Saturday, 18 June 2016


I'm calling them pre-makeup bases as a collective, because one of these four isn't technically classed as a primer, though I use it as one anyway. But hey, onto that in a minute.
I've only really just jumped on the prime bandwagon - and yes, it's taken me THIS long to add one to my morning make-up routine - because I didn't really see the use for them before. It's not until you've tried a good primer that you'll see very quickly just how different your skin looks and feels. So in the effort to get you all on the prime-mobile with me, I've done a quick Q&A of everything you need to know about these magical bases, before you invest...

Why do I need a primer?
In one short answer - so your make-up goes on smoother, stays in place and lasts longer. If you suffer from large pores, bumpy skin or even wrinkles, then a primer will give your skin a more even surface - meaning your problems appear less visible after you've applied your foundation.

How do I pick one for my skin type?
There's so many formulas, all for different skin types. There are cream ones, gel ones and powder ones (just to name a few!) and each have different claims. If dull skin is your problem, choose a brightening one, or if you have oily skin, then a powder formula will help control it. If blemishes bother you, some primers even add spot fighting ingredients in their formulas these days (Witch, for example have just launched one).

Are expensive ones really that different to drugstore primers?
We all wonder whether or not it's actually worth investing in pricey make-up, when so many bargain brands are coming out with amazing products. So in answer - the primer you choose will be down to your skin type. If you want one with a load of added benefits, you may be looking at something higher on the price scale. If you just want a standard silicon-based one, that purely smooths over your skin, then you could probably get away with going slightly cheaper.
You should think of your primer as an extension to your skincare. It's the barrier between your make-up and your skin, so I'd recommend getting one that's actually doing something to fix any complexion woes you may have.

I don't want to aggravate my skin, will it make it react?
Possibly. There's still some debate over ingredients in primers - especially a common one called 'dimethicone' (a silicon oil). Some people claim it causes reactions in their skin, but others wear it without any problems. Patch test - and not on your hand, because the skin on your face is generally more sensitive. Try putting a blob by your jawline, and leave it there for a few hours.

Decided you need a primer in your life? These four are my current favourites...

bareMinerals Prime Time // £22 (for a large size - I have the mini version here) // Boots

An oldie but a goodie, this is a pretty standard primer, in terms of not having that many added ingredients or effects. But it really smooths skin, gives a great base - and for days when my skin is a little more red and patchy, I use this because it doesn't aggravate. 

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Rescue Cream // £23 // Feelunique

This is a cream, not a primer, I know. But I've found it has some pretty amazing priming effects, so I've put it in my favourites. This new Vinosource range is made up of four targeted creams - and they all have varying moisturising claims. This one here is for very dry skin, but I use it as a base before makeup - because it sinks in quickly, and makes my skin feel so smooth - like a standard primer does. But the difference is, when I use this cream around my eyes, my under-eye concealer doesn't crease, or show lines - which is a miracle, because usually a few hours into the day and I have creased foundation. I love this.

Lancome La Base Hydra Glow // £28.50 // Selfridges

I can't tell you how obsessed I am with this. It feels more like a cream than a primer - which I like, because it gives my skin some hydration. But the main reason I'm on my second tube of this is because it lights up my whole face. Not in an offensively shimmery way - just like you've had a really good facial and you've got that glow. This is a facial in a tube. Even under a light foundation you can still see how healthy it makes you look. It's got a tiny bit of a pearly tint as well, so although it doesn't  cover blemishes, it's perfect for boosting your skin on days where you want time off from actual foundation.

Clinique Superprimer Colour Correct (dullness) // £20 // Boots

Another new range of primers, that address varying concerns. But my favourite is this pearly pink-tinted one that makes dull skin look brighter and fresher. It's actually been formulated for darker skin tones, and though I am on the lighter end of the shades, I still find this gives me a lovely tint and a glow. If you have redness problems or patchy skin, have a look at the other primer options in this Super range, because I promise you'll find one for your specific concern.

Have you recently discovered primers? I'd love to know which ones you're using x


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