Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow, $79

Get naked

Here’s a makeup maxim worth memorising: When in doubt, pick a primer in a peachy-pink hue. The universally flattering flush is fabulous as a brightening base on bare skin. On no-makeup makeup days, layering this over your serum and sunscreen should suffice – your beau won’t be able to tell there’s anything atop your beguilingly bare-looking skin!

Try: Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow, $79.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer, $60

Over and under

Any beauty buff worth her bathing salts will know that primer’s meant to go under your foundation, but the stuff (especially a translucent tincture like this Arden ambrosia) is also terrific for touch-ups throughout the day. A dollop over dry patches makes for an instant smoothening fix – but execution is of the essence.

When applying primer over your warpaint, here’s a handy maxim: Wiping is wrong. Instead, use brisk “bouncing” actions to buff in your product so it doesn’t ruin your carefully contoured cheeks. Oh, and give your face some time to fully absorb each layer before adding the next. A good rule of “thumb” (and I mean this quite literally): If your fingertips feel damp when you press them into your face, give the primer another minute, then test again.

Try: Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer, $60.

Sisley Double Tenseur, $220

Less is best

One of the primary pitfalls of packing on the primer? Pilling. When you pile on the primer, odds are it will flake up your foundation. These little lumps of product (the “pills” of the pilling phenomenon) are incredibly irksome because they muss up your makeup and are the prime cause of patchy-looking complexion.

My ace advice on preventing pilling? Resist the urge to go on a rampage. Restrict yourself to a raisin-sized ration of primer and all should be fine. (Sidebar: I love this sensational Sisley salve for its tautening and tightening prowess, plus it’s never caused any pilling problems for me. Hurrah!)

Try: Sisley Double Tenseur, $220.

   Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Touche Eclat Neutralizer in No. 2 Vert Green, $59

Dual-duty colour correcting tools

Okay here’s a hot hack to try: Products ostensibly labelled colour correctors should also be able to prime your face for foundation in a pinch. Some of the very best, like this showstopping stunner from YSL, come stuffed with thirst-quenching moisture magnets and are available in an array of precision-engineered pigments to perfect patchy complexion.

Try diminishing dullness and reducing redness with a perfecting pen: Click, twist, then sweep around the shadowy corners of the mouth to camouflage imperfections. If pimples are a problem, simply stipple onto the spots themselves and blend outwards to blur the boundary between blemish and the surrounding skin. Easy!

Try: Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Touche Eclat Neutralizer in No. 2 Vert Green, $59.

Laura Mercier Eye Basics, $43

Exceptional for eyes, too

Yes, eye primers may seem like redundant add-ons to your regime, but they actually work like magnets to magnify the sheen and saturation of your shadow pots. Translation? You get the biggest bang for your beauty buck. Most formulas also come fortified with moisturising elements that can be deeply quenching for dehydrated skin, so much so that they function almost like fillers in erasing fine lines. To use, simply pat lightly into lids before makeup for better “grab” of pigments, and top up whenever your under-eye region starts to betray signs of fatigue. Incredibly ingenious and intuitive, no?

Try: Laura Mercier Eye Basics, $43.

Guerlain KissKiss Liplift - Smoothing Lipstick Primer, $48

Pucker up, baby

Finally, a pillowy primer – preferably one with plumping properties – can do double duty as a soothing salve for your smackers. Your lips will grab colour better with a smooth surface, so be sure to prep your puckers by slathering on a generous glob of said primer as an intensive lip mask. Give it a good 10 minutes to sink in, then expunge excess with a cotton swab.

And yes, in case you’re wondering: If you’re a stickler for standardisation, feel free to grab a pucker-specific primer, like this gorgeous Guerlain baby that’s my obsession du jour.

Try: Guerlain KissKiss Liplift – Smoothing Lipstick Primer, $48.

Text: Eugene Quek, Her World Plus / Additional Reporting: Arissa Ha

10 Eyeshadow Primers For Flawless Eye Makeup
8 Best Makeup Primers That Give You Radiant Looking Skin
10 Hacks to Get Your Lipstick To Last All Day