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Best Makeup Primer

My Longest Relationship to Date Has Been With This Beauty Product

Want to know true commitment? We've partnered with dr. brandt skincare to tell the devoted love story between one editor and her primer.

I once had a makeup artist lecture me in the middle of a department store when I told her I never used makeup primer.

"You wouldn't paint a room without priming it, would you?!"

"Um, I guess not."

"Then why would you do your makeup without first priming your face?"

It was a valid point, and one I took to heart. Nine years ago, as a young beauty assistant at a magazine, primer was never high up on my list of makeup priorities, yet I was super self-conscious when it came to my pore size. To me, flawless pores came from choosing the right foundation, blending with the right tools, and finishing with the right powder. And while I experimented with primers, none of them seemed to make a noticeable difference — until dr. brandt's pores no more pore refiner primer landed on my desk.

It took a lot of mistakes to realize my pore-hiding makeup routine wasn't perfect and was missing one crucial step — skin care. The reasons other primers just didn't do it for me was because they were lacking the key skincare benefits that make dr. brandt's pore refiner primer the "Holy Grail" of primers.

"It took a lot of mistakes to realize my makeup routine wasn't perfect and it was missing one crucial step — skin care."

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I had already heard about the benefits of this cult product, thanks to my boss at the time. It was one of the few products she used every day, and that type of devotion immediately piqued my interest.

In general, I was wary of most primers because of the way they felt on my skin — heavy and oily. But the pore refiner primer was unlike anything else I had ever tried. First, it feels like nothing. Literally, like air. Second, it contains oil-absorbing spheres, which mattify the skin while distributing the light to instantly minimize the look of pores for an IRL filter effect. And finally, while the instant results are game changing, I quickly realized this product also acts as a bona-fide skincare step. It contains skin-healthy ingredients like red clover flower extract, a salicylic acid derivative, and tea tree oil, which collectively clean out and help minimize the look of pores.

While I'd initially thought primer was an extra step I didn't need, I soon realized that the addition of this specific primer helped streamline my morning routine and was the answer to my pore problem. It's been an integral part of my beauty beat ever since.

"The pore refiner primer was unlike anything else I had ever tried."

Don't get me wrong: as a beauty editor, I'm constantly experimenting with new cleansers, masks, serums, and moisturizers. But ever since trying the pore refiner primer nine years ago, it's been the one consistent product in my routine. I always apply it on my T-zone after my moisturizer and before my makeup. It bridges my skincare and makeup routines together and sets up my skin for success. I love knowing that I can use this product and it's actually treating my skin imperfections while helping to hide them.

In terms of other benefits I've noticed over time, this primer has done more to help even out my skin than any other product in my routine. It's the perfect prefoundation step, absorbing excess sebum to create a velvety effect. Plus, it helps makeup go on sans pilling — that's huge.

In general, I've just always loved the smooth, light-as-air finish it leaves on my skin, and I've never been able to get the same effect with any other product.

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"I've just always loved the smooth, light-as-air finish it leaves on my skin, and I've never been able to get the same effect with any other product."

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While this product has been constant in my day-to-day life, it has been even more key for some of my life's biggest moments. From my first photo shoot to my wedding day to the day we welcomed our son into this world, whenever I've known cameras were going to be on me, I've made sure to have on my pore refiner primer. It has kept my makeup flawless and crease-free and given me that extra sense of security, so I could concentrate on being in the moment and not worry about the state of my pores.

And while the selfie culture has changed a lot in nine years (I mean, Instagram was a new thing back then!), thanks to this miracle little tube, I've never had to be particularly worried about filters. For that reason alone, I'll never stray.

Shop dr. brandt pores no more

Pore Refiner Primer
Pore Refiner Primer
$45
Buy Now
Hydrating Pore Minimizing Gel
Hydrating Pore Minimizing Gel
$48
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Vacuum Cleaner Pore Purifying Mask
Vacuum Cleaner Pore Purifying Mask
$42
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Cleanser
Cleanser
$36
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