By Kristin Limoges

Published on July 20, 2017

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Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN
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Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

If your makeup keeps melting off your face in this heat, then you may be looking into primers as a long-lasting option. But do they really work? We asked Landy Dean, makeup and eyebrows expert at Marie Robinson Salon in New York, for his thoughts, favorites, and how to use a primer properly.

First thing first: Primers—do they really work?

Primers can make a difference on some skin types by smoothing out texture and color, controlling oil, and gripping makeup so it lasts longer. I like to use a little primer with a sheer foundation or a BB cream, creating my own finish.

I need that—melting over here! Where do I start?

Because primers add a layer and hold makeup, they can also give makeup a heavier look if too much is applied, so experiment to find the right amount.

What are your go-to products?

I like Too Faced Hangover Face Primer ($32). It feels like a primer mixed with moisturizer. It refreshes the skin and helps hold makeup.

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Photography by Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer ($22) is great to give a little reflection to the skin underneath a sheer matte foundation or is great on its own, but use sparingly—it’s beautiful but shimmery.

 
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Photography by NYX

Setting sprays—yea or nay?

Not necessary if you find the right foundation and moisturizer for your skin, but it can be great to fix makeup for a long day or night.

If you are oily, a formula for oil control can really help. I like to use one that sets and gives a little dewy glow like NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray ($8).

 
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Photography by Evian

Also, an Evian Facial Spray ($15) can be lovely as a setting spray too. Mist your face in an “X” pattern—usually two sprays works well.

 
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Photography by Nars

We can’t forget about setting powders too.

I would recommend a little powder to keep concealer in place and on areas of the face that get shiny, then mist with a setting spray for more longevity. I use a very lightweight powder to set foundation or concealer as needed.

My favorite under eye powder is Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder ($37). It’s almost completely transparent, with a little sheen that looks like skin and not too matte.

 
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Photography by Make Up For Ever

For the face, I like Make Up For Ever Velvet Finish Powder ($31)—very sheer and a great color range for all skin tones. 

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Photography by Marc Jacobs

Hey, look, we have a few editor favorites, too.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Coconut Primer ($44)

I am (coco)nuts for this one. Formulated with five forms of coconut (including water, juice, and pulp) to form a natural, vitamin-rich primer that allows skin to breathe easy.

 
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Photography by Nars

Nars Pour & Shine Control Primer (brand new!) ($36)

First and foremost, bonus points for a clever name. And then additional points for this formula that both controls shine through the day, and diminishes the look of pores instantly and over time.

 
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Photography by Dr Barbara Sturm

Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Primer ($85)

Celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder collaborated with (angelic human being) Dr. Barbara Sturm (p.s. check out her wellness-focused home here) to create a hydrating (hyaluronic acid gives intensive moisture), anti-inflammatory (purslane calms the skin), and anti-aging primer that boosts the quality of skin and maintains a flawless foundation for makeup.

Get more beauty tips:

Everything You Need for a Sweat-Proof Face This Summer
The Best Shades For Bold Summer Lips
The Right Way to Match Your Wedding Makeup to Your Bouquet