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The number one question I get about face primers are: Do they really work? My answer: Yes.
But! Not every primer works and not every primer is right for your skin type, so you have to do the shopping if you want a primer that works for you; and not everyone cares to use one.
Men understand primers in terms of painting a wall. You use a primer to coat your wall and then go over it with the color paint you have chosen. Well guess what, it is the same concept for face primers. You are giving your face a base to fill in wholes and to give something your foundation can stick to.
Why do women use and love primers?
1. They fill in pores and fine lines. Therefore, when you put your foundation over your primer, your skin looks more smooth and even.
2. There are color correcting primers that can help reduces the appearance of certain colors on your face, for example, most women get red in the hormonal areas: forehead, nose, around the mouth, and chin. For this you can use a green correcting primer which will reduce the redness.
3. They keep your foundation lasting longer. Before I used a primer, my foundation was gone within 2 hours. With a primer, my foundation lasted for at least 8 hours.
4. There are primers that benefit your skin type. Moisturizing primers help dry skin types stay moisturized, and there are oil free/mattifying primers that keep the oil at bay for oily skin types. For you oily skinned people, this does not mean the oil will never seep out, but a good oil free primer will keep you oil-free for a longer amount of time and bring you less oil than you usually get.
Most primers are silicone based. What does that mean? Silicone is what helps fill in your pores and fine lines, makes the primer blend-able, and gives it that smooth texture. Some people's skin do not do well with silicone based products, but thankfully, there are water based primers for people with sensitive skin.
A Few Primers out there to buy:
Bare Escentuals primer: It was the first face primer I ever used and it wowed me. I have very oily skin and the oil would suck my foundation in, never to be seen again, so when I used this, I knew that it worked. It is also water based.
Bare Escentuals Prime Time Foundation Primer Oil Control 1 oz
Smashbox primer: I have not used it but I do know that it is water based (for those of you who want to try a water based primer).
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer .5 fl oz (15 ml)
Nars primer: Another one I haven't tried but is also water based.
NARS Pro-Prime(TM) Pore Refining Primer - Oil-Free 1 oz
Make up For ever HD primer: these come with a no color primer and color correcting primers. I used the neutral primer and I thought it was good but not great. Sometimes I felt like it did nothing.
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microperfecting Primer 1 Green
Cover FX mattifying/acne fighting primer: I don't feel like this primer works for me but that might not be the case for others. Cover FX has other face primers for other skin types.
Cover FX Clearprep FX Matte Foundation Primer and Anti-Acne Treatment 1 oz
L'Oreal primer: These are color correcting primers. I have not used them but a makeup artist told me she uses and likes the green correcting primer.
L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Anti-Redness Primer, 0.68-Fluid Ounce
There are many primers on the market. I don't buy them just to test them. I usually only buy one when I run out of my current one, but you can find reviews on www.makeupalley.com or www.YouTube.com
It is up to you how you'd like to apply your primer. I use my fingers. You can use a sponge or a foundation brush. A foundation brush is my least favorite just because you lose some of the product in the brush. With your fingers you make sure all of it goes to use and can reach and fill your pores and fine lines much better.
I hope this was helpful! Have a great day!
-Makeup Artist Jessica Rivera