What’s a primer and what does it do?
The cosmetic primer is one of the most important step in achieving a beautiful complexion.
Primers usually come in the form of soft creams or gels. They often feel soft and silky to touch and are meant to be applied beneath your makeup (after skincare) to achieve a seamless foundation application
If you are not familiar with face primers, what it essentially does is that it smooths pores, fills in fine lines and improves the longevity of your foundation. Some primers also absorbs shine to give a magnifying effect to the skin.
When should i apply it:
After prepping your skin with skincare and just before applying your foundation. Make sure your skin has absorbed the skincare products before you proceed to apply a thin layer of primer over.
How much should i apply?
Primer should be used sparingly, one pump is all it takes for an instant retouch effect. Always start with a little and layer on more later on if you require more coverage.
Skip any spot treatments if your primer already contains anti-acne ingredients. (We like the Cover FX Mattifying Primer With Anti-Acne Treatment for acne prone skin) Layering on too many acne-fighting products at once could irritate the skin and cause inflammation.
For primers with color-correcting properties, use them only on areas where you need to color correct. While green primers help to reduce redness, too much of it may make you look sickly. For people with yellow/olive undertone, using too much of a pink-toned primer may make your skin appear grey and lifeless. (If you’re afraid of putting on too much primer, try the JILL STUART Lasting Tone-Up Base. We like how light it feels on the skin and how it spreads as a translucent layer on the skin).
The problem with applying too much primer is that you may risk it flaking and clumping on your skin. Your skin will feel slippery, coated and oily, especially if you're using a product that contains silicones.
Clumping may also be due to the incompatibility of your primer and skincare. It’s like how oil and water do not mix, incompatible products repel each other and causes the flakey primer issue
To reduce the effect of clumping, we suggest trying the following:
- make sure your skincare is completely absorbed. Remove excess skincare products with a tissue before applying primer
- apply just enough primer for your entire face.
- try tapping or "pressing" the primer into place rather than rubbing. We find that this helps especially in areas with enlarged pores
- let the primer sit for about a minute or two before your foundation.
What if its too late? Foundation is flaking right now!
Fred not! All you need to do, is to use a screw brush/ a spoolie to brush the clumps away!
Which brush is right for me?
There’s no hard and fast rule to choosing your tool for primers. Most foundation brush will work with primers too. My personal preference is a brush that applies quickly and is not overly dense.
Let’s take a closer look at our top 3 recommendations for applying primer:
The Paddle Foundation brush
A classic, flat brush typically used for foundation application. This brush works to smear a thin layer of primer over the skin.
A bit more on the Paddle Foundation brush:
- sheerest coverage
- more precise than the other 2 brushes
- may streak a little initially. the trick to applying with a flat paddle brush is to apply quickly with gentle pressure and short strokes. Streaking is rarely an issue with primers as the latter is usually translucent and do not have much color nor coverage
The Universal Do It All face brush
A soft, dense angled brush that works brilliantly with all powders, liquids and creams. This brush creates a flawless base and is super beginner friendly. You can literally blend products in any direction and it will still work, no wonder editors love this!
- Highest coverage
- While it is not as precise as the paddle foundation/touch up artist, this brush fits the contours of the face perfectly we find it really easy to navigate around the faceF
- Fluffy bristles allows for a smooth and seamless application effect. Do not cause streaks.
- Fastest brush for applying primer
Touch Up Artist
This brush is kind of like an in-between of the Universal brush and the Paddle Foundation brush. It is flat, yet it does not cause streaks. It’s fluffy yet precise. Definitely our current favorite for applying primer right now!
- Medium coverage
- Precise enough to blend at the undereye areas
- Even application, no streaks
- Not as fast as the Universal brush in terms of application, but much faster than the Paddle Foundation brush
Start at the center of your face and blend outward using quick short strokes.
It’s important to blend quickly because some primers may settle quickly. Once it dries, it’ll be hard to move the product.
If you have dry skin, apply primer to just the areas of your face that tend to get oily (think T-zone and around the mouth).