When is prime time? Every time you wear tinted moisturizer or foundation.
My little cousin inspired this post. She spent a weekend with me, and we chatted about makeup. How could we not? I found out she doesn't use a primer, and I couldn't believe it. It's such an essential part of applying makeup. How does one skip it? Come to find out, some people just don't think it's necessary, don't know how or when to apply it, don't know that it is an actual thing or can't be bothered with spending money on it.
The truth is primer gives your foundation or tinted moisturizer something to hold onto, so that your makeup stays on longer, even in extreme weather. It also creates a smooth base for makeup application, and in my case, helps control oily areas. Eyeshadow primers do the same thing. The best way to apply primer is with your fingers. This allows for you to really work the product into your skin.
I have textured, oily skin and I must say, my two holy-grail primers do an amazing job of combating shine and allowing my makeup to go on smoother. I've even worn primer alone; it just gives you a more polished, fresh face. I've only done this with Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer (LM), though. All the others I have tried leave a white, powdery finish. In fact, I used to use Milk of Magnesia (MoM) as a toner (doubles as a toner and primer for external beauty purposes), and then I would apply Laura Mercier's primer to cover up the powdery finish. This combination kept my face matte forever, promise. I specifically used these two together when I traveled by airplane. I don't know about you, but when I board a plane with just a fresh face, I deplane with a greasy face. Not cute. The MoM and LM combination helped so much. The only thing I didn't like about the combination is that it made my face feel cakey. It was a weird, heavy feeling, and I assume it is because MoM isn't exactly the most translucent product when applied to the face. It does leave a fairly thick ghost-face finish even if you use a small amount. Adding a creamy, gel product like LM's primer isn't going to make everything feel lightweight, either. Still, my skin looked flawless and oil-free. This partnership is the essence of a no-makeup makeup look.
I've tried several primers:
- Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer
- Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
- Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer
- No. 7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base
- Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio Blur + Smooth Primer
- Milk of Magnesia
Laura Mercier and Milk of Magnesia stopped controlling my oil when I wore them separately with foundation/tinted moisturizer. MoM used to be my holy-grail primer, but then it decided it wasn't going to come through anymore. Or, maybe my skin has matured? I don't know, but it dumped me. I decided to dump Laura Mercier. It just wasn't working out, so I moved on. No.7 doesn't work for me, either. It is not mattifying at all. Maybelline also sucks as a primer for oily skin. The only things I will say it does a great job of are blurring/smoothing fine lines and textured skin. It does not control oil.
Now, Becca and Make Up For Ever? Those two queens are my jam! They really help keep my makeup matte for hours. I only have to use blotting tissue once, and not much oil transfers onto the tissue. I should also note that the application process matters. It is critical that these two products aren't smeared across your face with your fingers, but instead, dabbed or patted. For some reason the formula will ball up and start to look flaky if you rub it on your face - and that's not going to give you a smooth-looking finish when it's time to apply foundation. So, just dab. A raisin amount of primer will suffice for your entire face or just focus areas. Also, wait for your primer to dry before applying foundation. Major key. After I moisturize, I apply my primer and then start to do my eyebrows. This way the primer has time to properly dry and be more effective underneath my makeup.
I still want to try Dr. Brandt Pores No More Refiner, Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Smashbox Photo Filter Pore Minimizing Primer and Givenchy Mister Mat Matifying Primer. I heard they're great. I'll be the judge, though. There should be travel sizes in the Hourglass and Smashbox primers at Sephora, which helps because they're prestige products (pricey).
Last repetitive piece of advice: use a primer because you should have something in between your moisturizer and foundation, always. Your good looks will last longer.
Feel free to share your thoughts or questions below.