The use of a primer underneath your foundation is viewed by some as an unnecessary extra step but I’m definitely in the camp that doesn’t go without. I find that if you choose the right one for your needs, it means you don’t have to use that much foundation, it makes your skin look more even and most of all it increases the wear of your foundation. There are also other options too like hydrating primers, ones that add glow or colour correction, but I prefer to use other products for that and really just want my primer to help my foundation last longer and if it has the added benefit of making my pores look smaller, that really is a bonus. After trying a fair few over the years, I’ve narrowed down three of my favourites.
The first is the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Smashbox are known for their primers and this is their original and best seller. This is an oil free, silicone-based serum which also has a blend of vitamins A & E as well as grape seed extract and green tea. I like the fact that it is colourless and all you need is a pea-sized amount which spreads evenly across the face. It makes your skin feel like velvet but not in an overly matte way and my foundation adheres to it perfectly. Whilst I want my foundation to last very long, I still want that natural glow and I find that for my normal/combination skin, this primer still allows for that glow without my skin looking greasy at the end of the day.
Next up is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. This is now my third purchase of this little wonder after first buying the mini version from Sephora just over a year ago (see my post here). It comes out in a white fluid texture but is colourless when applied on the skin, leaving it silky and smooth. This oil free primer does a brilliant job at minimising pores, giving a soft-focus effect and also works to colour correct any redness. Like the Smashbox one it adheres to my foundation allowing for a long-lasting but still glowing finish and contains SPF 15 so there is added protection.
Lastly is the Dior Forever & Ever Wear Extreme Perfection & Hold Makeup Base – what a mouthful. The name really explains it all I guess. Now this stuff is good but not my absolute favourite as sometimes it can be a bit drying. If my skin is behaving itself I turn to this otherwise I do prefer the Hourglass and Smashbox primers because they work without fail. It could also be that this primer works better with the Dior foundation which I don’t use, but I’m just guessing here. That said, my makeup goes nowhere with this on, it does a pretty good job at making my pores look smaller and it contains SPF 20. It also has a pinkish peachy tinge which counter-acts any unevenness in skin tone without actually adding any additional colour when applied.
With all of these primers, apart from the inevitable fading as the night draws in, the bulk of my makeup is still on….just what you want to hear. However, if I was going to pick just one it has to be the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. This stuff is award winning for good reason you know.
So do you like using a primer or do you prefer to skip this step? x