Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Primers: A Necessity or Unnecessary?

I remember when I first heard about makeup primers I was more than a little skeptical. I was afraid that putting more makeup on my face would just result in a heavy, chalky look, so I avoided using primers for awhile even as the blogging world blew up with rave reviews left and right.When I finally did get around to trying a primer (which I believe was just a random drugstore find) I still was fairly unconvinced. It wasn't until this year that I really started discovering the benefits of the primer, and the rest is history.

For the life of me, I cannot remember when they first came about, but I do know that they have come quite a long way since the first few primers came on the market. Nowadays there are primers for just about everything - for mattifying, hydrating, smoothing, brightening, correcting redness... you name it, there's almost definitely a primer for it.

Because of this, it's really been a bit of a journey for me in discovering the "perfect primer". Currently, I have five in rotation that I'm going to talk a little bit about. Below I've swatched each (with a lightly blended swatch next to it) to show the consistency (please pardon my purple-y red hands, which look straight up terrifying).



Of the five, the first I picked up was the drugstore favorite, the Maybelliene Baby Skin. I've found that this budget buy creates quite a divide between beauty bloggers - people either love it or absolutely loathe it. Oddly enough, I'm not in either category. This clear primer is outrageously silicone-y, giving your skin a very slick, makeup-ready surface. For some, this is a godsend, but for me I find it's a little too slick. Primers can be difficult because they need to not only react well with your skin, but also your makeup, making them a fairly personal thing. For me, I found that this stuff doesn't react terribly well with my foundations, making it a bit useless. That being said, I know people who it works fabulously for, and it makes their makeup look incredible. At the low, drugstore price, I'd wager it's one that's worth checking out if you're new to the priming game and want to give it a try.

Next up is my (much talked/raved about) Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow. This one is drastically different than the Maybelline offering, coming in a champagne-colored, bedazzled formula. With skincare benefits, it feels fabulous on the skin, and underneath foundation gives your skin a very evident glow. While I find this one looks lovely with foundation, I personally prefer not to wear it alone. While there's really no coverage to speak of, it is very sparkle-y. This glitter makes it looks fantastic underneath foundation (which covers up the fairly evident specks) but I feel that I look too much like a disco ball wearing it alone. I kind of wish that the formula came with just the champagne color and no glitter, because it really does feel wonderful on the skin. Nevertheless, even if I can't wear it on it's own, as a makeup primer it's one of my favorites. 

Another clear formula is the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum. I was immediately drawn to this guy for it's immensely hydrating formula which makes applying makeup a dream. Unlike the Baby Skin option, I find this primer dries down easily on my skin, leaving behind a perfectly moisturized base for any makeup you throw on top. Like many Hourglass products, it's also a bit of a skincare/makeup hybrid - the No.28 in the name comes from the fourteen essential oils, ten plant-based oils and four vitamins found in the formula. All of these together do make this quite a fragrant little product, so those with sensitive skin might want to skip on this one. However, I've found that my skin soaks this baby right up, making it a fantastic little primer for my dry winter skin.

My ultimate favorite is unfortunately the most bank-breaking as well (though I bought it at a pretty decent discount from BeautyBar, thank goodness!). I wrote briefly about the By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Primer in a recent post where I spoke of it's incredibly glow-giving abilities. Unlike Wonderglow, this formula doesn't contain glitter but instead gives you the most beautiful lit-from-within glow. It's a skincare/makeup hybrid, which really shows when you feel how wonderfully soft it leaves your skin. Not only does it make every base look a billion times more gorgeous (possible exaggeration) but it even looks incredible on its own. While there's really no detectable coverage, one small pump of this can give life to even the dullest of skin, and it's become an absolute staple in my makeup collection. As expensive as it is, this is the primer that really gave me an overwhelming love of primers...it's just that unbelievably magical.

Finally there's the Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer, a product which I received a deluxe sample of with a recent Beautylish purchase. I wasn't really sure what to think of this one at first, but after a few uses I've really been impressed with how hydrated and soft it leaves my skin. It's definitely more of a moisturizer than the other primers, so it really doesn't do anything in terms of coverage, but I'd say it's a pretty darn good option for anyone with super-dry skin. A great one for winter, especially!

What are your thoughts on primers? Have any favorites?



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8 comments

  1. The By Terry primer sounds amazing, but I can't believe how expensive it is! I've tried the Maybelline one but I didn't really get on with it xx

    Toasty

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    1. It is ridiculously expensive, horrifyingly so. I was able to buy it with a 25% off coupon at BeautyBar and I was still hesitant at the price. That said, it's beautiful, and if you're ever able to I'd definitely recommend trying a sample! I also have been curious to try out the L'Oreal Magic Lumi Primer because it sounds sort of similar!

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  2. I haven't tried any of these! The hourglass one sounds great x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

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    1. It's so lovely! My skin's on the dry side, so it works as a lovely second layer of moisture after using my facial moisturizer !

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  3. Wow what an awesome post ! Thanks so much for all your research. I am wanting to try baby skin but I agree about people either loving or loathing. My fav ones are mac strobe cream and smash box photo ready.
    Analesha xx
    Lipsandbubbles.blogspot.com

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    1. Aw thanks so much! And while I didn't get on too well with Baby Skin, I definitely have heard people who love it! I've always wanted to try Mac's Strobe Cream, I've heard wonderful things about it, and a luminous-type primer is my absolute favorite.

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  4. I've never ever used a primer! I have the same misconception as you did! Defiantly adding one of these to my Christmas list! Thanks for reviewing- it really helped!
    www.blondierockss.blogspot.co.uk XX

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    1. I'm glad it helped! Now that I've found some good primers I really do see a difference in my makeup. Thanks so much for reading!

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