The new primers that smooth out imperfections and make your make-up last all day long
Primers are a relatively new make-up trend, however their ability to sculpt skin and improve make-up’s staying power has seen them quickly trickle into the mainstream.
These unseen smoothing, lifting and illuminating fluids are unbeatable at stopping make-up slipping, creasing and setting in wrinkles. Effective, long-lasting and instantly able to combat a variety of skin concerns from discolouration to uneven tone, they have become a must-have part of every professional make-up artist’s beauty arsenal.
We’ve rounded up our pick of the best primers for your skin, eyes, lips and lashes – which one will you choose?
You can’t talk about primers without mentioning Smashbox – the very first brand to launch a primer to the mainstream market and Photot Finish is still one of the best primers around today. The idea first came to photographer and grandson of Max Factor, Davis Factor, when he noticed models needing constant make-up touch ups during shoots.
With his grandfather’s knowledge in cosmetics he began whipping up a clear silicone paste that could be applied to the face to keep make-up fresh and flawless under the hot lights in his LA Smashbox studios. An instant hit, celebrities and models began smuggling pots into their handbags, leading Davis and his brother Dean to launch an entire cosmetics range. Specifically designed to withstand the hot lights, the range went down a storm on Hollywood movie sets and thus Smashbox Cosmetics was born.
Smashbox Pore Minimizing Photo Finish Primer‘s signature silky texture effortlessly glides over bumpy pores to smooth and soften the skins surface, hiding all manner of imperfections. Gently dab a pea-sized amount into oily areas such as the T-zone where cosmetics are prone to slip and leave for 30 seconds before applying cosmetics. The oil-absorbing technology soaks up excess moisture for 8 hours of long-lasting un-shiftable make-up.
Discover more of our favourite primers to transform your beauty routine and make your make-up stay all day…
If like many of us you have combination skin, this clever primer from NARS will keep oily bits in check without drying out areas don't overproduce.
Smooth a thin layer of the cooling white liquid on all over, concentrating on the bits that get shiny midway through the day (nose, chin, forehead) then pop your make up straight on top, no need to wait. Immediately your base appears nice and smooth, with pores and lines blurred away, and a semi-matte finish - no chalky dryness as with so many oil-control products. You can top up over make up if needed and still feel soft and comfy, but unless you end up seriously sweating, the effects should last until you take your make up off at the end of the day.
Another product you can apply over your make-up, Prime + Anti Shine Balm is perfect for popping in your clutch bag for on-the-spot touch ups. Why? Firstly it's solid, balm-like and comes in a handy compact so won't spill in your bag. It also has a velvety mattifying texture, so can be swiftly swiped onto your nose, chin or wherever else you like, instantly killing shine but not making skin look dull and cakey like powder can.
Eye shadow can be a bit of a nightmare at parties - settling into lines, fading and somehow ending up in weird little smudges above your brows (just us?) Which is why we all need a great eye primer in our lives, and YSL Couture is just that: great.
If you've ever used Amazing Cosmetics Concealer you'll know they make seriously hard-working products, and this Line Smoother + Primer is no different, although it's also quite fun with little metal roller-balls in the tip.
Buy now, £26.99 at Amazingcosmetics.co.uk
Yes, it's another Smashbox product, but seeing as they practically invented this category we thought it was fair to include this fabulous new innovation too.
Buy now, £22 at Boots.com
It's cute, it's pink yet it's super effective - must be Korean, then. Our new Asian obsession, PP Creme works perfectly under foundation, creating a lightly pearly (not shiny) glow, lifting dull skin and blurring pores. Spread a thin layer over skin and press it in, don't rub too much as that tends to make this sort of product separate into annoying little balls on skin.
Contrary to popular belief shimmery eyeshadows are not ageing, in-fact they diffuse extra light over skin to give tired features a youthful glow. Embrace the a light glisten but beat the glitter spill with Bare Minerals Prime Time Eye Lid Primer.
The light and creamy texture maximises eyeshadow pigments for stay put colour and prevents creasing. Swipe the lightly tinted fluid across each eyelid to provide the perfect foundation for this season's pearlescent shadows.
Clinique Superprimer face primer's lightweight and oil-free formula creates the ideal canvas for make-up. Specifically designed to correct specialist skincare niggles, it comes in six tinted varieties which individually target a range of concerns from rosacea to dullness and discolouration.
Don't suffer with redness? Pick up the translucent universal shade which smooths over wrinkles, fine lines and pores just like the others but without the colour correcting properties.
If you've ever wondered why your mascara dissolves halfway through a wedding, or ends up striped across your lids, the answer is oil. Sebum from your skin will smear water-based mascaras faster than you can say "you've got a little something there" but not with this Little Black Primer it wont.