Thursday, May 6, 2010

Smooth Operator

Primers are essential to a flawless look. They smooth and even out the skin surface; they help in reducing excess oil shines; in addition, if you have uneven skin tone (redness, dark circles, sallow undertones), there are primers to correct that too.

When I first started using make-up, a primer was never part of my routine. Now, it's the foundation to the foundation. My skin is never consistent, changing almost in unison with the change of seasons here in DC. As a result, I own two primers. Both work well, just at different times of the year.
How To Use Primer

It is very simple. Always start out with clean skin, so make sure you complete your face washing routine right through moisturizer. Next, apply the primer. It's best to use your fingertips for application. Target the chins and eyelids since those areas are usually the first to lose the make-up. For best results, I would wait a minute or two to let the primer set in. I sometimes use these few minutes to pick out my work outfit for the day or work on my hair. Lastly, apply your foundation. Done!

First up is
Make Up Forever HD Microperfecting Primer. I love this primer. I actually used this primer all year round, until my skin decided to be fickle, forcing me to alternate with another primer (see below). The primer has a moisturizer-type texture (just a little watery). But it is so lightweight that as soon as you apply, you can feel it absorbing into your skin, and next thing you know, you feel like you didn't put anything on! It also has a nice, refreshing scent. Reminds me of baby lotion, but that's just me. All you need is just one pump for full coverage. Give it a few minutes, and your skin feels soft and smooth and ready for foundation! I have combination skin; so sometimes it's oily, and sometimes it's dry. I use this primer primarily in the fall and winter, when my skin is drier than usual. I noticed when I used this primer in the summer, my face became more oily; with the moisturizer, primer, and foundation, combined with my oily skin in the summer, I could feel the weight of these products on my skin.

For the spring and summer months, I like to use
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. This product has been voted as THE primer by fashion magazine editors. It's lightweight and smooth, as a primer should be. Unlike the Make Up Forever primer, the consistency is thicker, but once it's applied, you can feel the effects. For me, when my skin gets oily in the spring/summer, it definitely helps in reducing the excess oil. My only issue with this product is the container. The pump is not designed very well. It works in the beginning when the primer bottle is still full, but once it reaches about two-thirds full, it can't draw up the primer. The pump actually broke on my last bottle, so I ended up having to use a q-tip or pounding the bottle on my palm to get primer out (NOT fun when you're in a hurry, which I usually am!)

Both these products also offer primers that help reduce uneven color. For example, Make Up Forever's green primer is supposed to reduce redness. I haven't actually tried any of the tinted primers. I'd love to hear feedback if they actually work!

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