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Face Primer: Necessary or Just an Extra Step?

Once upon a time when I was a beauty consultant, I wouldn’t just help women of all ages choose their perfect foundation, I would help pair it with a face primer. I always received the same look that read, “Do I really need a face primer?”

Now, as a beauty blogger, I am always asked, “Why doesn’t my foundation stay put all day?” When I ask which primer they are using, I hear, “Oh … I’m not using one. What’s the purpose of a primer?” So, ladies, let’s settle the primer argument once and for all.

Would you paint your home’s interior walls without smoothing and making the base even with a wall primer first? No, of course you wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t look the best it could look. The same thing applies for your makeup application. A face primer will smooth out pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and even balance out discoloration, making your foundation look flawless throughout the day. Another amazing benefit for using a face primer is that drugstore foundation can look like you’ve spent a lot more on it than you actually did.

Choosing the right primer is definitely important (it’s not one size fits all). If you use an oil-based foundation, your face primer should be oil-based, as well. This is due to the fact that primer will separate if you mix oil and water together. Another important factor in picking out primer is to focus on what your main skin concerns are: Are you oily or dry; do you have large pores, fine lines, and wrinkles; or do you have an uneven skin tone (discoloration)? Using a face primer for your specific needs will help you and your foundation look its best.

Here are some of my favorite primers that I’ve used on myself and others:

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Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle primer is formulated with vitamins A, C, and E. Use this primer to instantly fill in lines, wrinkles, and large pores.

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Cover|FX Mattifying Primer W/Anti-Acne treatment is a gel-based primer that keeps the skin matte, while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and pores. It is formulated with willow bark, which naturally contains Salicylic acid plus vitamins F, C, and E to protect the skin while soothing inflammation.

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Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is a favorite among makeup-wearers, and with great reason (it’s fantastic)! This face primer will leave your skin velvety smooth, while filling in your pores and smoothing out your skin’s texture, allowing your foundation to glide on flawlessly.

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Benefit Porefessional is one of my most used face primers, especially in the summer when my skin is extra oily and I’m sporting huge pores. Benefit Professional delivers on making my skin appear smoother and my pores smaller.

Always keep in mind that a primer in no way replaces your moisturizer; they serve two completely different purposes. Moisturizers are part of your skincare routine, while your primer is part of your makeup routine.

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