Primer's are generally either silicon or water-based, with silicon products being the best for “filling in” issues (like pores, scars and lines) and water-based primers excelling at extending wear.
The best way to try out primers is to get samples (Sephora is best for this). Try it on at home to see how it feels on your skin, and then after a few minutes, to apply your makeup. Keep checking to see how your makeup sits with the primer on your skin.
The Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer is by far my favourite makeup primer, ever! I have tried every primer out there in the market and honestly nothing beats this primer. Most primers aren't hydrating enough for me as I have very dry skin so, I was looking for a very hydrating primer that would even out my pores.
I was shopping in England and I received the Shiseido Primer as a sample and to be honest, I had no idea that Shiseido even made makeup products, as I thought it was a skincare line. i fell in love with it the moment I put it on. This cream/beige coloured lotion goes on sheer but sometimes has a whitish hue to it and absorbs well into the skin, and creates a soft, matte finish. It has a tacky texture to it which is perfect for primers as it holds the makeup to your skin. The primer has no smell to it which is a huge plus point for me, as I am very sensitive to smells, and you only need a small amount of product to cover your entire face (a little goes a long way)!
The Shiseido primer hides my pores and it keeps skin smooth and shine-free pretty much all day long. My makeup stays on all day without smudging (try adding a mist to it to really set your makeup!). Also, it's very hydrating for my skin and doesn't leave any dry patches like some other primer's have. A good makeup primer should last during any extreme weather and this product delivers! During the cold in Canada, it still makes my skin look even and healthy and I can say the same for extreme heat as well (during my vacation, I was in the Desert and my makeup did not budge once!).
The only downside to this products is that the version we get in Canada doesn't have SPF in it, which is a must! I cannot understand why more makeup products for foundation and primers don't have SPF already built into it. So, if you want the SPF version then you will have to buy this is the US or Europe......Shiseido please bring this to Canada!
If you are looking to buy this in Canada then The Hudson Bay, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew carries the product. Unfortunately, Sephora doesn't carry it. It's definitely worth trying out to see if it suits your skin!
A close second is the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer and it is amazing! Covers all of my pores and my makeup looks flawless. Shiseido did a better job at smoothing out my skin but the Too Faced Primer is amazing as well. Check it out at Sephora the next time you are there.
I've tried Hourglass Veil, Benefit Porefessional, Smashbox Photo Finish, MakeupForever, Becca, Laura Mercier and all of them either made me break out, made my pores seem even larger, liquefied my makeup in a few hours or left dry patches on my skin. None of them worked as well as the Shiseido or Too Faced Primer (remember I have dry skin so if you have oily skin you will have a different result).
So are you still searching for a makeup primer? then go try them all out! you won't know which one suits you the best until you experiment.