Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Skin Primers Tried and Tested

When it comes to foundation, many of us girls have few qualms about spending 20, 30 or even 40 euro on a bottle of the stuff, if it's going to mean that we look like the best possible version of ourselves.  Let's face it foundation is magical and can swiftly make you feel human again when your feeling a little worse for wear. I have tried and tested numerous foundations out there and have many go-to's in my make up varying in coverage and finish. 

So why on earth do I need to use a skin primer?  Well I asked that very question and so decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about and is there any need to bother. The answer is.....Yes.  Skin primer is essentially a base that is applied before your foundation and comes in many different forms. Here are some of the reasons it's worth using one:
1. Primer avoids your make-up looking streaky.
2. It can better conceal very obvious or enlarged pores
3. Primer can better neutralise redness and blemishes.
4. Primer creates a smooth surface to apply your foundation on to.
5. Primer results in your foundation sticking better and therefore lasting longer.

Primers create a barrier between your foundation and skin, meaning that your foundation will look great for a whole lot longer. Make up artists have used the analogy of smoothing the canvas for your foundation to cling to. So now you know all reasons that a primer would be a welcome addition to your make-up bag, where do you start in finding one? Let's face it (excuse the pun) every cosmetic company seems to be churning out a primer at the moment, so what's worth picking up and which primers should be left behind. Luckily I have done a little work on this and here's what I came up with:

Perfect Primers

1. MAC Prep & Prime
    I'm a big fan of this product. It leaves your face feeling smooth and prepped for foundation 
    application. There is no real smell, it is a white liquid that glides on easily. My make-up most 
    definitely sits better when I apply this primer and undoubtedly lasts better throughout the day. 
    This little black number would be a welcome addition to any make-up bag.
    Rating: 8/10
    Price: €26

2. Bare Escentuals PrimeTime
    This is the first primer I ever used and so far is my preferred product. I really like the finish of 
    my foundation when I apply PrimeTime before hand. Similar to the MAC but this is a clear,  
    scent free gel which glides on easily and leaves your face feeling smooth and reduces the 
    appearance of blemishes or redness. Make-up lasts longer throughout the day and allows 
    you to achieve a great finish no matter what foundation you are using.
    Rating: 9/10
    Price: €25 (approx.)

3. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
    Beauty Flash Balm has been around quite a while and is raved about by many. It aims to 
    'brighten and tighten' skin and can be used as a prep before applying foundation. I am now 
    on my second tube of the stuff and if I went back for more, believe me that's saying 
    something. The colour is a little unusual (pale orange) and there is a typical Clarins scent, but 
    all in all I am a big fan of this product. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed and moisturised 
    and your make-up does sit much better when it has been applied. A little pricier than MAC or 
    Bare Escentuals and so loses a point or two in the value department.
    Rating: 7/10
    Price: €35

4. MUA Primer
    I am a fan of MUA (Make Up Academy) products, but think it's a pity that in Ireland they 
    are only available in Superdrug stores which are very scarce. This product is a steal at just 
    €4.95 for those on a tighter budget. The second cheapest of the lot, this product is more 
    liquidy than the others. I prefer a slightly firmer gel like primer, however this clear liquid when  
    left for 2 minutes did leave my skin feeling and looking visibly smoother. My make-up sat well 
    throughout the day, but maybe not to the extent of the MAC or PrimeTime. A welcome 
    addition to my primer collection all the same and a useful and thrifty option for everyday 
    Rating: 6/10
    Price: €4.95

Pointless Primers

5. Essence 'My Base'
    Rating: 2/10
    Price: €4.79
    I always like to explore the cheaper end of the marketplace where sometimes you stumble  
    upon a real find and other times you simply find, well rubbish. This primer is 'odd' to say the 
    least. It leaves your face bright orange and leaves a very strange residue. I tried it on two 
    occasions under my foundation and actually thought it did more bad than good. It may be 
   cheap and cheerful, but will make you orange and tearful!

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