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How to Apply Makeup Primer

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25 replies to this topic

#1 mayawillmott


Posted 21 March 2011 - 11:16 AM

Makeup primer is one of those beauty secrets that can make a big difference in the look and wear of your makeup. It preps your skin for makeup and creates a smooth base that makeup can adhere well to. If you’ve tried a foundation that looks fantastic on a friend or a model in a magazine only to be disappointed with the results, using makeup primers can make a big difference. Even if you are happy with the foundation you are currently using, a layer of cosmetics primer underneath can bring it to a whole new level.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to apply makeup primer:

Step 1: First you will need to use moisturizer. Putting any makeup on top of dry skin usually leads to trouble later in the day. Choose a light moisturizer as heavy creams tend to make primer slide right off your skin. Be sure to let the moisturizer sit for a few minutes to allow it to be absorbed into your skin.

Step 2: Pump or pour a small amount of the primer into your hand. Dip a damp foundation wedge sponge into the primer and dab it gently onto your face, beginning under your eyes and around your nose. (Note that some primers are packaged in such a way that you spritz them directly onto your face from the bottle.)

Step 3: Next, add the primer to your forehead, chin, nose, and cheeks.

Step 4: Using the same sponge, blend the primer into your skin. Be sure you cover all areas s evenly as possible, but it’s okay to use a little extra in places where your makeup tends to wear off quickly, such as in the T-zone or over large pores.

Step 5: Wait a few minutes for your primer to dry before applying foundation and concealer.

Step 6: Most foundation primers aren’t suited for the eyelids, but you can purchase a primer specifically designed for the eyelid. Eyeshadow is often the first makeup to fade during the day. A good eye makeup primer can help you get much more mileage out of even the cheapest eyeshadows. Just rub some into your eyelids before applying shadow to help your shadow stick to your lids all day.

Once you know how to use makeup primer, you’ll have an extra secret weapon at your disposal to help you achieve the ultimate in your makeup look for your next special occasion.

#2 jeanarick


Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:29 PM

I like using a primer.  It does seem to help my foundation last longer and I use less foundation than before.  The only gripe I have is that most of them tout that they minimize pores.  I personally feel that a bogus claim as it doesn't do a thing for mine.  Otherwise I do recommend primers.  It doesn't take an expesive one either.  The Rimmel primer is very good and is only around $7.00.  Right now I'm using the Covergirl Simply Ageless and it was around $14.


#3 kikikinzz


Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:05 PM

I can't live without my primer......how I ever managed my makeup before is unimaginable.  I swear by Laura Geller's "Spackle".  It gives my face a nice smooth surface in which to apply my makeup. Everything just glides right on without ever feeling oily.  There have been a few times I've forgotten to apply it and let me tell you, I can tell as soon as I go to put on my foundation.  Great tips!  Thank you 

#4 zadidoll

  • LocationUSA

Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:23 PM

I've used the Rimmel primer and it's a tad bit on the orange side for my skin tone. I do like Hard Candy's primer $8 but only available at Walmart. I believe it now comes in three shades - the original, Skin Perfecting Primer (looks to be a bit on the green side but I haven't seen it in person since my Walmarts don't have it) and Illuminating Primer (another that my Walmarts do not carry but I've been told it has a purple tint to it). I can only speak on experience with the original that it's okay, not the best but most certainly not the worst (the worst is L'Oreal Studio Secrets Face Primer which feels like a soy candle wax).

One last thing for people to be aware of, not all primers are created equally. Some are made of Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone or Cyclopentasiloxane so if you're not crazy about one type of primer take a look at the ingredients and try a primer made of a different silicone. And if you want to read a long list of silicones used in hair care products, many of which are used in cosmetics, read this article.

#5 JoleneAL


Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:47 PM

Right now I flip between Paladio (sp) or Bare Minerals primer, depending on what I'm wearing.  I agree that they need to stop the "hides the pores" claimes - its a flat out lie.


Glad LG's spackle worked for you kiki - it turned me into an oil slick.  Thankfully I bought from QVC and was able to send back.


I never used primer regular until about 2 months ago - I didn't know any better. ( The spackle from LG I tried on a whime a couple years ago when she claimed it would make your face a clean pallet for make up )





#6 Reija


Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:16 PM

Great info. Thank you! I featured this on the home page. I really like Laura Mercier primer. I used to use Estee Lauder Idealist as well and liked it for the smoothing effect. 

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#7 heartlee


Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:07 PM

@Reija I was just going to post about Estee Lauder's Idealist!

It has to be my favorite out there, it makes my skin look and  feel like silk!!

#8 IslandGirlAng


Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:49 PM

I really love Satin Slip primer it minimizes the pores and gives your skin a flawless finish, it also has anti-oxidant vitamins and it's good for all skin types!

#9 Maris Crane

Maris Crane

Posted 21 March 2011 - 10:24 PM

I really love MUFE's HD line if I figure I might be photographed. I like the Blue as it cuts down on minor redness in a more natural way than the Green, but also brightens my dull skin really nice. Hard Candy's Sheer Envy is the one I use for everyday as it's cheap, and provides a nice base for my TM. I also use the Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Pore Refiner on my nose & inner cheeks (the rest of my skin is way too dry to use this as a primer, nor do I have a problem with visible pores anywhere else), I sort of tap and push this on, as opposed to smoothing in. The only primer I've seen able to correct pores as well as the Dr. Brandt's is the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch.
i know i'm vulgar, but would you have me any other way?
-- elizabeth taylor

NW10/BB Alabaster, very fair, neutral-cool skin.
sensitive, normal-to-dry, clog-prone skin. blonde/blue.

#10 TammyH


Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:54 PM

So what is the difference between a mattifier and a primer?  I have super oily skin and have tried Smashbox, MOM, and Monistat - all 3 did nothing for me. I still had shine by lunchtime.


When I purchased my ELDW I was given some samples of the Idealist and I love how it smoothes out my skin. But I'm shiny within a few hours of applying it.


I have read many reviews on Murad, Laura Geller, Laura Mercier, Too Faced, etc, etc, etc....


I just don't know which I should try.

#11 zadidoll

  • LocationUSA

Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:37 PM

Originally Posted by TammyH View Post

So what is the difference between a mattifier and a primer? 

A primer is a product that applies some type of silicone on to the face to fill in pores and fine wrinkles to give the skin a smoother base to apply foundation. A mattifier is a product that decrease or absorb oils, primers do not.

#12 ad0rkable071


Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:32 PM

Primer is a must have for me! My skin is so splotchy and the primer makes it even and smooth. Sometimes if I don't feel like wearing makeup, I put primer on just to have that smoothness and poreless look to my face. I use Loreal's face primer with Too Faced eyeshadow primer...they are my holy grails.


#13 AmourAnnette


Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:52 PM

I can't imagine not using primer (ok, yes I can, and I remember not using it, ugh!!) for my face and eyes! Right now I'm loving Smashbox's Light Photo Finish for my makeup, and I have sworn by Too Faced Shadow Insurance for my eyes for years! Thinking about trying out a lip primer as well to see if it helps my lip products last longer :)

#14 TammyH


Posted 23 March 2011 - 01:13 PM

Thank you for clarifying this for me.  It gets so confusing when I try to research reviews for mattifiers I sometimes get primer reviews...

Originally Posted by zadidoll View Post

A primer is a product that applies some type of silicone on to the face to fill in pores and fine wrinkles to give the skin a smoother base to apply foundation. A mattifier is a product that decrease or absorb oils, primers do not.


#15 me0wmix


Posted 23 March 2011 - 03:53 PM

Thank you for posting these tips. I'm waiting for my UDPP shipment right now, and this will be my first time using a primer of any sort so you've given me a bit to work from. I mean, I'm gonna want to get the most out of this product for how much it cost!

#16 janetgriselle


Posted 26 March 2011 - 12:29 AM

Originally Posted by AmourAnnette View Post

I can't imagine not using primer (ok, yes I can, and I remember not using it, ugh!!) for my face and eyes! Right now I'm loving Smashbox's Light Photo Finish for my makeup, and I have sworn by Too Faced Shadow Insurance for my eyes for years! Thinking about trying out a lip primer as well to see if it helps my lip products last longer :)

I use Smashbox's Light Photo Finish too! I have really oily skin, and after the great reviews it got from Allure, I just had to try it, and even though it was $36, it was totally worth every dollar I spent. I wouldn't use anything else. I can't believe I ever put on makeup without primer!


Has anyone tried a lip primer? Should I be using one?

#17 Helen Avon

Helen Avon

Posted 26 March 2011 - 07:47 PM

I can't believe I never used primer before last Fall! I have oily skin so it is really hard to keep foundation on. And I don't leave the house without foundation and powder so...this is a major great change to my routine. I agree that minimize pores is bogus - and in fact I've noticed that different companies in the last year or so are finally saying well, it helps minimize the LOOK of pores. All you can really do about pores is be really diligent about a good skincare routine. I have large pores on my nose and get blackheads there - if I don't take care of my skin ain't nothing going to help that! lol

#18 emalyce89


Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:17 PM

I use primers on my clients, and when I give out makeup lessons, I explain the importance of primers, although I don't necessarily wear them all the time. I use the Estee' Lauder Double Lite Wear foundation on myself and I find that it remains adequate enough without primer. This is a great article...and a great resource! Thanks for posting! =)



Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:46 PM

I've used so far the Hard Candy skin illuminating primer and L'oreal Studio Secrets and... But, I've been using the Hard Candy one more often especially the skin illuminating kind because it leaves this beautiful shimmer and then when you use airbrush makeup, since it's such a light application, it really leaves a beautiful healthy glow to your face, I love it. 


However, I don't know what is going on lately because I've had the Hard Candy ones for about 6 weeks and then I started using the L'Oreal Studio Secrets one sometimes and then I've been using Airbrush makeup on myself for about 6-7 weeks all the time and I've been breaking out pretty bad and I don't know what it is that's causing this!  I can't tell if it's the Hard Candy or the Studio Secrets or the Airbrush makeup and I've used 3 different kinds of Airbrush makeup so far, even Dinair which is supposed to help with break outs (supposedly) ... before any of this I was using mineral makeup and my oil of olay filler and sealer as a primer because you can use that as a primer and I love it, but I bought a couple different primers to use on clients, so I wanted to try them on myself first to make sure how they worked, what the pay off was, etc..


I must say that working with mature skin, using the l'oreal studio secrets and airbrush makeup is amazing!  I mean seriously, amazing!  I had clients walk in with tons of lines around the entire eye, smokers lip and just a tragic amount of lines, and I was thinking to myself, oh boy, hope they don't expect a miracle!  But, we were doing half face demonstrations of what airbrush makeup does, and I would lotion, prime and use the airbrush, with the combo of those two I mentioned, a couple women it was amazing the difference on their skin, of course the lines/wrinkles and pores dont disappear but you notice an extreme difference, the one side of the face a lot of the lines and wrinkles you barely noticed at all, and the other side was very harsh looking in comparison.. these women were going crazy!  I myself was going absolutely crazy thinking damn this is amazinG!!


But, for myself I'm going to stop everything on my skin and go back to mineral makeup and then start to use one product at a time to see what the deal is and what is causing the break out.

#20 satojoko


Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:05 PM

After breaking out, my skin becoming rough and bumpy, and having dry patches break out on my oily skin - from every single primer I have used - and I have tried quite a few, I have come to the conclusion that primer products with silicones in them are simply NOT good for the skin. Silicone creates an occlusive barrier on the skin, making it hard for your skin to breathe properly. Once I stopped using them, my skin went back to normal and I had no further problems. I also found that NO primer I have tried made my makeup last any longer than without it, liquid or mineral. If anything, it had the opposite effect. Even when using my cell phone, my makeup would literally SLIME off on my phone. Disgusting. Waste of money, time, frustration and energy trying to heal up my skin from the after-effects of using primers.


The only place I can and do use primer, simply because the skin in that area acts differently and IS completely different, is on my eyes. The only reason being is that it keeps my concealer from caking up in tiny lines that I can't even see when I'm not wearing makeup. Otherwise, I wouldn't in a million years use the stuff. And yes, I use a facial primer on my eyes, not one specifically for the eyes. Silicone is silicone. As long as it is not a stiff formulation which you really have to pull at your eyes to blend it in, it works just fine. I use Isomers concealer for this purpose, which is a very smooth liquid formulation, not a paste, and is extremely affordable compared to 90% of other primers I have seen on the market. Have not yet had any problems using it this way. Tried Smashbox's primer for this and it was horrible, not to mention far more expensive.


For people with skin issues, such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, or who are just prone to break outs, be aware that primer can cause MORE skin issues and it is in no way the fault of your skin or yourself.

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