Beauty Makeup

Primed perfect

How important is a make-up primer in your routine? Why do you need it? ARUNA MUKERJEE explains.

Prepping your skin before applying a layer of make-up sets the base right for any look that you’re going for. Not only does it make your base products go on better but it also helps them stick around longer. It’s these qualities that automatically make primers an essential part of the daily make-up routine. Its duties also include correcting skin tone, filling out pores, smoothening the skin and all the other good things that make your foundation look perfect yet skin-like. Primers, once a product only used by the pros, have now been thrust into the spotlight and gained immense popularity amongst all of us thanks to the community of beauty gurus.

Types of primers

Primers, if broadly classified, fall into two categories—mattifying and moisturising. The mattifying ones are largely silicone-based and are a boon for those of us with oily skin. Moisturising primers are great for hydrating dry skin and giving it that dewy glow. Identifying your skin
type and especially your problem areas are two of the most important points to cover before you invest in a make-up primer.

Those with large pores are almost always better off with silicone based mattifying primers. Silicone-based primers fill in those pesky pores, in turn, helping the foundation glide on smoothly and ensures a matte T-zone to make your skin look even. However, it’s always advisable to snag a sample of these before you take the plunge as silicone can cause breakouts on those with sensitive skin.

With the strobing and highlighting craze going strong in the beauty community, glowy primers have become the new rage. And those of us with dry skin benefits the most from this trend. All you have to look out for is a primer that is hydrating without being overly slick with micro glitter particles that’ll on some days even let you skip the highlighter to achieve that extra sheen! The key to finding a highlighting primer perfect for your complexion is to understand the underlying tones of the skin. For a golden/yellow- toned complexion, primers with golden micro shimmer give you that glowing-from-within look. Those with more neutral-cool undertones can try primers with pink/silver micro shimmer that enhances your cooler undertones.

Long wearing primers are, as the names suggests, the ones that keep your foundation budge-proof all day long. These type of primers are typically mattifying and pore minimising. But that doesn’t mean those with dry skin can’t put it to any use. All you have to do is moisturise thoroughly before you apply a long-wearing primer to keep your skin sufficiently hydrated for the day ahead. These primers are typically used for days when you know you’ll be out in the sun or partying through the night.

The right application
Fingers are the best way to apply any make-up primer. But if you’re using a primer that comes out of a jar, the best way to prevent bacteria from entering your product is to use a clean spatula to scoop a bit of it out and apply. This prevents you from dipping your fingers directly into the product which may later cause contamination. Also, just like the multi-masking trend, different primers can also be applied to different areas of the face. So, if you’re someone with combination skin that has an oily T-zone and dry skin everywhere else, you can apply a pore minimising primer for the T-zone and a hydrating primer for the rest of your face.

With make-up brands now days being finely tuned to the needs of the consumer, the beauty world is filled with an array of make-up primers. From multi-purpose primers that come with sun protection to colour correcting ones that even out the skin tone, you’ll be spoilt for choice. And luckily for us, both, drugstore and high end have something good to offer when it comes to primers. However, there are a few ground rules when it comes to playing with them. It is highly recommended (especially for the sensitive skinned ones amongst us) to stay a mile away from products containing fragrance and this holds true for primers too. There are also instances where a primer won’t sit well with your favourite foundation or vice versa. And, the only solution to this is doing thorough research or grabbing a sample for a patch test.