Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prime Time: A Look At Some Of My Favorite Face Primers

We all know that it is important to prime the skin for a smooth foundation application (and to help foundation stay on longer!), to fill in fine lines, and to minimize the visibility of large pores. With so many different products on the market, now, though, how do you know which one to use? Fear not, I have you covered! In this post, I'm going to mention some drugstore options for the beauty lover on a budget, and then provide you my take on a few of the high-end primers that I have grown to love.

Two of my favorite drugstore make-up lines, Revlon and Rimmel, offer affordable versions of face primers. Revlon's Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer, is a lightweight gel formula, with a bit of fragrance, and Rimmel's Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer, is a slightly tinted (apricot) primer (don't worry about the color, it blends into the skin). Both are great to use to fix foundation in place and even out the skin's surface. I would recommend checking these out, as they are available in most drugstores, and are often on sale (in fact, Walgreens is currently running a BOGO offer on Rimmel products!). Regardless, you should be able to snag both for under $10.

Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer

If you are on the market for some higher-end alternatives, I have a few suggestions for you as well! I'm going to talk about some of my favorite primers (I grab for one of these every day). On the top of my list are two primers by Make Up For Ever, the HD Microperfecting Primer and the (relatively) new UV Prime Daily Protective Make-Up Primer with SPF 50, and one by CoverFx, the Skin Prep Fx Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum. Now I'll get into each one in a bit more detail.

The Make Up For Ever HD primer is available in a range of seven shades, each designed to help you achieve a particular look with your make-up. I have been using the blue one for the past several months (I am seriously working my way through the bottle!), which is designed to reduce minor imperfections and brighten fair skin. This primer smells really nice and applies very easily (I apply primers with clean fingers), to subtly illuminate my skin, hydrate it, and create the perfect canvas. While the product does have a light blue tint when you first pump it out, which can seem a bit scary, fear not! When it is blended into the skin, no color is detectable. This product can be found at Sephora, and it retails for $32.

Here are some of the other colors that are available and what they are designed to do:

Neutral - adds natural luminosity to the complexion; no color

Green - minimizes redness (rosacea, for example)

Mauve - counteracts sallow (yellow) undertones

Caramel - combats ashiness in medium to dark skin tones/warms golden tones

Yellow - lightens dark complexions

Pink - brightens the complexion/counteracts sallow undertones

As you can see, there is an option for everyone! I have a little bit of redness in my skin, so next on my list is definitely the green!

Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer

Continuing with the discussion of Make Up For Ever primers, another of my favorites is the UV primer. This product also has a very enjoyable scent (while not directly relevant, it is always more uplifting to the senses to use products with nice fragrances!) and the consistency is one of a light lotion (much like the HD version). It is white in color and blends flawlessly into the skin. What I especially like about this product is that it includes an SPF factor of 50 (and it protects against both UVA and UVB rays), which makes it a great option for the intensely sunny summer months. Though I usually apply a light moisturizer or sunscreen before I prime, it is not absolutely necessary, as this primer pretty much covers all bases! This UV primer retails for $30 at Sephora.

Make Up For Ever UV Prime

Last, but certainly not least, I want to introduce you to the Skin Prep Fx Foundation Primer and Anti-Aging Serum by CoverFx. I actually stumbled upon this product completely accidentally when I won it from the Naimie's booth at the Make Up Show. I had been intrigued to try out something from the line after eyeing it at Sephora, so I was happy to receive it! Their concealers and foundations look fabulous (FYI, I have a concealer review in the works)! This primer has a different consistency than the others I have mentioned. As the name suggests, it is a serum, rather than a cream formula in nature. There is a slight yellow tinge to the product and the scent is fruity. This blends in easily, as with the others, and acts in much of the same way to prep the skin for flawless foundation application. The great thing about this product, too, is that it works to reduce inflammation, and, as suggested by the lovely people at CoverFx, this can also be added to the skin at night to nourish and hydrate. This primer retails for $45 at Sephora and Nordstrom. While you can't purchase online at their website, I would definitely recommend checking out the CoverFx site for more information on the product line.

Skin Prep Fx Nourishing Foundation Primer and Anti-Aging Serum

I hope you found this (very long!) post helpful! It's always important to smooth out the "canvas" that is the skin before putting on foundation. It just makes the look that much more finished. What are some of the primers you enjoy using?