Regardless of age, it’s imperative to use a formula that preps and evens skin
“Primers really prime skin the same way a base coat of paint does when repainting a wall,” says LA-based makeup artist Geoffrey Rodriguez of the oftentimes overlooked skin-prep formula. “It’s important for creating a smoother, more even surface to the complexion. As well, a primer will enable foundation to stay on longer and the right primer can actually minimize the amount of foundation you use and address specific needs such as controlling oil and color correction.”
While some with smooth, even complexions can go straight from moisturizing to covering up, a primer is an essential step in the morning routine as women age and develop issues like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, broken capillaries, enlarged pores and acne scars. Because products like Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15, Make Up For Ever HD Primer and Chanel Base Lumière act as a barrier between makeup and one’s complexion, they’re beneficial in more ways than one.
“Many formulations I’m familiar with are actually very soothing to the skin,” says Rodriguez, and depending on the tint, they can practically erase any hint of redness or discoloration. Hourglass’s new No. 28 Primer Serum is ultra hydrating while creating an even canvas and protecting skin with vitamins against the elements. “Similar to the color wheel, opposite shades complement your undertone. Green is ideal for very red undertones or for those prone to rosacea; if you have slightly sallow undertones try a cool lavender shade, or for very olive undertones, a peach-tinted base is ideal.” Those undergoing a major hair-color change should be aware their complexion may appear different, necessitating a tinted primer.
The same way BB creams have become famous for smoothing the skin’s appearance—the formula can be used as an alternative to primer—primer is regarded for the improvement it makes to any complexion. Since they’re silicone-based, primers “create the illusion of smoother skin. There may also be light-reflecting ingredients that create the illusion of a soft glow.” On the eyes, primers go on with a different texture to help shadow last longer. (NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is a favorite of Rodriguez’s.) While it’s not something that has to be worn every day—like SPF!—primer “can be your best friend.”