Do Foundation Primers Actually Work?

Happy Friday my lovelies! And to all of you beauty addicts in the US I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July. Here in Dubai, it has been the first full working week after Ramadan – which means back to full time working hours. The long hours and high temperatures have made keeping makeup on my face an uphill struggle – so today I thought I’d write a post on primers. A good primer should be the remedy to my makeup woes.

But do primers actually do anything?

Well in my opinion not really. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I just don’t see what other people see when it comes to primers. I’ve yet to find a primer that increases the longevity of my makeup in the way I’d like.

But SURELY the rest of the world aren’t forking out £20+ for something that doesn’t work? So with that in mind, I decided to do some investigation work.

Do Primers Really Work?

I asked a group of bloggers (who better to ask, right?) if they use a primer and if so, which one. But most importantly I wanted to know what were the results. Here’s what they said:

Georgia from Georgia Knight:

” I always use a primer when applying makeup. I love using the smashbox photo finish primer, it’s really good for combination skin. It isn’t oily and it allows makeup to sit smoothly and evenly on the skin”

Louise from Jeezlouisexo:

“I use either smashbox photo finish or L’Oreal Infallible. I prefer the L’Oreal infallible primer because it is more afforadable. It works well for my combination skin because it mattifies oily patches without drying out the rest of my skin.”

Lucy from Lucy Rachael

“I don’t always use a primer during the day, but for night’s out I love Benefit’s porefessional.”

Charlotte from Charlotta Eve:

“I love to use Benefit’s porefessional, it smooths my pores and makes my skin look blurred.”

Becci from Front Row Fascination:

“I use a balm by Bobbie brown which is a vitamin base and it moisturises my skin – oh and it smells amazing!!”

Harriet from With Lipstick and Love

“Right now I’m loving Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer, it’s the one I keep reaching for as it leaves my skin looking completely flawless.”

Sanoobar from Sanoobar Unscripted:

“My favourite is the smashbox primer in light oil free. It really helps give my foundation a smooth finish.”

As you can see there’s a lot of love for primers from other bloggers, so where am I going wrong?

After doing some reading on the matter and speaking with other people I think I might have to change my mentality when it comes to primers. I’ve always hoped they’d be as great as eye primers. For me eyeshadow primers really do work. They keep my eye makeup on all day, prevent creasing and I can see a noticeable difference in my makeup. The first time I used one it was life changing! I hoped for the same when it came to facial primers.

But perhaps this isn’t the main goal of a primer. Maybe instead of hoping for a visible difference in my makeup I should be considering primer as more of a skincare step. Primers form a barrier between your skin and you makeup and as such prevent your makeup from sinking into your skin and blocking your pores. This can also lead to your skin looking smoother which was reported by a lot of the bloggers I interviewed.

Primers can also add a luminosity to your skin. The Becca backlight primer is great for this, it’s a great primers for dry or tired skin as it will give your foundation an extra bit of life without being noticeably shimmery.

For oily skin pore filling or mattifying primers are probably going to be best. They will give a smooth canvas on which to apply makeup and in theory they’ll keep your skin matte for a little longer by controlling oil.

Foundations to use with Primers

Knowing all of this I’m still not entirely sold on the idea of a primer. For me personally I’d prefer to invest the money that I could have spent on a primer into better skincare. A lot of primers are full of silicon which gives you that smooth skin appearance. However, over time silicon can actually dry out the skin and cause premature aging – horrifying I know! So for me personally I’d prefer to invest in a good eye cream or facial serum and look after my skin that way.

Will I give up on primers all together though?

No. I’ll always carry primers in my professional kit because clients like to use them and as I said before, at the very least they serve as a good barrier between the skin and the makeup. I also like to think that one day I’ll find that holy grail of primers that I’ve been searching for and my opinion will change. Next on my hit list will most likely be the Smashbox photo finish – when that many bloggers recommend it, it’s hard to ignore!

So what do you guys think? Do you use a primer? And do you notice a visible improvement in your skin after doing so? I’d love to know what you use and the results – pop it in a comment below!

As always thank you all so much for reading, and thank you to the lovely bloggers who agreed to let me pick their brains! Don’t forget to check out their blogs too. If you enjoyed this post some of these lovely bloggers also feature in a skincare post I did a few monthsback, you can check it out here.

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