Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ask Lydia: Foundation Primer

Hi Lydia -

I've been reading reviews about different foundation primers and am thinking about purchasing some. Reviews seem to speak highly of it, but are primers really worth the money? Also, should you still use daily face lotion with a primer?

Thanks! --Brooke

Hi Brooke! Thanks for your question...this is a good one. Let's examine the wonderful world of primers:

Foundation primers add a layer between your skin and your makeup. They help even out your skin's surface and some reduce the size of your pores. Some primers may help extend the wear of your foundation by helping to absorb oil. If you're in a humid environment or have more oily skin, primer may help to keep your makeup from slipping.

You can get some similar benefits from applying moisturizer first, but primers take it one step further.

First off, it is not necessary to wear moisturizer and a primer. You can pick one or the other...or both. If you wear any eye creams or moisturizer, apply them first. Then apply the primer. With primer, it seems a little goes a long way, so go easy! Give yourself a minute or two to let the primer absorb into your skin before applying your foundation. Then just put on your makeup as you normally do.

I have noticed that primers do give my skin a completely different texture--more matte or velvety, which is nice.

That depends entirely on your type of skin and your budget. Primers are relatively new to the market, and it seems like they're mostly made by the higher-end companies. The Cadillac of primers is, arguably, Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Some primers are tinted to counteract any discoloration your skin may have. My advice: head over to Sephora and talk to their people. They can help you find the perfect primer for you. And plan to spend at least $30 or so, depending on what you end up with.

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