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The first few days of a hot summer are typically accompanied by instances of your makeup melting off your face as your shocked, sweating skin tries to cope with the heat. Or, at least they used to be. In the past few years, tinted moisturizer, BB cream, CC cream, primer, and now blur cream have arrived to help provide SPF coverage, even out skin tone, and hydrate your complexion. More importantly, they do all that as one product, so you don't have to worry about spackling layers of makeup on your face only to have it all slide off as the day progresses.
But, that's not all they do. “Primers help you not wear your makeup off throughout the day or sweat through it,” says Whitney Welch, a makeup artist for both Smashbox (a brand beloved for its primers) and MAC. “All three of these — BB cream, CC cream, and tinted moisturizer — can technically be used as a primer.” So, for those of you who wish for a bit more coverage, you can actually use a BB, CC, or tinted moisturizer under your foundation, and it will be just as effective as a base.
If adding this layer seems counterintuitive, Welch offers up this explanation: “If you paint your walls, what do you do first? Prime them,” she says. “Why? Because the paint needs something to stick to so it isn’t see-through and you won’t need as many coats. You want your walls to be nice and even. That is exactly what a foundation primer’s job is: to help give you more even coverage, use less foundation, and — here’s the best part! — your makeup stays on all day long.”
But, there are many options out there, and it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out which of them is right for you. So, if you still don't know your BB from your blur, we've gone ahead and broken it all down for you. Ahead, five of the most common types of long-wearing, multitasking face bases, plus tips on how to best use them.