You wouldn’t think twice about painting your nails or your walls with a basecoat first – so why not treat your skin with the same level of attention? A primer is often seen as a superfluous accessory to a makeup bag – something best left to the professionals and cosmetics aficionados. But if you often find yourself wondering why your makeup seems to have evaporated by four o’clock, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of adding this simple step to your daily beauty routine.
Do I really need a primer, or can I just use a good moisturizer?
“Both!” says makeup artist Mally Roncal, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé,“primer is really going to help your moisturizer sink in and do its job. Without it, your makeup is just going cling to your moisturizer, and as your moisturizer settles into your pores, its going to take your makeup with it, clogging your pores and ruining the life of your makeup.
If I start using a primer in the morning, should I skip the moisturizer?
Roncal says no: “Don’t skip on the moisturizer! Even if you have super oily skin, you still need moisturizer!” Celebrity makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan, who gets stars like Audrina Patridge and Ashley Tisdale prepped for the red carpet, also agrees on the one-two punch of a moisturizer-primer combo. “I always start with a light to medium moisturizer depending on my clients skin type. The moisturizer will keep the skin hydrated throughout the day but it’s the primer that will keep the makeup looking fresh and flawless. After moisturizing I add primer to my client’s skin to mask fine lines, creases, or large pores and create a seamless canvas for foundation. Another advantage is that most primers set the skin with a matte finish, which will provide shine control for normal to oily skin.”
For her recent red carpet appearance at the Teen Choice Awards (pictured above), Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Joyce Bonelli used the “fab” Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base to create her immaculate complexion. Jenna Anton, who works with the Victoria’s Secret models, also has a standby favourite: “A great primer makes a big difference but finding one that gives skin the perfect texture is the tricky part. I’ve tried a lot and always end up back on the Laura Mercier one.” Meanwhile Kelsey Deenihan switches between her two preferred products: NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer and Skinn Orchid Gel Mattefying Day Treatment.