I Tested $346 Worth Of Primers To See If They Actually Do Anything

The perfect face primer has long been my beauty unicorn. I'd estimate my combination skin to be somewhere in the ballpark of 70% dry and 30% oily, so finding a primer that keeps my T-zone matte, without stripping my skin of all moisture, has always eluded me. What's more, if I'm going to add an extra step to my morning routine, it better be fast, smell good, and make makeup application that much easier, which hasn't exactly been my experience.
If you're anything like me, hearing a friend or co-worker gush about their godsend primer always ends with one thought: What am I missing here?! To get to the bottom of this question, I dedicated time and resources to put some of the popular tubes I keep hearing about to the test.
Throughout this experiment I employed the same foundation — Smashbox's new Studio Skin Foundation Stick applied with a brush — and forewent all setting spray and powder to ensure that the playing field was even. Ahead, I break down eight primers, ranging from drugstore to prestige, and provide my unfiltered thoughts on their performance...or lack thereof.