Why A Primer Is The Summer Essential You’re Missing

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Photography: Emma Palmer

Creating a seamless base, blurring imperfections, mattifying oily complexions, giving a radiant low, and boosting the longevity of your makeup are just some the magical powers of a good primer. So, if you’re not already using one, you probably will want to after this. Here, we uncover four reasons why a primer deserves a place in everyone’s routine and how to find a formula that suits your skin type…

Primers Help Your Makeup Last Longer

“Primers help to prolong your makeup wear, so they’re a great choice for those wanting to keep their foundation in place all day,” says Ariane Jaksch, Becca‘s Education Manager. A good primer helps to ‘seal in’ your skincare and stop your makeup absorbing into your skin, which means you don’t have to worry about midday touch-ups.

Try Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer, which is weightless, oil-free and really does work wonders for extending your makeup wear. The brand has also developed a clever NEW Eye Primer to prevent fading and creasing and keep under-eye concealer and eyeshadow looking fresh.


They Also Help To Disguise Pores & Fine Lines

A good primer has the ability to blur imperfections, take down redness and help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores. “Priming your skin first also paves the way for a smoother makeup application,” adds Ariane.

Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Primer is a favourite for those seeking an even, smooth and seamless base prior to makeup. The universal shade works for all skin tones and also helps to reduce the visibility of pores. 

You Might Even Be Tempted To Skip Foundation 

With a radiance-boosting formula you can get away with just using a primer and skipping your usual foundation if you want more of a pared back makeup look – particularly useful for those WFH and looking for a quick fix. Simply apply a quick layer of Surratt’s Perfectionniste Primer after your moisturiser. We love this particular formula because it offers such a flawless and skin-softening effect you’ll wonder if you even need foundation. Plus, you can apply it with your fingers. 


Primers Can Help Address Specific Skin Concerns

Another benefit of primers is that they’re great for fixing certain skincare concern you may have. “It’s important to use the right one to balance your skin type,” says Arif Khan, senior pro artist at Space NK. Here are some helpful recommendations…

If you have dry skin:

Look for primers that are high in humectants such as hyaluronic acid, such as By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Primer, or ones which are oil based to soften any dry patches that makeup would usually cling to,” advises Arif.


If you have oily and blemish-prone skin: 

“Don’t confuse the terms oil-free and mattifying. The former means that it is simply free of oil, which is great for hydrating the skin without oil, while mattifying primers have have oil-absorbing properties,” explains Arif, who recommends Becca Ever-Matte Priming Perfector to help keep shine under control and has a specific application trick to prevent a cakey finish too. “Think of it a liquid blotting paper,” he says. “Warm it up in your fingers and gently press on to any shiny areas.” 

If you’re prone to redness:

Opt for a primer with a yellow tint, such as Becca’s Backlight Priming Filter, as this helps to even out redness whilst giving a natural-looking glow.

A Word On Primer Zoning

It may sound a little excessive, especially if you’re new to priming, but Arif recommends having two primers in your makeup bag. “Most makeup artists will tell you it’s the secret to flawless makeup,” says Arif. “Primer zoning is a technique where you use different primers based on your skin concerns.”

“For example, on someone with combination skin I’d use a hydrating primer for the perimeter of the face, but apply a mattifying formula on the T-zone,” explains Arif. “By doing this, you’re balancing out your skin and and not over hydrating one area or over mattifying another.” That’s definitely enough to give us some food for thought.