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

Everything You Need to Know About Makeup Primer

A primer on primers.

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makeup primer

Have you ever wondered how makeup artists achieve that flawless, long-lasting look on their clients? Well, the secret lies in a magical product called makeup primer. If you’re new to the world of cosmetics or just curious about this wonder product, you’ve come to the right place.

As a beauty editor for over a decade, I have sung the praises for primers for years, and I’m definitely a fan. Below, you’ll find my primer on primers; what they are, how they work, and why they’re an essential addition to your makeup routine.

What is Makeup Primer?

Picture makeup primer as the foundation for your foundation. It’s a product applied before your makeup to create a smooth canvas for flawless application. Essentially, it acts as a base, helping your makeup adhere better to your skin and last longer throughout the day. Primer comes in various forms, such as creams, gels, and sprays, and is available in both silicone-based and water-based formulations.

The Benefits of Makeup Primer

Now that you know what makeup primer is, let’s explore its benefits.

  1. Smoother Application: Primers fill in fine lines, wrinkles, and pores, creating a smooth surface for your foundation. This ensures that your makeup glides on effortlessly and minimizes the appearance of imperfections.
  2. Enhanced Makeup Longevity: Ever experienced your foundation fading or melting away after a few hours? Well, primer acts as a shield between your skin and makeup, preventing it from being absorbed or disappearing. This helps your makeup stay put for hours, even in hot and humid conditions.
  3. Oil Control: If you have oily skin, primer is your new best friend. It creates a barrier that controls excess oil production, keeping shine at bay and ensuring your makeup stays fresh and matte throughout the day.
  4. Color Correction: Some primers are formulated with color-correcting properties to even out skin tone. Green-toned primers combat redness, while purple-toned ones counteract sallowness. This gives you a flawless base even before applying foundation.
How Does Makeup Primer Work?

The secret behind the effectiveness of makeup primers lies in their ingredients. Silicone-based primers contain dimethicone, a silicone derivative that forms a breathable barrier on the skin. This smooths out texture and blurs imperfections, creating a velvety finish. Water-based primers, on the other hand, are lightweight and hydrating, perfect for those with sensitive or dry skin.

Application Tips

Now that you’re convinced of the wonders of makeup primer, let’s talk about how to apply it correctly.  Here are my beauty editor tips and tricks.

  1. Cleanse and Moisturize: Start with a clean, moisturized face. Primer works best on well-prepped skin, so make sure you’ve washed away any dirt and applied your favorite moisturizer.
  2. Choose the Right Primer: Select a primer based on your skin type and concerns. If you have oily skin, go for a mattifying primer, while dry skin will benefit from a hydrating formula.
  3. Less is More: Remember, a little goes a long way. Use a pea-sized amount of primer and apply it all over your face or focus on areas that need extra attention, such as the T-zone or cheeks.
  4. Pat, Don’t Rub: Instead of rubbing the primer into your skin, gently pat it in. This allows the product to settle and adhere properly, creating a smooth base for your makeup.
  5. Wait a Minute: Give the primer a minute or two to set before applying foundation. This will ensure it has time to work its magic and provide you with the best results.

Using a makeup primer may seem like an additional step in your beauty routine, but trust me, it’s worth it. With its ability to smooth texture, extend the longevity of your makeup, control oil, and color correct, primer is a game-changer. So, the next time you’re reaching for your foundation, don’t forget to give your skin the love it deserves by applying a good quality primer first. Your makeup will thank you for it, and you’ll be amazed by the flawless, long-lasting results.

My Go-To Primers

JOAH Beauty SUPER SIDEKICK Hydroglow Primer ($11.99) triple boosts your skin’s hydration and gives your makeup real staying power. Not only does it work phenomenally, but it’s also really affordable!

Makeup Primer
Photo JOAH Beauty

Saint Jane Luxury Sun Ritual ($38) works beautifully as a pore smoothing primer offering a blurring, soft-focus effect under makeup and alone as a weightless, beauty-locking SPF.

Makeup Primer
Photo Saint Jane

Charlotte Tilbury WONDERGLOW Face Primer ($55) hydrates and blurs the look of imperfections and fine lines for a gorgeous, glowing finish.

Makeup Primer
Photo Charlotte Tilbury

Gucci Hydrating Silk Priming Serum ($58) creates a luminous finish, visibly evens tone, and visibly plumps skin while creating a soft glow effect.

Makeup Primer
Photo Gucci
author avatar
Janene Mascarella