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Everything you need to know about primer

Close up image of woman's face with excellent skin for beauty article, sourced from GETTY. Getty Images

We’ve all heard of primer, but what does it actually do?

The purpose of primer can be tricky to define. You know it preps your skin for makeup, and it’s the thing you put on first, but why should you include it in your daily routine?

Do I really need to wear primer? You sometimes wonder.

Between cleansing, toning, moisturising, concealing and contouring, a girl needs to know that an extra step is going to be worth her while.

So we sat down with industry veteran Tina Andrews, a Beauty Advisor in our Elizabeth St store in Sydney, to get the official primer scoop.

Here’s what we found out.

Primer is your answer to instant radiance

If you want radiant skin, you need primer in your life. Specifically formulated to create a soft focus – almost blurring – effect on your skin, primer is your answer to an instant sun kissed glow.

Cult favourite: GUERLAIN L'Or Radiance Primer

Points for: its sprinklings of 24 carat gold flakes; sparkling and ultra-reflective particles that disperse into an ultra-hydrating gel. The amazing scent – feat. notes of raspberry, peach and jasmine – is an added bonus.  

Primer improves the look of unrefined skin texture

Think about primer as a topical “filler” for your skin – literally. If you have large pores, or scarring on your skin, primer helps to smooth the texture of your complexion. “It fills and smooths,” our beauty guru tells us, “so that your foundation sits on top of the primer and not within the imperfections on your skin.”

Cult favourite: YVES SAINT LAURENT Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Points for: being the swiss army knife of primers – moisturises and primes all in one.

Primer is a saviour for oily skin

If your skin doesn’t retain foundation well due to excess oil, primer is a godsend. Designed to turn your skin into a flawless canvas, primer helps to control shine and reduce the appearance of pores. The result: beautifully matte skin that won’t spoil your foundation

Cult favourite: ESTEE LAUDER The Mattifier – Shine Control

Points for: controlling oil and reducing shine – that means less time worrying that your foundation will slide off throughout the day.

Primer evens out your skin tone

The tints found in certain primers help to even out your skin tone. If you have redness in your skin, a primer with a yellow or violet tint will correct the colour of your complexion before you put your foundation on.

Cult favourite: ELIZABETH ARDEN Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer

Points for: working with your skin tone for a flawless finish, plus its luxurious lightweight texture.

Primer offers SPF protection

Select primers now offer a lightweight solution to UVB/UVA protection, with many products boasting SPF 20+ and 40+. For those who have no time for sunscreen, these innovative formulations are a girl’s best friend.

Cult favourite: GIORGIO ARMANI UV Master Primer

Points for: its SPF 40/PA+++ protection, its range of tints and shades, and its conveniently fast absorption. 

Shop cult favourites below: 

If you’re still not sure what primer will suit you best, why not book an appointment with one of our instore Beauty Advisors? Boasting expert knowledge across all brands, our advisors will offer specialist, personalised guidance to save you time, treating you to an effortless beauty shopping experience. The best part? All services are complimentary.