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Ready for Prime Time? Face Primers Defined

BlogBeauty Tips | February 27, 2014

Face primers are popular, do-it-all complexion enhancers that seem to have many manufacturers (and users) singing their praises lately. The descriptive word choice is no accident- primer for your face essentially serves the same purpose as primer for household paint. The goal of these creamy wonders is to smooth out the “canvas” of your skin so that makeup is able to stay put longer and cover flaws.  However, so many types have flooded the market that it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. Let me try to help clarify your options with a few definitions and formulas explained.

Clear Primer

This is the earliest and most common primer formulation that was made popular awhile back by Smashbox cosmetics. You can now find a basic primer like it from lower cost drug store brands to fine cosmetic specialty lines. The main purpose is to apply a pea-sized amount onto your face after you’ve cleansed and applied moisturizer. Since the primer is usually silicone-based, you will now have a smooth surface with diminished pores and fine lines to place foundation on without altering your skin tone.

Frosted/Pearlescent Primer

The outcome is the same as above, but if you tend to like a bit of gleam with your glamour, this type is for you. The makeup finish won’t be matte or masklike. Some brands add a blush of rose or bronze to mimic a healthy glow when applied.

Matte Primers

Since those with oily complexions want to eliminate all shine, the matte formula is best for creating a soft look with no sheen. Makeup will not need to be touched up as much during the day. This type works well if being photographed, as the chance of reflection is diminished and a soft, diffused look is made prominent.

Skin Type/Specialty Primers

There are special primers for dry, combination, oily and sensitive skin, and many also add SPF. Some are made to conceal acne, scars, and control inflammation. To deliver the best result, identify the problem you want to address, then do research by reading ads or labels. Silicone bases tend to be less irritating, for instance, and other ingredients vary in purpose. In time, the ingredients work to treat your skin and eventually improve your true complexion.

Tinted Primers

Skin tone or colored primers add some additional features to the mix. One is that if you find the right match, you may be fortunate enough to wear just primer alone. That’s right, no additional makeup necessary! This bodes well for athletes, beach lovers or anyone on lazy, casual days when bare just won’t do.

Another purpose for tints is color correction. The idea is to prime your complexion with an opposite tint to compensate for uneven color tones. Purple is used for sallow complexions, green for rosacea or redness, pink helps to perk up a bland base, and yellow conceals brown spots and dark circles.

Anti-Aging Primers

In the quest for youthful perfection, there are formulas to prime skin for foundation while smoothing or “blurring” out fine lines and wrinkles. These types add anti-aging serums with collagen, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and treat aging skin while forming a shield so makeup doesn’t settle into imperfections and accentuate them.

There you have it, basic primers explained. Hope this mini guide helps define what is best for you. After all, you’ll want to jump on this beauty bandwagon soon to ‘get glowing’ and have fresher looking skin!

Lorraine Letcavage

Written by Lorraine Letcavage

Lorraine has been involved with the beauty school industry for over 5 years, having been employed as a copywriter, editor and blog writer for Empire Education Group. Most of her career has been in Education, as she has a passion to learn and share knowledge to benefit others. She has a BA in English and enjoys writing newsletters, marketing material, and informative pieces for various companies and websites. A self-professed beauty product junkie, Lorraine reads about all the latest trends and uses her connections in the salon industry to stay current in cosmetology.

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