They say not to prime is a crime, whether you agree or not, there are many benefits of using a face primer before applying your foundation. It can fill your pores and fine lines so your foundation goes on smoother and doesn’t sink into them. It can add some extra hydration to your skin so your foundation doesn’t cling to dry patches. It can also help control your oil so your foundation doesn’t slip and slide and turn into a hot mess. As you can guess, different primers have different purposes.
This topic can get a little overwhelming so to make things easier, I am going to generalize the primers and focus on three specific categories.
- Hydrating Primers:
These type of primers are meant for people with dry skin. Applying it before your foundation will add some extra hydration to your skin (on top of your moisturizer) which will allow your foundation go on more evenly and not look dry and flakey. My favorite one is the Make Up Forever Step 1 Hydrating primer. I also love the L’Oreal Magic Lumi primer. If you have extremely dry skin, mixing a drop or two of oil with your foundation (if it is not a very dewy foundation already) will make a huge difference as well. These primers will most likely say that they are for normal to dry skin and have the words: hydrating, luminous, radiant…etc. A hydrating primer that has awesome reviews and I am planning on trying out is the Two Faced HangoveRx primer. If you own this one, let me know what you think!
2. Mattifying Primers:
These primers will create a barrier between your skin and your foundation. They do a good job controlling oil and preventing them from breaking down your foundation so your makeup looks fresh for much longer. These primers will probably say that they are made for combination to oily skin and have the words mattifying, oil controlling, oil free…etc. My favorite is the Laura Mercier oil free primer. I tend to use that one in the summer only.
These are the silicone based primers. You will definitely be able to recognize them right away as soon as you feel them. They are thicker and have a slippery feel to them. They are great, if you use only a little amount, on your problem areas. Otherwise, it becomes too slippery and it will do the opposite to your foundation, making it slide off your face much quicker. I use a very tiny amount (quarter of a pea size) on my visible pores and textured areas (generally on my cheeks/nose). My favorite one is the Benefit Porefessional.
So what should you use?
In my opinion, you should have a smoothing primer and either a hydrating or a mattifying primer – depending on skin type – in your collection. For example, if you have dry skin, try applying a hydrating primer all over your face and a very tiny amount of the smoothing primer on fine lines and bumps or textures. If you have oily skin, try a mattifying primer all over your T-Zone and the smoothing one over your large pores (usually on the cheeks). Don’t get me wrong, you definitely do not need to use 2 primers on an everyday basis. In fact, you do not even need to prime your face with a primer. A well moisturized face is a perfect base for foundation. But on those special events when you want your makeup to last all day, you might benefit from using 2 primers strategically.