If you’re tired of your foundation, tinted moisturizer, or concealer looking streaky, patchy, or uneven, a primer could be the answer. Face primer not only makes applying face makeup easier, but it also ensures that makeup will not budge even on the longest days.
We’ve got you covered when it comes to how to apply makeup primer, how to choose which type is best for you, and the benefits and drawbacks.
What exactly is makeup primer and what is it used for?
According to celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, “primer creates a smooth canvas for your makeup.” “It also keeps your makeup in place, [and] can keep it matte or luminous,” depending on the formula and your skin.
It not only provides an even foundation, but it also helps to lock everything else in place. “Primer is like an extra layer of protection over your skincare,” says Camara Aunique, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Camara Aunique Beauty. “It forms a barrier between your skincare and your makeup, allowing your skincare to continue to do its job.” Primers can also help to minimise the appearance of pores and extend the wear time of your makeup.
Primers are used for more than just face makeup; there are primers for just about everything.
- According to Aunique, eyeshadow primer “extends the life of any eye cream” and “allows the eye makeup to last longer.” This is especially useful if you have oily eyelids, as eye primer can help reduce oil and keep eye shadow from creasing (hint: look for “crease-free” on the label!).
- Lip primer extends the life of lipstick, and some are formulated to help lock in hydration as well.
- Lash primer can help lengthen and separate eyelashes, providing the perfect foundation for mascara. A good lash primer can also help your lashes keep their curl.
How do I pick the best face makeup primer for me?
- You might be concerned that primers are only suitable for certain skin types, but this is not the case. “Brands have become savvy and created solutions for every skin issue imaginable,” Greenberg says. “There’s a primer for everyone, whether you’re oily or dry.”
- If you have dry skin, look for hydrating face primers that contain hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These ingredients keep dry skin moisturized throughout the day, preventing flaking, cracking, and patchiness.
- Look for words like oil-free and mattifying on the packaging if you have oily skin. Primers for oily skin are typically formulated with absorbents to absorb excess oils from the skin and leave a powdery, matte finish.
- Look for color correcting primers if you have red skin or hyperpigmentation. These primers help to even out any uneven skin tone issues, such as redness, dullness, or hyperpigmentation.
- If you want a luminous finish, use a luminizing primer. You’ll get all of the benefits of a regular primer, but luminizing primers usually have a hint of highlighter-Esque sparkle to give you that “lit from within” glow.
- You want to achieve a smoothing primer that even supports the texture of your skin if you have mature skin. Hydration is also essential in this region, so you want a skin-quenching primary just as anyone with dry skin worries.
Check out the best face makeup primer for your skin
Should I use a silicone-based primer or one that is water-based?
There are many options outside of the box — thought of serum-like primers or even sunscreens as primers — all of which fall in the guise of silicone or water-based primers. Your guide is here:
- Silicone primers are great for smoothing the skin and give you a porous look. You may want to stay free of silicone-based primers if your skin is dry or uneven, but you may have oily skin, because they tend to be heavier on your skin.
- The primers on water are lighter, nearly second-hydrating. A large number of water-based primers are mattifying to skin oily.
Don’t know yet? Check your favourite ingredients so that you do not lay ingredients that repel each other: With the use of “a water-based moisturiser and an oil-based primer,” a pilling effect is generated,” says Greenberg. “You must truly match the bases to avoid creating a problem.” Before you invest in a new first, please verify the formula of your foundation
When should you apply primer?
After skincare, Primer goes on, but just before making any face. “Last before makeup it should be,” Greenberg says. It should be last. “So, all skincare-related things — sunscreen included — should continue before the first.”
What is the best way to use face primer?
“Use your fingers to mix it on, which will warm up the product and allow it to be absorbed into your skin faster.” This is one step of your makeup routine where you can go hands-on.
Start with a small amount—between a pea and a quarter size, depending on your skin type. Oily skin requires less primer than skin that is drier. If you don’t want to use your fingers, Aunique recommends using a wet beauty blender to apply primer for a seamless finish.
Make sure your primer is completely dry before applying any face makeup. “You should let your primer absorb completely into your skin before applying foundation to get the most benefits,” says Oquendo. Even if you don’t wear makeup, he says, a primer will “smooth over pores and produce a blurring effect.”
What are some of the most common primer mistakes to avoid?
- It’s not necessary to use primer all over the face. You’re asking for trouble, according to Greenberg, if you don’t put primer anywhere you plan to put foundation. Some of your makeup will apply more evenly than others, and some will likely wear off faster, resulting in a patchy, uneven mess.
- Using primer and foundation formulas that aren’t compatible. Primers and moisturisers will actually mix like oil and water. Check your skincare and makeup ingredients to ensure you’re not buying a primer that will repel your favourite products.
- Applying foundation too quickly after primer has been applied. Before applying makeup, make sure your primer is fully dry. If you apply base makeup after your primer hasn’t completely set, you’ll experience application issues like pilling and streaking.
Is it really necessary to use primer?
This is purely a matter of personal preference. If you find that your foundation goes on smoothly without primer and stays put all day, you can skip the primer step. If you want your makeup to last longer and have a smoother canvas, then, you should incorporate a primer into your routine.
Are there any drawbacks to using primer?
The only drawback is that primer takes a little longer to apply than foundation, but the results are well worth the extra time.