Home Tips & Trends Makeup Everything You Need to Know About Face Primer

Everything You Need to Know About Face Primer

A primer on face primer.

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As NikkieTutorials loves to say, “Not to prime is a crime.” But what exactly is priming and what are the “crimes” this beauty guru is referencing? Let’s dig in a little.

A Primer on Face Primers

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this beauty product, let’s use the analogy of a paint primer. Before you begin to paint on a bare wall, it’s recommended to go in with a paint primer to help improve the paint’s adhesion to the wall, make sure the color appears more deeply, and to help make sure the paint lasts. In beauty, a makeup primer is used for similar reasons; to ensure your makeup is applied on the best surface possible and to help it last throughout the day. 

Sounds great, right? 

The tricky part can be figuring out the exact type of primer you need because this beauty product, much like makeup brushes, are not all made equal. In the same way we need certain brushes to apply specific types of products, you need to have a primer that best suits your skin and it’s needs. 

How Do You Know What Kind of Primer You Need?

Here are several factors that you need to take into consideration when trying to find your ideal primer. 

  • Your Skin Type

If you have oily skin that looks greasy throughout the day, despite reapplications of powder or oil-blotting sheets, then you will need to find a mattifying primer. A mattifying primer will absorb the oil, help minimize the appearance of pores, and help blur the appearance of blemishes. 

One primer that’s great for oily skin is the makeup brushes

Whereas many matte primers will help keep the oil at bay while making you look cakey or dried out, this primer is infused with Vitamin B5, helping keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

If you have dry skin, i.e. feel like your face is tight and itchy, flaky patches of skin, rough skin texture, pronounced lines, then it’s best to go in with a primer with a more hydrating formula. Primers that are good for those who are on the drier side often are infused with skin-benefitting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, olive extract, aloe vera, and so on. 

A primer that works well for dry skin is the JOAH Beauty Super Sidekick Hydroglow Primer ($11.99). This incredible primer will not only give your skin a glass-like glow to the skin, but it’s also infused with three types of hyaluronic acids to give your skin that long, cool drink of hydration it deserves. 

  • Skin Color

If you are on the pale side and have red spots or blotches you would like to cover up, then you’re probably going with a different primer than someone with a warmer complexion. This is where the concept of color-correction comes into play. 

Color-correcting comes from the idea of using the color wheel to find colors to counteract whatever blemish or insecurity you are trying to conceal. For instance, red is opposite green on the color wheel, so you are on the paler side and have reddened cheeks you would like to conceal, a greenish primer would be one product you could add to your beauty routine.

One example of a green primer is the NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Color Correcting Primer in Green ($14)

If you have a deeper complexion and have some dark circles and dark spots you would like to tone down, one option you can go with is the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer Color Corrector Radiant Base “9” ($39)

  • Skin Texture

Like skin type, the texture of your skin factors into what type of primer you need to go with. If you have more evident pores that you would like to smooth over, then you would need to go with a pore-filling primer, typically silicon-based. A silicon-based primer constraints ingredients like dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, or cyclomethicone. Like the name implies, the silicon “fills” in the pores so that when you go in with your concealer and foundation, your skin has a smoother appearance to it. However, if you are the type whose skin easily gets clogged, then it would be better to avoid this type of primer. 

An example of a pore-filling primer is the NYX Professional Makeup Pore Filler Blurring Primer ($15)

There are so many options out there to find the perfect primer or primers best suited to you and the look you are trying to achieve. 

author avatar
Nicole Kirichanskaya
Nicole Kirichanskaya is a born-and-raised Brooklynite with a passion for fashion, feminism, and the fanciful. Her love of beauty stems from when she was taught the importance of a good manicure at an early age from her Ukrainian babushka. She has written for a number of publications including Global Glam Magazine, CEW, Footwear News, and more.