Face primer has been around the block makeup counter, but we’ve always erred on the side of “Why add another layer of product when foundation works just fine?” That is, until we actually tried it.
Beauty-aisle junkies, primer is a game changer.
Used over your moisturizer and underneath your foundation, primer does exactly what its name suggests: Smooths fine lines and helps create the perfect canvas for liquid or powder foundation. It also works to prolong your makeup. After applying it in the a.m., we got through a full day (during Fashion Week, mind you) with nary a compact in sight.
Our favorite formulas? Smashbox Photo Finish ($36; so light you’ll barely realize it’s on), Clinique Superprimer ($27; our favorite for targeting problem areas) and Too Faced Primed and Poreless ($30; great for a matte finish).
Here, our foolproof instructions on how to apply:
Step 1: Wash your face, then apply moisturizer. Putting makeup on dry skin is a recipe for a flaky disaster later in the day.
Step 2: Squeeze a pea-sized amount of primer onto your fingertip (you won’t need a drop more).
Step 3: Using the tip of your finger, dab small dots of primer onto your nose, chin, forehead and cheeks, paying close attention to your under-eye area.
Step 4: Blend the primer evenly over your entire face.
Step 5: Allow the primer to dry completely (about one minute). Apply foundation. Leave those blotting sheets at home.