I like foundation primers a lot. I think they really can make a difference in how your makeup looks and lasts and are totally worth the 3 extra seconds it takes to put them on. The whole idea behind face primers is they are supposed to prep and prime the face before you put on your foundation or concealer. Using a primer first smooths out the skins imperfections so your foundation goes on more evenly and last longer. With a good primer you may not even need to wear anything over it!
Since I am a fan I have tried my fair share of primers over the years. Here are a few primers worth mentioning –
This was the first primer I ever tried and it came in kit I picked up from Sephora. At first I was like “what is this bullshit product?” and then I was like “why the hell do I need a primer?” but as it turns out I did need a primer and it made my skin look a gazillion times better. As far as I am concerned Smashbox’s Photoready Primer the gold standard when it come to primers. This makes your skin look better without even having to put a stitch of makeup on. LOVE IT.
That Gal – Benefit
That Gal is a brightening primer and a very pinky color to boot. When I bought this I was with a couple of friends and when saleslady put the primer on my friends went “ooh! That makes a big difference”. Sold! After a few weeks though my opinion was that gal got the job done but was not magical.
This is a better illuminator than it is a primer and I say that because this product does not always play well with others. I had a couple of instances where the foundations balled up on me after using Magic Lumi. Although, having said that I really like this primer. Lumi is a scary vampire white at first, but mellows out when applied. This product really does illuminate this skin and soften imperfections. I dig it. I also like the price tag.
Clarins does not market this as a primer, but that is exactly what is. The Beauty Flash Balm tightens and brightens the skin and will make your makeup last longer. The trick with this product is to not to work it too much when putting it on. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is on many bloggers holy grail list and I can see why. If I need to look extra special purty this is the primer I turn to.
It used to be there were only a couple of companies that made primers and they were pretty basic. These days EVERYONE has their version of a primer – there are moisturizing primers, mattifying primers, tinted primers, brightening primers, color correcting primers and anti-aging primers to name a few.
One word of caution – I read some reviews on makeupalley.com prior to writing this post and in general there seems to be a lot of unhappiness with primers out there. If you have oily and or sensitive skin and want to get in the game you may want to be extra careful in picking out your primer and finding one suitable for your skin. I have dry combo skin and have not had any negative reactions to primers to date.