8 Face Primers That Will Make You Believe In Face Primers

Primers, like Tinder users, tend to be hit-or-miss. To find the partner (er, primer) of your dreams, you’ve gotta do some background work. Before clicking "add to cart," consider what kind will benefit your skin type and exactly how you’d like it to enhance your complexion. Because if you find the one that introduces you to the beauty-boosting abilities primers have to offer, then you might just never want to live without it.
Most makeup artists would undoubtedly tell you that they couldn’t do their jobs without the trusty help of primers. From red carpets to television appearances, they’re constantly working to make sure the makeup looks its absolute best and lasts as long as needed. Since they’re using them so often, it’s no surprise that their knowledge of primers is basically genius-level.
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Since our familiarity isn’t quite up to par, we turned to the experts to find out how to best use the primers we already love. Hey, who wants to shell out hard-earned cash money on a product and not be aware of all the fabulous ways to use it? Definitely not us. Luckily, makeup artists Jenna Kristina, Robert Sesnek, and Kindra Mann weighed in with their expertise on these base-perfecting products. Ahead, check out their tips for getting the most out of your face primer.
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Be Aware Of Your Skin Needs

This tip may be the most critical of them all, seeing as someone with dry skin has a completely different set of needs than someone with super-oily skin. “If you really want to get the most out of your primer, you need to start off by looking at what sort of skin issues you want to address,” said Mann. “Then, seek out a specific primer that will help combat those issues." Or, seek out a couple primers to use on different areas of your face if you have combination skin.
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If you suffer from especially dry skin, there are also primer options that double as moisturizers. This priming cream from Glossier has hyaluronic acid to plump skin, and you can layer it depending on how parched your skin is during this time of year.
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Know The Finish First

Just like all base products, primers come in a myriad of unique finishes. Before you decide on the finish you want, it’s also important to think about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. For example, if you’re going to be getting your picture taken, you might want to steer clear of an overly dewy primer, as it could translate as super-shiny on camera.

When choosing a finish, Mann recommends thinking about what you want the overall look to be. “Illuminating primers are great to give the skin a dewy glow,” she says. “While matte primers are great for red carpet, because they help keep the shine down on the skin.” On the other hand, Kristina prefers ones with a satin finish because they mimic the skin's natural texture.
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Mix It In

It’s a common assumption that primers can only be slapped on under your choice base product, but we’re here to inform you otherwise. You mix a primer into your foundation, to sheer it out, or add an extra sheen to your complexion. “Non-silicone-based primers are ideal for mixing into your foundation,” said Mann. “Using a non-silicone-based primer is important, because you will have a smoother combining factor, and the heavier silicone ones will tend to bead up or not mix well."
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Put It On Top

While most primers work wonderfully under makeup, some can add extra oomph when applied on top of it. Sound weird? Trust the experts. “Clarins Instant Smooth works great on top of makeup for a soft-focus look,” said Kristina. That’s not the only one. “Laura Mercier makes a great product called Secret Finish,” said Mann. “This is a primer that can be applied over the makeup to refresh it and give a renewed glow.”
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Wear It Alone

On those blissful days when someone couldn’t pay you to slap on makeup, but you still want your skin to look up to snuff, primers are a fabulous option. “Corrective primers are great worn alone if you just want some corrective adjustments to the skin tone,” said Mann. “For example, using a green primer to cancel out any red in the skin, or a purple-toned one to cancel out too much yellow.”

According to Sesnek, oil-free primers also have their benefits, especially during the warmer months when foundation can be overkill. “Applying a primer alone can add a soft focus, minimize pores, hide the shine, and add sun protection,” he says.
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Target With Two

It might seem like a hassle to use two separate primers, but depending on your skin type, it could make a significant impact in the appearance and longevity of your makeup. “I like oil-free in the T-zone and either a satin, radiant, or illuminating formula on the rest of the skin,” said Sesnek. “The skin needs to look radiant, but most people tend to be oilier in the center of their faces and this will really keep the skin from looking overly shiny or greasy.”
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Treat It

Believe it or not, but you can use some primers to treat the skin in addition to creating a smooth, even canvas for makeup. “It Cosmetics' No. 50 Primer and Korres' Quercetin & Oak Age-Reversing Primer are just a few of the many companies that now offer anti-aging primers that treat fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots,” said Mann. A makeup-prep and anti-aging product in one is just about as good as it gets, people.
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