In this month’s #SheByDC feature, we invited 3 women from our community to try MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Step 1 Primer!

I like to think foundation primers are the “you-don’t-know-until-you-know” of makeup. Slightly hard to figure out, perhaps even hard to see the use of, but once you dip your fingers into the world of primers it’s typically a game-changing move. As the intermediary between your skin and your foundation, primers are like the base of the base. They give you the skin base you want, then holds up your foundation — so everything else stays put and polished. Pores? Redness? Dull day? Too shiny? Melty foundation? Primers are makeup magic. 

And if things couldn’t get any neater, MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Step 1 primers take everything up a notch with new customisation possibilities. So you can prep and prime your skin exactly the way you want to. The line up of 9 includes 3 custom-based skin perfectors and 6 targeted skin perfectors — talk about macro and micro problem solving! In this month’s #SheByDC feature, we decided to put MAKE UP FOR EVER’S priming solutions to a *detailed* test with 3 women from the DC community: different skin types, different primer habits, complete with a foundation test for better measure. How many boxes do they really tick? Our community takes it away!

*Note: Charisse, Fasihah and Leonie wear the primers + foundation on the left side of their face. Their right side is bare.


Skin type: Combination skin, with an oily t-zone but dry nose area. 

COMBINATION: MAKE UP FOR EVER Shine Control Step 1 Face Primer + Dullness Eraser Step 1 Face Primer + Matte Velvet Skin Concealer (#2.4) + Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation (#Y245)

PRIMER HISTORY: “I usually don’t use primers unless I’m putting foundation for performances or on special occasions. If I do use primers, they tend to be for smoothing out my skin and helping my foundation apply better.”

“The MUFE primers are easy to apply and a little goes a long way! The Shine Control primer visibly smoothened and mattified my skin, but wasn’t overly matte/cakey — which I love. The Dullness Eraser primer also doesn’t make my skin super bright. While the change wasn’t that obvious (for Dullness Eraser), I could still see some minor differences. (Maybe if I build the primer up more, there’ll be a bigger difference!)” 

“I was pretty impressed with the coverage and buildability of the Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation. The compact powders I’ve tried before tend to be more powdery/dry, with a very matte “fake” finish. But this one looks very natural! Both the Matte Velvet Skin Concealer and foundation applied very easily on the primers. I also don’t see the need to finish the makeup look with any setting powder.” 

“Overall, I see myself using the Shine Control more, as the results are more obvious. And I would definitely use it with the Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation, for the natural finish and high coverage.” 

Would I recommend it? Yes I would recommend the Shine Control primer to anyone who tends to get oily throughout the day, but still wants some natural skin peeking through!”


Skin type: Combination skin, with an oily t-zone and normal to dry cheeks. 

COMBINATION: MAKE UP FOR EVER Hydra Booster Step 1 Face Primer + Tone Up Perfector Step 1 Face Primer + Reboot Foundation (#Y305)

PRIMER HISTORY: “Primers are actually a step I’ll never miss in my routine. With the help of primers I can finally start putting on foundation with ease… Kind of like working on a smooth canvas!”

“Texture-wise, I think the Hydra Booster primer provided the right amount of moisture without making my skin look too dewy. It was easy to blend, despite the tacky feeling upon application. I also really love that the primer dried down to a somewhat semi matte finish! For the Tone Up Perfector primer, a little goes a long way. I really liked how it made my skin visibly much brighter and less dull — especially due to the irregular shifts that I do at work. (Writer’s note: Fasihah works as a nurse.)”  

“This is my first time trying the Reboot Foundation, I must say I really liked how it felt on my skin. The foundation is very liquidy, so it feels quite light and breathable. I think the combination of the two primers really helped improve the application of the foundation. I’ve never thought of layering my primers before (thinking that it might appear patchy); but the look I achieved was smooth, without patchiness at all! Foundations tend to cling to my dry patches (especially on the cheek area), but I didn’t notice that with this MUFE combination.”

“The base sets well with a setting powder — my makeup didn’t transfer onto my face mask! Even after hours of wearing the Reboot Foundation (with the two primers), it didn’t settle into my fine lines especially my laugh/smile line. I wouldn’t have thought I’d need two primers… But using these two primers together helped me to achieve the perfect texture and finish I’ve always been looking for in the “perfect” primer.”

Would I recommend it? I would highly recommend these two primers. I love them both! For those with combination skin, the Hydra Booster primer may sound a bit scary, but best believe it will definitely help with your makeup application. The finish also isn’t oily at all! As for the Tone Up Perfector, I would highly recommend it to those with acne scars like myself. It definitely gave my skin an instantly radiance. I felt that my face looked so fresh after the application — faking that good amount of sleep I’ve been lacking!” 


Skin type: Dry-oil, with a t-zone that gets slightly oily throughout the day. 

COMBINATION: MAKE UP FOR EVER Pore Minimizer Step 1 Primer + Yellowness Neutraliser Step 1 Primer + Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (#Y235)

PRIMER HISTORY: “I don’t usually use primers or foundation in my makeup routine. I just go straight to concealer!”

“Both MUFE primers were really easy to apply and felt smooth on my skin. The Pore Minimizer primer wasn’t drying and didn’t feel like it would clog up my skin. Actually, it felt just like applying a moisturiser! I liked that it had a matte finish and my skin didn’t look very shiny/oily, which is one of my concerns whenever I wear more layers of makeup. I felt that the Pore Minimizer did help to reduce my pores after application. That said, the effects of the Yellowness Neutraliser weren’t so obvious on my skin. Perhaps it might be more effective for those with more obvious yellow undertones!” 

“I think the primer + Ultra HD foundation go well together and didn’t feel heavy. (I don’t usually use foundation in my makeup routine because many foundations I’ve tried feel quite heavy!) The Ultra HD foundation held on well after application (atop of the Pore Minimizer and Yellowness Neutraliser) — but I would still set it with powder just in case.” 

“All in, I was quite impressed with the Pore Minimizer primer in particular. I think I would definitely incorporate it into my makeup routine!” 

Would I recommend it? I would recommend the Pore Minimizer, especially to those who have enlarged pores like mine.”

MAKE UP FOR EVER’S Step 1 Primers Are The New Fix-Everything Of Makeup

MUFE Primer

3 custom-based skin perfectors to match your general skin type and 6 targeted colour correctors that’ll get into the nitty-gritties of your complexion goals. The line-up of 9 promises a priming solution for nearly every skin need plus easy mixing and matching. Make Up For Ever’s Step 1 Primers are designed to be as straightforward as it gets, so you can expect a fancy, customised complexion solution in just two steps:

First: Skin Correction

Get to the big problem — custom-based skin perfectors are formulated to target your primary skin concern.

S$59 (30ML), S$32 (15ML)

GREAT FOR: Oily skin, visible pores. Shine Control will absorb excess shine and blur out skin imperfections, while maintaining your skin’s essential moisture levels. Formulated with mineral clay, water and glycols, expect a smooth, matte and velvety base with 20-hour long wear!

S$59 (30ML), S$32 (15ML)

GREAT FOR: Visible pores, lines, uneven texture. Pore Control is supercharged with powerful skin-smoothing ingredients including polymers, silica and spherical powder for extra strong blurring properties. This transfer-proof and water-resistant primer absorbs excess sebum and corrects skin irregularities with 24-hour long wear.

S$59 (30ML), S$32 (15ML)

GREAT FOR: Dryness, dullness. Here’s one for lacklustre skin! The Hydra Booster is a perfecting and softening base that instantly hydrates and enlivens the skin. Formulated with glycerin, glycols and polymers, this plumping primer will correct dry patches, roughness and dullness to unveil a luminous base.

Second: Colour Correction

Once you’ve got the big picture, pick a targeted colour corrector that will zoom into more specific pain points for total correction. Sounds complicated? It’s actually pretty simple and if I dare say, quite fun!

S$59 (30ML)

GREAT FOR: Generally dull, sallow skin with yellow undertones (for lighter skin tones). A tone-up primer (tinted blue) that neutralises yellowish skin and greyness for an instantly brighter, cooler skin.

S$59 (30ML)

GREAT FOR: Dullness, pigmentation, dark circles (for medium skin tones). An illuminating primer that targets brown spots, bluish dark circles and dullness on medium to tanned skin tones.

S$59 (30ML)

GREAT FOR: Very yellow complexions, uneven and very sallow skin (for light to medium skin tones). An extra strength corrector for strong yellow undertones/ash-toned skin, this brightening primer (tinted lavender) corrects sallow complexions for enhanced luminosity.

S$59 (30ML)

GREAT FOR: Generally dull skin (for lighter skin tones). A glow primer that delivers a healthy, radiant finish for dull and lacklustre skin.

S$59 (30ML)

GREAT FOR: Greyish skin, deep pigmentation (for deeper skin tones). A tone-up primer for deeper skin tones and hyperpigmentation (tinted orange). Grayness Reducer targets ashy undertones and corrects dark circles for more even, luminous skin.

S$59 (30ML)

GREAT FOR: Redness, blemishes (for light to medium skin tones). A soothing anti-red base (tinted green) that erases redness, alleviates rosacea and calms blemishes.

The End Result: Perfect Personal Primers

We can think of so many ways to pair the Step 1 primers — the possibilities are quite endless! But to get you started, here are 3 of our favourite combinations for the most common skin needs: 

  1. Oily skin, enlarged pores, blemish-prone: Shine Control + Redness Corrector
  2. Dry skin (prone to flaking), dullness: Hydra Booster + Fresh Brightener
  3. Combination skin, uneven skin tone, hyper-pigmentation and serious dark eye circles: Pore Minimiser + Tone Up Perfector/ Dullness Eraser/ Grayness Reducer (in order of light to deep skin tones)

Ready to up your primer game? Discover MAKE UP FOR EVER’s full suite of custom skin perfectors and colour correctors, now available at Sephora outlets islandwide and on!

Take care,

Melisa Goh

Melisa Goh

up up and away


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