But they're an essential part of the make-up puzzle and even Rihanna's included one in her Fenty Beauty range, despite carrying a limited range of products at launch.
They may have been around for a while, but if you want your make-up to stay in place all day, you should be layering your base with a primer.
"For larger pores it is best to use a mattifying, pore minimising primer like Benefit's Porefessional. If your skin is drier, I recommend a hydrating primer that will provide a soft, smooth base for your foundation," award-winning make-up artist Stacey Whittaker, adding, "Always allow your moisturiser enough time to sink into your skin before applying primer too, around ten minutes should be enough. Apply a thin layer of your chosen primer over your entire face and allow that to penetrate your skin before going in with your foundation."
Read on for the primers that will give your skin a flawless finish.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer
While the Twittersphere has been going crazy for Rihanna's 40 shades of Pro Filt'r Foundation, the savvy beauty maven also included an all-important primer to provide a flawless base for foundation application and longer make-up wear. It comes in a pretty universal 'invisipink' formula which creates a filter-like blurring effect and melts instantly into all skin tones without a trace. Pro Filt'r's cushiony, touchable texture mattifies skin, offering up a featherlight feel.
Becca Backlight Filter Face Primer
Becca is the go-to brand when it comes to highlighters but it also serves up a glow-boosting primer. Despite its lightweight formula, a single pump provides enough coverage for your entire face, and when applied over your moisturiser, it gives skin a stunning luminescent shine so good you'll probably want to skip your foundation. But even if you do add a thin layer of base, you can be guaranteed a gorgeous glow that even makes skin look good when you've removed your make-up!
NYX Studio Perfect Primer
NYX's budget range is perfect for people who have never used a primer. It won't break the bank and the lightweight texture will dispel any negative thoughts you have about wearing too many layers of cosmetics. It makes a perfect base for your make-up to sit on and will stop your foundation from evaporating.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Raised pores, uneven skintone, fine lines and acne scarring can be very hard to disguise or treat but this smoothing primer with its imperfection-blurring properties has been specially formulated to make you look great in photos. The formula gives skin a soft focus-effect and glides over the complexion to produce a much evener texture.
The POREfessional face primer
If you're bothered by visible pores, this is the primer for you. For a full pore blank out, Benefit's top primer will leave you model-smooth for hours and hours. Its universal tint makes it suitable for all complexions and it won't turn you white.© Cover Media