Makeup Primer 101: What It Is & Why You Need It


All About Makeup Primers

When it comes to beauty products, primer is still one of the new kids on the block. It’s been widely available for several years now, but in the beauty industry, most products (or variations of them) have been around for centuries. As evidenced by the great Cleopatra, ancient Egyptian civilizations were early adopters of eye liner, using kohl to smudge and darken their eye area.

There’s no evidence of any ancient civilizations using primer, but we bet they would have if they knew what it was – which takes us to our point: what exactly is it?

By any definition, primer is a product that you apply before makeup to help make it last longer. It was concepted and created as a solution to makeup meltdown caused by heat, stress, and changes in your skin, bridging the gap between makeup and skincare. Your skin is an active, living organ, while makeup is a static product that doesn’t adjust to your skin’s daily activities. Most makeup doesn’t have the technology to harmonize itself to the battlefield of your skin, and most skincare isn’t formulated with your makeup in mind. So, regardless of whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, oils from your skin can penetrate through your makeup and breakdown the pigments. This is what causes it to crease and move around, and why so many of us need to touch up our makeup several times a day – especially if your skin does tend to be more oily.

This is where primer comes into play. Much like the way false lashes wouldn’t stick to your lash line without adhesive, makeup needs something to “bind” it to your face.

Usually available in liquid formulations, primer is applied after your skincare routine and before your foundation. This crucial step creates an invisible barrier between your skin and your makeup, keeping foundation from settling into any fine lines and congesting your pores. It also helps prevent your skincare products from interacting too much with your makeup and vice versa. It creates a smooth surface, keeping oils at boy and providing a happy environment for your foundation to stick to. This is why using a primer before your foundation enables your makeup to last longer and look flawless for an extended period of time – it’s like waterproofing your skin.

Picture it this way: It’s the blackout curtain that keeps the sunlight out when you need to sleep.

There’s another solid benefit to wearing primer: you can use it even if you’re not wearing makeup. Primers also address a myriad of skin concerns, as many formulas mattify skin, combat redness, revitalize sallow undertones, and brighten your complexion, and that helps you look great even if you’re not wearing foundation.

It’s one of those products you don’t think you need until you try and realize you can’t live without it – because you do actually need it. It’s an extra step in your routine, yes, but it takes only seconds and makes your life easier by making your skin and makeup instantly look better.