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I’ve Tried Every Primer – Nothing Works!

February 10, 2017

I’ve Tried Every Primer – Nothing Works!

No Primer Works On My Skin

You’re tired of hearing “try this primer!” or “wait, no! Try this one instead! I *SWEAR* this one is amazing!!!” yet…neither did anything for your makeup. Didn’t improve the longevity, didn’t control your oils, didn’t help your products apply smoother, made your dry skin drier…they did nothing for your makeup. This is probably the last thing you want to hear after you’ve likely spent so much on primers, but primer is probably not the issue here. Primers are actually great if what’s underneath them is also in great condition.

Are Primers Even Important?

The simple answer is…yes. Primers do matter. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want a barrier between their makeup and their skin. Or why you wouldn’t want a smooth base to apply your products on. And many primers actually *do* enhance the longevity of your makeup.


Role of Skin Care in Primers

Skin care plays a role in everything beauty related. If you’re not taking care of your skin, no cosmetics are going to fix whatever issues you have. They may cover it but once you take that full coverage foundation off, your skin is still a hyperpigmentated (is that a word?!) oil slick. I was there. I overcame and I’m going to help all of you overcome your primer battles, too. We’ll start from the root issue: skin care.


I discussed how pH plays a role in your skin a little while ago and how if you have oily skin, using products with high pH’s will dry out your skin which will in turn make it more oily because your skin is overcompensating for the dryness. Wearing a mattifying primer cannot fix this. Using low pH products and oil cleansing can.


The Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil is a great oil cleanser and the CosRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser is a cult favorite cleanser that will not dry your skin out. You can also use any carrier oil (sweet almond, avocado, grapeseed etc…) to oil cleanse. They work perfectly fine. Please do not use coconut oil to oil cleanse — or use it anywhere on your face, ever, if you have oily and acne prone skin. Also for oily gals, please be generous with the moisturizer. Use gel based moisturizers and carrier oils to combat your oily skin. No, moisturizing excessively will not make your oiliness worse, it will actually make your skin significantly better over time. I’ve said before: hydrated skin ages slower than dry skin.


For my dry skin ladies, hydrating your skin is key to not having primers make your face feel like sandpaper. Gel moisturizers are amazing for all skin types but drier skin types absorb them so well. The right one will leave your skin feeling very plump and hydrated. My current favorite gel moisturizer is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer (preferably the one with SPF if you’re going out during the day). Also using oils, sleeping packs, hydrating masks…ANYTHING (if it’s safe, of course) to add moisture to your skin.


Primer Ingredients Matter

Primers are not made equally. Some are oil based and some are water based. Remember in grade school learning that oil and water don’t mix? That applies to your foundation/primer as well. You can’t use an oil based foundation or primer with an opposite based foundation or primer and expect it to do it’s job properly. It won’t. EX: oil based foundation, water based primer.


Also, primers with the ingredient dimethicone work better as far as creating a barrier between skin and makeup and helping with longevity, but they may result in clogged pores so make sure to really clean your pores when you take your makeup off (and any other time).

Lily’s Primer Picks:

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Becca Evermatte Poreless Perfecting Primer

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Too Faced Hangover Face Primer

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer

Make Up Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Mattifying Primer

Psst! Cave of Beauty is now doing virtual skin care consultations and we will soon be having a board-certified dermatologist on our team! Let our experts help you get your skin together at a rate that won’t hurt your pockets.


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