November 19th, 2013
The increasing popularity of primers over the past few years has made them such key pieces in any pro kit that many of the MUA brands are formulating their own. Warpaint picks out the best face primers for the perfect canvas.
Just as a wall needs prep before painting, priming the skin helps product adhere better, last longer and ensure colours appear vibrant and stay that way. Originally the premise of pro MUAs on actors and brides, when make-up had to stay intact under studio lights, outside filming or for hours on end, then brands like Smashbox, La Prairie and Urban Decay introduced them onto the High Street and they became a hit with consumers too.
Primers have evolved to such an extent that they’re now available for different skin types, concerns and even provide anti-ageing skincare benefits. skinChemists Studio Finish Primer (£80.50) is of a new generation combining much loved priming ingredient silicone to leave skin velvety smooth with aloe vera to calm and soothe. Make-Up Designory (MUD) Face Primer (£30) works brilliantly under cream foundations to create a flawless, long lasting finish. For those who prefer a lightweight gel this can also be mixed into foundation for a creamier consistency and the more primer you add the more sheer the make-up becomes.
For use under foundation or on its own, Illamasqua’s Matt Primer (£22.50) helps create a shine-free finish that can be applied all the way up under the eye area as well as on lips and lids. This pro cream formula offers UVA and UVB protection, for an extra layer of sun safety. Creamy-to-the-touch NARS Multi-Protect Primer SPF30/PA+++ (£25) is fortified with anti-oxidants, anti-irritants and anti-pollution skincare benefits to protect and create an even tone. Multi-taskers come in new textures like the weightless Shu Uemura POREraser UV Under Base Mousse SPF35 P+++ (£29). Available in beige or pink to suit different skintones, this ultra light mousse combines a powerful triple powder complex with UV protection to create pore minimising, shine free, retouched skin thanks to the sebum absorbing flower bud powder and refining sodium salicylate.
In the world of cult primers, Laura Mercier is the pioneer and tops the list with her vast range for different skin types. Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer (£28) provides a sheer, healthy glow thanks to its hydrating formula, enriched with Jojoba Oil and Vitamins A, C and E. Even sensitive skins will be illuminated with this imperfection minimising pearl tint. Combination and dry skins benefit from a luminous finish, as it instantly awakens dull complexions adding in much needed dewiness and radiance. The modern hydro-gel texture of Estee Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer (£21.50) immediately adds brightness, conditioning skin so make-up looks smooth and fresh. Soft-reflection optics enhance translucency while shea butter nourishes for a supple canvas.
Skin types aren’t the only problem that primers can tackle. Colour correcting has become an essential part of the perfect base. Both Make Up For Ever (MUFE) and Clinique have released versions that address redness, ashiness, sallowness, pigmentation and dullness. MUFE HD Microperfecting Primer (£25.95) is and oil-free complexion corrector designed for HD film and the Green formula in particular is ideal for skin with rosacea to neutralise redness. The new range of Superprimers from Clinique, available in one universal and five tinted formulas, visibly smoothes and improves texture. Colour Corrects Sallowness (£20) lavender tinted primer is perfect for a healthy looking base.
Highlighting its status as a kit essential, Charlotte Tilbury has included a primer in her new beauty range. Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash (£38.50) is a brand new anti-age skincare hybrid mixed with soft-focus Spot Light effect to regenerate skin by boosting collagen whilst flooding the complexion with luminosity. Multi tasking Kevyn Aucoin Primed Skin Developer (£55) is another hybrid designed to be a treatment primer and foundation developer in one. Not only does it prep, but it also improves the appearance of facial contours due to active molecules that target puffiness. Hyaluronic Acid and Barley extract combine to significantly decrease wrinkle depth 30 minutes after application whilst anti-microbial action helps address acne breakouts and control shine.
Post-foundation primers have also cemented themselves in any pro kit, to camouflage, soften and relax expression lines and wrinkles after finished application. MAC Prep + Prime Line Filler (£16) applies as a dense cream while drying to a transparent, smooth matte finish which looks and feels completely natural. No longer an optional step, they are the ultimate in beauty insurance saving time and lengthening the life of any look.