How To Apply Primer & What Does Primer Do?

Discover how to apply primer, the benefits of primer and the answers to 'what is primer?' and 'what does primer do?' with Charlotte's magical makeup guide!

Face primers have long become a staple in makeup bags EVERYWHERE thanks to their skin-perfecting benefits. Skincare and makeup work together to create a flawless canvas and primer is a wonderful hybrid between the two that can have the power to transform the look of your skin whilst keeping your makeup in place all day. Discover how to apply makeup primer and learn exactly what it does, why you should use it and the different types including Charlotte's SPF primer, Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer with SPF 50 and the glow-giving Wonderglow.

Wonderglow primer still life

What Does A Primer Do?

What does primer makeup do? A face primer goes underneath your makeup to help your makeup apply smoothly, stay in place and give your complexion an even-looking skin tone. Some primers also provide a glow-boost and extra skin benefits like hydration and protection from external aggressors like UV rays and pollution. You can also use a primer on top of your makeup to give your skin an instant pick-me-up during the day. Wonderglow is magic for refreshing the look of your makeup. Or wearing face primer on its own will help to even the look of your skin tone and blur the appearance of blemishes for an everyday, naturally glowing look.

Why You Should Use A Primer? Benefits of a Primer

Primer benefits include preparing your skin for makeup, creating a smoother-looking canvas, and boosting the complexion's radiance. Depending on the type of primer, you can get many different skincare benefits as well as making your makeup glow. As a hybrid between skincare and makeup, it is the perfect powerhouse to keep your skin hydrated and looking flawless.

A face primer has skincare benefits as well as being an essential makeup product. This makes it the perfect start to your makeup routine!


Face primer benefits can include giving the complexion a youthful-looking glow. With anti-ageing ingredients, a primer can create the illusion of a plumper-looking canvas, helping your skin to always appear more youthful.


It’s no secret that at Charlotte Tilbury we are all about that GLOW, so an illuminating primer is high on our list of makeup and skincare priorities! Primers are ideal for adding subtle glow underneath your makeup if you want to add radiance to your makeup. If you want to wear a primer on its own, illuminating ingredients can give you an all over glow without the intensity of a highlighter. We love adding a boost to our makeup midday by tapping in Wonderglow primer on our cheekbones for a subtle highlight.


Face primer benefits and smooth skin come hand in hand. The most popular way to use a primer is before your foundation, and this is a fantastic method of creating a smoother-looking canvas. As the skincare ingredients treat your complexion, the smoothing makeup will create silky soft feeling skin that helps your face makeup glide on effortlessly. Plus, it helps your makeup last for longer!


A lot of us have issues with redness and discolouration of the skin. Face primers offer a wonderful remedy to help even out skin tone and colour-correct the appearance of redness. By doing this before your foundation or concealer, you can eliminate the look of discolouration for a more even-looking complexion. This can help you see where you need further coverage with makeup and where you can go without.


Hydrated, moisturised skin is on top of most of our skincare wish lists. By using a face primer, you can help to keep your skin nourished and hydrated.


Some primers have extra ingredients that provide protection! Charlotte's Invisible UV Flawless Poreless SPF Primer is enriched with SPF 50 and CITYSTEM™ to provide everyday protection from UV rays and modern pollution, while also blurring the look of skin and prepping it for makeup.

How To Apply Primer

  1. Charlotte's Magic Cream moisturiser 50ml packshot with lid off

    Step 1: Moisturise the Face

    To apply a face primer, it is best applied using your fingertips. Simply use a peanut-sized amount and blend all over your face after applying moisturiser.

  2. Wonderglow is an illuminating primer that gives the skin a soft-focused, luminous finish

    Step 2: Apply Primer before or with Foundation

    Applying primer underneath foundation helps to prep the skin for makeup, creating a smooth canvas for your foundation to glide onto. To apply a face primer, pump a peanut-sized amount onto your hands and massage into the face and neck using your fingertips.

    Tilbury Tip: You can also mix your primer with your foundation to give it a moisturising finish with a dewy-looking glow!

    Shop all primer

  3. Charlotte's Beautiful Skin Foundation, a medium-buildable, hydrating foundation in shade 6 neutral

    Step 3: Feel Fresh-Faced And Fabulous!

    Once you've applied your primer, continue with your makeup and enjoy an even smoother makeup application thanks to the power of primer! Or, for an effortless, natural look, wear your primer on its own to even out the look of your complexion and give it a flattering, blurring effect!

    Shop Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50

    Shop Wonderglow Face Primer


Subscribe to Charlotte's YouTube Channel, darling!