If you're someone that watches a lot of makeup tutorials, reviews or makeup videos, you'll see primer is seemingly an essential step in every routine.
But back in the real world, do you actually need to use a primer in your makeup routine?
And I would say - as someone that has worked in beauty for the last decade - the answer is, no, not really.
In saying that, it's important to understand what a primer is exactly, before we can delve into the reasons why. Some will say primers help your makeup last longer, some will tell you that they reduce oiliness or add luminescence. The truth is that primers do all three, and more. It just depends on which one you choose.
The idea behind a primer is that it literally "primes" your face and prepares it for your makeup. Of course, there are many different ways you can prepare your face. It all depends on what you want from your makeup and which products you're using.
If we look to BeautyBlender as an example, you'll see that this brand offers a whole range of primers - not just one. Because priming is not a one-size-fits-all situation. It has the Opal Essence primer, which is designed to add dewiness so your makeup looks extra glowy. It has The Leveler primer which helps to fill in large pores, so when you apply your foundation, your skin looks smooth and flawless. It also has the Selfie Shield, a dry oil primer that offers an SPF, perfect if you're looking to add sun protection into your routine.
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There are many other primer styles too. Just a few of my personal favourites are these. Fenty Beauty's primer is designed to help your makeup grip, so it stays on your face and lasts all day. Luma Beauty's Natural Radiance Bronzing Primer adds a darker tan layer so your foundation looks contoured and bronzed. NARS Pore & Shine Control Primer helps mattefy your skin, controlling the oil in oily skin, to leave you with a shine-free finish.
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Your choice to use a primer depends on your foundation too. If you have a foundation that doesn't set, a primer that helps the product set will be a big help. If your foundation is matte and dry, a dewy primer could help you add some glow and life into your look.
Primers can do a lot of different things. Each one is different. Are thy essential? Definitely not. I personally rarely use a primer. But if it's summer time and I'm out and about for a long day, I will absolutely lean on a mattefying, oil-reducing primer for some extra support. Or else my skin will shine bright like a diamond, not in a good way.
In essence, if you're after a specific look, the right primer could help you achieve what you're looking for. But otherwise, you're fine to leave this one out of your routine.