It’s prime time we talk a bit about foundation primers. Oh ho ho. I remember Estee saying in her Tarte Brand Focus video that she’s not usually a huge fan of primers because she worries that they’re just another layer of something to bung up her skin. That’s exactly my fear. I worry a lot about my skin breaking out from makeup. It’s quite congested and I try pretty hard not to put things on it that will exacerbate the issue. I forgo foundation quite often for this reason. I know some people say that primer acts as a protective barrier that stops makeup from clogging your pores, but I have trouble believing that with a lot of primers.

That being said, it is nice every once in a while to crack out a primer. The right primer for the occasion really depends on what you want to get out of it. I’ve never really found a primer to increase the longevity of my makeup altogether too much. I think my skin gets too oily in certain parts of my face for the primer to hang on. But what I do like is when you can feel that your foundation/concealer glides on more smoothly because of a primer. The primer helps the foundation not to cling to the skin as much so you end up not having to apply as much product. The MUFE HD Primer is a nice lightweight primer with a moisturizing texture that helps create that glide. I’ve also tried the Stila One Step Correct Primer, and the traditional Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (which was the first foundation primer ever made by the way) and they both make nice hydrating, smoothing bases that I think would work for anyone.

Sometimes I like to get a bit of a glow out of a primer. If you’re looking to go affordable, everyone seems to be in love with L’oreal Magic Lumi Primer and I see why. She’s damn fine. It feels moisturizing and it has such a beautiful luminosity to it, without any actual detectable shimmer particles. Plus it makes for a fantastic highlight on top of the cheeks. I’ve also really enjoyed the Laura Mercier Bronzing Primer, which I’ve mentioned a few times now. It’s a water based gel primer with moisturizing properties which means it’s nice for all skin types.

Occasionally I reach for a silicone based primer. The benefit of that kind of primer is it smoothes out the pores and it’s a bit oil absorbing. I got the green Smashbox Photo Finish Primer hoping that it would help counteract the redness in my skin, but I don’t find it to be pigmented enough to make any noticeable difference. I’m not particularly crazy about the ultra slippy silicone primers because they feel like they don’t have any skincare benefits. But I know a lot of people like that ultra smooth feeling. Maybelline recently came out with their version of this kind of primer called Baby Skin. It’s made from the skin that babies shed when they grow larger. You know, like lizards. No questions asked.

What do you guys think about primers? Do you find that they’re just another layer to clog or do they actually help protect your skin during the day?