I admit I'm late to the game with using a primer and so I decided to test several to find out what I thought. As a makeup artist I use primer on clients but don't use one regularly myself because my skin is sensitive and I didn't love the feel of a primer on my skin. Well, that has changed.
There are so many options with primers for lips, eyelids, lashes and the formulations have improved greatly from the silicone-heavy primers of the early 2000s. Primers are a category all on their own and several of them include treatments and ingredients to hydrate and protect the skin. Smooth makeup plus better skin? Yes, please.
These are my favorite primers that I've tried recently.
GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturizer -Primer plus moisturizer. This is a must-have if you want a smooth makeup application and I couldn't believe the difference it made under my liquid foundation. It hydrates the skin with ingredients that absorb excess oil and gives a flawless finish using even less foundation. Definitely a favorite for when I want a photo-finish- usually for a night out or when I know I'll be photographed. Added bonus: it includes a TEAOXI®’s Complex (Cherry Tomato Leaf, Prickly Pear, and Vitamin B5) which moisturizes and fortifies skin’s barrier and helps skin feel calm and replenished.
NARS Radiance Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen-I love this primer because it includes a protective SPF 35 and is lightweight enough for everyday use. It has a texture similar to a light serum. I usually layer this on top of my moisturizer and it imparts a subtle glow as it is tinted pink. This is my favorite for everyday wear and as a bonus it brightens my skin in the morning. It is easy to wear and feels great on my skin. Another favorite from NARS.
Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15-I'm pretty much obsessed with this cream eye shadow from Bare Minerals. I've tried the Urban Decay Primers, MAC and others. I was looking for an eye shadow primer that absolutely preps the lids for eye shadow and provides long wear. Thanks to Pro Artist Wayne Goss, I discovered this 5 in 1 base on his YouTube channel.
This one is my favorite because it goes on easily with an applicator, dries down quickly and doesn't budge. It comes in a variety of shades and you can wear it alone or layer it under your eye shadow. I wear eye shadow almost every day and they blend beautifully over this as a base and last all day even through a good workout at the gym. I also love how this covers discoloration on my eyelids and brightens the eye area. I definitely carry this in my makeup kit for clients.
Friends and clients often ask me what I use in my skincare routine to get glowing skin. I'm meticulous with my skincare routine and if I have to choose just one thing that I can see an immediate difference, it is Vitamin C. My skin changed for the better once I started using it a year ago.
If you want great skin everyday or in preparation for your wedding, incorporate Vitamin C into your skincare routine.
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant powerhouse. It's a must for fighting free radicals (pollution, dirt and smog) that can age our skin. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and photo aging from the sun to prevent skin cell damage. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Vitamin C is also proven to brighten and even skin tone. For these reasons it is my holy grail product. I can tell an immediate difference in my skin after just a couple days.
I recommend using a Vitamin C serum layered under your daytime cream with a sunscreen. It has been shown to increase the efficiency of sunscreen protection as well. You can also use it under your night cream and before any other serums or face oil at night.
My favorites are Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum and Obagi Professional C 15%. The texture of both serums is lightweight enough to absorb quickly and are perfect for all skin types. Drunk Elephant also makes a lovely Vitamin C day serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes, and an antiaging chronopeptide to visibly firm, brighten, and diminish the appearance of photo aging (sun-damage).