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Is makeup primer necessary?

Roanna Silveira

What is primer? Is it necessary? And why should one spend money on a product which may not really change one’s makeup?

There are different types of primers based on their function. Foundation primers are primers to be put on before foundation. There are primers for shine control – these control oil production throughout the day and are a godsend for oily skinned people. Makeup Forever Mattifying Primer is a great primer for shine control.

Smoothening primers have a smoothening or blurring effect to conceal textured surfaces on the skin due to wrinkles or acne.

Colour correcting primers can correct the skin colours and reduce the need for heavy or full coverage foundation. Purple colour correcting primers correct dull skin while green corrects redness. Smashbox has some great colour correcting primers.

Illuminating primers give the skin a glow. NYX cosmetics Born to Glow and NYX Cosmetics Honey Dew Me Up Primer are some great illuminating primers.

Pore refining primers reduce the appearance of large pores on the face. Benefit The Porefessional Pro Balm is great for minimising the appearance of pores.

Eye primers are to be applied on the eyelids before eye shadow.

Lip primers are used under lipstick to prep and smoothen the lips.

Lash primers are used on the lashes before mascara.


Do you need a primer?

Foundation primers give a smooth even base to any foundation and helps one get an airbrushed finish to the foundation. It helps makeup last longer; the makeup doesn’t disappear halfway through the day.

Using primer will result in needing less foundation to get the same amount of coverage.

Foundation primers can be used alone without foundation for a fresh no-makeup look and for a more polished appearance.

If you wear makeup a lot, primer can act as a barrier to prevent your skin from getting clogged.

Squeeze out a little primer onto the back of your hand. Smooth it into clean moisturised skin with your fingers for small areas, or you can use a foundation brush. Let it soak into the skin for a few minutes and then apply your favourite foundation on top.

Eye shadow primers intensify the eye shadow on the lids and bring out the true vibrant colour of eye shadow you are wearing. They also keep eye shadow on for much longer. They have a long wear and waterproof feature which gives a smooth even eyelid to apply eye shadow on.

Eye shadow primer prevents eye shadow from creasing, ie when the eye shadow breaks in the crease of one’s eyes. Eye shadow primers can also be used under the eye to prevent under eye concealer from creasing. Apply a dot of eye shadow primer all over the lids and let it dry before applying eye shadow.

Lip primers are great for hydrating and smoothing out dry lips. It helps the lip colour glide on easily and prevents the lip colour from bleeding. It reduces the need for a matching lip liner for each lipstick.

Lash primers make lashes longer and thicker, provide more body and help condition the lashes before the mascara goes on. This is not completely necessary but it helps give the mascara an extra boost by plumping the lashes and helping the colour go on more vibrantly. Allow the coat of lash primer to dry before adding mascara.

Under eye primer is an under eye cream which helps prevent pulling or stretching of the delicate area under the eyes. It helps spread makeup with less friction so concealer can glide over it. You can also use eye shadow primer under the eyes before concealer to help it stay put.


Why isn’t my primer working?

Skin care routine: In order for your primer to do its job, you need to first treat your skin before putting on makeup. A proper skin care routine is the best way to prime the skin, even before primer! If you have oily skin, cleanse tone and moisturise your skin properly. If you have dry flaky skin, exfoliate and moisturise well to prevent your foundation from caking.

Wrong kind of primer: You may have chosen the wrong primer for your skin type. If you have oily skin and you choose a hydrating primer, the makeup may just slide off; you should be choosing an oil-control primer. For dry skin choose a moisturising hydrating primer and don’t forget to moisturise well.

You may also have chosen the wrong primer for your foundation. Read the labels and make sure that you do not use a silicone primer with a water-based foundation. This is because silicone is an oil and water-based foundation is based on water, so the two will not mix. You should use a water-based primer with a water-based foundation, and silicone-based primer with silicone-based foundation.

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