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These Brightening Primers Will Have You Dare To Bare With Minimal Makeup On

Over the years, primers have become a staple in the beauty routines of many women. Their benefits include creating a smoother surface so makeup applies and holds better, and providing a buffer between makeup and your skin so that the oxidation of sebum over the course of the day doesn’t really affect the way your makeup looks.

But as consumers become more discerning and demanding, primers have also evolved to deliver more benefits. And since one of the key concerns among Asian women when it comes to complexion is the look of dull and sallow skin, here are the best primers to get your hands on to even out skin tone and correct discolouration — so you don’t need to pile on makeup for a unified complexion.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Ageing Primer, about $113, at Net-A-Porter
For a hybrid formula that bridges skincare and makeup, look no further. Enriched with powerful skincare ingredients like antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and pearl pigments, this lightweight primer glides over skin like a dream, instantly erasing the appearance of pores and wrinkles, while enhancing skin’s ability to reflect light for a natural-looking glow that looks like you just got a facial. Tarte Base Tape Hydrating Primer, $39
Perfect for vegans, this coconut-infused primer is a heavyweight moisturiser and a lightweight primer all rolled into one. Upon application, it penetrates into skin instantly and doesn’t leave behind any sticky or greasy finish. Plus, it keeps skin adequately hydrated for up to 12 hours thanks to its combination of jojoba and grapeseed extracts. IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-aging Collagen Veil Primer, $75
As its name suggests, this primer has a lightweight serum-like texture while promising anti-ageing benefits. Made with more than 50 skin-loving ingredients, this preps skin perfectly for flawless makeup application. Botanical oils and butters smooths fine lines and boost moisture levels, while aloe, chamomile and colloidal oatmeal soothes skin and protect against inflammation. At the same time, a blend of vitamins fend off free radicals and brightens dullness and dark spots while peptides and collagen improve skin elasticity for a luminous and plump complexion. Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere Anti-Aging Illuminator
As with all Chantecaille products, expect only the finest botanical ingredients whipped into the sumptuous textures for the most luxurious products. This illuminating fluid is no exception. With a lightweight, satiny texture, it blends beautifully into skin, blurring the appearance of imperfections like enlarged pores and patchy skin. We love the ‘Sheen’ shade, a pearlescent soft pink that counters sallowness for a rosy glow. Plus, bamboo and pea extracts work in tandem for plumper and firmer skin. Blithe Instant Glowing Cream, $56
This emollient cream glides over skin for a gleaming effect without any stickiness. It is also enriched with vitamins and antioxidants to energise and brighten skin so it looks dewy all day long. Thanks to its rich and buttery texture, it’s best for those with dry skin or when travelling to dry and cold climates. Shiseido Synchro Skin Tinted Gel Cream, $56
Featuring a gel-cream texture, it is both lightweight yet power packed at the same time. Fortified with a host of ingredients like antioxidants and humectants, this forms a protective barrier over skin to keep out free radicals, pollution particles and climate fluctuations. Plus, it also comes with SPF 30 so it doubles up perfectly as a sunscreen. Maybelline Dream One Day Perfect Dual Protection Lasting Base, $19.90
Best for those with combination to oily skin, this lightweight formula absorbs excess sebum as it is produced while ensuring that skin stays adequately hydrated all day long. As a result, expect perfectly balanced skin that’s neither dry nor shiny. Plus, it is also dermatologist tested and free of fragrances so anyone with all skin types can use it with a peace of mind. MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Face Primer, $70
Commonly found in the toolkit of professional makeup artists working backstage at fashion shows or at photo shoots, this primer feels next-to-nothing thanks to its silky texture which absorbs into skin instantly. Formulated with micronised pearl powders, it gives skin an all-over radiance. In addition, it also helps regulate sebum production and infuses skin with antioxidants to keep dull complexion and pesky spots at bay. NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35 / PA+++, $66
Thanks to its unique blend of plant extracts, this radiance-enhancing primer also protects skin against free radicals and promotes microcirculation or a healthy complexion. It also contains encapsulated sunscreen beads which forms an invisible veil over skin to protect against UV rays. Skin surface is smoothed, plumped and brightened so makeup glides on seamlessly for a lit-from-within glow. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance, $70
One of the first brands to offer primers as an additional makeup step to prep skin for flawless makeup application, Laura Mercier is the name to trust for pro-approved results. Featuring its original makeup-enhancing formula, this Radiance formula features tiny pearl pigments that not only boosts luminosity but also counters redness and evens out patchy skin.