I’ve always put primers in the ‘life’s too short’ category. If I’ve got time to do another layer under my foundation, it will usually be a booster, along the lines of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. Or it will mean I get to drink all my coffee.
But recently, I’ve noticed a few primers popping up which cross over into that kind of ‘perfecting skincare’ territory. They also help your makeup go on better and stay put longer. So I decided it was time to investigate.
MAC Prep+Prime Natural Radiance (£29.50) was, typically for MAC, ahead of its time. This is a serious base for your slap, but it also contains vitamins E and C for antioxidant protection and caffeine to calm skin. The result, thanks to illuminating pearl powders is a glow like you’ve just spent the night with Joaquin Phoenix. (Just me? Oh.)
Bare Minerals Prime Time (£22) sat in a drawer of mine for ages before I thought I might give it a try. I don’t know what puts me off primers. Is it the name? It sounds a bit DIY. Anyway, this is a no-nonsense award-winner, which, with the help of plant extracts, combats rough patches, flaky dryness, fine lines, excess oil, uneven texture and enlarged pores so that your foundation goes on flawlessly – and your makeup lasts visibly longer.
Studio 10 is my new makeup brand crush. Designed for older skin, the formulas are full of firming, anti-oxidising and moisturising ingredients, and the colour ranges are softer (no black) and warmer with no glitter, just luminescence. Miracle Effect Priming Serum (£68) has just launched and it is packed with collagen and hyaluronic acid to give your pre-makeup skin a game-changing boost. Love it.
Clinique has not one but six Superprimers (£20 each), designed to address your individual skincare concern: redness, dullness, dullness in deeper skins, discolouration, sallowness, and a ‘universal’ primer for all skin types. My favourite is the peachy tone for discolouration, as it just seems to even out so beautifully – and makes your makeup last for yonks.
Finally, more of a ‘watch this space’ than a recommendation. I am desperate to try Artistry Beauty Balm Perfecting Primer SPF35 (£30.80). It doesn’t launch until November and I haven’t even tried a sample yet but it contains Norwegian Fjord water and Tahitian pearls so safe to say I’m fairly excited.