To Prime or not to Prime… That is the question

Smashbox, MAC & L'Oreal Primers

Smashbox, MAC & L’Oreal Primers

I received a question from a reader wanting to know if it really is a necessary item in a make up kit, which ones are good ones, when and where you use it and most importantly, why use it at all. All very good questions. Let me start by saying that primers do for your foundation what lingerie does for your clothing. If you need a little extra help smoothing out wrinkles around your eyes and mouth or disguising pores on your nose and cheeks, primer is what you need.  Some contain light reflective ingredients to give your skin the J-Lo glow. (Some of us may not like her but we have to admit, she has really great skin!) Others contain ingredients to help even out your sallow or ruddy (reddish) complexion. Others still contain vitamins and other ingredients to lighten, brighten and perfect. Some deliver on their promises, a lot don’t. Whilst moisturiser is important crucial prior to foundation application, primers can be saved for special occasions or when you need your makeup to work a little harder. In general, I favour mineral primers because they leave out more of the ingredients that can irritate sensitive skins and oil which can aggravate acne prone skins. Mineral makeup usually contains ingredients like mica and silica instead of talc and oil. They are hard to come by in South Africa though and attract a very different price tag. One primer can be applied all over your face, including your eyes. Let’s remember that the molecules used in primer are designed to sit on top of the epidermis, not to penetrate it so you don’t need to buy a primer for your eyes, lips and face. Use one for all areas, cutting down on costs and time of application. My favourite primers include Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer. It is iconic for a reason. Smashbox has gone a step further and created a range of primers for different things including hydration, luminescence, sallow skins and redness to name a few, ensuring that everyone is able to find the primer they need. Another favourite is MAC’s Prep & Prime Skin which targets oil, redness and soothes all in one product and creates a near flawless canvas for the application of foundation. Truly a magnificent tool to have in your makeup kit! Another favourite is L’Oréal’s Lumi Magique which provides a luscious dewy glow if applied all over the skin but it can also be applied to the forehead, cheeks and the bridge of the nose for subtle yet noticeable luminescence. One of the primers I purchased and tried out recently was Stila’s One Step Correct. It looks great with the triple helix swirl but it didn’t deliver on it’s radiance or redness reducing promises and I found the texture thin and unimpressive which was disappointing because while Stila have some amazing products in their range, this is not one of them. At the end of the day you really need to decide what you like and how it suits your pocket but my advice is a resounding ‘Yes!’ to the question of using primer, especially when you know you’ll be in front of a camera lense! Please continue to send in your questions! Thank you for reading!


7 thoughts on “To Prime or not to Prime… That is the question

  1. Pingback: Get Your Halo On | Make Me Up!

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