Top 5 Best Korean Primers You Need to Try | 2017 Top Picks and Reviews
Korean beauty products have been making huge waves on the international skincare and cosmetics scene for the last few years. Their effective formulas and affordable prices made them an instant hit among western beauty lovers.
So when it came to searching for the best Korean primers in the market, we at BeautyShortcutips took the cue and scoured the exciting world of Korean cosmetics.
We found a wide range of primers to suit your skincare needs and compiled the top five products for you to choose from.
What’s so Great About Korean Primers?
The great thing about Korean beauty products is their attention to detail. With such a scrutinizing market, they have to be paying extra attention to their clients to make a dent in the expanding beauty industry.
Korean women are known to be very particular with their appearance and take time to know about ingredients that would benefit or damage their skin.
Like most of their cosmetic products, Korean primers aren’t just made to keep your makeup on for an hour or two longer, it’s made for so much more. We have primers made specifically for certain types of makeup, skin type, tone, etc. If you’re a bit sensitive to scents, we’ve also included products on this list that has a very mild and non-overpowering smell.
Based on my experience, Korean makeup tends to have very strong perfume-like smells to it. While I don’t particularly mind, there are those who prefer non-scented cosmetics and we’ve taken that into consideration.
I’m also happy to note that the brands mentioned on this list do not participate in animal testing in Korea.
Reviews of the Best Korean Primer
1. Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer
First up, we have the Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer. I personally love this brand for its simple yet attractive packaging and its value for money. Their No-Sebum line is particularly popular for its ability to keep shininess at bay without drying the skin flaky.
This line has two kinds of primers: the blur primer and the mineral primer. We chose the blur primer for this list for it’s blurring properties that helps lessen the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, enlarged pores, etc.
Both primers are gel-like in consistency; the blur primer is slightly tinted while the mineral primer is clear. The blur primer also has a mild minty scent to it, which might put off some scent-sensitive users, but the scent goes away after an hour or so.
This primer comes in a 25ml tube and contains minerals from Korea’s volcanic Jeju island and uses “naturally originated mint”. We particularly like the packaging for its simple design and nature-inspired tones.
Stays true to its promise of controlling excess sebum
Provides extra coverage for blemishes
Mineral ingredients gives skin
2. Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur SPF 15 PA++
Etude House was one of the Korean brands that got me into Korean beauty. Their products all have such adorable packaging that half the time I’m tempted to buy the product for its cute designs.
Of course, there is more to Etude House than just cute pastel casings. Their products gives great value for money and the Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur is no exception.
Like the Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer, this product from Etude House provides blurring effects to mask imperfections and brighten the skin. It also provides some sun protection with SPF 15. That amount of SPF doesn’t do much and you’ll still have to layer in some sun lotion to really get some UV protection so it doesn’t add much benefit.
Some reviewers have also reported that the pinkish tint of the primer is only suited for those with light Asian skin and can alter the shade of your makeup.
Provides a little extra UV protection
Helps mask blemishes and fine lines
Gives skin a healthy glow
3. Aritaum Pore Master Sebum Control Primer
Beauty enthusiasts have been raving about the Aritaum Pore Master Sebum Control Primer as the closest (and most affordable) dupe for the cult favorite Benefit Porefessional primer. It comes in a handy 0.9 ounce tube perfect for keeping in your on-the-go makeup kit.
The consistency and appearance of the product is very similar to the Benefit Porefessional primer and is made out of breathable polymer gel base to avoid clogging the pores and causing breakouts.
Scent wise, the Aritaum Pore Master doesn’t have much of a strong fragrance to it compared to other Korean cosmetics. Which for me is preferable since there are those who are a bit more sensitive to having strong scents on their faces.
To get a more in-depth comparison of the Aritaum Pore Master and the Benefit Porefessional, check out this Youtube video by beauty blogger TheBeautyBreakdown. Here, she makes a side-by-side comparison of the two products.
Helps mask fine lines and wrinkles
Breathable formula to avoid clogging
Creates a smooth powder-like layer on skin
4. Innisfree Cushion Primer
If you’ve been paying attention to Korean beauty trends, chances are you’ve already heard of cushion foundation. It’s one of the latest and most popular beauty trends in Asia that’s slowly making its way to western cosmetic brands.
Given the popularity of cushion foundation, it only makes sense for beauty companies to make a primer made specifically for that. The Innisfree Cushion Primer provides most of the benefits of the Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer, only it’s more formulated to increase the wear of low-viscosity foundation.
Cushion foundation in general doesn’t last very long and is very light and dewy on the skin, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a primer that’s made specifically for this kind of makeup.
This primer provides a nice, powdery finish that’s smooth and masks imperfections such as fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also very lightweight so it’s perfect for those warm summer months.
Provides a little extra UV protection
Helps mask blemishes and fine lines
Gives skin a healthy glow
(Link “Skin Food Fresh Apple Pore Minimizing Primer Gel” to: https://www.amazon.com/SKINFOOD-Mazing-Primer-Korean-Beauty/dp/B00PKXTPRQ/ref=sr_1_6_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496773309&sr=8-6&keywords=korean+primer)
5. Etude House Face Conditioning Cream
Another product from Etude House, the Etude House Face Conditioning Cream may not have the blurring properties of the other primer, but it still packs a punch when it comes to keeping your skin nice and hydrated.
Out of all the primers on this list, this has to be the most dry skin friendly. Most primers focus more on oil control to help keep makeup from slipping and sliding throughout the day. If oil isn’t really your problem, then maybe this one is the primer for you.
This product gives your skin an extra barrier without drying you out. It also claims to have whitening effects, perfect for getting rid of dark spots and discoloration.
Like the other products on this list, it does have a bit of an issue when it comes to being too light for other skin tones. This product does cast a bit of a white sheen when used by those with tanned skin.
Provides UV protection
Whitens and balances your skin
Has anti-wrinkle ingredients
What Makes a Spectacular Primer?
The beauty market is filled to the brim with primers for every skin type, condition, and taste. So with all the choices available, how do you know which one is best for you? Luckily, we at BeautyShortcutips have compiled a few things to keep in mind when picking out the right primer.
1. Longer makeup wear
Of course, this is a primer’s main role in your beauty routine. A good primer is supposed to be an adhesive barrier between your skin and your makeup, helping it last longer. It also prevents certain types of foundation from oxidizing on your face which could lead to discoloration.
2. Oil Control
Oil and sebum is your biggest enemy when it comes to making sure your makeup stays in place. It’s only natural (and healthy!) for your skin to produce its own oils to keep itself hydrated. So a great primer should keep excess oil at bay to ensure your face is shine-free and looking fabulous all day long.
3. Natural Ingredients
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Why should your skin be any different? One of the best things about Korean beauty is their emphasis on using mostly natural ingredients on their skincare and cosmetic products.
Their principle is, if it’s not good enough to eat, then it’s probably not good enough for your skin. Which is why you’ll find facemasks made of tomatoes or honey in Korean stores. As for their primers, they do try to keep things natural and refrain from animal testing.
4. Added benefits
While primers are made mostly to help prep the skin for longer makeup wear, it doesn’t hurt for it to give your skin a little extra boost before piling all the makeup. Some of the best primers in the market are even good enough to use on its own even without foundation!
So when you’re feeling like going a bit more au naturel, just grab a good primer and skip the foundation altogether.
And the Best Primer Award Goes to…
After much deliberation, we’ve decided to award the title of ‘Best Korean Primer’ to Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer! It has been proven to be effective for those with oily skin through its sebum-control feature with the added benefit of concealing large pores. It’s also tinted so you could choose to just apply this without foundation for a more natural look.
While the Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur came very close and produces similar effects, the Innisfree formula holds a little better and lasts longer than the one from Etude House. Also, the mild minty scent of the Innisfree formula is less overpowering and more suited for those with a sensitive noses.
Besides being an excellent choice for women (and men!) with sensitive skin, Innisfree was also named by the Korean animal rights group KARA (Korean Animal Rights Activists) as an excellent choice for vegan beauty lovers for their stance on animal testing and animal-derived ingredients.
You can check out more of their products and the No-Sebum line on their website.
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June 26, 2017
Last update on 2017-06-27 - Details