Grooming, Skincare

Our Primer on Five Primers that Prime the Skin (aka Hiding Big Ugly Pores)


It is easy to see why one might be a little iffy about wearing a primer on the skin. Firstly, it is usually situated in no-mans-land aka the female section of a departmental store (Editor: Man up!) and secondly, it is usually associated with wearing makeup. To solve this conundrum (is it really though?) and also, to stop this needless stereotype (down with the patriachy!), we’ve consulted three makeup artistes on their favourites. You know, the ones who seem to make the men we shoot look even better.

Just a foreword though, your large pores are genetically determined like a receding hairline or an impending gut (take it from us, just go to an aesthetician). It is not all bad news — the five primers we’ve curated are guaranteed to minimise the appearance of your pores. 

Pictured Above: HOURGLASS Mineral Primer Veil
Makeup artist Melissa Yeo recommends this primer not just to minimise the appearance of pores or fine lines. She thinks of it as a boost for skin radiance instead. “On top of it being oil free and with an SPF of 15, this primer gives a soft radiance to the skin. Almost like it is lit from within. Do note that it’s more suitable for fairer skin though as it has a light blue/purplish tint (which probably gives skin radiance as it colour corrects sallow looking skin).

NARS Smooth & Protect Primer

Rina Sim, the veteran makeup artist likes the NARS Smooth & Protect Primer not just because it does what a primer is supposed to do (smooth pores over without clogging it), “this particular primer has a higher SPF protection of 50 and while it blurs out imperfections, it also contains antioxidants to deflect pollution and other environmental aggressors.”

Diorskin Forever & Everwear

We’re taking a commercial break from the two positive reviews above and instead, dropping another truth bomb. Enlarged pores happen when one loves to lie under the sun to bake. If that is not bad enough, the collagen loss that comes naturally with aging (yikes!) can increase their size too. Did one think that we were done? Sorry, picking or squeezing a pimple can cause trauma to the skin that may permanently widen pores. 

Here’s the good news, DiorSkin Forever & Ever is the solution to gaping holes — its needle-nose tip dispenses the fluid in drops that blurs out pores and mattifies skin. The latter will be appreciated if one feels like his sunscreen is giving a little too much shine. Also, another reason why it is a winner in our books — it provides another layer of sun protection with broad-spectrum SPF 20. 

COVER FX Mattifying Primer

If one was tickled by Larry Yeo’s guide to doing makeup for men in our previous article, we have summoned him back for this one (legend says that one needs to commit a skincare blunder to magically make him materialise). “This primer glides well upon the skin without pilling up while it blurs out pores to make one’s skin appear smoother, and it holds makeup well even if you are sweating profusely,” says Yeo. 1% Salicylic Acid in its formula helps fight breakouts too — even the adult kind

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter

We’ve saved the best for last as this primer might literally be liquid gold. Infused with three unique Filtering Luminescent Pearls (a BECCA trademark), each category adds a different drop of diffused light. Think of it more like a constant flattering glow instead of the harsh lights of an interrogation room. It blurs out pores and fine lines too while treating the two imperfections with a vitamin E-enriched formula.