What are primers?
Primer is cream that is usually (but not always) colourless, which is meant to bridge one’s makeup and skincare routine. Makeup primers will create a barrier between the skin and the makeup, create a smoother skin surface for a nicer makeup application, prolong the makeup’s wear, and improve its overall appearance.
One of the first brands to introduce skin type-specific primers was Laura Mercier with their foundation primers in hydrating and oil free.
If you find almost all foundations have a tendency to oxidise and change colour after coming into contact with your skin, you may find that primer creates that barrier that will prevent the foundation from coming into contact with your sebum and oxidising.
What’s extra cool is that different makeup primers have different functions, so no matter what you think the best effect would be, there’s a primer out there that can give you that effect. Some primers will brighten the skin and give a dewy effect, while others will matte it.
Some makeup primers can colour-correct, and others will blur imperfections. Primers often also have skincare benefits: they can moisturise, provide sun protection, or contain anti-ageing and anti-acne.
Types of primers
There are primers for everything you can practically think of. We have face primers for almost every skin type (which we will get into in a while). Lash primers, lip primer, eyelid/ eye shadow primer, body primers which are extremely hydrating.
A foundation primer may work like a moisturiser only different, or it may absorb oil with salicylic acid or aid in creating a less oily, more matte appearance. It improves the application of the foundation making it more even and smoother, and increases the longevity of the foundation. Some contain antioxidants, preventing the foundation from changing its colour while coming in contact with the skin.There are water-based and silicon-based foundation primers. Some primers do not contain preservative, oil or fragrance. Some may also have SPF. Some foundation primers are tinted to even out or improve skin tone or colour.
Eyelid or eye shadow primers are similar, but made specifically for use near the eyes. An eyelid primer may help even the colour of the lid and upper eye area, may reduce oiliness, may add shimmer, or may mattify. Eye primers participate in the smooth application of eye shadow, prevent it from creasing, and improve its longevity. The effect of eye shadow primers is not limited to eye shadows. They also work for eye liners.
Mascara primer is sometimes colourless. It usually thickens and/or lengthens the lashes before the application of mascara for a fuller finished look. It may also help keep mascara from smudging or flaking, and some claim to improve the health of the lashes.
Lip primers are intended to smooth the lips and help improve the application of lipstick or lip gloss, although exfoliating the lips is often recommended before applying the lipstick. They also are intended to increase the longevity of lip colour, and to prevent lipstick from “feathering”.
For now lets talk about face primers and the right one for your skin type.
Makeup Primers for Normal Skin
If your skin is normal, which means that your pores are not too large or too small, and that your skin doesn’t get too oily or dry throughout the day, you have a few primer-options. You likely don’t want a primer that has a mattifying effect, but rather you just want a primer that’ll do an awesome job prolonging your makeup, and will have some additional benefits like SPF.
Since a dewy finish is really trendy right now (no surprise! It’s gorgeous!), you might really like an illuminating primer. Normal skin types often don’t have any problems like redness or blemishes, so a simple pore-blurring primer can even fully substitute foundation for you.
Makeup Primers for Oily Skin
If your skin is oily, it’s pretty obvious that you’ll need a mattifying primer. A mattifying primer will prevent your skin from becoming shiny and greasy throughout the day.
Since people with oily skin normally have larger pores, a primer for oily skin types will also have a pore-minimising effect. Lastly, since oily skin-types are more acne prone, there are some makeup primers out there with anti-acne ingredients that will help keep your breakouts at bay.
Makeup Primers for Dry Skin
Dry skin is a little complicated to prime. You want a primer that will moisturise your skin and give you a dewy finish. However, often the word “dewy” is just a substitute for shiny. Unfortunately, shimmer can emphasise flakiness.
Dry skin types have the hardest time finding a great makeup primer, so it’s really important to ask for a sample before purchasing a product. Your goal is to find something that is hydrating and creamy, but with a very light texture.
Makeup Primers for Combination Skin
Ahh, combination skin types! The worst of both worlds – I would know, this is my skin type. With combination skin types there are two options: either choose a neutral primer that won’t overly mattify, but won’t make you look shiny either. It’ll just make your foundation go on smoother and last longer.
Alternatively, you can choose a mattifying primer for the parts of your face where your skin gets oily, and use a different kind in the dryer areas of your face.
Makeup Primers for Mature Skin
Primers are excellent for mature skin types, because they can fill in and blur wrinkles. Look for a lightweight, moisturising primer without shimmer. A lot of makeup primers are made with sunscreen, which is the strongest anti-ageing product out there, as well as with antioxidants, so they can actually have a positive impact on the health of your skin. You can also use a firming makeup primer that will tighten your skin up a bit and create a face lift effect.
Makeup Primers for Sensitive Skin
Makeup primers are excellent for sensitive skin, because they give an extra layer of protection from the environment. Make sure your primer is low on fragrance, so it doesn’t cause any irritation.
If your sensitivity manifests itself as redness, you might prefer a green-based primer to neutralise the red tones in your skin. This way, you’ll find yourself needing to use less foundation. You can also look for soothing ingredients in your primer, like green tea extract.
How do I use them?
Think of these as the base for your base and apply it BEFORE you apply your makeup. After washing and moisturising your skin, apply your primer. Apply it on your fore head nose around your nose and your chin. A pea-sized blob should be ample for skin. Once it’s set meaning it no longer feels sticky, tacky or wet, apply your foundation/mascara/eye shadow/lip colour over-top.
Extra Primer Makeup Hacks
1) If you’re having a really good skin day, or accidentally bought a foundation that’s just too pigmented, your primer is here to help! Mix an equal amount of foundation and primer, for a more natural, sheer finish.
2) Is your lipstick having a hard time staying on? A primer can act like an invisible lip liner. Simply apply lip primer along the lip line to prevent feathering. For super long-lasting lipstick, apply primer all over the lips before putting on your lipstick.
3) It seems like too much of a hassle to apply primer everywhere? Well, you don’t have to. You can concentrate a mattifying primer on your oily T-zone, or keep your brightening primer on the high points of your face that you would normally strobe.
4) Are your brows super unruly, and you don’t have clear mascara sitting around? After filling in your brows, you can set your brow hairs in place with a dab of primer – just make sure it’s not one of those luminizing ones!
Best Primers you can find in Pakistan easily
ELF FACE PRIMER – HYDRATING CLEAR
Boosts your complexion with a drench of hydration, creating a perfect canvas for radiant, younger looking skin. Infused with Grape and Vitamins A, C, & E for nourishing and anti-ageing benefits. This multipurpose clear skin primer reduces the appearance of fine lines and transforms your face into a flawless and smooth canvas so makeup goes on evenly for a long-lasting finish
ELF AQUA BEAUTY PRIMER MIST
A weightless makeup primer spray enriched with Purified Water that is free of silicone and alcohol to help prime, refresh, and set makeup in. This lightweight purified water spray is enriched with antioxidants and hydrating Cucumber, and Vitamin B & E to help soothe and hydrate the skin. Get all the benefits in one with this multitasking mist that hydrates and refreshes the skin, primes the skin, and sets makeup in for a rejuvenated feel. Perfect for using throughout the day for a little pick me up and to create a soft dewy effect
WHITENING BASE SPF 35
Save Your Skin! Sun damage has become a big part of our lives due to pollution and the environment. No matter what your age is, you are at risk of sun damage (dark patches and uneven skin tone) every time you step out without a good sunscreen. Here to the rescue is Luscious Whitening Base SPF 35.
All in One:
– Oil-free Moisturiser
– High performance Sun Protection
– Makeup Primer
The benefits: The list is endless. With continued use, you will see a visibly clearer and fairer complexion, as well as smoother skin texture
BABY SKIN® INSTANT PORE ERASER®
Instant Pore Eraser® leaves skin with a smooth matte finish and moisturises all day
Colour Correcting Primer. Neutralises redness. Flawlessly even skin-tone.
Discover the secret to a flawlessly even skin tone—in an instant. Studio Secrets™ Professional Colour Correcting Primers glide on smoothly to immediately correct and improve the look of your complexion. Each of the three professional correctors is formulated to address your unique skin type:
Anti-Redness: neutralises redness
Anti-Dull Skin (light skin): illuminates and adds warmth to light complexions, and
Anti-Dull Skin (medium/deep skin): gives a radiant, healthy glow to medium/dark skin tones.