Thursday, June 18, 2009

All About Face Primer

Primer is a product used under foundation for a number of reasons: to make the texture of skin smoother, to create a barrier between the makeup and skin, to control oil, and to keep makeup on longer. Most people do not wear primer on a daily basis. Makeup artists use it so that foundation glides on smoother and it helps to protect sensitive skin. It can also control oil with the right formula and help makeup to stay on when it will be worn for a long time.

Smashbox PrimersSmashbox Photo Finish
This is the most popular and widely used primer. It helps to inhibit the destruction of collagen, and fills in fine lines and pores. It has a really silky texture and dries perfectly matte. A normal (1 oz) bottle will cost $36 at Ulta or Sephora. I suggest getting the travel size (0.5 oz) in a tube for $16. Only a pea sized amount can cover your entire face. Dryer skin may require a little more as it absorbs.

There are different varieties of this primer:
Original (Colorless) - A lightweight silicone emulsion
Light (Colorless) - Oil free for acne prone or sensitive skin, controls oil and is 60% water
Color Adjust (Green) - Minimizes redness
Color Blend (Apricot) - Conceals under eye circles, veins, and sunspots
Color Balance (Lavendar) - For natural yellow skin tones
SPF 15 with Dermaxyl Complex - Clinically proven to reduce wrinkles
Bronzing - Adds a bronze hue to the face

I use the Light formula because it is just as effective, but it water based and oil free. Colorless primers work on any skin tone.

Laura Mercier PrimerLaura Mercier Foundation Primer
This is another popular primer for makeup artists. Many of Laura Mercier's products are expensive, so people may shy away from this product. These products are known for being creamy and blending into the skin well. A 1.7 oz bottle costs $30 at Sephora.

There are four varieties of this primer:
Original - Oil free with vitamins A, C and E
Oil Free - For acne prone, oily and sensitive skin, its high water content soothes surface dehydration around blemishes
Hydrating - A creamy gel for dehydrated and/or aging skin
Mineral - A superfine, translucent powder to be used under mineral makeup (0.17 oz)

Rimmel Fix and PerfectRimmel London Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer
This is a primer available at drug stores including Walmart. I haven't seen any other drug store primers before. This primer is different because it's tinted apricot, but it doesn't come in any other shades. The color should disappear when blended into the skin, unless you have very pale skin. I have not tried it on dark skin either. If you are a first time primer user, you may want to try this one. A TV personality uses this and likes it, but it does not say that it is oil free or non-comedogenic. I tried it and it slightly irritated my skin, but I have overly sensitive skin. The primer quality was really good. I would recommend this for people who do not have sensitive or acne-prone skin. A 1 oz bottle costs about $7.

MAC Prep + Prime SkinMAC Prep + Prime Skin
MAC is a makeup artistry standard. Their primer has special effects silicone, calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. It does not mention being oil free or non-comedogenic. It is available at MAC stores or online. 1 oz $23.

Other Note Worthy Primers:
I have not tried these, but I would be willing to based on the description and price.


Sephora Smoothing Primer - Mattifying and smoothing, reduces shine, can be used as mixing medium to lighten foundation coverage 0.05 oz $18

Sephora "Tricks of the Trade" Anti-Shine Primer - Mattifies skin for up to 8 hours, controlling and balancing sebum production 1 oz $18

Phisolophy Never Let Them See You Shine Velvet Touch Primer - Dramatically reduces oil, enhances skin exfoliation and trans-epidermal water loss 1 oz $20

Bare Escentuals Primer Time Foundation Primer Oil Control - Water-based primer for oily, sensitive or problem-prone skin, oil, fragrance, sulfate, dye, phthalate, and silicone free 1 oz $21

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch - Fills in lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores with acacia micro pearls (unknown size) $30

Make Up For Ever All Mat - Silicone gel base, oil free, and designed to remove shine with long lasting results 1 oz $45

NARS Makeup Primer - gel-cream with natural botanicals to reduce redness 1.7 oz $33

LORAC aquaPRIME Oil Free Makeup Primer - water-based makeup primer, lightweight, oil, fragrance, silicone, parabens, sulfate, dye, petro-chemical, and phthalate free 1.35 oz $30


Sephora Professionnel Pefection Makeup Base - pink pearl infused for a subtle glow 1 oz $12

Sephora "Tricks of the Trade" Perfection Primer - pink pearl and soft-focus pigments to reflect light 1 oz $18

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base - oil free with a sheer green tint to correct redness 1.35 oz $17.50

Applying Primer
Apply the primer after applying moisturizer. You want to have a thin layer on your face that is evenly distributed and smooth. If you are applying it to yourself, you can use your fingers like you apply moisturizer. If you are applying it to someone else, you will likely use a foundation brush. The primer should set quickly and then you can apply foundation.

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