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  • Writer's picturechristinaelopez

To Prime, or not to prime?

Foundation primers are available in a million different variations, some color correct, matte, glow, blur ,oil control.... the list goes on and on. Im sure if you talk to ten different Makeup artist, you will get ten different opinions of how effective primers are, and if they truly are a necessity to your makeup routine. Our skin is so individually unique, that a primer a friend raves about, may not work well on someone else. I've broken them down to help you decide whats best for your skin type. Most common skin types are Oily, Dry, Sensitive, and Combination.

Color correcting Primers

The concept of color correcting primers is pretty self explanatory, It goes back to basic color theory. You take the opposite color on the wheel to cancel out a problem area. Red blotches dues to acne, rosacea, skin sensitivity etc. can be neutralized with a green primer. Dark circles underneath your eye? Use a peachy /pink toned primer to cancel that out. Sallow skin? use a purple primer. Personally, I feel these are the most incorrectly used primers and many are ineffective. Green toned all over face primers are so sheer, they do almost nothing to help redness. I feel color correcting primers are best used on target areas. By using a specific primer on a problem area will help mask the imperfection without creating an extra layer of makeup to the face. Many a times I see makeup users add too much all over the face, creating an unessiaary, and ineffective layer to the face which can cause a cake look to the face. For my clients, I only use a color correcting primer only when the discoloration is highly noticeable and only use it on the target area, followed by a very light layer of powder to set it before applying foundation. This method both corrects the imperfection and eliminates the needs for more than one layer of foundation.

Matte primer

My most favorite primer to use is the Matte primer. Maybe because I myself have an oily skin type. The BECCA cosmetics Ever- Matte primer is my most favorite, for myself, and clients. I do have to be very cautious with which clients I use it on. Matte primers are designed to control the natural oils of our face to help keep our makeup from slipping of. They are truly a lifesaver for Outdoor Summer weddings, Humid climates and for us who's body produces more oil than the average gal. Now with that being said, they can be very tricky to work with. Clients who have oily skin types point out there problem areas, and thats only where I apply the primer. Applying Matte primers to dry/ normal areas will make the skin look dry and cause the foundation to crack and give an aged look to the skin. This particular primer, I do not powder down before foundation because it already dries down to a matte, budge proof finish.

Illuminating/Dewy primers

Illuminating primers are a miracle worker for dry clients! I would say dry, flaky skin needs a primer above any other skin type. This primer by Dr. Brant is a staple in my kit and gives a healthy glow to the skin without being greasy. Dry skin types should contact there skin care professional to see what is a healthy exfoliating routine for there individual needs, but on average, everyone should exfoliate there face about twice a week. Illuminating primers can counteract the dullness in the skin as well as provide a smooth barrier between skin and foundation. Dry spots can be particularly tricky to work with because foundation can cling it giving it a patchy and caked looking texture to the skin. This should not take the place of your moisturizer, it should be applied as the second step before foundation and should not be powdered pre foundation.

The Non primer, primer

Confused? let me explain. Bobbi Brown cosmetics is one of the few brands that doesn't have a line of primers, instead the brand focuses more on skincare. I personally agree with the theory that if we focus on skincare and a great cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliating routine, we can treat the skin imperfections instead of masking them. The better our skin looks, the less makeup and prep steps we need to take before a makeup session. The Bobbi Brown face base has been a kit staple for some time now, and I use it on clients with even the most perfect skin. Face base provides a hydrating and soothing skin prep without causing a thick or greasy layer to the skin and smells AMAZING. It absorbs fast and does have a tacky finish which helps foundation cling to it to last through the night. MY clients love this and adds a touch of luxury to your makeup routine. Well worth the price tag.

Water based primers

Knowing whats in your makeup products is an essential part to getting the perfect look. This Makeup up Forever water based primer is perfect for clients with sensitive skin since there is no Polydimethylsiloxane, better known as silicone. Silicone can be very irritable for clients with sensitive skin, making water based primers and foundations a great alternative. Now this is where knowing whats in your makeup comes in handy, A water based primer doesn't play nice with a silicone foundation. Its basically like trying to mix oil and water, its not going to happen and it will separate. Many of times I will recommend it to clients, and they will email me saying it breaks up there makeup and they can't understand what the issue is! Well the issue is easily explained and a new makeup nerd is born!! I can spend hours in Sephora reading ingredients in products and clients will start to do the same, and I have a proud Mamma bear moment!

Setting spray as primer?

While not all settings sprays work well as primers, this one my Gerard Cosmetics is amazing. This spray quickly replaced my MAC Fix plus, which was a kit staple of mine for many years. Not only does it smell AMAZING but it leaves a fresh, cooling effect that my clients really enjoy. This is a great every day primer, its quick and hassle free. It applies a nice tacky layer that dries down Matte , but not drying at all so every skin type will love this. I use this before and after makeup applications and in combination with any primers listed about to correct imperfection. This product comes in many scents, but I use both Green Tea, and Lavender in my kit.

In conclusion , primers and there effectiveness varies from client to client. Something that works amazing for one person, you may hate. Knowing your skin type, and establishing a consistent skin care routine is essential to making your makeup look amazing. But for days where we have a huge event that collides with a huge pimple, primers can be a lifesaver. Many many of my summer brides have run out to buy the popular BECCA primer and dry clients add the Dr Brant primer there everyday makeup routine. So evaluate your skin type, and go swatch your heart out at your favorite makeup store and find your perfect primer. I hope this was helpful, and if you have any question comment below and ill do my best to help you out!

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