Wouldn’t you know it? Your most powerful makeup item is actually invisible. The perfect primer is the secret to flawless makeup application. Good primers do for your face what good lingerie does for your clothes.
They smooth, flatter, conceal and hold things in place, so that everything you put on top of them looks better. While in previous years they were mostly found in the professional kits of Hollywood makeup artists, now primers are there for all of us to enjoy. You simply have to decide which one is for you.
Almost every makeup company has its own collection of primers.
Here are a few we tested.
Known for its excellent Photo Finish Primer, Smashbox, a Los Angeles makeup company that started as a fashion photography studio, was the pioneer in creating primers for their photo shoots. The Photo Finish Foundation Primer has a very loyal following.
It reduces the appearance of fine lines and open pores; it gives the skin a velvety finish; and it keeps makeup looking fresh for hours.
Since 2010, the company launched 12 more primers suitable for different needs.
These include Anti-aging SPF 2, Light for oily skin; Hydrating for extra-dry skin; Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting, Blemish Control, Luminizing for extra glow; Adjust for reducing redness; Blend for more even-looking complexion; as well as primers for under the eyes, for eyelashes and the 24-hour eye shadow primer.
They are all excellent; but if you want to get just one, get the original. NIS 185.
Available at April stores around the country.2. Clinique
Clinique has a range of trouble-shooting primers that target different skin concerns, from sallowness to redness. The lightweight, oil-free primer helps create a smooth, even canvas for foundation. It color corrects for a range of complexion concerns, so makeup glides on evenly and stays true. Which one to use depends on your skin. There’s a Super primer for redness, dullness, discoloration and sallowness. If you have more than one skin concern, we recommend using a Super primer to address one issue and a foundation to address the other. If you simply want all over smoothing before applying foundation, try Clinique’s Universal Superprimer, which preps skin beautifully for makeup.
It is translucent, so wearing it alone is an option if you’re pressed for time.
But for best results, team Super primer with foundation for a flawless look. Allergy tested. NIS 189.
Available at April, Hamashbir and all Pharm stores.3. Bobbi Brown
For the summer, Bobbi Brown launched a primer that is really a protective SPF 50 base. This lightweight, multipurpose base provides a high level of broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and preps the face for makeup application.
Packed with caffeine and algae extract to promote even, healthy-looking skin, this face base is infused with SPF 50. Its water-binding ingredients provide hydration too. For all skin types. NIS 170.
Available at all Bobbi Brown shops.4. MAC
Mac Prep +Prime collection includes a number of items. The Natural Radiance is a beauty classic. The light lotion hydrates skin and promotes even skin tone, thanks to a golden pearl-powder, which creates an ideal base for makeup. Another plus for summer night events, it noticeably reduces oiliness (if you plan to have your picture taken). NIS 214.
For summer days, try the Protector with SPF 50, which works as sunscreen and a primer in one. NIS 166.
Also in the line is a transparent 24-hour eye primer that keeps eye makeup fresh even on very humid nights, thanks to a new “breathing” polymer. NIS 121.5. Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder launched two new primers – the Illuminating Perfecting Primer and the Matte Perfecting Primer. Both have creamy and light texture; and both prime the skin, making it ready for makeup application. The Matte Perfecting Primer for oily to mixed skin gives a golden, velvety complexion. The gel-like oil-free product absorbs instantly, removing excess oil, refreshing skin and calming it. Tiny optic particles minimize the appearance of pores and other flaws. Green tea and vitamin E help calm the skin. NIS 192.
The Illuminating Perfecting Primer is for dull, tired-looking complexion. It adds hydration and vitality, illuminating the skin with tiny light-reflecting optic particles that minimize the visibility of skin flaws.
Hydrating agents such as rice essence and shea butter improve skin condition and help keep makeup perfect longer. NIS 192.
Available at pharmacies, April, Hamashbir and other beauty stores.6. L’Oréal Paris
Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer by L’Oréal Paris literally gives an instant illumination effect. The liquid formula blends seamlessly into skin and gives instant luminosity. Texture is smoothed and toned for a natural-looking complexion.
The lightweight formula hydrates for eight hours of refreshed skin. Use it alone for a supple, dewy look; mix it with the True Match Lumi foundation and Magic Lumi highlighter for an all-over radiant finish; or dab it on key areas as a highlighter. By adding a few drops of the primer to key areas – forehead, cheekbones and chin – the primer visually “sculpts” the face. Try it. It’s amazing. NIS 150.7. Lancôme
La Base Pro was created by Lancôme in 2009, and it still is one of the leading primers sold. The soft, powder-like gel is very light and easy to use, and it really smooths the surface of the skin, allowing foundation to glide on the skin. Like the best of primers, it also reduces the amount of makeup you will use.
Now the company has launched another product in the collection. La Base Pro Pore Eraser is used on specifically problematic areas. The soft balm helps reduce the appearance of pores throughout the day, an especially important quality during the hot season. NIS 250.8. Ofra
Ofra’s new primer is perfect for those with specific skin problems, such as seborrhea, excess oiliness, redness and hypersensitivity.
The new mint-green primer truly calms skin, adding hydration and reducing redness and itching. The primer helps makeup stay fresh, even with the most problematic skin, and evens out the skin tone. It’s great for those important nights that could be ruined when the skin “acts up” just when you want to look your best. NIS 238.
Available at Ofra’s online store or by phone at 1-700-706-646. www.ofracosmetics.co.il
Revlon was one of the first to add primers to its makeup line. In the Photoready collection, the focus is on correcting skin tone, with different primers for different complexions. The Revlon Color Correcting Primer is a gel that neutralizes red areas using pigments, providing an even skin tone while adding a “stretching” effect and creating a good base for applying makeup that will also stay fresh longer. The lightreflecting pigments minimize the appearance of blemishes. The primer contains no oil, perfume or paraben. Suitable for all skin types. Now available at only NIS 80; regular price NIS 185.10. Shiseido
Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer gets the skin ready for makeup and erases imperfections for a beautiful, natural finish and improves the durability of the foundation.
It fills in fine lines, counteracts dullness, redness and unevenness to leave the skin smooth, refined, bright and even-toned.
Used as a base before makeup, it will lighten skin tone and absorb excess fat, reducing shine and stickiness. Ingredients include satin-smooth pearl powder, oil-absorbing powder and moisturizing agents. NIS 295.11. Pupa
The Italian makeup company has introduced its Professional Smoothing Foundation Primer, which gives mixed and oily skin a matte finish. The primer also minimizes open pores and smooths fine lines.
Made with silicone polymers, it leaves the skin matte and silky smooth while hydrating and nourishing it. NIS 195.
Available only at Super-pharm stores.
12. Yves Saint Laurent
The YSL Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare brush is not really a primer but more a helping hand when glamour is needed. To be used either under or on top of foundation (or on its own), the brush-on product adds instant glow to the face, rendering a look of natural radiance and freshness. It also provides protection from pollution while adding hydration. NIS 350.