How Makeup Primer Works

Is it a crime not to prime? I’m not sure that it’s a crime, but I can say that it definitely helps.

I’m always being asked “how do you get makeup to last?” There are a couple of key ways.

The first is to use long lasting makeup formulas that promise 12 to 24 hour wear but these are not for every one as they are generally oil free, and so if your skin is dry then they will only contribute to the dryness.

The other is to prime.

I’ve always been a big primer fan. In fact I never do foundation without one. They help to build the foundations of the skin for great looking and longer wearing makeup but that’s not where they stop. By applying a primer over your favourite skincare routine before you apply your foundation will help to bind your skincare to the skin and lock moisture in. They also help to smooth out the skin and soften fine lines. Your makeup then locks on top to give you a smoother, less lined and longer wear.

So what primer is best?

All primers ideally do the same thing but where they differ is the feel and the finish. If your skin is normal to oily and you want to control the shine, I would suggest a more traditional type primer with a silicone base as these will help to control the oil and give you a super smooth finish to the skin.

If your skin is normal to dry, then chose an illuminating primer to give the skin life. These are great for a more mature skin too as they will give the skin a youthful radiance.

Hydrating primers are great if your skin is dehydrated. Remember your skin can be oily and dehydrated at the same time as dehydration is a lack of water and so even though your skin maybe oily, a hydrating primer should still be fine to use if you are also dehydrated.

And then there are the ‘superprimers’ which are colour correcting as well. To correct redness use a yellow tinted primer, for dullness use a pink tinted primer, for discolouration use a peach tinted primer and for sallowness use a lavender tinted primer.

Primers don’t just stop with foundation primers. There is pretty much a primer for everything nowadays.

If your eyeshadow creases and doesn’t last, look for an eye primer and if you want thicker fatter lashes that are will conditioned, try a lash primer before you apply your mascara.

To apply them I like to use my fingers and work them into the skin, but if you do prefer to apply your products with a brush, use your foundation brush for your face primers and use your concealer brush for applying your eye primer.

For more information, advice or to purchase any of the tools above, visit or

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