Both matte-ifying and moisturizing, these products get to work in between your moisturizer and foundation, settling in and softening while zapping free radicals. Ready for a primer on primers and finishers? Away we go...
Primer sprays are infused with humectants and vitamins and can help foundation sink in and adhere to skin over post-cleanse products while improving skin texture over time.
All three of these prep spray formulas contain glycerol-type humectant ingredients, which, when mixed with water, impart moisture to the skin. You want to use a prep spray to boost moisture before a serum or create a smooth base for makeup.
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Perfecting Water Moisture Mist is a mineral powerhouse! It contains sea water, plankton extract, green tea, and vitamin E. This super-fine mist comes in a large bottle to make it easy to dose a few times per day.
MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ is not only a makeup artist favorite, but a well known staple product. The glow of glycerin is infused with chamomile, aloe, and green tea. Vitamins B5 and E with caffeine provide a plumping effect. This mister is great before and after makeup to get rid of any powdery-looking spots.
Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray. Like the others, spray this either before serum and/or makeup, or any time to refresh, but unlike the other two formulas, B6 contains pyridoxine cyclic phosphate, a newly developed form of vitamin B6 that has had some study-worthy results in skin care applications. Smaller pores and less sebum is something that many strive for. In addition to this cutting-edge vitamin, a glycerol made from corn adds moisture, while willow bark helps natural exfoliation.
Direct Application Formulas
These formulas are not mistable, but they each do something special to the skin. All of these products leave a silky feel and diffuse pores while holding on to makeup pigments.
New in 2014, Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer is a glamorous dose of soft focus and signature Dior weightlessness. It has a slight pearly finish and plumps to accept foundation perfectly. Use to touch up throughout the day and take away shine. It’s fast-acting, it settles into skin like lightning, and after a whole day of wear my foundation still looks vibrant.
Tarte has primers going onnn: their formulas are cruelty-free and chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants. Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer has a dreamy texture that presses into the skin like a cloud. Its lightweight silicones provide color stick without harming the skin you just spent time moisturizing. Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer is one I’ve covered before, but it’s worth pointing out its oil-absorbing clay formula also has silica and rice lipids to aid in moisturization, making it great for light coverage days.
Luminature Essential Finisher is a brand-new product from Amore Pacific’s Sulwhasoo. Each bottle contains five roots of ginseng and the antioxidant benefits of 110 cups of green tea, a potent active dose of many compounds. The supercharged formula quickly grows on you as, somehow, this product settles all of the other layers of your regimen, no matter how many are worn.
I know when doing a full face of makeup, skipping eye primer can mean the difference between my lids having a soft smoky look or the streaked greasy lines of my punk years gone by.
Dior Backstage Eye Primer has vitamins A and E to smooth and treat lids before eye shadow. It has a slight nude tint that blends to invisibility. Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-Hour Smoothing Eye Primer is also a fast-absorbing vitamin C and E loaded eye shadow base. The Colored Clay CC Eye Primer Stick is fabulous, but I prefer it as a brightener and corner highlighter, as per a tip from a makeup artist friend. It is a soft, creamy shea butter and clay chubby stick also made with vitamin C and E, just what your eyes need to fight free radicals.
I highly suggest you find a few places to slide in products like the above; you can help your skin and keep your blush bright all day.
- Do you use primer sprays, prep solutions, vitamin creams or eyelid primers?
- Are they skin care-boosting or just makeup-oriented products?
Photos by Darnell Scott