You might think that a makeup primer is not doing much for you other than keeping your foundation in place as you kill it through the workday. But finding the right match for your skin type is like creating the perfect barrier of protection underneath layers of makeup. Here’s how to find the perfect first step for your beauty routine.

Sensitive Skin: The last thing you need before you even put on makeup is a primer that makes you break out. Redness won’t be an issue when you apply Lorac I’m So Sensitive Soothing Face Primer ($33). It’s oil-, silicone-, paraben-, and frangrance-free, so your skin will be set for flawless application.

Oily Skin: A water-based primer is crucial if you’ve got oil-prone skin. Philosophy “the present” Skin Protector and Oil-Free Makeup Primer ($30) goes on silky smooth and will even help reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores as you go about your day.

Dry Skin: Your makeup primer can help bring your dry skin back to life. Apply Mehron Velvet Finish Primer ($25) over your moisturizer and get ready for the magic to happen. It’s a lightweight serum full of antioxidants including vitamin C and aloe vera, so your skin will feel hydrated and protected from the elements.

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