Sunday, March 16, 2014


This has been one of the most 'asked' questions and one of the most important decisions to make for your makeup kit. A primer is such an important step and is considered as one of the bridges between your skin care and makeup regimes to get that flawless complexion. A daily moisturizer with sunscreen itself is a great priming agent (since they have the same silicones) but an additional primer adds to the longevity of the makeup very very efficiently. A primer is the first step of your makeup routine wherever and whenever you do makeup.

I believe the makeup primers were inspired from 'paints' especially wall paints. To increase the longevity of the paint and to make it weather proof, painters use 'primers' in between the rough surfaced wall and the paint that has to be applied. A makeup primer does a similar job. It helps the paint (foundation/makeup products) adhere better to the skin, helps resurface the skin texture, helps improve the longevity and wear of the makeup products on the skin and so many more. With the addition of a sunscreen, Vit. A,C,E, Salicylic acid, Hyaluronic Acid and other anti ageing and skin nourishing agents, Primers have evolved a lot and thus become an integral part of modern makeup. Now a days primers also contain color correcting agents and target various skin concerns. Hydrating and Illuminating primers help take care of dry skins.

Its quite an intelligent concept and very well thought of and executed in the modern world of makeup. 

Primers primers primers everywhere. Each brand has one to offer and I have my favorites.

So lets have a look..........
Today I shall be discussing on my favorite makeup primers for the face, the ones that I use on my clients at almost all makeup jobs and then there are some that I use on myself too. (I shall be taking pictures out of the web for the ease of doing this post. Soon I will put the pictures of my vanity kit too). This post shall essentially talk about face primers and some amazing eyeshadow primers that I use daily.

The primers that I use on daily basis are oil controlling and meant for predominantly oily skins. When it comes to drier skins, I use my discretion in the application and prefer to moisturize the skin thoroughly. With the climatic conditions I work in, I deal with a lot of combination and oily skins thence I use these primers.

SMASHBOX Cosmetics - Photo Finish Foundation Primer LIGHT

This is the first primer I started with. I had been doing my makeup research for the longest time and since Smashbox is one of the pioneering brands in primers, I thought of starting with this one. The 'Light' version is essentially made for oily, acne prone skins and does not clog pores (unlike others) and keeps the makeup really long lasting and time proof for the next 12 hrs (I havent observed any fading after 5 mins after the passage of the 12th This is purely silicone based primer and quite drying actually (not for drier skins) and mattifies the face very efficiently and does not feel heavy. Smashbox makes a lot of other primers with color correcting agents etc. and they are equally fabulous. I am lusting after their Photofinish Luminizing Primer and Photofinish Color Correcting primer and shall get when my primers are over.

I may have the older packaging but I must say that this primer is simply mind blowing and one of the best mattifying primers I have used. This semi solid primer is simply marvelous. It hides pores like no one's business. Mattifies skin for hours and the foundations just love this primer especially the Guerlain Parure Extreme ones. The skin looks retexturized, resurfaced and simply amazing. This is a shine control primer and holds creme, liquid and powder products really well and even in the harshest conditions. This is my current primer for weddings and bridal makeups and I shall use it until its over and shall repurchase it again from as Estee Lauder India does not have it.

Clarins Lisse Minute - Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Makeup Base  15ml/0.5oz

I have been using this primer as an additive for hiding and concealing pores and uneven skin for quite a long time. Its more of a balm than a fluid and a little dab goes a long way. I have always reserved this one for extra oily skins and photoshoots and it does help me achieve a perfect complexion that photographs very well. Since they have discontinued this primer, I am looking for other options and Benefit Porefessional may take its place. 

CHANEL Base Lumiere - Illuminating Makeup Base

This is a primer that I use for myself. I simply love it as it does brighten the skin without any hints of visible shimmer. Being a white colored liquid, it can be a bit intimidating but on skin it transforms into a veil that helps the foundation glide and stay put for longer time. It may not promise pore refining but is moderately oil balancing and a very high quality primer. Its great for oilier skins and does not allow the foundation to oxidize. This is my personal favorite and I have no intentions on using this on clients.

LAURA MERCIER Foundation Primer - Oil Free

This is my recent purchase and it happens to be an oil free version of the oldest and most legendary Laura Mercier primer. I have always wanted one and this was the right time to pick one as my other primers started exhausting. This is a light weight primer and holds the foundation really well. It does not have any obvious pore refining effect and actually does nothing to skin except priming. Just that its light weight and creates that thin barrier. I liked it but its not my favorite one.

ORIFLAME Perfecting Face Primer

I have loved this primer a lot since the day it was launched. This is really fluidy and quite nice for face and eyes. I have used this primer a lot many times on models and cheapo clients who cannot afford paying for better makeup (even though they are loaded with money...LOL). This is a simple light weight primer and does some justice to the foundation. 

This is the most expensive primer I own and its just perfect for any skin type. It has tiny silvery pearls that help illuminate the complexion and gives a lovely glow. It does a good job in hydrating and priming the skin to receive foundation but the pearly sheen can enhance pores (by settling in them) and can mimic an oil sleek if not taken care of. Which is why I use it only on my top notch clients and whenever I want that pearly glow on the face.

 I love this primer. Its one of those primers that does it all and holds makeup for the longest but also has color correcting properties. It has a bit of apricot and lavender color (barely noticeable on skin) which helps correct sallowness and dullness and brighten the complexion visibly without adding any sheen or shimmer. Its mattifying, pore refining and feels high quality living up to the expectations one has from Shiseido. 

DIOR Glow Maximizer

This is the latest primer which I got. Its so gorgeous and lives upto its name. I believe it has more of glow enhancing properties and even though its a primer, I would essentially apply it only on the areas that I need to be highlighted. This primer actually imparts that lit from within glow but oilies should stay alert. A beautiful primer which could also be a highlighter on skin on those days of dullness and sallowness.

Now is my WISH LIST and its a huge one.....

Clinique Super Primers - I want to own this since quite a long time after they launched them. Waiting for mine to finish as there is no point storing too many primers. These are some of the most affordable primers in the department market.

I have heard of great reviews of Becca cosmetics' Even Matte and Resurfacing Primers and I am dying to try them out. Hope Becca is reading this..LOL..I dont expect PRs but wouldn't mind if I get any.

This is my next purchase and definitely a well thought one. It does feel and look like Clinique's Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector which is an excellent primer on its own but not on my wish list due to its quantity. 

Too Faced Primed and Poreless does promise a lot for the primer that it is and its a great purchase from Beautybay.

This is Pat McGrath's favorite primer and I want this badly. My friend Jigisha swears by it and I might do the same too.

Its not humanly possible for any makeup artist to own too many primers and my wish list is endless, so lets limit the article here. I shall make another post for my favorite eyeshadow primers and the complexion perfectors I love.

What are your favorite face primers? Do let me know in the comments.

Till then,


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