In the NY Times this week was an article all about primers. Face Primers, eye primers, lip primers, nail primers. Nowadays there is a primer for absolutely everything! With so many of these products being offered in the market, let's first ask the question - to prime or not to prime?
I'll admit there once was a time when I felt a primer was an essential part of the daily makeup routine. I used Smashbox's Photo Finish primer every single day before my foundation application. Yes, it did what it was supposed to do, created a smooth and even canvas, making it easy to apply base. But now, through my many years of trial and error with makeup, I just find this an unnecessary step on a day to day basis. If you have a good skincare routine (serum+moisturizer+sunscreen - that's 3 steps already people!) then for me, less is more. My philosophy is allowing your skin to breath as much as possible and since many of these primers are silicone-based, they coat the skin, possibly leading to clogged pores if being used on such a regular basis.
Now let me tell you when I think primers can be a really great thing. First, if you have very oily skin. Many primers are targeted toward mattifying the skin, making the makeup long lasting and shine-free. Second, primers can be wonderfully useful when applied under your makeup for a special event or a night out where you really want your makeup to look flawless and last all night (especially if photos will be taken!) Personally I am drawn to the ones that bring luminosity to the skin like Laura Mercier's Radiance Foundation primer. Instead of applying this all over the face, focus it more on the cheekbones, forehead, a little down the center of the nose to give skin a "natural" glow.
Final point: Primers can be a great thing when used appropriately, but as for adding it to your daily routine, I say skip it!