What’s The Deal With Makeup Primer?

The last time I was shopping for a new foundation, I was tempted by all these bottles of foundation primer placed strategically next to concealer options. Hmph, I thought. Makeup brands are just like pharmaceutical companies—they both invent new “problems,” and then put out the product to solve said “problems.” What will I get roped into next if I buy a foundation primer? Foundation post-er?

As it turns out, foundation primer, while more of a professional product, can have some awesome benefits.
Foundation primer definitely isn’t a beauty product you “need,” but can help you out if you’re looking to get a flawless face. (It’s often used for photo shoots.) In its most basic use, it’s a protective layer that sits between your skin and your makeup. Depending on the formula, applying it before foundation can allow your makeup to hold up longer, create a matte finish, fill in your face’s natural creases, and protect your pores from oil. Check out the following products:

  1. Laura Mercier’s foundation primer is a good, basic bet as a product which aims to prolong your makeup application. Your skin will also get the benefits of good-for-you vitamins A and C. [$30, Sephora.com]
  2. Cover FX does double duty by providing an anti-acne treatment and matte effect. With its anti-shine properties, it’s great for the summer when you’re not into pulling off the “dewy” look, or for situations where you know you’ll be subjected to the flash of a camera. [$39, Sephora.com]
  3. Tarte’s lightweight primer contains all natural ingredients to hydrate the skin while filling in lines and wrinkles pre-foundation app. [$27, Sephora.com]