You wouldn’t paint your nails without a base coat or paint your home without the base primer, would you? Well the same should be said about using a face primer before you foundation, moisturizer or even mineral foundation powder. The use of primer isn’t something that’s brand new but I know some folks out there still skip this beneficial step, yours truly was one of them. As a matter of fact, I just recently bought my first bottle of primer about 6 months ago and I have been a satisfied customer ever since.
I know that some non-users may be hesitant because of sensitive or acne prone skin issues and the last thing you want to do is slather one more product on your face. I was one of these people, plus I suffered a nasty breakout after trying a sample of a Smashbox primer. The purpose of the primer is to smooth out fine lines, keep foundation fresh in hot weather, help the skin from absorbing talc and pigment from your foundation as well as keeping the talc from sucking the oil out of your skin. Some primers even contain salicylic acid to absorb oils and also contain some botanical extracts to soothe the skin, such as aloe, jasmine or rose to refresh and soothe the skin. However, some primers do contain silicone so be sure to read the ingredients if that is a concern.
My favorite is Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Primer. This hasn’t made me break out and has helped keep my face look fresh even after a grueling spin class during my lunch hour. The bonus is that it’s light weight and doesn’t contain any silicon. I would just apply this right after I spot use my dermatologist prescribed ointment and a SPF 30 cream (Aveeno but now trying out NIA 24) then I’d put on my LM oil-free tinted moisturizer or my Chanel Perfection Lumiere (also oil-free). Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer retails for $30/1.37 oz – sounds like a bit much but I don’t use a whole lot so I get a lot of mileage from my tube.
The irony is that I never needed any convincing to add an eye primer to my makeup routine. The only time I go without is if I’m using a cream shadow or MAC Paint Pot. The eye primer is what can make or break your eye of the day look. It keeps your shadows from creasing and fading for up to 8 hrs – this is what keeps a $2.99 drugstore shadow palette last from morning through workout till I take off my makeup before bed. Don’t have any eye primer? A cream shadow that matches your skin tone works just as well – unless you have oily lids. Then you may need to use an additional primer beneath but I don’t have the oily lid problem so please don’t come back yelling at me if this doesn’t work!
My primer of choice is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer – the first primer I ever bought. There’s slight separation when you first apply so don’t freak out. I just warm it up on my hand and apply to my lids. I currently purchased the Lemon Drop version of this primer. It has a soft lemon yellow tint so it acts as a brightener. Then again, I love any makeup aid that makes my eyes look fresh and awake! These retail for $18/0.35 oz.
I love using beige, champagne, gold, peach and even taupe as a base. These can also alter the tone of certain shadows – one shadow can take on many different looks if layer on top of any of these cream shadows. They also last the whole till I take off my makeup before bed. However, if you don’t want a full on shimmery eye, from lid to brow bone, I would apply the cream shadow on the lid only and then apply a primer from crease socket to brow bone.
Not convinced or a primer is not in your monthly budget? I discovered that Monistat Chafing Gel seems to be a popular answer after I entered “face primer alternatives” in my search engine. This is recommended to those on the drier side as it is a bit thick. Results are comparable to the very popular Smashbox Primer. I might have to put this to the test after I finish a tube of my current primer.
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