If you’ve ever used a primer, you’ll know it’s one of those products that, once you’ve tried it, you don’t know how you ever lived without it before. Not only does it keep your makeup looking flawless, it helps to smooth out the skin and generally makes it look healthy and glowing —all in one easy step. But to a primer virgin, it’s easy to find the world of primers a teeny bit intimidating, but never fear: I’m here to answer all your burning questions. I’ve put together this little primer all about primers, including a list of the best products out right now. Prepare to take your makeup game to the next level.
“What do primers do?”
When they first came on the market, a primer’s main job was to help your makeup last a very long time. While that’s still part of their job description, increasingly advanced formulas also blur fine lines, fill pores, colour correct and reduce oiliness or dryness. You could say it’s the ultimate multitasker. The newest generation of primers also capitalize on the “hybrid product” trend and can contain SPF, ingredients to make skin healthier and more radiant, or even promise temporary plumping effects.
“Should I go for a silicon-based or water-based primer?”
Primers tend to be one of two varieties, either silicon or water-based. Which one you opt for really depends on what you want from a primer. Silicon based products are the best of the best for “filling in” issues (like pores, scars and lines) and water-based primers excel at extending makeup wear.
“How do I use them?”
Think of your primer as the base for your foundation and apply it BEFORE you apply your makeup. After your cleansing routine and moisturising your skin, apply your primer. A pea-sized amount should be enough. You want to make sure your lips and eyelids are covered too. You can apply this in the same way as a moisturiser and use your fingertips; you won’t need a brush for this one. Once it’s set and no longer feels sticky, tacky or wet, apply your foundation on top as you normally would and carry on with your make up routine.
“So which primer is best for me and my skin?”
There are so many primers on the market these days that it can be a little overwhelming. The easiest way to guide you through the crowd is to break it down to some of my favourites by skin type.
For Dry/Dehydrated Skin:
Dermalogica HydraBlur Primer 22ml
This is the latest offering to the primer world and wow is it a winner. This primer is actually a great all rounder for all skin types, but it works particularly well for dry/dehydrated skins. It’s lightweight, non greasy formula powerfully hydrates and transforms skin into an even surface with a dramatic ‘blurring’ effect. The result is a flawless canvas for make-up application. It also gives you a naturally radiant, makeup free appearance when used alone. Its three benefits are intense moisturisation, neutral coverage and pore-refining properties. It’s my new best friend.
Thalgo Perfect Glow Primer 30ml
This product really delivers a flawless complexion, perfect skin and is the first "airbrush effect" marine skin perfector. It has a light gel consistency that has correcting prisms of coloured light to help conceal imperfections, dilated pores and surface irregularities; illuminating the skin with a perfect radiance. It’s great at providing hydration to the skin throughout the day and prevents makeup from becoming patchy.
For prematurely ageing/mature skin:
Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer 22ml
This is the ultimate multifunctional product. It not only acts as a make-up primer, but it conditions and treats the signs of aging while providing Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB defence. Steady on. It smoothes skin and stimulates collagen production to increase skin firmness. Velvety silicones combined with Soy Protein evens out skin texture whilst Pearl Powder and natural earth minerals provide a neutral tint to help balance skin tone and enhance luminosity. It can be worn alone or underneath make-up to help smooth fine lines and deliver a lasting make-up finish.
For sensitive/redness prone skin:
Dermalogica Redness Relief Primer 22ml
This is the ultimate product for sensitised skins and those prone to redness or rosacea. This product contains natural botanical extracts that provide a sheer green tint to counter any redness. It provides Broad Spectrum protection while diffusing redness and calming irritation. Basically it’s perfect as a translucent, redness reducing makeup prep product.
For those who are short on time:
Garnier Skin Naturals 5 Second Perfect Blur 30ml
This product is great for those of us who don’t always have the time to complete the many steps of a morning cleansing and make-up routine. Perfect Blur literally takes 5 seconds to apply and due to the optical effect of the light reflectors your wrinkles, fine lines, skin imperfections, uneven tone and open pores appear reduced and visibly corrected. It has an instant result and is a little bit cheaper that some products on the market, so it’s perfect if you want to try a primer for the first time too. Also, I love the matte finish of this primer.
Let me know your thoughts about primers in the comments below. Do you love them or still haven’t tried them?