As a relatively recent addition to the beauty industry’s arsenal of products, primer has quickly become a must have product for any makeup enthusiast or for those combating combination skin, large pores, or an uneven skin tone. Before foundation primers were engineered, women simply used their moisturizer as a primer. This is still a completely valid and tested method but with a good primer, you can limit the number of products on your face resulting in a smoother, more natural look with all of the skincare benefits. On the whole, there are a few main types of primers: moisturizing, oil absorbing, light-reflecting, color-correcting, and pore-minimizing. No matter your skin tone, or regular makeup habits, a good primer can do wonders for your beauty look.
As a rule, if you're using primer, don't apply moisturizer beforehand. The products often don't mix well and can result in peeling, uneven looking skin. If your skin is very dry, be sure to opt for a moisturizing product. One of the first brands to introduce skin type-specific primers was Laura Mercier with their foundation primers in hydrating and oil free, both $30. Both products hydrate the skin, making moisturizer redundant, but in ways that both soothe and protect your skin. The hydrating primer works with all skin types and makes a clean base for your foundation and concealer whereas the oil-free product works well for women with sensitive, oily, or acne prone skin with its primarily water-based formula. Also consider using a product such as NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 $32 as the added SPF gives you all the skincare benefits of a good moisturizer without the extra layer.
Light-reflecting properties are most often seen in concealer but can be present in primers as well. If you have very dull skin, a product with highlighting properties can work very well to give your skin a bit of life and energy. One of the best products for this is Guerlain's L'or Radiance Concentrate With Pure Gold Makeup Base $71. It is a cooling serum that really lifts the skin tone. If you're looking for a more cost effective version, mix a small amount of highlighter with your normal moisturizer and you'll get a similar effect.
We spoke about color-correcting products in our concealer makeup lesson but they really work best as primers since concealers should be used to pinpoint imperfections, not solve overall skin-tone issues. Whether you have sallow undertones or unwanted redness, a color-correcting primer such as Make Up For Ever's HD Microperfecting Primer $32 can solve those issues resulting in the need for less foundation to cover them.
Lastly, pore refining primers can be a woman's savior in front of a camera. Often used by models and celebrities onscreen, a pore refining primer such as dr.brant's pores no more pore refiner $45 can not only prep the skin for makeup but fill in any unsightly pores with its silicon base.
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