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.