Back to Beauty Basics: Primer

Hello everyone and welcome to my new series: back to beauty basics. When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to create a family of posts to help makeup beginners to understand the wide world of beauty. I’m going to start by writing detailed posts about different makeup products, what they are used for, when and why. Since primer is the first step of the makeup routine, I thought I’d begin the series explaining this cosmetic item. I hope you find this post helpful and please share it with your friends if you think they’d find it useful.


Primers have only really become popular with the average makeup wearers in the last few years, although professional makeup artists have been using them for a decade. Recently, more and more cosmetic brands have been producing various types of primers and with the help of social media, their importance in makeup has been promoted. The general purpose of primer is to prepare your skin and prolong the wear of your makeup, but there are many primers which have more specific goals for different skin types and tones.




Face primers are the most used and most popular type of primer therefore come in the most varieties. The type of face primer you use depends completely on your skin problems and types. Primers generally come as a gel or cream, but sprays are beginning to be released by some brands.

Pore-filling primers – these primers are generally silicone based and glide over your pores to make them less noticeable when you apply foundation. These primers are great to use in areas where you find your pores to look larger and base makeup to sink into them. Benefit’s Porefessional is the classic pore filling primer.

Matte primers – if you have very oily skin and struggle to keep your makeup on, this type of primer will be perfect for you. They mattify the skin and help to keep your oils at bay throughout the day. The Becca Ever Matte Poreless Perfector is a popular mattifying primer.

Hydrating primers – dry skin can be made worse with makeup, so glowy primers can keep the skin hydrated. This type of product can help brighten your complexion if dryness has caused it to appear dull, and keep the moisture in your skin. The L’Oréal Professional Face Primer is a highly rated hydrating primer.

Colour Correcting primers – if you have an uneven skin tone, using a colour correcting primer can help to even it out. These products are particularly great for people who have very pink faces from acne or rosacea, as they can use green primers to cancel out this pigmentation. The Elf Tone Adjusting Primer is a drugstore option for this type of product.

Anti-ageing primers – for older women, foundation sinking into fine lines and wrinkles may be a problem, which is why anti ageing primers exist. In the same way pore filling products work, anti-ageing primers blur fine lines and smooth them over, meaning they are less pronounced when makeup is applied. The Cover FX Anti Ageing Primer is an example of this type of product.

You do not have to necessarily use one primer all over your face. If you have an oily T-Zone but dry cheeks, you could use both a matte and illuminating primer in the specific areas. Pinpoint what sections of your skin need what help and cater to this.

Before applying a primer, wash then moisturise your skin to fully prepare it for makeup. It is easiest to squeeze some of the primer onto your fingers (which should be clean) and then rub the product into your skin gently. If you want to use a different primer for a specific area of your face –  for example a pore filling product around your nostrils – you can do so by patting it in carefully. If your primer is in the form of a spray, hold it 8-10 inches (20-25cm) away from your face and spritz your skin then rub in the product to ensure it has sunk in fully.



Eyeshadow primer can make a huge difference in the application of your eye makeup and can create a much smoother, cleaner look. As with face primers, there are different types of this product you can buy. They almost always come in the form of a gel or cream in a tube, which can be applied with a doe foot applicator.

Neutral – these eye primers are the easiest to work with and have no visual effect on your eyelids. They are normally clear and serve as a good base for your eyeshadow. They will help to extend the wear of your eyeshadow by preventing the colour from fading and the product from rubbing or smudging off.

Tinted – this type of eye primer has colour to it, meaning its effects are visible on your eyelids. They are most often skin toned in order to cancel out the appearance of veins and darkness on your eyes to give a plain base for eyeshadow. Colourful tinted eye primers, however, are also available and can be useful for eye looks with one particular colour scheme. Tinted eye primers can also help to improve the longevity of your eyeshadow.

Glitter – if you love to create very shimmery eye looks or use cosmetic glitter on your eyelids, this type of primer is a must-have. It acts as a glue to help the glitter to properly stick to your eyes and stay on them all day. They can be tinted or clear, depending on the product.

To apply eye primer, simply wipe some of the product onto your eyelids and pat it into the skin with your finger or a brush. Some eyeshadow primers dry down so the eyeshadow doesn’t cling to the wet parts of your eyes, but others stay tacky so the product sticks to your eyelids well.



Personally, I think this type of primer is unnecessary and just another step in your makeup routine that isn’t needed. However, if you struggle to keep your eyelashes looking good, eyelash primer may be useful for you. The idea of eyelash primers is to keep the curl in your lashes up for longer and to help your mascara to make your them look long and thick. They come as normal mascara wands and can be clear or tinted. You just have to brush the wand along your eyelashes until each lash is coated before applying mascara.



Another product I deem to be a waste of time, eyebrow primers supposedly help the hairs to stay down all day before you apply a pomade or pencil to give them more shape and colour. If you are using a eyebrow primer in the form of a gel, brush the hairs down until you are happy with the way they look. Gently swipe over the hairs if you are using a pencil until all have been coated. This type of product should always be applied before you use a pomade or pencil to fill your eyebrows in.




Lip primers provide a smooth, soft base for your lipstick and help to keep your lip colour on for longer. They work wonders if you have very dry lips like me and end up with horrible flakes and patches when you wear a liquid lipstick. Lip primers also help to keep your lips feeling hydrated throughout the day and stop the lipstick from being drying. They can be in the form of a clear liquid lipstick, lipstick or lip pencil and are applied in the same way you would apply these products. You should exfoliate your lips first, then apply a lip primer and finally your lipstick with a lipliner if necessary.


This post has ended up a lot longer than I intended it to be! I hope you understand the role and purpose of primers a bit more now and have an idea of what primers might be useful for your skin concerns. I’ve nearly got 50 followers on here, which is great so thank you to everyone who has clicked the subscribe button. I’ve been working really hard on my makeup recently and I’m particularly proud of the look I did for my Instagram last week, which I have included a photo of below. I might be writing a tutorial post for it soon, so keep your eyes out for that if you like this look.

good eye.jpg

Thanks for reading and bye for now xxx







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