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Why makeup artists don't believe in primers and how you can prep your skin for flawless makeup all day.


Primers are a recent phenomenon that came about as a clever marketing tool, if you ask me. Consumerism is rife in the beauty industry with new products launching almost daily, brands are always looking to invent the new MUST HAVE. Primers were just that.

It's over a decade ago that brands including Smashbox, La Prairie and Urban Decay introduced face primers, so what actually is a primer? Many brands will claim their product will fill in fine lines, conceal enlarged pores or improve the texture on the skin.

Applied before using your foundation, primers are sold as a longevity enhancing product that will mattify, illuminate or simply hold your makeup in place for X amount of hours.

This all sounds amazing, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want their makeup to last longer and for all of their skin concerns to be solved with the use of a magical primer? Well, I'm here to tell you why good skin preparation will outweigh the need for a primer and your skin will thank us both for it!

Skin preparation or indeed priming your skin for makeup application is arguably the most important process for flawless, long-lasting makeup.

Here are the 4 steps you need to achieve that perfectly primed skin:


Nothing is going to sit well on your skin if you've still got yesterdays makeup or residual oils and skincare lingering on your face. Cleansing helps remove excess oil, makeup, sweat and dirt from your skin.


Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance, or exfoliation tool.

Proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin and uncovers fresh new cells below. This opens the way for moisturising products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, making them more effective. In short, a regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy. However, exfoliating alone won't keep your skin looking lovely and healthy. Which leads me to my next step...


After your exfoliation you should apply your hydrating products, this can be serums and/or moisturisers. Even if you are oily, do not skip on the hydration - with oily skins, external factors such as pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing can damage skin's moisture barrier, causing loss of moisture and an increase in oil production. Therefore it's just as important to use a moisturiser for oily, acne-prone skin after cleansing—just as you would moisturise dry skin. Do, however, take note of where you should apply your moisturiser - use minimal product where you get oily by working from the outside of your face, inwards.


Always use a protective sunscreen to ensure that skin is protected from environmental and UV damage.

Tailoring your priming for your skin

This is where you now need to figure out what your skin concerns are and break your face up into areas according to their need. Our faces are not one canvas, and your cheeks may require different skincare/preparation to your T-zone.

It is important to give each area of the face what it needs, and not use a one size fits all approach.

Once you have assessed your skin and applied what you believe to be the appropriate products, observe how your skin reacts throughout the day and tailor your prep accordingly. It may take a few days or weeks to master exactly what is needed where (you may have used too much moisturiser one day, not enough the next, you will notice a difference as the seasons change and how the needs of your skin do too) but once you get there, I can promise you this will be way more effective than any priming product.

The exception to the rule...

Where I believe a primer is necessary is on the eyelid! If you are going to be applying a powder eye shadow, you must prep your lid in order for that product to stay in place and last all day or night. The eyelid has much more creases than the rest of the face and is often an oily area.

Primers on the eye not only increase the longevity of your products but they also enhance the pigment payoff, resulting in bolder colours with the use of less product. Some of my favourites include:


Image Credits

Image 1 - Pexels, Cottonbro

Image 2 - Pexels

Image 3 - Pexels, Shiny Diamond

Image 4 - Hourglass

*Please note affiliate links are used in this blog post


DISCLAIMER - The views expressed on this site are the author’s own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.

I happily recommend products through my blog and this has become a key component of my Blog and Instagram channels. Any recommendation is based on personal experience – or the trusted experience of a tester/colleague – but everyone’s skin is different and something that works for me may not necessarily work for you in the same way. This also applies to allergic reactions. It is impossible to anticipate allergies and therefore I am not liable should any irritation or allergic reaction occur. Please use product recommendations at your own discretion and risk.

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