Why You Should be Wearing a Face Primer

If you’ve been wearing makeup for years but you’ve never used (or even heard of) a face primer, you’re missing out! Not only does it change the way your makeup applies, but it makes all the difference in how it wears and how long it lasts throughout the day. Read on to find out how to choose the right primer for your skin and the benefits that come with wearing one.

If you feel like you have to be a makeup junkie or wear tons of makeup in order to need a face primer, guess again! Even those who barely wear makeup can benefit from using primer. Let’s start from the beginning— what is a primer?

What is a primer?

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Think of a makeup primer as the equivalent of a “base coat” of nail polish — it smoothes things out, makes the products applied look better and helps it last longer. A primer works in the same way by filling in fine lines and pores and creating the perfect canvas for makeup to grab onto. It is essentially the “glue” that keeps your foundation in place and sets up your skin for the rest of your makeup. It also helps the makeup glide on smoothly and increases its longevity. A primer combats oil which keeps it from breaking up the rest of your makeup.

How to choose the best primer for your skin

Like choosing any other makeup product, sometimes it can feel overwhelming; with so many different options, you may not know where to even begin. Here are some things to consider when choosing a primer:

  • Skin type

  • Problem areas

  • Makeup preference

Skin type

The first thing to do when choosing a primer is to think about what kind of skin you have. You could be oily, dry, normal or combination. You know your skin best, so think about how your makeup wears. If your skin is oily, your makeup might break up throughout the day. In this case, think about choosing a primer like Tarte’s Poreless Mattifying Primer to keep the oil at bay. On the other hand, if your skin is dry and flaky, you can choose a hydrating primer like the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer to help nourish the skin.

Problem Areas

Another thing to consider when choosing a primer is any problem areas you have. Things such as large pores, sensitive skin, and acne prone skin can

Large Pores

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Do you have large pores? Try a primer like the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Face Primer— it “quickly minimizes the appearance of pores & fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin.” This formula is translucent and oil-free, while complementing all skintones and helping makeup stay in place. It contains a vitamin E derivative, which protects the skin from free radicals.

Sensitive Skin

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If you have sensitive skin, a good option is the I’m So Sensitive Soothing Face Primer by LORAC. This gentle primer is oil, silicone, parabens and fragrance free and infused with antioxidants, vitamins and plant extracts to help soothe and smooth your skin. It’s water-based formula makes it a lightweight option for everyday use. It’s also suitable for all skin types.

Acne Prone Skin

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If you have acne prone skin, consider using the Maybelline New York Master Prime Face Studio Primer Blur + Redness Control. Not only is it an affordable option, but helps blur your pores and imperfections, while the green color balances out any redness in the skin.

Makeup Preference

When choosing a primer, you can also take into consideration how you like to wear your makeup. From full glam to ultra lightweight, there is a primer for everyone!

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For everyday wear, Veil Cosmetics Sunset Primer is the perfect product. Not too heavy on the face, it feels light and moisturizing while hydrating and plumping the skin. The Veil Cosmetics Sunset Primer is a water based, 3-in-1 formula that can actually be used to completely customize your look. Use it as a primer, a serum, or mix it with your favorite foundation to sheer out the coverage for a more natural look.

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A tried and true makeup fan favorite is the Smash Box Photo Finish Primer. Silicone-based, this primer and has a silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A and E, grape seed extract and green tea. It is great for longwear, fills in fine lines and keeps makeup in place all day.

How to apply primer

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Primer couldn’t be easier to use. After using a face lotion (and giving it time to dry), apply a small, pea sized amount on your fingertips and work it into your skin. Start in the center of your face on your nose and cheeks, where most people commonly need primer the most. Then, carry it up onto your forehead, chin, and perimeter of your face, ensuring that you have a thin, even layer on your skin. Give your primer a few minutes to dry before applying any foundation.

After you apply your foundation, take your makeup a step further and use an eyeshadow primer— a primer specifically designed to keep your eyeshadow in place longer. The Too Faced Shadow Insurance or Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion are both great options. Just cover your lid before adding eyeshadow and your makeup will not only look better, but it will prevent fading and creasing.

You can also use a primer to sheer out your foundation; it will give your makeup staying power without causing it to break up. Just mix your primer and foundation together before applying, it’s as simple as that!

Now that you know how to choose a primer that’s best for you, how to apply it, and how it can benefit your skin, you can use a primer to take your makeup to the next level.

For other makeup tips, check out our post on 4 Game Changing Makeup Artist Secrets.

Photo credits: Kristen Love

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