Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let's Talk About: To Prime Or Not To Prime


I made a remark here last week about the importance of using primers and received a few comments from readers who find face primers too slippery or oily and quite counterproductive- if the primer slides off one's face so will the rest of the makeup. Not a good idea, right?

The thing is that there many (many!) types of primers on the market, including some more suitable for oily skin. I know some people can't deal with silicones and I've had one experience with a face primer that clogged my pores. Even among silicone primers not all are created equal- some are thicker than others. And then there are the non-silicone primers: mattifying, brighteners and others. My favorites are from Shiseido, Cle de Peau and Laura Mercier.

The question is: Do you prime? Why or why not? Did you try but gave up on them? Please share your experience, recommendations and/or any requests.

Photo of Greta Garbo, 1928, myvintagevogue.com

22 comments:

  1. no. too lazy and usually too rushed, but mostly, i really do not see the point, since i get a perfectly nice finish exfoliating, moisturizing and using a creamy foundation like maybelline's dream smooth (which beats out my armani and nars foundations). i also use nars orgasm multistick for color, and my skin glows.

    minette

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  2. I gave up. Primers for dry skin were too oily and clogged my pores. Primers for oily or normal skin were too dry and clogged my pores. Each time I primed, it took months to get my skin back to normal. Never again.

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  3. I mainly never prime because I'm paranoid about clogged pores coming specifically from the primer; also, I don't like having too many layers of product, because I think that itself contributes to clogged pores for my skin.

    I do have a sample of the Hourglass face primer, though, and I want to try that out, because I've heard very good things about it.

    Adele

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  4. I never saw the point of using primer until DC's hot and muggy summer this year made my makeup melt away. Smashbox and Giorgio Armani worked very well for me. Of the two I prefer Smashbox because the Armani feels very strange. I can't describe it - it was like spreading something synthetic on my skin. Silicones maybe? Anyway, now that it's cooler, I don't need a primer.

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  5. I use Shu Uemura Under Base Mousse, a primer, as make up. But other than that, no. I only use this and Dermalogica tinted moisturizer- with powder on top of each. I have oily skin and I want only the lightest coverage.

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  6. Hi all
    I like the look of primer, but have very oily skin so I have to be very careful with application/waiting time between layers.

    Benefit-(Porefessional) has the best one so far that I've tried. But between the treatment cream, sunscreen, primer and then foundation, it just cakes up too quickly. It takes careful application and blending. I've also found that I have to wash my face brushes on a monthly basis to avoid too much oil buildup.
    I noticed many foundations have silicone in their formula-could that help with smooth texture?

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  7. I use a primer but I need a good one for my eye make-up (the one I have at the moment really doesn't do much).
    Since I haven't been using them long, I only tried 2 so far. Estee Lauder was good but the one I'm using now isn't really good (I received it as a gift and still can't remember the name), it feels strange when I put it on, like it doesn't blend with my skin, but is on top if and slides on it.

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  8. I'm one of those who hate to prime and therefore never do so. I have a sensitive skin and try to layer as little as possible. I'm happy to find a non irritating serum, (tinted) moisturizer and/or foundation without having a bad reaction. And so a primer is an overkill for me. I've never had a "melted make-up" experience, but I often have a "disappeared make-up" experience. Anyway, I can live with it (or touch up in the afternoon).

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  9. Silicone primers can clog my pores something horrible, I am recovering from a huge break-out at the moment, and the results just aren't that much better, in my opinion. I am sort of in the market for a different sort of primer, but I hardly even know what I'm looking for - something that mattifies, keeps make-up from settling in pores and gives it better grip without causing break-outs would be wonderful, of course, but I don't know if such a thing exists, and at the moment I feel a bit disillusioned with make-up in general. If it's this bad for my skin, it's not worth it. I look better with my own, uneven and oily skin than I do with immaculate make-up applied over a spotty, flaky mess.

    Depressing, isn't it?

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  10. I agree w/ a lot of the posts so far. I already wear several layers on my oily skin: sunscreen, foundation & concealer. This takes so much time; I can't afford the extra time needed to apply primer.(I have to wait about 15 mins. after applying sunscreen before I can apply foundation & concealer, otherwise the foundation/concealer streaks.)

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  11. Yes, I do prime. Sometime I skip foundation even, but never the primer. I really thinks it makes my skin a better canvas for foundation application. Not only that, it is great for my normal to dry skin somehow. I have a collection of primers; from Dior Capture Total (Asia Exclusive) to several Japanese brands (Sofina, Shiseido, Kanebo, Shu and so on). Since I have irritable skin, I avoid those containing silicons, since they tend to make me itchy and red. But I never neglect it: moisturize and/or sunblock, primer, foundation or concealer where needed.

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  12. I've never used it, but like others here I prefer to have as few layers as possible on my skin. I'm a Clinique fangirl and use their Redness Solutions products, as I have rosacea. The Daily Protective Base has a slight green tint to counter redness, and over that I use City Block, a very lightly tinted sunscreen. The combination evens out my skintone but looks natural.

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  13. I'm 72; and quit wearing foundation several years ago; just
    concealer under the eyes and tapped
    on my nose; do wear powder. Because of your eye primer suggestion tried Urban Decay's eye
    primer; irritated my eyes and the
    container irritated my sensibilities with regard to traveling. Rocky

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  14. I wanted to get in on the primer craze, but I've found that my foundation simply looks better without it. It's not for everybody, nor does it have to be...
    -Molly

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  15. I haven't noticed any improvement when I have worn a primer under foundation. Have tried a couple of samples and the Laura Mercier onethat came in the face kit. Haven't been persuaded to buy one on its own.

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  16. I only prime my eye lids - everything else I leave to chance.

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  17. I've been using Estee Lauder Idealist for years under moisturizer; it never occurred to me that it's basically a primer though it's not promoted as such. I have pretty oily skin and live in Texas, so even with primer things are not looking nice at the end of the day. And that's if I am only indoors! Makeup salesladies never seem to get it. They always try to spackle more slap onto my face. More than two products on my face and it looks like it's been sprayed with high gloss lacquer. I do find that Laura Mercier's eye primer helps keep things in place, but it still looks raggedy by the time I get home.

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  18. Much better at using a general primer than remembering a shadow primer. Helps my pores be less pronounced. I have Smashbox and Illamasqua ones. x

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  19. For really light or daily makeup I do not prime, but if I'm going out to some special gathering and it's required to have a bit more make up than usual, then yes of course I prime! Colors appear so much more rich and plentiful when you prime, I don't have oily skin.. Nor do I have dry skin, so I guess I'm lucky with primers..

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  20. Often I do, yes. I use the Smashbox Anti-Aging Photo Finish primer (the one with sunblock) if I am going to be out for much time outside - I dislike wearing both primer and separate sunscreen as I find it too heavy. If I am mainly indoors, I use MUFE's primer. I tend to get red nose and cheeks and chin, so I dot on some of MUFE's green primer as well. I much prefer the MUFE green primer to Smashbox, tho I am lemming after the Clinique redness solutions items a bit.

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  21. i was thinking more about this... and i think primers are the industry's answer to the sales directive: we must find a way to get our customers to spend 20-25% more with us. somewhere, some marketing department was charged with that task. and this what they came up with - a new product that we really don't need, but that we can be convinced we need, because, well, putting on makeup is like painting a canvas, right?!

    and maybe they HAD come up with some great slippery silicone schtuff that they WERE gonna put in their foundations when this directive came down. voila, we get two products instead of one.

    minette

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  22. I am in the non-primer party. I use my make-up instantly after my face moisturizer (an orgenic oil) so it works same well. Enough silicone in my Armani make-up.

    I agree with minette, is a kind of marketing gag. For those with perfect skin it does not matter if they use or not, and for those weith less perfect skin - do not ask about break outs and dry skin, you should know by know that silicones and paraffin oil is one of the main causes...

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