Makeup for Beginners, Vol. 1: Primer

As a makeup junkie, I tend to get caught up in the cosmetic world.  If you are new to makeup or just want to spruce up your beauty regimen, it’s hard to know where to start.  Beauty blogs are a great resource but may be intimidating to the “average” reader.  That’s where my new series comes in:

We are going to start with the basics!  First up, primer!

What is it?:  Makeup primer is meant to be worn underneath your makeup.  There are ones formulated specifically for the face, eyelids, lips, and eyelashes.  Face primers are meant to be worn under foundation, lid primer goes under eyeshadow, lip primer goes under lipstick, and lash primer is applied before mascara.

What does it do?:  It is supposed to extend the wear time of your make up.  Face primer also helps smooth out fine lines and control shine from oily skin.  Eyelid primer (referred to as eyeshadow primer) helps prevent your eyeshadow from creasing.  Lip primer extends the wear time of lipstick.  Lash primer is said to give eyelashes more volume and thickness.

Face Primers

How do I use it?:  

  • Face:  Rub (with fingers) a thin layer onto skin after your moisturize.  Concentrate mostly on the t-zone.
  • Eyelid:  Apply a small amount and spread (with your ring finger) from the lash line up to the brows.  You can also apply a little on the lower lash line if you’re applying any sort of liner or shadow in that area.
  • Lips:  Apply a thin layer before applying lipstick.
  • Lash:  Apply a thin coat before applying mascara.

Do I need a primer?:

  • Face primer is something that is very useful, even if you don’t wear it every day.  If you have oily skin, I would strongly suggest trying one.  Although products like tinted moisturizer and beauty balms (bb creams) do not require primer underneath them.
  • Eyeshadow primer is debatable.  While it’s useful to have a base on you eyelid, you don’t necessarily have to purchase an “eyeshadow primer.”  Some people can get away with using a thin layer of concealer on their lids.  There are also some cream eyeshadows that work as primers (the MAC Paint Pot and Maybelline Color Tatoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow are popular ones).  If you have oily eyelids, I would suggest getting an eyeshadow primer because it is formulated with different ingredients that help keep eyeshadow from creasing.
  • I don’t see it necessary to purchase a separate product to prime the lips.  There’s only a hand-full out on the market, so there isn’t a huge demand for it.  Some tips to extend lipstick wear time:  Line and fill in your lips with lip liner, or put a thin layer of foundation before you apply lipstick.
  • Eyelash primer is debatable, and the trend seems to come and go.  Right now, lots of companies are promoting lash primers and selling primer/mascara duos.  Chances are, if you are just getting into makeup you want to start with the basics. Lash primer is definitely something you could hold off on, unless you just want to try it out of curiosity.

Eyeshadow Primers

Keep in mind, not all primers are created equal.  There are hundreds of them out there, from drugstore to high-end.  If you try a primer that you don’t like, don’t give up!


About Peace Love and Glitter

I believe that everyone has the right to feel pretty.

17 thoughts on “Makeup for Beginners, Vol. 1: Primer

  1. Amazing job explaining all of that! I have been using primers for years and I still learned some new things. I really like your blog and I was wondering if you would have any interested in joining a beauty blog hop I created just for wordpress users. You can find more information about it here:

  2. I’m with you on not getting to concerned about the lip and eyelash primers. Although I did try a lipstick primer for a wedding it was awesome!

  3. Kristy from Nebraska!

    Hey Kayla! I love the progress of your blog! I am so proud of you and am so encouraged that you have chose to follow a career path in something you love! This new series is such a great idea! I read your blog every time Facebook sends me a message that “Peace Love and Glitter” has a new post. Can’t wait to get my make up done by you some day! Miss you buddy!

  4. drfinestgrl

    Excellent post, Kayla! It’s very helpful and you explained everything wonderfully :) Can’t wait to read your next beginners post on foundation!

  5. I love this new series you’re doing!! It’s great for novices (like myself). Thank you!!

  6. I’m almost out of my face primer and got a sample of the Too Faced one and I love it! I’m definitely getting that one next. What’s your favorite eye primer?

    • I like the UDPP in Eden (it’s matte) and the Palladio Herbal Eyeshadow Primer (dupe for the original UDPP). I really like the Too Faced Shadow Insurance for when working on clients because it comes in a tube. What about you?

      • I’ll have to try Eden. I really prefer matte ones. I pretty much always stick to my trusty MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. Right now I’m using Bare Escentuals Eye Primer on myself, but I really never stray from Painterly for clients. I’m definitely going to have to try the Too Faced, too!

      • Painterly is always a staple! I love that one too!

  7. […] tuned for Makeup for Beginners, Vol. 3:  Blush Other posts in this series: Vol. 1: Primer Vol. 2: […]

  8. […] ensure that you will be satisfied once you find the best fit for you! Other posts in this series: Vol. 1: Primer Vol. 2: Foundation Vol. 3: […]

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