Let's talk about Primers.

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

I am back!

Sitting here looking at a plethora of LA girl concealers before me and realising how lucky I am to have received such a press drop. My kit will benefit hugely as will you lot so stay tuned for a lil’ demo coming soon.

I have been a little quiet on my stories the past few days because of the work being done at the back of the house, I work close to where all the digging and banging is happening so, to do any lives or stories is proving to be tricky at the moment!

For my first few blogs I want to try and educate you as to what your doing when it comes to your makeup and why you are doing it. As you all know I’m a skincare freak but not a professional so I will point you in the direction of my good friend Jennifer Rock AKA The Skin Nerd, skin extraordinaire herself where you can download or purchase her book that I refer to as a skin bible alternatively you can book in with one of her team online for a consultation to get you up to speed with perfecting that area which is prob the most important.

Here is my analogy, skin to makeup is like food to exercise for me. You will get the best results from a healthy regime if you are 80% good with your food, 20% exercise is what completes the process, same idea for face, skincare is where the work is put in with makeup being the 20% that pulls the whole thing together. Don’t try and hide or fix your skin concerns with makeup, you will only end up exacerbating the situation which will result in you feeling like your not capable or blaming a product that may suit you perfectly.

Right let’s get stuck in….

Skin is prepped, what do I do next, I hear you say! Should I wear primer, is it necessary, will it damage my skin, what are the benefits, everything can be a minefield but it doesn’t need to be so, sit back and relax with a cuppa and by the time you have finished reading this I promise you, you will have all the knowledge you need in deciding whether you will want to wear a primer or not!

First, what does a primer do? Not too complicated really, Primer creates an extra layer between your skin and makeup. Simple! Priming products are predominantly used to help makeup last longer, they can smooth the skin's surface, even out skin tone, hydrate, and control natural oil production. When/If you are choosing a primer, there’s a couple of things you should bear in mind. What do I want it to do for my skin and what result am I going to get from it?

If your concern is open pores or fine lines, primer can help reduce their appearance and it can help to even out skin tone. If your have large open pores and/or deep set wrinkles I would suggest using a silicone primer as opposed to a water based primer, this alternative would suit someone with fine lines, normally these primers will be loaded with hyaluronic acid, they will help plump the skin from below the surface, lessening their appearance.

Here is where it gets a little tricky and where a lot of people including some makeup artists are making a big mistake. A water-based primer should be used with a water-based foundation. A silicone-based primer should be paired with a silicone-based foundation. If you try to use a water-based foundation on top of a silicone primer the foundation may become grainy and will not spread or absorb well. You will end up with a finish that splits and almost makes your skin look dry. Good example would be using Smashbox Original primer and then applying MAC Face and Body over it, it will never work as you are trying to layer a water-based foundation over a silicone-based primer.

How do I know if it is a water based or silicone-based product?

Let’s break it down.

To determine whether a product is water-based or silicone-based, you must look at the ingredients. Words ending in ‘cone’ (methicone) and ‘ane’ (siloxane) near the top of the list tend to signal a silicone based product, latest word to be added to the list is ‘polymer’ which is a type of silicone you’ll hear more of in hair products. The texture of silicone is quite smooth and silky to touch, you will typically here or read the word ‘blur’ when it comes to silicones (unless it states otherwise), a perfect example e.g. Smashbox Photo Finish Original Primer.

Are they necessary, well, they lock in your base, help with oil control, and provide a smooth, crease-free finish but sometimes, they can clog your pores — which leads to breakouts, especially when you have sensitive or acne prone skin. Silicone draws impurities, pollutants, free radicals from the air and trap them in your pores. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to oil, dead skin, and bacteria underneath the impermeable seal of silicone can lead to increased breakouts. You need to be religious with your double cleanse and have a strong skincare game on to combat the effects silicone can have.

On the flip side, adding a hydrating/illuminating primer is the perfect way to enjoy an extra boost or glow that dry/maturing skin types can experience. To keep this as an educational blog post, I will not overload you with product recommendations however I will keep it simple in my advice.

For me, both personally and professionally, there are only two brands that are untouchable when it comes to primers, one being Smashbox (the OG) and the other being Laura Mercier. Smashbox have rebranded of late with a fresh new look keeping on trend whilst Laura Mercier have reformulated recently and the products are undeniably amazing, there is something in there for every skin type and skin tone. I will post a picture of both brands below and if you have any questions feel free to drop me a message but honestly, the brands have taken the work out of it for you, they are so self-explanatory you cannot go wrong.

To summarise, primers for me are an essential step in helping to create a smooth base that can diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, uneven skin tone and textures. It is probably fair to note that by using a primer, you can get away with less foundation. Plus, on days when a foundation is not necessary, the primer can give your skin a blurred, airbrushed look.

I really do hope this helps you!

Next weeks blog I will be covering highlighting bases, the pros and cons as this would be your next step. How you can incorporate them into your primer, foundation or as a stand alone application.

Looking forward to going through it with you step by step.

Until next time,

Take care.

S x

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