I realized recently that many times when people ask me beauty questions, I find that they aren't using a primer. A primer is just that, it primes your face for makeup (like a primer before you paint). Primers are worn over your moisturizer.
There are hundreds of primers on the market, and you might feel overwhelmed by having to choose one, or perhaps you steer clear because you've never tried one and you think they are too heavy.
A primer is critical to your routine because it gives your skin the ultimate preparation to wear makeup. Primers can serve many uses:
-Even skin tone
Aside from making the application of your foundation flawless, primers are also most often used to control oil and shine. I also like to use a primer with an SPF built in, because it layers my skin in additional protection against aging and wrinkles. (remember, you don't add SPF #'s, so if your moisturizer is SPF15 and your primer is SPF 25, that is NOT equal to SPF 30, its really more like a protection equal to SPF 20)
I constantly use different primers, because my skin demands different coverage depending on the seasons, the foundation I am going to use, etc.
Here are my three go-to primers (although I have others that I have used and liked)
1. Most budget-friendly with an SPF: Victoria's Secret VS PRO Airbrush FX Primer with SPF 20
$15 at Victoria's Secret
2. Most versatile: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($34-$48 at Ulta, Sephora, QVC)
Smashbox has one of the best primer lines on the market, I've never met anyone who is familiar with primers that doesn't have this in their arsenal. What's better is that Smashbox has a dozen tailored formula's that will work best with your skin.
My favorite is "photo finish light" which is an oil free, clear gel
I also like their their Dermaxyl Complex SPF 15, which is a light peach color that evens skin tone.
3. Best technology: Make Up For Ever's HD Microperfecting Primer ($32 exclusively at Sephora)
7 variations to give your skin the same prep as a supermodel, these primers are so advanced, you may not even want to wear foundation!
In the wintertime, I am so fair (I am naturally fair but all energy to apply self-tanner frequently is gone!) and when I discovered their BLUE (yes, blue!) primer, I was reluctant. Luckily, the staff at Sephora encouraged me with a sample (just ask, they give samples of everything!) and I was amazed and how much the blue tone brightened my fair skin!
Their formula is also very lightweight, so even their original [clear] primer is great for hot weather.
Now you have some options about what primers to try...it's time to experiment! You'll be adding it to your routine indefinitely!