Monday, May 5, 2008

Primed and Ready to Go!

I've been meaning to do a post about primers for a long time. I always talk about them, how I want more of them, how I covet certain ones, my love affair with Urban Decay's Priming Potion, all of that.

However, I'm not sure that, while singing primer's praises, I am fully expressing what primer does. Now, for those of you with any imagination, you can probably deduce that primer for your face works much like primer for your walls - put it on, it covers up imperfections and makes a smooth canvas with which to apply the war paint. Ahem. Makeup. There are also primers for your eyes and lips, which can be hit or miss, in my opinion.

Here's what I think, in bullet form:

  • Eye primers: This should be your first primer purchase. I believe that these, by far, are the most worthwhile of the primer family. Eye shadow not only stays on better (instead of disappearing midday), but it also makes the color richer and much more like the color it is in the box. This is great if you are into COLORS the way I am! The nice thing about them is that I have yet to try one that doesn't work. Yes, there are ones that are better than others, but for the most part...good news.

  • Face Primers: Here is where it gets squidgy. I personally find a HUGE swing in the difference between face primers. Face primer-dom is not a democracy - not all are created equal. There are ones with silicone base, ones that are more like makeup, I even have one that feels remarkably like the stuff I put on my hair...and they all produce different results for different skin types. The nice thing is that they come in formulas for dry, oily, acne prone, combination, and skin with color imperfections. There are ones that work harder to keep your makeup on, and ones that work harder to keep you from shining. The options are endless.

  • Lip Primers: This seems to be the newest trend in primers, as there are only 2-3 available in the Sephora collection. So far I find them to I don't have much to say. Maybe more when they hit box office.

  • Mascara Primers: These were the first primers that I remember - designed to plump up your eyeshadows, give them nutrients, all of that. Personally, I cannot seem to find one that doesn't make my eyes water continuously through the day, which is weird because a) I have tried a TON of mascara primers, and b) I am not allergic to ANY makeup. But if you have one you love, I'd love to hear about it.

So there's your lesson on primers. Now I'll do a semi-complete list of what I've tried and liked, to give you an idea of what I consider worth putting on my face.

  1. Urban Decay Primer Potion - You knew this was coming. It's fab. It's awesome. I love it. Sell plasma to buy this. I included a picture below (incidently of my Urban Decay Friends and Family purchase, the Skull Shadow Box), wherein I took the primer, covered the right side of my hand (relative to the picture), and then ran all the shadows across it with one sweep of a brush. Hopefully the difference is as obvious to you as it is to me! And, P.S., 30 minutes later, all the non-primer has been rubbed off in the typing/moving around and the rest is FIRMLY in place. A+

  2. Mary Kay Signature Eye Primer - This was the first primer I used once I knew what primer was, and I must say, it's a good one. Nice, tiny little bottle, squeeze out just a bit, and it smooths evenly on your lids. Definitely one of the top ones. I would put it at a dead even with Too Faced Second Base, which has a slight yellow tint, perfect for taking away the bruised look some people's eyelids have. But don't buy First Base - it's shimmery and not good as a primer. A-

  3. Clinique Touch Base - I consider this more of a cream shadow, but the girls at Clinique swear it's a base. Your call. Perhaps you could view it as a 2 in 1. B (for use as a primer)

  4. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - These are some incredibly versatile primers. They are some of the most velvety smooth, wonderful feeling things ever. You'll want to put them on your hands. And not only that, they come in green (to minimize red tones), apricot (to conceal under eye circles, veins, and sunspots), and lavender (to minimize yellow undertones). In addition, they have SPF 15 primer, light primer (for oily skin), and a bronzing primer! They can be worn alone to de-shine or under foundation. I'm thoroughly tempted by the bronzing primer, and I love the silky feeling of the silicone. The only downside is the slightly higher price. Still, A is for awesome!

  5. Philosophy The Present - This is the one that feels like my hair cream. Sticky going on, but when it's blended in, it's weightless, so no worries. I like it, it works pretty well, and it's a LOT of primer for the price. My only real complaint is that you have to wait two full minutes for it to "dry" before applying makeup. Which is really not that big of a deal. B.

  6. Rimmel Fix and Perfect - YEAH! A drugstore deal! CVS is starting to carry Rimmel (joy!), and on their basically empty/brand new display, this was the lone wolf, calling to me from its perch - a $6.99 sales sticker. Now, considering it is tres difficile to buy a face primer for under $25, I HAD to explore. Looking in the tube, my first thought was, Holy Hell, this stuff is going to make me orange! I put it on my hand and thought the same thing (I never make it home from a makeup store without opening everything...). However, the next day when I applied it with my makeup, it was slightly orange when applying, but then it blended beautifully! If you want to try primer, but aren't ready for the high prices, try this, it's a great starter primer. B+ for results and price tag!

Not quite ready for prime time:

  1. Benefit's Dr. Feelgood - No. It doesn't go on well, it's a solid, which is weird. Sometimes it pills on your face...and I don't think it worked. Just no. F for fuggeddaboutit...

  2. Benefit's That Gal - Oh how I hate to hate on my Benefit products, but they are simply all thumbs when it comes to primers! That Gal has a nice sweet scent, and I did notice a very slight decrease in the appearance of my pores with it, but none of the other promises they made. I couldn't tell it was there. C, mostly because I liked the smell.

  3. DuWop Prime Venom - I've already gone into this. Buy lip balm. C-

Hopefully that was educational enough to inspire you to look into primer. Overall, it's very good for reducing the appearance of pores, keeping your makeup in place longer, smoothing the look of your skin, covering imperfections, and reducing shine. Good stuff. Not at all necessary, but totally addictive once you start.

Remember - the right side is the primer. And that side of my hand still looks funny. It's been an hour and I've washed my hands. GO PRIMER POTION!

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