I’m going to try a thing. I know I’ve been super inconsistent with my posts (blog and Instagram) and I want to try to develop a routine, so I’m going to try to promise at least one post per week. My first idea to bring some consistency to the blog is starting a ‘Back 2 Basics’ collection kind of thing where I’ll go through each type of makeup product and offer tips and suggest some products that I recommend for each skin type – that sort of thing. So the very first thing I’ll be talking about is primers. I did not even know what a primer was until I started working at Sephora. Honestly I barely knew how to fill in my brows when I started working at Sephora…I question how I even got hired every single day. But I’ve learned, and I can now tell you a thing or two about them. First of all, a primer is used as a first step after skincare and before makeup. It is typically a clear or skin-toned liquid, cream, or gel product that goes all over the face or the eyelids (there are separate primers for the face and for the eyes – tip #1 is do not use your face primer on your eyes and vice versa) and it serves a few different purposes – the main job of a primer is to help the makeup that will go on top stick to the skin, and therefore help it last longer. It can have additional functions such as hydration, colour correcting, oil/shine control, and some can even contain acne medication or other skincare benefits. So, the million dollar question is: why do I need a primer? The answer is – you don’t (necessarily). I get clients every day looking to build a new makeup routine and their first instinct is to start with a primer. But first, answer me these questions: does your makeup slide off/disappear throughout the day? Do you like your foundation but wish it had a different finish? Do you find that there are certain areas of the skin – such as the cheeks – that are more rosy or discoloured in some way? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, a primer is right for you. If you said no to these questions, you do not need a primer and it will not serve any function other than one extra step in your routine. So primer people, what kinds of primers are there? What one is the best for you? There are a few issues that primers will address, so lets get started:
Keep in mind that a primer’s main job is to provide a smooth base for makeup to go on top of – a primer can help with dry skin and oil control (etc.) but it is mostly there to help with makeup longevity. If you have a skin concern, address it with skincare, not primers.
Dry skin: There are a few great primers for dry skin. My favourite is the Too Faced Hangover Rx primer. Infused with coconut water and hyaluronic acid (which, if you’ve been around for long enough, you will know is my favourite chemical), it keeps the skin hydrated all day long. It also serves it’s purpose by keeping your makeup looking flawless all day. Another great one is the Urban Decay Quick Fix spray – again, infused with coconut water and it also contains caffeine to wake up your skin and get it ready to party.
Oily skin: my oily skin party people probably have the most difficult skin type when it comes to face makeup. You probably have large pores, possibly acne-prone skin, and you might notice that your makeup breaks up when oil is produced. Not to fret, a primer can help you too. Tip #2 of this article is to layer primers – as mentioned, a primer is very basic and it’s one job is to keep the makeup on the skin. You would be lucky to find one with more than one or two extra benefits. So, because of that, we can layer a few primers in order to take advantage of multiple benefits to address multiple issues. For the classic oily skin client (makeup-breakup, large pores, acne-prone, shiny skin) I like to start with the CoverFx Mattifying Primer. This will address the shiny skin and help keep you looking matte all day. It also contains acne medication since oily-skinned individuals are more prone to breakouts. I then like to layer on something to smooth over/fill in those pores: Benefit’s PoreFessional Primer or Dr. Brandt Pores No More primer. Finally, how do we prevent the makeup from separating? Hourglass Veil primer will save you; it repels water and oil.
Combination skin: Combo skin (usually a combination of oily patches and dry patches) needs different primers for different concerns – i.e. a primer to keep the dry spots hydrated but an oil-control primer for the oily areas. So for my combination party people, refer to tip #2 – layer multiple primers or place different primers in different areas based on your concerns. Refer to the ‘dry’ and ‘oily’ skin primers for suggestions.
Redness/Discolouration: If your skin is not the most even in colour, you might notice that some sheer to medium coverage foundations just look patchy or actually enhance your discolouration. No fear, there is a primer for that too. Makeup Forever and Smashbox both make amazing primers that address colour correcting. To pick which one is right for you, Google a picture of a colour wheel, find the colour you wish to correct, and use a primer that is the opposite colour. These colours will ‘cancel each other out’, leaving you with a neutral and more even skin tone.
I like my foundation but I wish it was more dewey/matte: So you like your foundation but you just want a different finish eh? Well that sucks, theres no primers for you…just kidding, there is. If you want a more dewey finish than what your foundation is giving you, try the First Aid Beauty Coconut Primer with micro-pearls to give a more luminous look to the skin, or the Becca Backlight Primer featuring 3 different types of pearls. Tip #3 is to mix luminizing primers with your foundation instead of putting them underneath – it makes the glow more prominent. To make your foundation more matte, try the Makeup Forever Step 1 mattifying primer. I would not recommend mixing in mattifying primers with foundation, however. Mattifying primers tend to have silicon in them which hasn’t given me good luck in the past when mixing.
I have no additional concerns, my makeup just does not stay on: If your only concern is the longevity of your makeup, there are many primers that just have that one function: Lancome La Base Pro Perfecting Primer, Smashbox Photofinish primer (original formula), Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer (with SPF!!!). All of these options will simply make the makeup last longer with no additional functions.
It’s my eye makeup!: As mentioned earlier, do not use your face primer on your eyes – face makeup and other face products are actually generally not tested for use on the eyes. In other words, there is a 50/50 chance you’ll go blind from using face products around the eyes. If you have a problem with your eyeshadow coming off halfway through the day, or if your eye makeup settles into fine lines or the crease, there are options. For priming the eye for makeup, I love the Urban Decay Primer Potions and the Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I always mix my primers with concealer to cancel out any veins or discolouration in the eyelid, however the Urban Decay Primer Potion has a version that has a skin-toned colour to it already to create a blank canvas (Eden for lighter skin tones, Caffeine for darker skin tones).
My first post of the collection…I feel so accomplished. As I said, I’m going to try to be consistent with this. And if you notice me slacking, please feel free to call me out on it. I like to know that you guys are looking for my posts and wondering where I am! It lets me know that you’re actually interested in what I write and it gives me motivation to actually produce content. If you want to get an email notification when I post, scroll to the bottom of the page and hit that ‘follow’ button, I’d rly appreciate it thx so much. I’ll (hopefully) talk to you next week idiot fam, thanks for putting up with me and I hope you learned a thing or two about primers.
Until next time,