FAN MAIL FRIDAYS: A Primer on Face Primers

Hello guys! I'm on a holiday right now with my family to celebrate my mother's birthday! Like what I always do, I'll share this trip with you guys soon. :) In the meantime, check out our FMF query from Pam:

Hi Martha! 
Do we really need makeup primers for the face? What are the best primers depending on a person's skin type? Thank you in advance! 

Photo Credits:

Hi Pam!

For someone who has oily skin and has been avidly using makeup primers for more than 2 years now, I say YES, primers are necessary. Aside from extending the wear time of makeup, they:

1. Give liquid/cream/mousse bases some slip
2. Even out skin tone further by minimizing the ungodly sightings of wrinkles, dips, scars, discolorations, and creases
3. Form a barrier between makeup and the skin
4. Help the shade of foundation appear truer on the skin
5. Help intensify the color of makeup

Some primers are also infused with skin caring properties.

However, these are the common facts that sources will tell you about makeup primers. The more interesting question is, how can primers do all of these benefits? The answer? It all lies in the ingredients: primers have unique ingredients that are specially formulated to optimize the effects of makeup.

Below are the most common ingredients found in primers:

Dimethicone and Crosspolymers- skin protectant
Tocopheryl Acetate- a skin antioxidant
Silicone- makes skin smoother for better foundation application
Cyclomethicone- good for oil control
Propylene Glycol- skin moisturizer

These ingredients will also help you find the right primer that suits your needs. Now click READ MORE and know the different types of makeup primers, and find out which ones will fit your skin type.

Liquid Primers

- Good for normal and dry skin because of its high water content and soothing, moisturizer- like texture.

Some known liquid primers: Laura Mercier Oil- Free Primer, MAC Prep+Prime, Shu Uemura UV Underbase line, Essence Cosmetics Makeup Primer

Mattifying Primers

- Best for combination to oily skin; commonly used in professional fields such as Theatre, Film, photo shoots, and the likes for its superb holding prowess.

Some known mattifying primers: Kryolan Invisible Matt, Make Up For Ever All Mat, Philosophy Never Let Them See You Shine Primer

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Gel Primers

- Best for dry to oily skin; help plump skin; allow easier blending of makeup especially on scarred skin; controls oil; help give a more even makeup coverage

Some known Gel Primers- Smashbox Photofinish Primer, The Body Shop Skin Primer Moisturise It

Pore- Reducing Primers

- Targets pores by diminishing their appearance; controls oil to some extent, although it's mainly for addressing enlarged pores

Some known pore- reducing primers: Benefit Porefessional, Maybelline, Too Faced Primed and Poreless, Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser, Shu Uemura POREraser UV Underbase

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Color- Correcting Primers

- best suits any skin type, but primarily targets discolored skin

Shades of Color- Correcting Primers:

White- for luminosity
Purple- for sallowness
Green- for redness
Peach- for hyperpigmentation
Blue- helps illuminate pale complexions
Pink- for dull skin

Some known color- correcting primers: Make Up For Ever HD Color- Correcting Primer line, Revlon Photofinish Color- Correcting Primer line, Smashbox Photofinish Color Correcting Line; Essence Cosmetics Color Correcting Primers, selected Shu Uemura UV Underbase Primers (Pink/Purple and Peach), Benefit That Gal Brightening Primer

Since we're already tackling primers, I might as well discuss eye and lip primers:

Eye Primer- basically does what face primers do: it prevents color creasing, prolongs the vibrance of eye makeup, and evens out the skin tone on the lids. Eye Primer usually comes in gel-cream form, and it's perhaps the best consistency for the most sensitive area of our face.

Some known eye primers: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, ArtDeco Eyeshadow Base, Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper, Benefit Stay Don't Stray Eyeshadow Primer, Kryolan Eyeshadow Base

Lip Primer- lip primer may keep lipsticks intact, but its main mission is to decrease the appearance of lip lines for a smoother, plumper look, and to unify the color of the lips.

Some known lip primers: ArtDeco Lifting Lip Stylo, MAC Lip Erase, Etude House Lip Concealer

That's all! Hope you all liked this post! Have a fantastic weekend! :D

**Got a burning question about makeups, skin care products, beauty, dieting, and health tips, relationships, and whatever? Just send them to or shoot 'em up at The Beauty Junkee's FB Fan Page via the MESSAGE button and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. (Please, do not send me Math- related queries. :D)

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10 Lovely Thoughts

  1. This is a very helpful post, thank you. I used primer once during a school performance and it did so well my make up lasted from the dress rehearsal to the performance time. I was though unaware that primers vary from different skin types. Now I have an idea what to use as primer. ;)

  2. hi martha! i'm glad this question was posted. which goes first before liquid foundation - sunscreen or primer? is there a primer with sunscreen or sunscreen that works as a primer that you can recommend? thanks and happy birthday to your mom!

  3. Thanks for this post Ms M! I want to try an eye primer first because I'm planning to try using eyeshadows more often. I almost never wear them. Happy weekend!

  4. Thank you so much Ms. Martha for this post...its very enlightening. =) I have tried quite few face primers from laura mercier, nars then for the eye primer from urban decay. I just bought them when the sa let me try it and it feels comfortable...actually i really didnt know the difference but they are actually good. With UDPP,I tried it when I bought my naked was really good so when I finish the small size I opted to buy the prof. size planning to use it for my everyday makeup but OMG! I think I had allergic reaction with eyelids got itchy then reddish then dry skin then it peels. I stopped using it. I still wonder what happened. I was completely fine with the UDPP that comes with the naked palette. I still have the full tube of UDPP prof size, just used twice =(( I got scared using eye primers now

  5. thank you Ms. Martha for this post. Its very enlightening. I bought face and eye primers before but I really dont know the difference.I've tried face primers from laura mercier and nars. They are actually good. For eyes, I've tried UDPP. Im still wondering what happened. I first got to try UDPP that comes with the naked palette..İ loved it so I opted to buy the prof size but OMG! I think I got allergic reaction. My eyelids got itchy,reddish,dry then it peels. I was completely fine with the small size. Im scared now to try eye primers. I still got almost full tube of the prof size. just used twice =((( for you Ms. Martha, what do you think is the best eye primer?

  6. Very informative post! I wasnt aware n pati lips pala ay may primer. I have the porefessional gifted by ms m and im not crazy about it. I love the smell though

  7. thank you for this post =) helpful indeed =) i used MK face primer since i dont usually wear foundation of bbcreams =)

  8. I used Pore-Reducing Primers and it helps my oily skin to minimize, your post is very informative, now I know what are some of those face primers that will help too, and I Love to try the lip primer.:)

  9. Anonymous: Hi there and welcome to tbj! Glad for your visit too! :) Hmmm..Not so sure if there are primers w/ sunscreens yet.

    Here's the routine:


    Ideally, Sunblock should be applied last, but we all know it doesn't work that way so opt for an SPF- infused Foundation and powder instead to make up for the spf-you can actually skip traditional sunblock if your makeup has SPF because applying makeup on top of sunblock just diminishes the efficacy of the latter. Hope this helps!

    And thanks for the greeting! :)

    Kris: Welcome dear! Have a happy week! :D

    Eloise: Hi there! Awww..sad you didn't like it but 'tis okay! :) FYI, You can use porefessional as a face powder too. :)

    Rhain: You're welcome! :)

    Ohms: Thank you! :D

    Elif: Hi there and welcome to TBJ! Oh no, maybe you got sensitive eyes, and perhaps you're sensitive to some of UDPP's ingredients. Best thing is to find eye primers for sensitive skin, or mineral makeup primers. I'd still say that the best eye primer is udpp and lime crime eyeshadow helper, but then again, they got the same consistency and I think they have the same ingredients, so just find a dermatologically- tested eye primer.

    Majorie: Glad you liked this post! :D

  10. It's always great to know which product suits what skin type. Very useful :)

    Just in case somebody interested in Korean Makeup Primer


Thank you for your comments!