Between the sweltering heat and all the extra sweat and sebum that induces, it’s no wonder our makeup ends up smudged and caked.
Although some foundations come with oil-control or mattifying properties, there’s usually a limit to their effectiveness, especially when the weather hits sauna-like extremes.
Instead, consider using a mattifying or oil-controlling primer before applying foundation to really bolster your makeup’s staying power. Purpose-made to reduce shine and refine the look of pores, they form a smoothing and protective layer which helps to hold your makeup in place and keep it looking fresh.
Here, we round up some of the best primers for the job.
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Best Mattifying Primers
Smashbox Photo Finish Control Mattifying Primer, $60
A vegan and cruelty-free formula containing blemish-fighters like witch hazel, salicylic acid and zinc. It also has a Silkscreen Complex which creates a breathable veil that smooths skin and protects against environmental stressors.
Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier, $65
Mattifies without making skin look dry and dull. Its powder technology soaks up oil and reduces the look of pores, while sodium hyaluronate (a derivative of hyaluronic acid) helps skin retain moisture so it stays plump and soft.
Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer – Blurring, $70
It’s water-based and silicone-free, so you won’t end up with skin that feels like it’s got a slippery coating. Blurring powders absorb oil for an instant soft-focus effect, and micro-algae helps to improve skin texture over time.
M.A.C. Studio Fix Mattifine 12HR Shine Control Primer, $60
Oil-free and with a lightweight texture, this goes from gel to powder to immediately mattify skin. Stands up to heat and humidity to curb oil and shine for up to 12 hours.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer, $54
Made to help oily skin types keep shine in check, this has blurring powders to perfect your complexion like a camera filter and moisturising blue agave extract so skin feels smooth, not tight. Just a small amount applied onto oil-prone areas will do.
Estee Lauder The Mattifier Shine Control Perfecting Primer, $62
This oil-free primer creates a velvety-smooth canvas for makeup to glide onto and helps complexion stay fresh and matte all day.
Make Up For Ever Pore Minimizer Step 1 Primer, $59
Containing polymers, silica, spherical powder and a film-forming ingredient, this feels a refreshing treat when applied and works to “smooth away” enlarged pores and fine lines. Water-resistant and transfer-proof.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lasting Primer, $21.90
This hard worker evens out blotchy skin and curbs excess oil all day long without feeling heavy and uncomfortable. Mattifies and hydrates all at once.
Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Mattifying + Pore Reducing, $33.90
Get skincare benefits in your makeup with this creamy primer with a matte, soft-focus finish. Artichoke extract helps with tightening pores, and it also has salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids to keep pores clear of sebum and dead skin cells.