April 27th 2020
If your skin has a tendency to go arid mid-afternoon, you’ll know that a desert-like complexion doesn’t hold onto makeup all too well. If uneven base is your bugbear, and you’d like a lovely cushion to keep moisture in, makeup on and skin supple, the following primers will seal the deal.
An enduring staple in many a beauty editor’s kit, this has been giving even the most parched of mugs a glow for years, and the creamy texture sinks in seconds- skin looks immediately healthier and more luminous before you’ve even gone in with foundation. As well as keeping makeup in line, antioxidant plant oils provide nourishment and protection for dry skin, and the water-based formula feels fresh and soothing on skin, all day long. If it ain’t broke…
A dry-skinned friend of mine swears by this light, golden Smashbox unction for its moisturising, flattering effects, pawing the very last smidge out of the jar because none of this glorious gloop should go to waste. Smashbox is particularly known for its high performance primers, and this lives up to hype- the hyaluronic acid rich formula hydrates, illuminates, creates a smooth canvas for makeup and prevents it cracking as you go about your business. It’s also a goer for sensitive skin- it’s fragrance-free.
A cooling way to sandwich in moisture post day cream and pre-makeup, this niacinamide, algae and sodium hyaluronate enriched primer is a joy to apply on a hot day and the bouncy texture leaves soft, calm skin in its wake. It’s seriously impressive when it comes to keeping foundation firmly in place too, and it would suit combination skin as well as drier complexions.
For a pocket money price tag, this light fluid primer brings some fancy ingredients to the table. Jojoba, safflower and sweet almond oil support dry skin, yet it doesn't feel in any way tacky or cloying- it dries fast to a silky finish. A no-brainer if you don’t want to blow the budget on an additional beauty step in your routine.
Suitably making its debut at the Golden Globes, Flawless Filter has caused quite the stir since its launch in February, and for good reason- it’s versatile, available in seven shades and marries the blurring properties of a primer with the gleam of a highlighter. The ‘glossy oil’ complex makes it a particularly appealing option for dry skin, and it can be used alone as a primer (although it’s a bit shiny disco ball if you put it all over), mixed with a moisturiser or foundation or applied strategically to cheekbones and anywhere else you want to bring the light. You can apply it on top of your existing makeup if you want to revive your face at the end of a long day and apply to your lids for a less stick approximation of eye gloss. Charlotte’s been blending her own Flawless Filter backstage at shoots, shows and red carpet events for over 20 years for an easy, instant lift, and now she’s wisely bottled it. It’s not a primer per se, but it straddles many cosmetic needs and makes drier skin look beautifully dewy, no matter how you use it. I’ll finish my essay here.
A brightening, smoothing balm, this primer feels relatively rich compared with some of the more fluid options out there (that’ll be the shea butter and beeswax). Our art editor Sarah rates it for making skin feel soft and anchoring foundation in situ, and it gives a nice sheen to cheeks. It smells slightly lipstick-y in an old skool cosmetic kind of way, which could be a pro or a con depending on how you feel about fragrance.
The ‘faking optimum hydration and eight hours sleep’ marketing trope is a common one, and while this will in no way bring you back from the brink of a savage hangover, probiotic lactobacillus has an anti-inflammatory effect and it’s got a decent roster of hydrating ingredients going on, from olive oil to coconut water and good old glycerin. It absorbs quickly, doesn’t leave skin sticky and freshens up fatigued complexions beautifully.
‘Spackle’ is apparently the American term for Polyfilla. I can’t see ‘polyfilla primer’ launching over here anytime soon, but it is vaguely similar in principle- this is the driest feeling of the lot, and it throws the skin’s surface into soft focus, “filling in” pores and creating an even, velvety skin finish so that foundation glides on easily. Hydration wise it’s got jojoba oil and shea butter going on, although it’s more silicone heavy than many here and certainly not a plumping option. If large pores are your beauty nemesis, and you’re a jetsetter with minimal tolerance for clunky bottles, it’s the ideal pocket primer option.
April 27th 2020
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