Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To Prime or Not to Prime

     Since working at Ulta, I've discovered many new things that I've previously never tried. One of these products is facial primer. I've heard about facial primers, but I've previously been afraid to try them. Since my skin is oily, I've worried that putting on an extra layer would cause my skin to break out. Recently, one of my co-workers gave me an extra bottle of primer she had to try out.

     There are many different types of facial primers from many different brands. The purpose of facial primers is to prep the skin to receive foundation. They smooth the face out and help diminish impurities among other things. There are different formulas for mattifying, tone correcting, and even erasing fine lines.

The primer I tried was the Studio Gear Prime Objective Skin Perfecting Face Primer with SPF 20

     According to the website, this primer "helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays while priming the skin in much the same way as a painter primes a canvas. PRIME OBJECTIVE SPF 20 is a silicone based face primer that provides an effective broad-spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen while acting to “retouch”, or visually diminish, imperfections in the surface texture of the skin. PRIME OBJECTIVE SPF 20 contains a sustained release liposome system with retinol that can help promote cell turnover and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as a milk protein complex to help to balance and protect the skin from environmental stresses. The ‘skin-perfecting’ effect of this state-of the- art formula is further enhanced with optical diffusers."
     Since this primer wasn't mattifying, I was expecting much from it. I washed my face and applied my moisturizer, then applied the primer (the primer DOES NOT replace moisturizer! It does not penetrate the top layer of skin, so there are no moisturizing benefits). Once applied I was surprised by how smooth my skin felt. And it didn't feel heavy or sticky, which was my main concern. I used Bare Minerals foundation, which is a loose powder. It applied MUCH better with the primer, and I actually had to use less to get the coverage I wanted. But the real test was how the make-up would wear through the day. I worked a six hour day and checked out my makeup when I got home. What I noticed right away was how matte my face looked. After  a long day, by the time I get home, my face is incredibly shiny and the majority of my foundation has worn off. But with the primer, I had a little shine on my nose but that was it. My blush, foundation, and brightening cream were all in place. And, again, this primer wasn't even mattifying! I was incredibly happy, and I highly recommend it.

Some other primers:

Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer: Good for dull complexions.

Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primers- apricot for dark spots, green to reduce redness, and purple to counteract yellow, sallow skin.

     Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion: Pore Perfecting- Good for oily skin.

L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base- A cheaper price point than those above, also a mattifying.


  1. This has nothing to do with this post, but I don't know where to post things so this will do. I want a highlighter for my cheeks but I don't know what to get. The highlighter from benfit that you put on me just kind of turned my cheeks white counter acting the blush. So tell me dear alison, what do you recommend?

  2. There's a few different things you can try-

    First, from Too Faced, they have a blush/bronzer/highlighter all in one. The color you'd want is called Snow Bunny. It's meant for fair skin so you don't have to worry about the colors being too strong.


    Benefit has a highlighter that's a soft, ballerina pink. That way it'll work with the blush instead of covering it up.


    They also have highlighter/blush duos, like this one from Clinique.


    Or there's this highlighter from Mark that I LOVE. It's cheaper than the stuff above and I think it works great. Blush it comes in a few different colors- I use the Rose Glow. I actually have it if you wanted to try it out.


  3. Is the rose glow really pink? Cause I would still want to put that hot pink blush I got from smashbox on top. So I don't want it to be too crazy pink. Would it be better to get the champagne glow? Which I'm guessing has less color.

  4. It's not really all that pink. The picture is a very false representation. It's more like skin tone with pinky undertones. Very pretty. The champagne will be more of a yellow undertone. I'll bring it Friday for you to play with.