homemade primer

Homemade DIY Primer: Is It Worth the Effort?

If you’ve been looking for an alternative to conventional cosmetics, you might have heard about DIY makeup primer. Is this really a thing? Can you save money by making your own face primer? Is DIY face primer better for your skin? In this article, we’ll take a look at these issues and more, plus we’ll provide a few DIY face primer recipes so you can make up your own mind.

Why Consider Making Homemade Primer?

If you wear makeup, you’ve probably tried primer, or you’ve at least thought about it. While it’s true that not all products are the same, many facial primers – even the ones that are labeled as noncomedogenic – have a tendency to clog pores and cause breakouts when they’re used day after day.

What to do, though? On one hand, primer fills in little lines and enlarged pores, leaving your skin looking smooth and even-toned under makeup. On the other hand, consistent use is likely to leave you with more blackheads and pimples than before. These can enlarge your pores, so you feel like using more primer, which in turn can make matters even worse. DIY face primer might just be the ideal solution.

Many of the ingredients in homemade primer are good for your skin, so you minimize the risk of breakouts when you make your own. At the same time, it’s important to remember the importance of a proper cleansing routine. Give your skin a break by taking a day off from makeup at least once a week, and you’ll probably like the results even more.

Can You Save Money with DIY Face Primer?

If you cook at home, you know that even the fanciest meals tend to cost a whole lot less than a similar meal at a restaurant. The same wisdom holds true for homemade primer. The ingredients in most recipes are simple, and it’s likely that you already have some of them around the house. Making your own primer will definitely help you save money on store-bought primer, and it might mean that you can cut back on the amount of makeup you use. When your foundation, concealer, and other products last longer, you save a little bit of money on your cosmetics budget.

How to Make Primer: DIY Makeup Primer Recipes

DIY facial primer is very easy to make. For each of the following primer recipes, be sure to use clean utensils, dishes, and storage containers. If you get bacteria in your primer, it is likely to make breakouts worse instead of improving skin’s condition.

Basic DIY Primer Recipe

Ingredients

2 teaspoons aloe vera gel

2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons liquid foundation in a shade that matches your natural skin tone

Instructions

In a small dish, use a chopstick or similar small utensil to blend all ingredients together until they are completely combined. Apply primer and refrigerate it in a sealed container between uses.

DIY Primer for Dry Skin

Ingredients

2 teaspoons aloe vera gel

2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons liquid foundation in a shade that matches your natural skin tone

4 drops tea tree essential oil

Instructions

In a small dish, use a chopstick or similar small utensil to blend all ingredients together until they are completely combined. Apply primer and refrigerate it in a sealed container between uses.

DIY Primer for Oily Skin

Ingredients

2 teaspoons aloe vera gel

2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons liquid foundation in a shade that matches your natural skin tone

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

In a small dish, use a chopstick or similar small utensil to blend all ingredients together until they are completely combined. Apply primer and refrigerate it in a sealed container between uses.

DIY All-Purpose Face Primer

If you’re into minimalistic makeup but you still want to look your best, give this homemade primer a try. It contains moisturizer and sunscreen, plus some powder for a mattifying effect. Be sure to use fresh ingredients, not older cosmetics that have been open for more than a few weeks.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons aloe vera gel

2 teaspoons moisturizer (use moisturizer that has been optimized for your skin type)

½ teaspoon SPF 50 facial sunscreen

1 teaspoon liquid foundation in a shade that matches your natural skin tonegl

½ teaspoon loose powder in a shade that matches your skin tone

Instructions

In a small dish, use a chopstick or similar small utensil to blend all ingredients together until they are completely combined. If you prefer a highly mattifying effect, you can double the amount of loose powder. Refrigerate in a sealed container between uses.

Apply primer and refrigerate it in a sealed container between uses.

DIY Eyeshadow Primer Recipes

Eyeshadow primer helps eye makeup last longer, plus it improves the appearance of your eye area overall.

DIY Eyeshadow Primer for Oily Skin

Ingredients

4 teaspoons aloe vera gel

½ teaspoon arrowroot powder

½ teaspoon kaolin clay or bentonite clay

Instructions

In a small container, use a chopstick or similar small utensil to blend all ingredients together until they are completely combined. Refrigerate in a sealed container between uses.

DIY Eyeshadow Primer for Average to Dry Skin

Ingredients

1 teaspoon cocoa butter or unscented body butter (scented varieties can cause eye irritation)

1 teaspoon concealer in a shade that matches your skin tone

1 teaspoon liquid foundation in a shade that matches your skin tone

ÂĽ teaspoon aloe vera gel

Instructions

In a small container, use a chopstick or similar small utensil to blend all ingredients together until they are completely combined. Refrigerate in a sealed container between uses.

1-Ingredient Eyeshadow Primers

If you’re in a hurry and you have no time to make your own eyeshadow primer, you can try any of the following products. They’re not quite as nice as actual eyeshadow primer, but they will help your makeup last longer.

A light dusting of arrowroot powder

1 drop of aloe vera gel per eyelid

A dab of liquid foundation in a color that matches your skin tone

1 drop of plain milk of magnesia (no color or flavor added)

How to Use DIY Facial Primer

Wash your face and use your daytime skincare products, i.e. moisturizer, SPF, etc.

Smooth the primer onto your face and neck, and allow it to set for a minute or two before applying concealer, foundation, and other cosmetics as usual. If you like, you can use these DIY primers as a very light foundation on their own.   

How to Use DIY Eyeshadow Primer

Apply a drop of eyeshadow primer to each eyelid and gently pat it into place. Close your eyes and allow the primer to set for about a minute before applying eyeshadow and other cosmetics.

What if DIY Primer Isn’t for You? Best Face Primers to Try

If you’re too busy to make your own primer, or if you simply aren’t sure whether homemade primer will work for you, there’s always the option of purchasing primer. Here are five popular options worth trying.

Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless Makeup Primer

With Oil of Olay’s anti-aging skincare ingredients built in plus moisturizer for hydration, Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless Makeup Primer gets rave reviews from users who like the way it minimizes fine lines and covers age spots without looking too heavy. While the noncomedogenic formula helps prevent the breakouts that are often associated with makeup primer, a few users found that this product felt too lightweight and looked too sheer. If you’re looking for heavier coverage, you’ll probably want to choose a different product.

Radiant Complex Face Primer

Radiant Complex Face Primer is a paraben free formula that’s designed to go on silky smooth and help foundation look fresh longer. While this product is often favorably compared to more expensive formulas, a few users note that it doesn’t provide a lot of coverage around the eye area, and it doesn’t fill in large pores like some heavier formulas. At the same time, Radiant Complex Face Primer gets high marks for brightening and freshening the overall appearance of skin without contributing to breakouts.

Monica Ann Dual-Action Face Primer

Designed to offer anti-aging benefits for all skin types while blurring pores, fine lines, and redness, Monica Ann Dual Action Face Primer contains beneficial ingredients including vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. It contains no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Most people who tried this formula liked the way it brightened skin and minimized the appearance of fine lines. A few mentioned that they felt this product actually helped with breakouts and oily skin rather than making matters worse. It’s worth noting that a few users noticed a sparkly or glittery sheen when viewed from certain angles. Some liked this feature, while others didn’t.

DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer

Many professional makeup artists use DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer, and it gets mostly positive reviews from people who try it. Many users mention that they like the smooth feel as well as the way it complements their entire skincare and makeup regimen, and a few mention that it does a good job of minimizing wrinkles and pores without contributing to breakouts. A few reviewers noted that this formula wasn’t a good match for their oily skin.

Olay Sun Makeup Primer

Thanks to broad spectrum SPF 35 sunscreen built right in, Olay Sun Makeup Primer can simplify your makeup routine. While this primer isn’t the best for pairing with liquid foundation, it gets plenty of positive reviews for its light feel, fast absorption, and smooth, non-greasy appearance. A few users didn’t like the scent, but others thought the product had a pleasant fragrance. If you’re not too worried about heavy coverage and you like products with built-in sunscreen, this one is worth considering.

While cosmetics companies offer plenty of good solutions, it’s not difficult to make your own facial primer plus the ingredients are versatile enough to go into a variety of DIY bath and body care products. With these recipes, you can save a little money, save your skin, and keep on looking your best!