What is primer anyway?
It’s your foundation’s new BFF for the skin you’ve always wanted.
What’s the deal? “A primer is a product that you use after moisturising, but before your foundation – an under coat to ‘prime your skin’ for makeup,” says M· A · C senior artist Dominic Skinner. “It sorts out any niggles, such as shine, large pores or discolouration, so that your foundation doesn’t have to. That means you can apply less foundation, it lasts longer and you get a cleaner, fresher appearance to your skin.”
Janine Bird, national makeup coach for Smashbox, adds, “Think of it like silk lingerie for your makeup. We all know that slinky dresses look better with the right underwear underneath. The best primers do the same for your foundation application,” she explains.
How does it work?
“The majority of primers contain silicone, which can blur and smooth the look of your skin while creating the perfect surface for foundation to adhere to,” explains Janine. Other ingredients are then added to work on the issues specific to each skin type that can cause your makeup to slip or break down, such as shine, dehydration, enlarged pores, fine lines, dullness and uneven skin tone.
What are the key ingredients to look for? If you have oily skin and experience an annoying sheen by lunchtime, silica is your saviour. Mica is a mineral that offers iridescence and glow to dull skin, while hyaluronic acid helps to plump up and moisturise dry skin.
How to pick a primer
“Wear your foundation for a day, and note what you see by the evening,” says Dominic. “Is it looking dry, oily or patchy? Does it last well? It’ll give you an idea of your primer needs.” Choosing the right primer should now be a breeze.