Skin prep is incredibly important when it comes to a flawless and long-lasting makeup look. And nothing preps your complexion canvas better than a primer. But while you may have heard of the skincare-makeup-hybrid, you've probably also wondered, ‘what does primer do?'.
Lucky for you, we've done the homework and this is everything you need to know.
The benefits of using a primer
1. Extend the wear time of your makeup
Primers act as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, holding onto your foundation and base products without letting it absorb into the skin. This helps your makeup to last longer and wear evenly throughout the day.
2. Create a smooth base for makeup application
Applying a primer pre-makeup will create a silk-like veil that evens out texture for smoother makeup application. No caking here!
3. Minimise the appearance of pores
Primer helps to shrink the appearance of pores by mattifying and smoothing the skin, while also reflecting light, so they appear smaller.
4. Control oils throughout the day
Oil-control primers not only mattify upon application, but they'll also keep oil production balanced throughout the day. Less shine, and less touch-ups required.
5. Boost skin luminosity
Primers that contain light-reflecting particles and brightening ingredients help to boost the luminosity of skin. Dullness doesn't stand a chance.
How to apply primer
So is it moisturiser or primer first?
When you should apply primer is the same for every skin type. No matter if you're using a dewy primer, or mattifying primer, it should be the last step in your skincare, and the first step of your makeup.
Using your preferred tool or fingers, apply your primer from the centre of your face outwards, focusing on areas of uneven texture or shine, like the T-zone.
As for how long should you let primer dry before foundation, a good rule of thumb is one minute. This allows the primer to properly dry down and adhere to the skin for better results.
Top Tip: While there's no set time for how long after moisturiser to apply primer, it's best to wait until all of your skincare products are absorbed before beginning.
How to choose the best primer for your skin type
Choosing a primer can be confusing, so we've made it simple by splitting them into 3 main categories:
The best primer for dry skin
When looking for a hydrating primer, aim for soothing and moisturising ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera.
This gel-like primer is perfect for people with moderately dry skin. Infused with Aloe Vera, the nourishing formula calms the skin and boosts hydration, giving you a smooth base for makeup application.
Ideal for people with very dry and dehydrated skin, this ultra-hydrating formula is packed full of Hyaluronic Acid to boost hydration and Green Tea to help eliminate dry patches.
The best primer for oily skin
Those with oily skin should not only look for a mattifying formula, but also the best primer for pores.
This powerful blurring formula is great for oily skin. It works to minimise shine instantly and throughout the day, while its blurring properties produce an airbrushed finish by reducing the appearance of pores, blemishes and fine lines.
Ideal for those with blemish-prone skin, this silky smooth 2-in-1 primer provides balance by minimising the appearance of pores and fine lines. The salmon-coloured formula colour corrects whilst prepping the skin for make-up, camouflaging blemishes and skin pigmentation. It's also infused with healing Green Tea and calming Chamomile to soothe the skin.
Top Tip: If you're looking for the best primer for combination skin, both of these will work well if you apply them only to the areas prone to oil production, such as the forehead and chin.
The best primer for dull skin
If dullness is your demise, a light-reflecting, brightening primer will work wonders when applied before your base.
This luxurious gold-tinted primer counteracts dullness for more naturally radiant skin. The gel-like formula is infused with pearlescent pigments to make your skin glow, and Vitamin C to brighten the complexion. Perfect for achieving that summer glow! And for those wondering, you can use primer alone if you prefer a no-makeup makeup look.
Great for dull as well as mature skin types, this firming primer is infused with real gold flecks for instant luminosity. The super blendable formula also features a Q10 infusion to help plump and firm the skin, while a unique 'gripping' technology extends the wear time of your foundation.