Ever since I started buying makeup at 14, I’ve always asked myself, do I really need a primer? I suffer a lot from oily skin so makeup literally does not last as much as I’d hope to on my face but every time I go to buy a primer I never know where to start because there’s so many, if not too many options available; there’s hydrating, brightening, mattifying, blurring, luminising, and more — so which one do I pick??? Then I’ve seen people use different types of primers for different areas of their face, then do you guys remember that time people were using men’s Nivea shaving balm as primer?? Makeup is actually so confusing sometimes because what works for other people may not work for you, and it’s one of those situations where you actually have to test it out yourself until you actually find what works for you.
Some people love primer, some people hate it and I still don’t know if it’s actually a necessity in my makeup draw or if just haven’t found the perfect one for me.
What exactly is primer and what does it do?
Primer is one of those words that literally explains itself, it is exactly what its name implies: It’s a prep product that’s applied after your skincare to create an almost clear canvas to hold onto whatever makeup you want to apply — from foundation to tinted moisturizer or even just concealer, primer will supposedly make sure nothing moves an inch whilst also blurring your pores, helping to fade fine lines and smoothening skin! Your primer might come in the form of a hyaluronic acid-spiked facial serum that boosts hydration, a sunscreen that protects and softens the appearance of pores, or a traditional silicone-based primer that smooths and blurs.
What’s the best way to apply them?
Primers are ALWAYS applied after your last skin-care step and before your makeup. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Many makeup artists recommend that you apply the product with your fingers to apply primer, as they say, it’s the best and easiest way to blend everything and get a seamless finish. It’s also advised that you wait a full minute for it to dry before layering anything on top in order to avoid disturbing the makeup. A little goes a long way with primer, and too much can ruin your makeup look before you even get to create it.
Dry: Dry skin benefits from moisturizing primers with added glycerine, aloe, or shea butter. Look for words like nourishing and replenishing.
Normal: If your skin isn’t particularly dry or oily, choose a photo finish primer or a blurring primer made with silicone that minimizes pores and leaves a fresh, dewy finish.
Oily: If your skin is oily, look for primers that advertise shine reduction or mattifying to help keep shiny skin under control.
What are the most common primer mistakes?
- Applying too much
- Applying makeup straight after, rather than allowing for the primer to dry first
- Choosing one completely wrong for your skin type
- Picking a primer that does not go well with the formula of your foundation
- Layering primers
So do I really need primer?
Whether or not you feel using a primer is necessary, it’s completely up to you and whether or not you’re happy with your current makeup routine. But it wouldn’t hurt to try it out and see if it actually makes an improvement or adds some sort of value to your life – you may find that primers don’t make a marked improvement in your face makeup, and in that case, skip the step. However, it could also mean you haven’t found the one. Whatever you do, before choosing a primer do your research, get recommendations, and try different formulas in store.
The bottom line: If you’re wondering whether or not you need a primer in your life, just ask yourself how happy you are with the overall look, feel, and finish of your face makeup. If there’s something off or missing — maybe you want to add more overall glow or trim shine from your T-zone — a primer could be precisely what you need.