How To Choose The Right Primer For YOUR Skin

by Selen Hurer

Many people get confused thinking of make up primers, wondering... What are they? How do you apply them smoothly and subtly? Do they actually work? Are they worth using? But, actually, when you find the right primer and apply a thin, even and smooth layer over your skin, the finished effect can be dazzling. An airbrushed, perfect complexion that looks so natural, nobody need know that it isn't infact your own skin. Here's my guide to picking the perfect primer FOR YOU.

What is a primer? 
A make-up primer is a base pre-foundation that allows a smoother application and longer-lasting effect. They can also be worn on their own and are fantastic for helping to conceal skin imperfections - smoothing fine lines, wrinkles and large pores - for both men and women.

How to choose the right primer 
There are many different types of primers available, all with varying textures to suit every skin type and colour. Mattifying primers, hydrating, colour correcting, illuminating and anti-aging primers are the most popular. 

  • Avoid silicone-based primers 
    Many are formulated with silicone-based polymers (e.g. dimethicone) which are reknowned for their ultra-smoothing effects but, personally, I’m not a huge fan of heavily formulated silicone products. They can be very slippery on the skin, causing the foundation to roll off. Plus, the silicone can also clog your pores, resulting in spots and blemishes - exactly what you're trying to avoid by using the primer in the first place! They deliver nothing beneficial to your skin and interfere with cell renewal so I'd try to avoid them where possible.
     
  • Make sure your primer matches your foundation
    Ever wondered why little bits of foundation rolls off the skin in little balls? The answer is simple. If you use a silicone-based primer with a water-based foundation, they aren’t compatible with each other so if you opt for a silicone-based primer, you need to use a silicone-based foundation too.

 

MY TOP PICKS

Here are a few of my favourite silicone-free primers:

1. Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive (0.5 / 14.175g £20.95)
I can’t get enough of this moisturising cream-based primer. Whether worn under the pressures of hot studio lights or when running erands during the day, this primer has never let me down. It contains smoothing, natural anti-aging ingredients and soothing aloe vera that really nourishes the skin. Plus, whereas some mattifying primers can go crusty and white on the skin, making it feel really tight, this one feels very comfortable. It also creates a very subtle, natural effect as a little goes a long way so you can achieve amaazing results simply by applying a very thin layer. For best results, rub in well with your fingers rather than an applicator.

Recommended for: Perfect for oily / blemished and combination skins. Great for men and women. I use it lot with my male clients as it works really well worn alone on the t-zone section to give a matte look. It's also vegan so perfect for all of you animal lovers and environmentalists!

TP Verdict: 
 

 

2. Cover FX Calming Primer (30ml / £29.00)  
In addition to blurring imperfections and creating a flawless base, this primer contains a blend of unique ingredients that calm your skin and reduce redness, improving overall tone and leaving your face hydrated and healthy. It’s formulated with cucumber and rosemary extracts that soothe and calm the skin so is perfect if you suffer from uneven skin tone, blotchyness or skin iritations such as rosacea; along with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients including sunflower and blackcurrant seed oil.

Selen says 'I love that this product is also free from talc, mineral oil, parabens and fragrance. Having worked with people who have suffered with rosacea and eczema, I know first-hand how effective this primer is for helping to calm down their skin, making it appear less blotchy and eradicating any drier patches so that the foundation can glide on in a smooth, natural and even application.'

Recommended for: Normal to sensitive skin types.

TP Verdict: 

 

3. Jouer Cosmetics Anti-ageing Moisture Primer (30ml / £29.00)  
If you’re looking for an anti-aging, hydrating primer, this one is for you. It's enriched with antioxidants Vitamin E, Ginseng and Gingko Biloba to protect the skin from free-radicals; and is also formulated with Jouer’s signature Matrixyl 3000 - a mixture of peptides that work to restore elasticity and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - as well as Argan Oil and Shea Butter that nourish and strengthen dehydrated complexions. 

Selen says 'I love this primer because, as well as nourishing the skin, it smoothes out your flaws and really gives your skin a nice subtle glow without making it oily.'

Recommended for: Great for mature skins

TP Verdict: 

 

4. Becca Ever-Matte Priming Perfector (12ml / £14 or 40ml / £28.00) 
Tried and tested in humidity and under the pressures of hot studio lights, this primer can cope well in any situation or weather condition. 


As a mattifying primer, it targets the cause of excess oiliness and can keep you looking fresh-faced for up to 12 hours. Specifically formulated to balance out oil-prone areas, it can be used alone, before- or after-foundation to control oiliness and leave your face looking and feeling fresh all day long. It also minimises pore visibility for a smooth, even-toned complexion; and its unique, skin-friendly formula is free from silicone, oil, alcohol and fragrance and can even be used on the eyelids to keep eyeshadow in place. A brilliant product.

Selen says 'Use this product sparingly as a little goes a long, long way - a pea-sized amount is more than enough. Before use, warm it slightly in your hands and then apply it quickly to ensure a smooth, even application. If you don't, it may feel gloppy and the finished effect will be uneven.'

Recommended for: Very oily skin types.


TP Verdict:




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