Primetime vol. 2: Face Primers

Ok, so as I said in volume 1, I tackled eye primers first because there’s a lot less variety vis a vis purpose.

As complicated as it is, I must say I prefer using primers for lasting power, rather than setting sprays.  I just always feel like I’m putting hair spray on my face… which actually, I think is how setting sprays first started…

When it comes to face primers, you really have to think about your skin type because so many of them are not just about helping your makeup last longer, but also about addressing some particular concern you have.

Step 1: Skin Type

Is your skin oily, dry, combination, or “normal”?  Knowing this will help determine the kind of base product you use, which in turn will influence your primer choice, as some primers don’t play well with all base products.

My skin used to be, basically, an oil slick.  As is often the case, the lovely accompaniments of that included the appearance of large pores and a propensity for breakouts.  That meant my makeup broke down very quickly, so having a primer helped with lasting power, but I also looked for formulas that were oil-free, pore-filling, and had salicylic acid in to help deter any pesky breakouts.

ELF blemish control face primer

You see how it has kind of an opaque appearance, and is more dull than shiny.  There’s dimethicone in, which is a silicone that helps to promote smoothness in the product and also the appearance of smooth skin.  There are lots of silicone-based products out there that have that smoothing effect.  Just be careful, though, if you’re breakout prone since it creates a physical barrier that can be pore-clogging.  NEVER go to bed with your makeup on!

As I’ve aged, I’ve found I’ve gotten drier, which has led me to start favoring more hydrating, illuminating primers, like these.

illuminating primer ELF, illuminating primer 100% Pure

Many of these more illuminating primers may also act as moisturizers, but don’t count on them for your primary source of hydration (or SPF).

Another thing I’ve learned is, you won’t necessarily have the same skin type across your whole face.  Especially in the summer, I might use a breakout controlling primer in my T-zone, but still need to use a hydrating primer near my eyes.

Step 2: Skin ‘evenness’

Primers can also be used to help counteract any discoloration or evenness of tone in the skin.  This is done though the strategic use of color correction.  Unlike concealers that should be a shade-match with your skin, use of correctors is based on color theory, the idea that opposite colors cancel each other out.  For the best description of color theory I’ve seen, check out Sharon Farrell’s tutorial!

So, for example, people will often use salmony tones to cancel out blue/purple under-eye circles.  I have a whole treatise on this one if you’re interested!

My current major issue with the skin on my face is redness, partly from being a pale gal, and partly due to hyper-pigmentation left over from previous spots.  For color correcting that, I usually use a greenish primer, though I actually have one I quite like that has more of a lavender hue.  Once these are blended out, you won’t be able to see the color, just the color-correction.

redness reducing primers ELF, Paula's Choice, FitGlow

Hope this has been helpful!  Let us know if you’ve found any great cruelty-free options to add to the list…

*These are only my opinions, formed through my personal experience as a consumer. I am not a medical doctor, an aesthetician, or a health/beauty professional. There is no guarantee what effect, positive or negative, these products may have on anyone else.

**All products were purchased by me from brands that, to the best of my knowledge, are cruelty-free.





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