Basically how it works is that if I get more than 2 questions about anything, I post about it. Two confused readers for me equals about 10 who are confused but don’t know or don’t want to admit it.
Thus: primer confusion.
Many of you will have dismissed primer it as something that those terrifying beauty bloggers on YouTube use in stage 1 of their stage 4,000, 40 minute, interminable unbearably boring video in order to transform themselves into literally another person.
But in fact primer is entirely useable on its own and is very handy in the spring and summer or on holiday, when you don’t want to be wearing a load of make-up because maybe a bit sweaty, but you also want to just, you know, blur your face about a bit.
The best primer available legally in this country (according to all the research I’ve done, which is quite extensive) is Photo Finish by Smashbox. You moisturise and then apply the primer and then wait about 30 seconds and your face will just look, you know, better.
Stick some eyeliner on and you’re away. (Or if you’re me, stick some eyeliner on. Then some more. Then a bit more for luck.)
Any other recommendations or comments, please feel free to leave a note in the handy box below.
Velvet Skin from DHC. Can’t live without it.
Thank you Catherine
Smashbox primers are 100% THE BEST. I’ve always used the blue one (hydrating) but am going to try this one next. Face could do with being a bit blurrier.
If you wear foundation, Spikers, a good primer makes the most enormous difference to how it goes on: smoothly, without sticking in weird dry patches. Lasts longer too. Also you can just whack primer on with v little care or dexterity.
Debbie Raw says
I really enjoy Charlotte Tilburys Wonderglow – not very smoothing but gives great glow and makes you look perkier.
Best primer for pores for me ( combo/oily skin that drinks foundation) is Bobbi Brown skin smoothing primer as it is not too silicone based and doesn’t roll under foundation.
Thanks Debbie – Bobbi IS the boss
Primers are a delight! If you are after a glowy look, then the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base (used under foundation) is divine in look, feel and scent
Blurs face and defrizzes hair? Shut up and take my money!
At what point does everyone do SPF – is it in your moisturiser, is it in your foundation, do you put it on first and blow dry your face between layers?
I’m going to start blow drying my face – I’m perpetually confused about this issue! Plus whenever I remember I have to also put on fucking SERUM – when when when?!
If pushed, i would say – serum – moisturiser – SPF – primer – foundation?
I’m off for a lie down on my face which must be two inches thicker after all the gloop on it
Thanks for replying, I’m glad it’s not just me!
Serum first if using; SPF instead of moisturiser. SPF in moisturiser or make-up won’t do much.
Yes! Smashbox primers are brilliant esp good in hot humid (yuck) weather. Glides on, stays on, ones face then looks matt not shiny and glidey.
The only other primer I do like, better in colder weather is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. Skin glows in a good glowy way.
Only recently discovered Spike and love your posts Esther, You’re interesting, funny, helpful and a cool lady. Thanks for adding more joy to my day.
Thanks Dawn, I try very hard to be all of those things x
I have been using 10 hour sleep effect foundation since you recommended it a while back but can’t get hold of it any more. Is this a good alternative?
yes they discontinued that – very annoying. it’s sort of a different thing completely … 10 hour sleep effect was a foundation and this is colourless but evens out your complexion
Never tried Smashbox, but i can vouch that the Laura Mercier primer ‘protect’ is fantastic, one small tube bizzarely seems to last me at least 6 months, and it has factor 30 sunscreen to boot, so I never worry whether my moisturiser has SPF or not!
I agree- the Laura Mercier one is really super!
This may sound a bit ugh but lanacaine anti-chafing gel is pretty much the same stuff – for £5.99 🙂
I agree! Lanacane is a good substitute. I have a nice glowy primer too at the moment – this one by Becca
I’d quite like to try the Smashbox one too.
I can’t tell you how cool it makes me feel whenever you post about something that I’ve already got. It doesn’t happen often, in fact this is only the second (?) time ever, but MAN I feel so ‘with it’ and proud of myself 😉
QVC does a thing called ‘spackle’ By Laura Geller, also you can use half the pot and totally send it back used, that’s the reason for the prohibitive postage prices. Always worth a go with a new beauty product
I bought the NARS primer because it has an spf35 (and I am really confused about how you should incorporate spf- any advice welcome) but now I hardly ever use foundation. So I love it.
Yes to this primer!! It’s my go to. If I want a bit of sparkle for evening, I really recommend Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer.
I need to add primer to my life, it’s always confused me to be honest but I’m not sure why.
I am hardcore with spf, and use Ultrasun spf50 for face. I put that on, wait for it to dry (tooth brushing is a handy window for this), then pop on my usual day cream. Then layer on make up – and I do mean layer.
… one more for luck…
Thank you I bought a primer and had completely no idea how to use it or why I should !
I fell down a rabbit hole on YouTube and watched a lot of beauty vloggers. I started counting how many layers they put on, stopped counting after 12……….12 different high end products, with attendant brushes, sponges and blenders, absolutely bonkers. x
I mean and SO BORING TOO
I am very old (my sons are 19 and 23…leave that there..) They grew up in Europe and have long conversations about how weird it is that English girls wear sooo much make-up. Not like girls’over here’. Clearly a vlogging problem..And not that men have any say in women’s make up habits, clearly.
I am in love with Bare minerals complexion rescue – not really a primer but also love a bit of Clarins beauty flash too.
I use Smashbix photo finish foundation primer radiance, it’s adds a bit of glow, and it’s thr most amazing thing ever, it makes me look rested and glowy.
Even though the owner is, um, questionable in his behaviour (see Deciem Instagram, is nuts), as someone blessed with skin oilier than a Jamie Oliver salad, the Deciem Hylamide Matte Finisher is the absolute cat’s pyjamas and I couldn’t live without it. Technically I think you’re supposed to pat it over make up but I use it at primer stage. It’s incred. https://hylamide.com/product/finisher-matte12-30ml
I’m not usually a big fan of Benefit, and their look-at-how-wacky-we-are packaging, but their Pore Fessional primer is very good.
I am a massive cynic when it comes to new make-up concepts (wtf is strobing?) BUT I am totally sold on Primer. I have a nose like a golf ball and can’t do ‘dewy’. It gives a nice blurry soft matt on its own or helps make-up go on smoother so you use less. Perfect for days when you want to give your face a rest but might need to leave the house. I not ashamed to say I use Wilko’s Prime Of Your Life. It comes in a pink tube and is £3. I stockpile – it lasts ages and I am petrified it will be discontinued.