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are primers the instagram filters for real life?

by: liza darwin

September 26 2013

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There's a reason why everyone's so obsessed with Instagram selfies, and it goes a little something like this: the filters make you look good. Period. 

But while the virtual results of Valencia and Lo-Fi might be restricted to our phone screens, primers are the secret weapon to recreating that glowy, perfect skin in real life. So even if you didn't get 10 hours of sleep, it's never been easier to fake it.

Sure, you might think you don't need them (because nobody wants to add another step into their makeup routine). However, once you do, you'll never look back. These serums are moisturizing, brightening, color-correcting...they're basically the product that you didn't know you needed, and the best part is, there are plenty to choose from!

So without further ago, we've rounded up our favorite primers in the gallery-- it doesn't matter whether you're looking for SPF, light-reflecting, or wrinkle prevention, see how you can get primed and ready below! 

If you're ready to splurge:
 Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer, $71 
It's definitely pricey, but the fact that this pearl-infused serum magically makes you look angelic--even if you're not--makes it worth it.

If you want light:  NARS Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $34 
This light-reflecting primer is oil-free and brightens you up instantly.

If you want to prep your makeup:  Tarte Flawless 12-Hr Brightening Primer, $30
Slightly more dense-feeling than the others, the Tarte version preps your face for makeup, making it the go-to for special occasions.

If you want SPF:  Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20, $42 
Even though it contains SPF 20, this super-lightweight primer doesn't smell or make us break out. Score!

If you want to color-correct: Stila One Step Correct Primer, $36 
While all primers technically smooth out your color, we've found Stila's to be the best for hiding dark spots and undereye circles.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money:  CoverGirl+Olay Primer, $16.49 
This one has the makeup coverage of CoverGirl and the anti-aging qualities of Olay. Bonus: you can buy it at the drugstore.

If you want to fake a full night's rest: Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, $45 
 Smooth this serum on your skin to wake up your face instantly... just don't forget to grab a double-espresso to wake up the rest of you. 

Guerlain

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