good-looking makeup at the start and at the end of the day, a good Korean primer is a good way to go. So, how should you apply your makeup primer to make sure you get the perfect canvas?
Primers are supposed to be applied after your last skincare product and before your first makeup product. This way, it is able to do its purpose of being a barrier between skincare and makeup. With a primer, you get to protect your face and also smoothly and seamlessly apply your makeup.
To get started, get a pea-sized amount of primer and evenly distribute it with dots all over your face. With your fingers or with a makeup sponge, spread and dab it over your face. Remember to be gentle with this step, as with other skincare or makeup products. You don’t want to be harshly dragging your face that could cause early signs of fine lines and wrinkles.
Once you’ve spread the product over your face, wait for a bit for your skin to completely absorb the primer. You can either use primer as it is on its own or if you have an entire makeup routine planned, you can start applying them as you usually would.
Our pick for the best Korean primer is the Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer as it is very effective in covering and filling in large pores, fine lines, and wrinkles for a smoother skin and seamless makeup application. The VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh is our choice for the best hydrating Korean primer! It’s a very hydrating and moisturizing choice that won’t leave you looking flaky and cakey at the end of the day, therefore makes a great primer for those with dry skin. If what you’re looking for in a primer is amazing blurring effects blurring your face’s imperfections and evening out skin tone, the Beauty Shot Face Blur from K-beauty favorite Etude House might just be what you’re looking for!
The MISSHA M BB Boomer Illuminating Primer is our choice for the Korean primer that gives the best glow and can even double as a highlighter. And The Face Shop Air Cotton Makeup Base doubles as an amazing makeup base while also neutralizing hyperpigmentation.
No makeup is ever really needed in anyone’s routine. Whether you choose to use a primer before your makeup or not, is all up to you. But having it applied on your face before the rest of your makeup routine is sure to give you some amazing results, makeup-wise. We hope our guide, list, and review have helped you (and convinced you!) in deciding on the perfect Korean primer to add to your routine. ‘Til next time and happy makeup shopping!