what i call primer

What I like to call…primer

The title is not just a nod to comedian Miranda’s on-screen Mum, but also because I wanted to write this post about all the products I use as primer – although that might not be their sole purpose, they hopefully do a lot more. 

So, these are some of my favourite products to keep makeup in place longer and therefore make your face look great! I usually have about two or three on the go at one time, depending on what my skin needs. Today’s picks can all be used with or without makeup, although I rarely go without it.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – €38 for 50 ml

I would describe this as a cult product. It is the only one I would use alone, as it doubles as a mask – actually it is a primer, brightening balm and a mask. It really does brighten the face and tighten your features and it keeps the makeup in place very well.

You don’t need much, making it good value for money. It is a great illuminator if you feel your skin is a little dull or you look/feel tired because it contains olive extract and witch hazel. I occasionally would use it as a little facial mask treatment. Apply after cleansing, in a moderate layer all over the face, neck and eye area and tissue off in about 15 minutes. (When putting under make-up apply only a thin layer)

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch – €30 for 15 ml

I first got this as part of a gift set and didn’t know it was definitely meant as a primer. My favourite thing about this product is the texture; it is my favourite texture for a primer as it really melts into your skin but still holds the makeup in place.

It smoothes the skin and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so you should only apply it to areas of concern and wait a few minutes before applying foundation. It is also good on your eyelids to keep eyeshadow in place. It is pricey compared to Beauty Flash, as it’s only 15ml, but you don’t need much. The little red jar is cute but too heavy for my handbag.

Max Factor Smooth Miracle Primer – €14.99 for 24 ml

This is a fairly new product and I actually got it send to me for free, but when I used it, I found it great so I would buy it, especially at the end of the month when pay day is still a few days away.

The texture is not too creamy; it sits very nicely on your skin, smoothing it and does hold your makeup in place well. It is the one of the best budget primers that I have used and is in a very handy pump action dispenser, which means you don’t overuse – one pump is plenty – so mine lasted ages. You can also see exactly how much is left, which I love and its small enough to carry around.

Benefit Porefessional – €34 for 22 ml

Jenny is a huge Benefit fan and has used almost all of the products. This is one she got me a couple of times in the past (she is always converting people) and it continues to be a firm favourite in both of our respective makeup bags!

As with all Benefit products, it has a clever name and cute packaging. I love it because it has a similar silky texture to Clarins Instant Smooth. It does reduce the appearance of pores and, more importantly for me, fine lines and keeps makeup intact all day long.

It contains vitamin E, which we know is just lovely for your skin! It is the UK’s number one selling primer, so I’m not alone in my love for this! It is oil-free though, so I don’t use it too often as I have dry skin, but Jen has oily and sometimes problem skin so it’s perfect for more frequent use for her. It also lasts ages so you don’t need much.

No7 Instant Illusions Airbrush Away Primer – €22.50 for 30ml

I came across this one by accident; I’m such an easy target for an upsell when it comes to hair and beauty products! The helpful girl at Boots pointed it out to me as it was on special, plus I had one of the €6.50 off No.7 skincare vouchers, so bargain!

I have since gone back and bought it full price and highly recommend it with or without your voucher. It contains light-diffusing particles, which brighten and illuminate your skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles. It claims to make you look younger in an instant and while I’m not sure it goes this far, it will definitely get you selfie-ready.

Estée Lauder ‘Illuminating’ Perfecting Primer – €34 for 30ml

I use Estée Lauder ‘Double Wear Light Stay In Place’ liquid foundation (intensity 2.0 €40 for 30ml) every day, as I like decent coverage and not lots of reapplication.

It’s been a while since I’ve used a primer from their range but I used to swear by one that they no longer make so I bought this recently and love it! I don’t use it every day, but that’s just to save it. It is very nourishing and soothing as it has Shea butter and vitamin E, and therefore perfect for dry skin.

I love the bright, almost luminous look it gives to your skin and leaves a smooth canvas to apply your foundation, which stays put all day and with a nice bright look underneath.

A nod to the greats…

Running out of space and time, so just wanted to give a nod to Laura Mercier Primer. Back in the day, when I was presenting TV programmes, I invested in some Laura Mercier makeup and primer. I was working long busy days, sometimes flying helicopters, driving tanks and once even jumping out of a plane. The whole time, my makeup never moved. I haven’t used it in a long time but it still wins awards. It’s pricey at €41 but does soothe and refresh the skin and has vitamin A, C and E in it.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is another cult product worth a mention. I have used it in the past and it’s super – you need very little and it works very well. It’s €34 for 30ml and a tiny amount can be used to tame frizzy hair (wet or dry).

Happy priming! 

Claire x

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