Cut Your Makeup Routine Down to a Single Step With These Primer-Foundation Hybrids That Last All Day

Photo: Stocksy/Liliya Rodiknova/
If I'm taking the time to put on foundation (... which happens, at best, once a week) you'd better believe I expect it to last all day. Most makeup artists would tell me to prep my skin with primer in order to make that happen, but I'm generally a beauty minimalist (read: lazy) and have no interest in adding yet another step to my routine. And so, I expect the best longwear foundation product out there to get the job done on its own.

In order to do that, I've asked makeup artists for the low-down on just how to find the best longwear foundation formulas that will stay in place all day, without the help of a primer. "You don't really need a primer when using a silicone-based foundation—those are usually heavier and act like a primer" says Mari Shten, makeup artist and founder of Mari Shten Beauty. "Glycerin will make your makeup last longer, and aloe vera can also act like a primer." She also notes that you can skip out on the priming step if you're using a BB cream or tinted moisturizer, since the added layer of product can feel superfluous when you're trying to create a clean, "no-makeup makeup" look.

Before applying a foundation without a primer, it's key to properly prep your skin first."You really want a fully and equally hydrated canvas before applying foundation. Oils and moisturizers are key in prepping skin so that you don't necessarily need a primer," says Julia Dalton-Brush, makeup artist and founder of B3 Balm. Start with a toner, then go in with a facial oil (like B3 Lillie Luxury Oil), followed by a hydrating moisturizer, and let these sink into your skin for a few minutes before using your makeup. Then, opt for one of the best longwear foundation products you can buy, according to makeup artists, and your primer-free face will (literally) be covered all day long.

Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover, $28

Not only will this long-wear foundation have you skipping your primer step, but it'll also have you relegating your concealer to the bottom of your makeup bag, too. It evens your complexion while smoothing discoloration, plus it hydrates and protects your skin with vitamin E.

Photo: Danessa Myricks

Camera Ready Cosmetics Kett Fixx Creme Foundation, $30

This pot of skin-loving goodness is made with vitamins A, C and E, plus brightening licorice root extract, to nourish while it conceals. It offers buildable coverage, and won't budge all day long.

Photo: Kett Fixx

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, $44

Makeup artists swear by this stuff, and it's for good reason. This foundation has a weightless formula but still delivers buildable, long-lasting coverage with a finish that looks like your skin, but better.

Photo: Charlotte Tilbury

Clé De Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation, $128

For a natural, long-lasting look, this foundation is the perfect pick. It's hydrating, offers SPF protection, and won't shift or change color throughout the day.

Photo: Clé de Peau

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, $64

Another iconic option, Armani Luminous Silk leaves skin looking just that: luminous. It's made with specially formulated pigments that give a "lit-from-within" glow, and applying it feels nothing short of luxurious.

Photo: Armani

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup, $43

Thanks to its transfer-resistant formula, this foundation is known for its staying power. With 24-hour wear, you'll be able to skip the primer and the day-to-night reapplication.

Photo: Estée Lauder

If you do want to add a primer to the mix, try one of these skin-friendly options. Plus, our favorite hydrating foundations to carry you all the way through dry skin season.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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