All about that BASE! Everything you need to know about Primers & Setting Sprays!


Hey BeautyLeeders!

Today it’s all about that face base! I want to discuss my favorite primers, skin perfectors and setting sprays with you. Whether you have oily, dry, combination or normal skin, prep is essential before putting on makeup. A face primer not only keeps our makeup flawless even in the scorching summer sun but it also controls oil, smooths fine lines, colour corrects, blurs pores (not clog them) and pretty much makes us look perfect right throughout the day. Primers help to take anyones makeup game up to an entirely new level all in one easy step! If you haven’t been using a primer then you have definitely been missing out. So no matter what the weather is like outside, this extra step will save you a lot of time and effort.

Despite all the benefits of using a primer many people still skip this step because they either have no clue how to use it, don’t think they need it or don’t think it is worth the investment. Well, I truly believe primers and setting sprays really help to upgrade everyone’s makeup game and I hope after reading this post you’ll believe so too.


How I Prime

After washing my face and applying moisturizer, I apply my primer of choice to my face using my fingers. A dime sized amount should be enough for your entire face. Then I let the primer ‘bloom’ on my skin for roughly 5 minutes. I let the primer set on my skin before layering on foundation because it gives the primer time to sink into the skin and bond properly.

Primer Types

Your choice of primer really depends on your skin type and on your beauty routine in general. If you have oily skin and your makeup slips away as the day goes by, then a mattifying face primer would revolutionize your beauty game! Whereas if you struggle with large pores, a smoothing primer will keep you looking amazing in every selfie. Oh, and for my gals with dry skin, a hydrating primer works wonders and will prevent your makeup from grabbing on to any dry patches.

So primers are skin-type specific and luckily no matter what your skin type is, there should be a primer out there just for you!

My Skin Type & Primer Type

I personally have oily-combination skin and I also battle with larger pores, so I typically stick to mattifying or pore filling, smoothing primers to help combat my very oily t-zone. Sadly living in a very hot and humid country has proven my journey of finding the best primers on the market to be long and exhausting.

With hundreds of primers and just as many setting sprays on the market today it’s pretty difficult to know which ones are really worth your last penny. Well, luckily for you I’ve put quite an array of primers to the test and these are my favorite bases:


Smoothing & Pore Minimizing

If you’re anything like me and suffer from large pores in your t-zone area, then the smoothing primer is the next best thing to add to your skin prep. A Smoothing Primer is a gift from the heavens because they instantly fill in and blurs imperfections leaving behind silky, soft, poreless skin. Your skin not only will look resurfaced but it will also appear perfectly smooth too. These primers are typically silicone based and have a satin-like feel.

The primers I’ve purchased, tried and tested for pore minimizing are Benefit’s Pore-fessional, Makeup Forever Step 1 Smoothing Primer, Dr. Brandt Pores No More, Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer and Smashbox Photofinish Primer. Although all these primers work amazingly well at blurring my imperfections, Benefit Cosmetics Pore-fessional and Tartes Timeless Smoothing Primer reigns. Both have become my holy grail pore-filling primers because they completely rid my skin of pores and any noticeable blackheads. Plus, a little goes a long way with either primers because a then layer in all you need to kick your pores bye bye!


Oil-Free & Oil Absorbing

If you battle with oily skin then a mattifying primer is your answer to unwanted shine. If you have combination you will benefit from a mattifier because it will dimish the oil on your shiny cheeks and T-zones. Lastly, for my gals with normal skin a mattifying primer is great if you like to load on highlighter and want the rest of your face to have a matte look. Plus, I suggest having a mattifying primer to help control shine in the hot and humid temperatures during the summer months.

I’ve tried LOADS & LOADS of mattifying primers and my personal favorites are the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, MAKE UP FOR EVER Mattifying Primer, Becca Ever-Matte Primer and Cover FX Mattifying Primer. These primers all work well at controlling oil and helps to prevent my face makeup from sliding off my skin.



May the lord bless who ever decided to create a color-correcting primer. Primers no longer just fill in pores and fine lines but now they also help to conceal other skin concerns like hyper-pimentation or dullness. These primers are formulated with color correcting pigments that help to conceal problem areas before even applying foundation. Crazy right?!

Less is more when using a color-correcting primer and you should always blend to prevent it from peeking through your foundation. Use all over your face or dab it just where you need to give an even tone base for a flawless foundation application. Once you’ve applied and blended in your primer, layer your foundation on top and you should be good to go! My fave color-crrecting primer is MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer Caramel Primer.

Here’s a basic breakdown of color-correcting primers:

  • Redness (Rosacea & Acne): green corrector
  • Sallowness/yellowness: lavender corrector
  • Dark circles, fair to light complexion: salmon corrector
  • Dark circles, light to medium complexion: peach corrector
  • Dark circles, medium to dark complexion: orange corrector

Remember a color-correcting primer can’t undo the damage but it will do an awesome job of hiding it. WINK WINK!



Anyone who has dry skin knows how frustrating it can be when it comes to applying makeup, because dry skin can be so damn deceiving. Though I don’t struggle with dry skin issues, occasionally when the weather gets cooler I’ll experience dryness around my nose, mouth and chin area. To help combat dryness I highly suggest to get yourself a hydrating primer.

I haven’t tested that many hydrating primers but my favorite flake-free picks are Too Faced Hangover , Marc Jacobs Under cover Perfecting Coconut Face Primer and Makeup Forever Hydrating Primer. Both primers are infused with vitamins and other nourishing skin essentials that work to replenish and hydrate skin. While also sealing in your skins natural moisture to give you back that glowing complexion.

Because I do have combination/oily skin, I also layer a mattifying primer on-top of a hydrating primer on the parts of my face that get oily throughout the day.

Setting Sprays


This post may be about primers but in my opinion you should know about any product that helps to prolong your makeup, and makeup setting sprays also helps with that too. It is very similar to a primer, except they are applied AFTER your makeup and they come in a spray form whereas primers are typically a gel or cream. A setting spray is the finishing touch in your beauty regimen that helps to further prevent any creasing, fading and smudging.

There is a formula out there for every skin type and occasion. A few of my favorites include, the super lightweight Mac Fix + for everyday wear and the Urban Decay All Nighter for long days or nights. If you have particularly oily skin then Skindinavia or Boscia’s White Charcoal Setting Spray will keep you shine free for hours. While Urban Decays Chill Setting Spray will literally cool your skin and combat dryness all while holding your makeup in place.

To use, I personally always give the bottle a quick shake. Then I close my eyes and I spray in both a ‘T’ shape and ‘X’ shape, roughly at an arms length away. You can then either to allow it to dry naturally or do as I do and fan your face. And no worries, misting or spritzing your face won’t disrupt the makeup you just spent an hour doing.

Of all the things that can upgrade anyones makeup game, primers and setting sprays take the top spots. A primer pretty much prepares your skin for your fave foundation, giving it something to hold onto so it lasts throughout the day. While a setting spray seals the deal and locks it all in. If extending the wear of your makeup is your end game, I’d reach for both a primer and setting spray to add to your makeup routine.

Leave a comment below on your all time favorite primer and setting spray, I would love to hear your thoughts. Talk Soon. Nuff Love, Natasha ♥

boscia-white-charcoal-mattifying-makeup-setting-spray-review-natashaleeds-stylishleeeverything-about-makeup-face-primer-benefits-ulta-flawless-prime-professional-fabulous-face-foundation-primer-review-natashaleeds-stylishlee becca-ever-matte-poreless-priming-perfector-review-natashaleeds-stylishlee


  1. June 28, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Hello,Mrs.Lee,I’ve been enjoying reading your articles for quite some time now and they’ve been very inspirational as well as very informative,& Love the beauty& fashion too girrl! 🙂 I ran and bought the Iman lipstick (Indulge) that I’m loving for the summer.Lol..:) Anywho love this article on primers & setting sprays.I recently just bought the MAC prep+prime natural radiance and Maybelline setting spray ( budget friendly one) but find my skin tends to look oily in the day,so I’m definitely gonna have to try out the Tarte or Makeup Forever brands. I live in humid weather as well and have combo/oily with large pores skin too and was wondering do you layer mattifying primer on-top of a hydrating primer,for the summer months? or just use mattyfying primer + color corrector? And could you please share which particular brands you combine together. 🙂

    • June 29, 2017 / 11:51 pm

      Typically I only use a mattifier but if my face feels parched I’ll apply the too faced hangover/marc jacobs coconut primer all over my face and then use the mattifier in spots I tend to get oily. Hope this helps hun. xoxo

      • June 30, 2017 / 12:49 am

        Hey Mrs.Lee, it sure did girrl! Thanks a Bunch!:)

  2. June 28, 2017 / 10:16 am

    Recently started incorporating these into my make-up regime. Though my make-up application (in my opinion) needs a bit more practice, I definitely see the difference in its endurance. Biggest test so far has been during carnival road march, was surprised my eye makeup hadn’t melted off my face all day!

    • June 29, 2017 / 11:49 pm

      Which primer and/or setting spray did you use during road march? I’d love to know