The Best Makeup Primers for Mature Skin Will Plump Up Fine Lines

Prepare for smooth skin and flawless foundation.

mature woman wearing primer for mature skin
(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

While you can go straight from skincare to foundation application, applying one of the best primers in between is typically worthwhile. Their powers are seemingly endless, with the ability to blur pores, grip onto makeup, or even color-correct with tinted pigments. But as we age, finding—and using—the best primers for mature skin is even more important; they can make all the difference. With hydrating ingredients and smoothing agents, these typically glow-boosting products can prevent makeup from settling into fine lines, plump the skin, and provide a subtle, healthy glow that highlights and brightens the complexion.

Thankfully, primers are not in short supply. New launches have delivered some of the most effective plumping formulas to date. NARS just released a new light-reflecting primer that instantly moisturizes dry skin, while REFY created a primer that’s both de-puffing and radiance-boosting. Some primers have a long-standing cult-favorite status among those with mature skin, too. Valentino, Bobbi Brown, and MAC are all makeup artist staples.

To get the full breakdown on the makeup primers I swear by (I've tested well over 80), and discover those loved by makeup artists, read ahead.

The Best Primers for Mature Skin

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What to Look for in a Face Primer for Mature Skin

  • Glowy Finish

Matte finishes tend to not only further dry out mature skin, but also emphasize fine lines and wrinkles. That’s why Dresher does her best to avoid them, opting for glowy or dewy finishes instead. These provide a soft and youthful-looking finish to the skin.

  • Ingredient Profile

“Hydrating smoothing primers are best suited for mature skin as they contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, and shea butter,” explains Jaikaran. “These are simply better suited as they help to plump the skin and give a more radiant, glowy finish.” You might also want to look for antioxidants like vitamin C and E, as they can offer additional protection from environmental damage.

When to Apply Primer on Mature Skin

Your primer goes between your skincare and makeup—but the timing of application is key to a flawless finish. “I like to apply primer five minutes after skin prep, and five minutes prior to makeup application,” says Dresher. “This allows the product to really soak into the skin and dry properly before adding more product on top.”

How to Apply Primer for Mature Skin

When applying product—be it primer, concealer or foundation—to mature skin, stick with a less is more motto. “Generally, it’s best to approach application using a moderate amount of product,” says Jaikaran. “Too little won’t allow a smooth finish, and too much may create a heavier look.” Just place a small amount of product onto clean fingertips and gently massage the primer into needed areas. “Focus on the areas where any fine lines or texture is more pronounced. With primer and all of your skincare, ensure you apply in an upward or circular motion so you’re not pulling the face down,” she adds.

Should I Apply Different Primers for Various Concerns?

Chances are, you’ll only need one hydrating primer for your skin. But, if you have certain concerns—like an oily T-Zone or rougher texture on the side of your face—you may consider cocktailing a few different options. “You can use a pore-filling primer in the nose area or a smoothing primer everywhere else,” explains Jaikaran. “It’s a targeted approach that can help address specific concerns more effectively.”

Meet the Experts

Makeup artist
Natalie Dresher

Natalie Dresher is a celebrity and bridal makeup artist in Miami and New York. With many years of experience in her field, Natalie has become a trusted name in the beauty community. Working with brands like Saie Beauty, Revlon, Maybelline and Dibs she has a lot of experience working with our favorites under her wing.

Makeup artist
Jaleesa Jaikaran

Jaleesa Jaikaran works as a professional makeup artist in beauty, fashion and product development projects. She is also the host of the 'Life of a Makeup Artist' podcast and represents several brands for events and education purposes.

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.