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The Primer Wardrobe

4 June 2016

They prep the skin, help out with your makeup application, and add longevity to your foundation, but applying primer was a step I always used to skip, mostly out of forgetfulness. Lately though, I've totally been on a bit of a primer kick. I've been using them on the daily and can safely say that I now prefer how my makeup looks with primer than without. With that being said, here are five great options from my primer wardrobe that I think will have all your priming needs covered.

For hydration, try the MAKE UP FOREVER Step 1 Hydrating Primer. Having combination skin has always been problematic for me. If I wanted something to keep my oily t-zone at bay, it was probably going to accentuate any dryness on my cheeks. The solution, I've found, is super simple: use different primers for different skin concerns. I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes we might not think to take a more tailored approach with our skincare and makeup. I'm not saying this primer works miracles on dry/dehydrated/thirsty skin, but it sure does help make those areas of my face look as good as they can look — all things considered. This, in turn, helps my foundation look fresher for longer, and anything that mitigates the cake factor is a winner in my eyes.

For soft radiance, try the BECCA Backlight Priming Filter. BECCA have become somewhat of an authority for all things glowy, so it's no surprise that this glow-boosting primer is a hit. I've heard people describing this primer as being akin to 'crushed pearls' which is a fitting description. It does look like crushed pearls, and adds a beautiful luminosity to the face. I think this is probably most suited to normal skin types looking to counter any dullness, or just after a glowier-than-usual finish. I avoid using this on dry patches as it clings (we've got ourselves a stage one clinger here, folks) and I can imagine this becoming quite shiny on oilier skin. Still a lovely choice though, and such a versatile one as you can apply this before, with, or over your foundation.

If you're after an all-rounder, the HOURGLASS Veil Mineral Primer is for you. I purchased this a while back, used it, liked it, then forgot about it. This primer has been on the market for quite a few years now and has gotten some serious hype over that time; hype I'm only just beginning to understand. I think what stopped me from fully appreciating it was my inexperience with makeup, but as I grow older and hopefully wiser (please Karina, no more mismatched foundation) I've noticed that this is a primer that balances my skin and actually extends the wear of my foundation. I'm not sure if it's because it's now winter in Australia, but my t-zone oils are so minimal when I wear this, yet it also does a good job of smoothing over mild dryness. It's one of those products that makes me feel chuffed when I see my makeup in the mirror.

For a silky smooth base, try the Clinique Superprimer Face Primer. I have the one for Redness, but the textures between the different colours available feel comparable. It's got this amazing powdery finish that makes your skin feel ultra soft after application and is really unlike anything else I've tried. To be honest, I don't use it for its intended purpose (as in, for correcting redness) as the areas where I experience redness are often the places I am dry, and the powdery finish isn't quite hydrating enough to look forgiving. I do like using this on my t-zone though as it does a decent job at controlling shine. If you're someone that has clear skin or likes to go sans makeup but you struggle with oiliness, I would even suggest using this just to mattify things without looking like you've got any makeup on.

For correcting redness, I've been using the bareMinerals Prime Time Neutralising Foundation Primer. This is my most recent primer purchase, suggested by one of the lovely staff at my local Mecca Maxima, but it's quickly become a go-to for when my redness flares up. I know lots of primers aimed at neutralising redness are either thick and draw attention to skin texture, or are super green and obvious, so I was really pleased to find one that was neither (I personally prefer a yellow-tinted redness corrector as I think it looks a lot more natural). This is by no means a miracle worker as it doesn't completely hide my redness but what it does do is calm it down. I apply a small amount and massage it into my face, almost like a moisturiser, and give it a minute or two before going in with foundation, and you can tell it actually makes a difference. My only gripes about this primer are that the pump is a bit dodgy, making it hard to dispense a small amount at a time, and that the product smells a bit funky. I can't put my finger on it and it doesn't bother me to the point where I can't bear to use it, but I can imagine some people being put off by it.

I think I'm fairly content with my primer wardrobe as it currently is, though I'd love to try more in the future. On my list is the Too Faced Hangover Primer and the MAC Strobe Cream, but I'm also keen to explore drugstore primers, though I'm not too sure where to start.

What primers do you find yourself reaching for? Are there any on your list of things to try?
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