Tuesday, 19 January 2010

To prime or not to prime - a necessary part of your foundation workout?


Over the last few weeks I've been having this debate in my head about whether or not a face primer is necessary - for me. I think it's cos my skin has changed from oily to combination, and certainly in this colder and drier weather my makeup seems to be holding up well.

I used to be an avid face primer user - I've done a video of the ones that I have used over the years on YT. I used to really, really, and I mean really, believe that it was necessary. Recently as well, it seems that the majority of primers are so heavily silicone based (I know there are those out there that don't like Korres though I haven't tried it) - and I don't like the feeling of silicone. I've been using Sofina Lucent UV as my SPF for over a year now and it doubles up as a primer ie. when I use it I do find that my foundation does last longer. I like the double use. I've run out of it so might try out Shiseido's SPF which some reviewers have said double up as primer too.

But I'm wondering now, especially as I've been trying out Chantecaille's Future Skin foundation (which I will do a review of it shortly)as the SpaceNK MA said it has a 'built in primer' in it, whether the improved formulas and properties of foundations negate the need for a separate primer. I think companies are improving, on the whole, their makeup lines and especially foundations - from drugstore to luxury brands. I do feel that on the whole they are getting much better, more long lasting, oil free, moisturising, less cakey etc. There's definitely more competition out there so brands need to be on the ball. (though sometimes I still wonder when a crap product comes out and you think - haven't they learned? ;D )

Primers for me also don't stop oil at all, and don't stop your makeup fading in totality - but maybe that's too much to expect. But if I am going to have to touch up anyway throughout the day - I'm now looking at other ways to improve the staying power of my makeup:

#1. Try products that help keep oilies at bay - Milk of Magnesia and OC Eight gel at the mo. I'm also interested in trying Murad's Mattifier.
#2. Exfoliate and moisturise. In this freezing weather, I'm paying extra attention to my skin. I've kept on top of my skin regime and had to buy richer moisturisers for this weather - Eucerin's Hyaluronic lines (which I will also do a review on shortly). It could be a moisturiser or hilighting lotion like MAC's Strobe Cream. The regular exfoliation and richer creams I believe are actually helping to prepare my skin for the foundation to adhere to much better. My skin just seems to be 'bouncier' and more supple.
#3. Set makeup with a facial mist. I use Boots Botanics Brightening Toner. Works a treat.
#4. Now this last one is easier said than done. Use a foundation which is, in your eyes, a good quality foundation - something that you feel has been made well and you like the look of it on your skin.

I said it wasn't easy ; D Anyhoo, I just thought I'd put my thoughts out there - and wondered what you all think?


  1. I agree - it is a really difficult one. I personally like the RMK and Illamasqua primers, as like you I hate the feel of silicone primers - they feel so slimy!

  2. Yes I have the RMK one (need to finish it) which is quite good at making my skin a smooth canvas but I haven't tried Illamasqua.

    Btw, totally looking forward to meeting you at IMATS!

  3. hi dear,great post. Foundation primer does a great job on my skin, and plus i use less foundation, I have tried Bobbi Brown face base which is nice, but not like wow. Currently, im using the Bare Minerals face prime, and i dont think i will change to any other primer..it feels soooo good,smooth, and it just helps your following makeup, if you have chance do check itttt out :)xx

  4. Hi! i've never used primer before till the point where i was introduced to the Monistat chafing gel, it's doesnt sound right but hey :p anyways.. i never noticed a real difference in the staying power of my foundation (Mac's Studio Fix), but i had noticed that i could spread the foundation on better and smoother. I was kind of happy but found it very time-consuming to have to put on my spf, then the primer, then the makeup, so i switched to mac prep and prime with spf 50. I thought i could eliminate the spf and primer steps ant turn them into one move and i'm done. the mac primer works and i've saved a step, for the staying power of my foundation i havent really really noticed a huge difference, it does last longer but still i have to touch up if i have a late day! overall i think it's the best "primer" out there basically because of the spf factor!