To prime, or not to prime?

Well, if Hamlet were here today, or William for that matter, they would say that if you want your make up to stay in place, and have a smooth canvas on which to work with, then ‘tis nobler to prime.

Using a primer is an important step in the make up process as it involves preparing the skin and getting it ready to receive the make up by smoothing the surface to allow for a nice, even coat. This in turn will also mean that it can stay on for longer negating the need for regular touch ups.

If you’re trying to explain this concept to a boy, or need to justify buying another product for your face (probably also to a boy), tell them it’s the same as priming a car before it gets the colour sprayed on.

Some priming notables include:

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm ($60) – this is one of those cult products that’s a favourite amongst make up artists, beauty editors and just about everyone the world over for it’s ridiculous ability to deliver instant radiance. I try to save it for special occasions because I cannot fathom the day I run out of it. The consistency is a tad thick, but by no means does it feel heavy on the face. It’s important not to rub it in, but just leave a delicate layer on your skin before applying foundation. The Beauty Flash Balm instantly brightens skin and gives a fresh, dewy complexion, and as an added bonus, it can also be used as a brightening and tightening mask.

It would be remiss of me not to point this out, but if you’re after a cheaper option that, well it could be argued is on par with Beauty Flash Balm, try Natio Brightening Balm ($16). Enriched with chamomile, it has the same consistency as Clarins, i.e. it’s a bit on the thicker side and does a bang up job at giving make up something to hold on to. I should point out however that while the radiance factor is there, I didn’t find it quite as apparent as the Beauty Flash Balm. Having said that, it’s a great all-round primer nonetheless.

Face of Australia Face Base Primer ($11.95) – this primer glides on to the skin ever so easily and has a much thinner, almost watery-like consistency when compared to the Beauty Flash Balm, which means that a little goes a very long way. It does a stellar job at holding my make up in place all day long and with vitamin E and chamomile, also calms and moisturises the skin. I have to say, the Face Base Primer has been my weapon of choice lately in the ongoing battle between hay fever and my skin, and at under $12 it’s the epitome of ‘bang for your buck’.

DMK Crème Glacé ($79)- this intriguing little pot-enclosed primer is ideal for those whose skin errs on the oily side, or for those who prefer a matte finish for their skin and foundation. In a soft powder/mousse form that you can use your fingers or the Crème Glacé brush to apply, this primer evens out the skin and excellently smooths fine lines. The consistency that, as I mentioned straddles the line between a powder a mousse, ensures a velvety even texture that is akin to dusting your skin with translucent powder, minus the occasional ‘heavy’ powder look.

One primer that you may be surprised I’ve excluded is Napoelon’s famed Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer ($55). While many people rave about this, I have to admit I’m not quite a fan. Not because it’s a bad primer per se, but I think that the Face of Australia Face Base and also Natio’s Illuminating Primer for that matter, (approx. $15) give you the same result at about a quarter of the price. They both have the same lightweight consistency as Auto Pilot, are on par in terms of effectiveness and both provide ingredients with soothing and calming properties; Natio’s Illuminating Primer boasts rosehip and aloe vera, while Face of Australia’s Face Base contains chamomile and vitamin E (the same as Auto Pilot, in fact).

In brief addition to the aforementioned, a couple of other primers worth noting include:

–       The entire Smashbox Photo Finish Primer range, which includes their original Photo Finish Foundation Primer, as well as a Luminising Primer, colour correcting options in balance, blend and adjust, a Bronzing Primer and the new Hydrating Primer, plus travel size options. Prices vary from $30-60.

–       L’Oréal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer (also comes in an anti redness option, and a dull skin option for light and medium skin tones) $38.

You can find Clarins at leading chemists, department stores like Myer and David Jones and online at Adore Beauty.

Natio is stocked at most chemists and department stores. For location info, click here.

Face of Australia is available at Priceline, Big W and online at Fashion Addict.

For stockists info on DMK, visit DMK Cosmetics.

Smashbox is stocked in Australia exclusively at Kit Cosmetics, or you can find it online at Smashbox.

The L’Oréal Studio Secrets range is available at Priceline.

Do you use primer? If so, what are some of your favourites?

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Categories: Beauty

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4 Comments on “To prime, or not to prime?”

  1. October 14, 2011 at 13:37 #

    I prime! Face primer and eye primer. If I didn’t, my makeup would slide off faster than me going down the giant slides at the water theme parks.

    My fave has already been mentioned in this post – the FoA primer! I haven’t really look anywhere else. It works, so I stopped looking 😄

    • October 14, 2011 at 15:02 #

      Great to hear Celeste! The FOA primer really does do an awesome job and at such a good price, you can’t go wrong! X

  2. October 14, 2011 at 16:08 #

    I adore the FOA primer. Works beautifully and for such a good bargain!

    • October 14, 2011 at 19:24 #

      Absolutely Em, they’ve done a great job! xx

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