This is a debate we have all had with ourselves at either your local makeup store or online while justifying another Sephora or Mecca beauty haul. Is primer just a fancy moisturiser? Do I really need it? Does it even do anything?
Short answer is there is no answer.
Every single person is different and will have a different look they want which means they will need different products to suit their skin type and desired finish. What we can help you with though is the difference between common primers and moisturiser so you can decide for yourself, or feel free to pop in to the salon and we can help you on your way.
What moisturiser does… funnily enough it add moisture! Crazy, I know! But your skin type will determine what kind of moisturiser you’ll need. For example, someone with dry thinner skin may opt for our favourite ultra-hydrating moisturiser Moisture Rich. While someone who is more on the oily side, might prefer to control shine without over-drying and might choose a moisturiser like moisture control. Both are essential before applying makeup as it ensures your skin is appropriately hydrated and your foundation doesn’t either absorb too quickly or grease up faster than a mechanic in summer.
Primer on the other hand, while can be moisturising will affect your skin more in terms of texture and act like a barrier between your skincare and makeup. For people who find they want to correct textures like open pores would choose a primer that is focused on smoothing and mattifying to minimise the shine on those textured areas. Usually these sorts of primers feel silky as they contain silicone to smooth over the skin.
For clients who want to perhaps treat creped skin or fine lines and wrinkles would want a thinner consistency and more illuminating primer to help create a glow and diffuse lines. Usually the thicker products have a habit of settling in our wrinkles and make them stand out more. With a thinner lotion style primer you’ll find you won’t experience this as much while also helping to keep your skin looking youthful and bright.
If you don’t have texture issues on your skin, the other reason you may want to use a priming product might be to correct colour before applying your foundation. These colour correctors usually get so over used, thanks to YouTube tutorials and influencers who, well, used them more like a drag queen would. Not saying its everyone but they have definitely gotten a little out of hand. So before you go and buy red lipstick to put under your eyes or smother your face in green concealer, just remember less is more. It’s so much easier to add some on top than it is to restart your entire makeup because you have a lavender smear happening on your cheeks.
Your main colour that you can use for correcting tone are;
- Green to minimise redness. Now this I would only recommend if you don’t have a good concealer or you are covering something like a red birthmark or scar. Basic blemishes can be covered with a high quality concealer like RMS beauty uncover up.
- Pale purple or Lavender to minimise yellowing areas. This takes warmth away which most people then add with bronzers and blush so you won’t need this much, if at all.
- Yellow or lemon to brighten pale to tan skin colours or a peachy orange for darker skin tones. This is your friend when it comes to pigmentation or if you feel like your skin looks greyish. But don’t turn yourself into Homer Simpson. Less is more and chances are you won’t need it over your entire face. If you find you have dark circles or pigmentation around your eyes you can opt for a concealer with a yellow undertone. This is also known as a warm skin tone. Depending on the brand you like to use, it may be labelled as either term. The other thing I recommend is not trying to make it lighter than the rest of your face. This will have the opposite effect and make your skin look grey with a yellow tinge. Instead choose your foundation colour but make sure you opt for the yellow under tone. I sometimes even go a half or one shade darker to over correct. Once blended with the foundation, it just looks bright and even.
I hope this has helped clarify what primers can do and why they are different. Every day there are new products coming onto the market just to confuse us that little bit more.
The good thing about it though is that there is always something new to learn, and maybe one day there will be that holy grail product you adore.